Deciding what platform to use when launching or redesigning your B2B website is no small thing, especially if you want your website to be a primary source of new leads. Knowing that Wordpress is the #1 platform for websites overall, it can be hard to explain why you’d use a CMS platform like HubSpot that requires a significant upfront investment. But there’s more to consider than upfront costs and making the right decision will have a huge impact on your lead generation and ultimately your business growth results — especially if you’re implementing inbound marketing.
It’s a complicated topic and there are many features to consider so it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Luckily for you, I get asked this question all the time and in the video below, I’ve broken it down into the 3 key elements an inbound marketer needs to consider when comparing HubSpot and WordPress: cost, ease of use/editing, and security.
Justin Harrison: Hey there! On today’s Weidert Wednesday I’m going to break down the fight be HubSpot and WordPress — which platform is best for building a B2B website.
As Web Development Manager here at Weidert Group, this is a question that I’m asked all the time and it’s one that has no clear answer without knowing your web marketing program’s wants and needs. Both are very capable platforms but address your business needs very differently. The last thing you want relaunching your site is to be stuck in a platform that doesn’t perform with your goals in mind.
So let’s get to it.
Round 1: Costs
This is probably the biggest factor. With a strong 1-2, WordPress comes out swinging with the low price of “free” while the HubSpot CMS platform is $300/month. But let’s talk about that for a moment. While WordPress is “free,” there are a ton of other costs to consider, both hard and soft. Costs like hosting, plugins, maintenance, time, energy, and simply managing of all of that. Depending on your hosting needs, WordPress hosting can range anywhere from $15–$150 a month or more...and that’s only just the start. Then you’ll need to find a theme, a developer to customize it for you, and any additional plugins and your monthly fees increase – by a lot. I can keep going, but you kind of get my point. Do you really want to spend all your time figuring out what you need and what might work for you?
HubSpot stumbles back with an uppercut since everything is included or can be built right on the platform. You can either purchase a theme or design custom pages from the ground up and it WILL work right out of the box. It’s a full platform with all the tools built — no need to download, find, install, and maintain all the plugins. Round 1 goes to HubSpot.
Round 2: Editing
HubSpot comes out swinging on this one. HubSpot is drastically easier to make page updates on. You could argue with me, but you would definitely be wrong. The WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor on HubSpot is much easier to use and while there are some similarities, HubSpot allows you to do a ton of design editing on the front end — especially helpful for those who don’t have designers and developers on staff. You can actually drag and drop templates as well as forms, and then style them on the page level very easily using a user-friendly interface.
You can also create call-to-action buttons that lead to gated content, a critical part of any inbound marketing program. I’m not saying there isn’t a learning curve, but HubSpot provides so many resources, and the community is incredibly helpful, that you probably won’t get stuck. WordPress is stumbling here because you really need to understand code to heavily customize it, and this would include purchased themes as well. I’ve actually seen some really great themes out there for WordPress but you still need to know CSS and PHP to get really the most design and user experience that you might want. The last thing you want for your business is some band-aid site that isn’t responsive or has a terrible user experience. If you decide to build on WordPress, research the theme. How responsive are the developers — will they help you modify it? How are the reviews and ratings from other users?
Round 3: Security
Are you running a business or a lemonade stand? It’s 2018 and security should be a real concern with any platform that you choose. While this touches on Round 1 a bit, all the maintenance of the WordPress platform plus the plugins you download and install are going to need maintenance — by you. Every patch, every update. If you have a theme, this would also need to be patched on occasion to address vulnerabilities that the developer releases. If you fail to do this, you’re leaving your website open to vulnerabilities of every imaginable kind. Your hosting security is largely going to be determined by what host and what host package you choose. While they will offer security solutions, expect to pay extra for them to manage any WordPress updates for you.
In the other corner, HubSpot is patched for you seamlessly in the background and is hosted on Amazon Web-Services. While we all know AWS was hit with a DDoS attack in 2017, it was never vulnerable. Know who else runs on AWS? Netflix. HubSpot also includes SSL free, and while many third-party hosts are heading in this direction, it’s not a standard offering on WordPress. Round 3, KO goes to HubSpot.
There are so many other points to consider when choosing either HubSpot or WordPress that we could actually do 10 more of these videos, but I picked the top 3 I feel are most important for your average B2B marketer. At the end of the day, if you’re needing a new B2B website, give HubSpot a serious look because it’s going to offer you so much more for your marketing and lead-gen efforts.
Looking for a more efficient and productive method of building and maintaining a website that results in a faster launch of an initial site and leverages user data to inform continuous improvements? Check out our guide to growth-driven design websites: