We’re not the first to do the ‘HubSpot vs WordPress’ thing.
Many have tried and failed, effectively telling you which they prefer, instead of laying things out evenly to let you decide which is the best-fit for where you’re at and where you’re going as a business.
That’s what we’ll try to do here.
There *is* no objective ‘we-have-a-winner’ side-by-side. Especially given HubSpot can be used with WordPress. It all rests on what your goals and priorities are.
TL;DR Overview: HubSpot vs WordPress
Do they both make beautiful websites?
Which is most SEO-friendly?
What should I consider if Blogging?
Can they both make powerful landing pages?
How does each treat CTAs?
Summing Up: Which Should I Use?
Introducing: HS vs WP
A TL;DR Overview
If you have more tabs open with similar comparisons than hours in the day, here’s a snapshot of each to give you a top-down flavour of what each platform is about. Though it’d be a brave move to commit to one over the other with only these ‘back of the book’ descriptions.
A featherweight, off-the-shelf modern-day success story built on simplicity and an ‘automation first’ mindset. A favourite in the SME space that’s keen on out-of-the-box functionality, over sophisticated, plugin configurability.
An internet-history heavyweight responsible for over 42% of websites, (figure correct as of December 2023) used by anyone from bloggers, to SMEs, to Fortune 500 companies in search of powerful versatility. Also an industry byword for website design and web development. It even does CRM these days, with the right implementation.
Caveat: It’s important to mention—it’s not as clean-cut as saying “use HubSpot” or “use WordPress”. Particularly given that WordPress CMS can be made yet more powerful by integrating HubSpot CRM. We’ll get to that.
Website Design Aesthetics
Which One Makes My Website Look Nicest?
And Should I Be Worrying About That?
How your website ‘feels’ visually is key to connecting visitors to your proposition. Think ‘the medium is the message’.
In other words, as the medium that carries your proposition messaging, your website itself is just as important in affecting how you want your customers to behave—i.e. Conversion.
If you’re selling interior design, your website should look nice. If you’re selling sheds, sleek and chic will just come across plain weird.
Both HubSpot and WordPress use design ‘themes’ you can pick or engineer from scratch. Here are the differences.
Given that HubSpot was originally designed as a marketing-automation platform, it’s no surprise that it doesn’t yet have in the locker what WordPress does, theme -wise. While custom themes can be developed on HubSpot, they still lack sightly in their maturity and sophistication.
Stock themes selected WordPress’s marketplace can be laboured to maintain and have a slightly bloated, brand-agnostic feel and so, most businesses working with WordPress will have a unique, custom theme professionally developed that blends with the brand identity.
Which Is Better for SEO?
Remember that SEO isn’t just about keywords and meta tags. Content that Google’s happy to put on its menu is today as much about E-A-T—that’s short for ‘expertise’, ‘authority’, and ‘trustworthiness’—as it is about back-end technicals.
You can E-A-T your content on either platform just as well as on the other in the way you write it, though, when it comes to the hidden, techie side of SEO, there are a few things to weigh up.
IF you’re willing to fork out for HubSpot’s Marketing Hub licence, you’ll be rewarded with a full spread of fairly tasty SEO levers you can pull to good effect, though limited template options and a lack of website ownership are two drawbacks to consider—you may find yourself hoarding a stack of search data that you can’t then migrate elsewhere to squeeze value from.
WordPress Yoast SEO
Because it’s been around since your modem made gurgling noises as it strained to induce you into cyberspace, WordPress has managed to sidle up to Google and impress it with it’s brilliant URL and site structure.
So much so, in fact, that Yoast SEO packs a ton of functionality that gives WordPress a special relationship, of sorts, with SEO. As is par-for-the-course with WordPress in general, expect a truckload of customisability.
Caveat: here we encounter the cross-compatibility between HubSpot and WordPress—if you opt for WordPress for its Yoast SEO prowess, you can take things up a notch and use HubSpot’s mighty Marketing Hub alongside it to really get the wind in your SEO sails.
Which Should I Use for Blog-hosting
There are a couple of things to consider when selecting a platform able to host your company blog productively. One of the main reasons to have a blog at all is to keep the SEO wheels turning. Both HubSpot and WordPress squeeze the SEO juice enough to get you the traction, though one is the outright winner on this front.
HubSpot Hosts Blogs on a Subdomain
This has several implications, not least, creating a need to compensate with elaborate URL redirect structures.
You’ll notice companies deliberately hosting blogs on a subdomain. This can carve out a different brand aesthetic for the blog compared to the company website, though it does come with SEO drawbacks since Google prefers that you house all of your content under a single roof..
While it is possible to have your off-site HubSpot-hosted blog look a lot like your website, it’s never quite seamless, and the division creates additional locations in the user journey that can negatively impact user experience.
