Trying to decide between hosting your website on WordPress CMS or Hubspot COS?
WordPress is the single most popular platform on the planet. There must be a reason for it, right?
The answer is yes, but it's not why you might think.
In this product review, we're covering costs, functionality, security, support, content, and customization. I've used both platforms... extensively. And I can tell you that for me, there is a clear-cut winner. But it depends on how you intend on using it, so don't go by my word without reading the review!
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WordPress is free. You simply cannot beat free. Without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, this makes WordPress the clear victor... in this particular category.
However, free is never really free, is it? If we're doing a true apples-to-apples comparison, then we should expect the same functionality from both products. WordPress is a stripped down, open-source CMS. It's basically a skeleton platform. It provides basic functionality, like publishing blogs, and you can even get a free theme, so you technically don't have to pay anything to have a WordPress website.
For some people, this is fine.
The free ones aren't terrible either. Take a look at THIS ONE. There are some days where it has more than 6,000 downloads, so people clearly like it.
The problem is... that 6,000 people are creating a website with it every. single. day.
At any rate, if you buy a theme in WordPress, you can expect to pay $300 - $500. That's going to include plugins that are necessary to make it safe, stable, and secure. We'll talk more about plugins in a minute.
Hubspot templates (same thing as a "theme" in WordPress) are definitely more expensive. It will likely cost $1,000 or more to buy a template through them. Additionally, their template marketplace doesn't have anywhere NEAR the selection of WordPress.
In addition, with Hubspot, you'll have to pay between $100 and $300/month for the COS capabilities. But it's actually an add-on to their more robust (and expensive) marketing software. For that, you'll pay $200/month minimum, putting your minimum expense for hosting on Hubspot $300/month.
Of course, these expenses are the reason why (spoiler alert) Hubspot is going to win every other category hands-down.
With Hubspot, everything is included, so there are no additional costs or vendors/places where things can go wrong. Think of Hubspot as the iOS and WordPress as Android.
Out of the box, both will publish your website, blog posts, and social media posts. And both have a pretty great blog editor.
That's where WordPress' native features end. However, from Hubspot, you also automatically get:
- a website that is mobile optimized
- an SEO optimizer
- CTA creation
- Back-end support for form submissions
- Content collaboration tools
- Content calendar
- AMP support (Google LOVES this)
Again, you can get all of those things in Plugin form for WordPress. However, that's a big stack of software that needs to work together. If any of them have an update that conflicts with code from another, your whole site can and will break. It's not uncommon.
You're also responsible for keeping those plugins up to date. Since they have the capacity to break your website, it's recommended that you update one at a time. This is another layer of time and money that isn't mentioned in the costs section.
No plugins means no additional security threats. According to this article, over HALF of all security threats in WordPress are caused by their plugins. Also interesting about that article is how attackers scan for people using old versions of things. With Hubspot, updates happen ALL the time, and you aren't responsible for triggering ANY of them.
In addition, HS has a full-time security team, and they automatically operate with high security operatives.
Can WordPress say the same?
If something does go wrong, Hubspot support is a click, chat, or call away. They'll jump on it, pinpoint the problem, and fix it.
With WordPress, you are responsible for finding where the problem exists, and help isn't always there. Imagine that every time something gets quirky having to make 10 phone calls vs 1.
We can show different images, content, etc based on a user's past behavior using the Hubspot COS. It's native to the Hubspot Pro platform.
Can you do that with WordPress? Not that I've seen. WordPress isn't a marketing software. It started as a blogging platform. Hubspot actually started as a marketing platform, and their COS stemmed from that. So, it's a function that is meant to integrate with their marketing program, since that's where the analytics data is stored and referenced.
Imagine if your website could change based on who was visiting. You could have 100 people looking at your home page simultaneously, but each seeing something unique.
WordPress themes have plenty of customizable features. Today, with the right plugin, you can edit the back-end in a drag and drop manner just like Hubspot. On the front-end you can turn on and manipulate features relatively easy as well. But in a lot of ways, the customization is rigid. Building a page from scratch isn't very easy, and making simple changes, like removing navigation from a header for a single landing page, are nearly impossible with WordPress.
Not so with Hubspot. We can do just about anything in their environment, and it doesn't require hard coding!
Both platforms should give you little to no issues with general integrations. Whether you're a staffing agency and want to provide access to your employee/client portals, or your a software as a service, and want to provide access to account information, etc, both will fill in nicely.
Hubspot does come with some native integrations, but overall, you can't go wrong here.
What' important to note is that Hubspot is a marketing platform frist. As mentioned in the "costs" section, website hosting is an add-on to their marketing platform subscription. WordPress is ONLY a content management system meant to host websites.
What else can it do? Aside from the typical plugin bundle, which includes SEO tracking tools and ways to make editing easier, Hubspot also has:
- SEO strategy tools
- Email marketing platform (including automation for pro and above)
- Landing page hosting
- Calls to action
- Blogging (this is the one thing that WordPress also has built-in)
- Social media publishing tools
- Contacts database management tools
- Dashboard and detailed analytics
- Native integrations with Salesforce and Hubspot CRM, among several other related categories
- Content calendar
- Marketing strategy tools
Think of what is important to your next website build. For the purposes of supporting a business, I can't think of a case where I'd recommend WordPress over Hubspot. That doesn't mean that I won't at some point in the future.
Here are the results side-by-side:
|Score:||1 out of 6||5 out of 6|