WordPress Was Founded as a Blogging Platform
As a result, it’s proven to be the best CMS at ranking in Google, catering for a broader range of post types such as blogs, articles, guides, events, team members and more.
In contrast to HubSpot, WordPress lets you keep your blog within the same four walls with an unrivalled website/URL structure that puts a slightly bigger tick in the SEO box—which is why the likes of CNN, TED, Airbnb and Facebook host either their main site, or their corporate blog on WordPress.
How Are HubSpot’s Landing Pages
Compared with WordPress?
As for website page design, both platforms use themes and page-specific CSS (cascading style sheets) on landing pages. So far, so good.
HubSpot Landing Pages
If we’re honest, HubSpot’s landing page offering is effective enough, though you get a little extra elbow room with WordPress once you gear it right. This may not be a deal-breaker, and there are companies you can enlist to develop HubSpot landing pages further, though they’ll remain fairly stiff and inflexible which may become problematic if branding demands shift.
WordPress Landing Pages
Those who assume WordPress to be limited in its scope overlook that it’s effectively a framework you plug other things into. For example, get yourself some nice WordPress Gutenberg Blocks and you’ll be good to go with a flexible, drag-and-drop approach to building premium landing pages.
Each new marketing campaign can benefit from unique landing pages with relevant content, created in minutes.
A Few WP Landing Page Extras
- Custom post types (pre-formatted, well-structured content)
- Gutenberg editor
- More enhanced CTA such as ‘sticky’ mobile CTAs
- Deeper on-site SEO and control over schema data
- Greater control over mobile experience
- Fully open source (own your own website and migrate where you please)
Caveat: As with the SEO stuff, here we see again some complimentary overlap. Anchor HubSpot’s marketing forms into your WordPress landing pages, and you can pull lead-capture data straight into your CRM. That’s the sweet spot.
Calls to Action
Which Can I Build the Most Powerful CTAs On?
If you’re looking to be making regular use of campaigns and landing pages, note that CTA capability is a key point of difference where the two platforms diverge significantly.
Without putting too much of a dent in its overall reputation, HubSpot CTAs are objectively more rudimentary than those of WordPress; if you want a brand-aligned CTA, you can use an image, but no actual text.
If it’s of any consolation, HubSpot does offer decent CTA-personalisation features that help them resonate with your target audience. There’s also HTML functionality, though it’s a little clunky if you plan on tweaking CTAs frequently, as it requires editing raw snippets of code each time
Building your CTAs in WordPress for the first time takes a professional touch; designing and engineering them in the Gutenberg editor., Though once you’ve got them in place as reusable blocks, they’re incredibly straightforward to create, tweak and update.
There’s also the opportunity to install a marketplace theme to help achieve similar results, though this can take more jiggery pokery and yield less audience-centric results from a design perspective.
HubSpot CTAs are adequate if you don’t need to leverage them often or in complex ways. If you do, WordPress brings greater flexibility and variety, with more nuance in terms of tailoring CTAs for specific personas and audiences.
Which Should I Use?
HubSpot or WordPress?
Which one is knockout for you, and which will leave your business goals strewn out on the canvas, will depend on how far you want/need to take your brand.
If You’re OK with Basic
As a content-management system, HubSpot is still in its infancy and lacks any real clout, though it’s a neat and tidy option if you want something basic to play around with and test ideas.
Marketing is what HubSpot was built for and it shows its prowess as a client-relationship management system with a bunch of impressive features, seamless automation and intuitive data-capture logic to feed your sales funnel, drive smart decision-making and help develop your outbound and inbound strategies.
If You’re Building A Brand-Aligned Website With Several Floors
The reason behind WordPress’s wide demographic—from bloggers through to global brands—is because of the versatility it offers thanks to an impressive inventory of apps, plugins, integrations and APIs. It’s the godfather, after all.
If you have in your crosshairs site-performance, metrics, analytics, brand-alignment and long-term site development as part of a broader marketing strategy, then WordPress really is the way to go.
If you know what you’re up to, you can go it alone and get good outcomes. If you’ve got big plans and can’t afford to get bogged down in back-end stuff, it justifies getting an agency on board of adequate notoriety that can handhold you into and throughout that journey.
To Sum Up…
If you’re a serious brand hoping to do serious business, the best approach will be to blend and integrate WordPress’s prowess as a customisable, made-for-SEO CMS with HubSpot’s industry-defining inbound marketing CRM tool.
If you’re leaning toward WordPress, with or without HubSpot’s help, and want some advice on how to gear up your WordPress build to dovetail with what you hope to achieve as a business, call us, email us, throw a project brief at us and we’ll explore how we might be able to help you achieve your business goals that little bit more efficiently.