Choosing the right content management system (CMS) largely depends on your goals, your resources, and, in some cases, your industry. When it comes to picking a CMS, there are many options to choose from.

When comparing the two platforms we examined eight important factors including:

*NOTE: This blog assumes you are already utilizing or planning to utilize some of the HubSpot Marketing Hub

EASE OF USE

WordPress

One reason for WordPress’s popularity is its simplicity and ease of use. With thousands of themes available, you can build and design a professional looking website without having to learn how to code. Or, you can have a developer custom-code your own theme and/or plugins. Most these are mobile optimized at the start with the ability to tweak as needed to further optimize your content.

HubSpot

HubSpot was designed to make it easy for users to get up and running quickly. You can choose from one of HubSpot’s pre-built templates or design your own from scratch. HubSpot is also mobile/tablet optimized right out of the box and offers a host of built-in marketing tools such as:

  • Analytics
  • Marketing automation
  • Lead management
  • And more

Unlike WordPress however, HubSpot requires you to utilize HubSpot Markup Language (HubL) when pulling in dynamic content. While WordPress uses the common PHP dynamic scripting language which is widely known and used across the majority of CMS’, HubSpot uses HubL which requires developers or those coding in HubSpot to learn a new coding language. HubL is a proprietary language developed by HubSpot and doesn’t allow for the same level of customization that PHP language does.

And, while, the templates in HubSpot are good, unless you are a small business or start-up, using a HubSpot template is not going to give you the professional functionality you likely need — meaning it won’t be able to integrate with complex systems.

SEO

WordPress

Both WordPress and HubSpot offer a host of SEO tools that help you optimize your content and analyze your results. These SEO tools come standard in HubSpot, while in WordPress you must purchase the plugins (or download for free) and add them to your site. Yoast SEO and other similar plugins for WordPress are available at no cost.  3rd party tools like Moz and Semrush are required to utilize the more robust features built into HubSpot.

HubSpot

HubSpot offers robust SEO tools that offer analysis capabilities not offered through most plugins available for WordPress. For example, HubSpot will scan all of your site pages and offer up multiple suggestions on ways to improve SEO rankings for each page.

COST

WordPress

WordPress is free. However, you will have to pay for hosting (approximately $10-$50 per month), and your domain name (cost will vary greatly, but if you already have a business you likely already have a domain name and know what you pay).

If you are going to utilize a theme, costs vary. For some themes you will pay a one-time fee, whereas other themes you will pay yearly but only for access to theme updates; you are able to use the theme indefinitely. And then there are the thousands of themes that are free!

Next, you’ll need WordPress plugins – many are available for free, while others will you cost you to install. Some popular plugins that offer similar functionality to the built-in marketing tools that come standard with HubSpot.

With WordPress, an exact number is hard to pinpoint due to the plethora of options, but you will probably pay somewhere around $20-$50 a month for your domain name, hosting and theme. Then you can add on whichever plugins you choose.

HubSpot

One of the biggest drawbacks to using the HubSpot CMS is the enormous price tag that comes with it. Here is how their pricing breaks down:

Website: $300/month + (choose one marketing package below)

  • Basic: $200/month
  • Pro: $800/month
  • Enterprise: $2,400/month

You will also pay an onboarding fee unless you are working with a HubSpot certified partner that can manage this onboarding for you.

SECURITY

WordPress

Since the code for open-source software is freely available on the internet, many people believe that it poses less of a risk than proprietary software, whose code is only available to authorized users. The biggest reason open-source is thought to be more secure is that you (or a developer) can check to ensure the code is secure, instead of blindly trusting the vendor who wrote the code. When using open-source software, it is important to choose a host that offers strong security features, such as an SSL certificate, backups, a firewall, malware scanning and cleanup.

HubSpot

HubSpot’s CMS is built on a closed-source platform, so only HubSpot developers have access to the code. This means there isn’t the same community of support and self-verification of the code is not possible. That being said, there is the argument that closed-source is more secure because of its limited accessibility. Because it can be great to give open access to an entire community of developers that can work on improving solutions and tools, this also means that those with mal-intent have access.

The bottom line is that neither one nor the other is definitively more secure than the other. But unlike closed-source, open-source can be verified and refined over time.

DESIGN & CUSTOMIZATION

WordPress

If design is a top priority for you – and it should be – WordPress is your best option. In this platform, the customization possibilities are endless.

HubSpot

But if you’re not a designer or developer and you are looking for a professionally designed site that utilizes templates and is easy to manage, HubSpot fits the bill.

COMMUNITY & SUPPORT

WordPress

WordPress has a prolific community of developers and contributors that offer users technical and design tips and advice via documentation, a community support forum and a WordPress handbook, not to mention on YouTube, WordPress.tv, and via other online channels.

Due to the size of the WordPress community, any question you have is literally just a Google search away. The WordPress community is large and advice is free, which is one of the greatest benefits about working on the WordPress CMS.

HubSpot

HubSpot offers a support forum and US-based customer service reps to help users who have an active account. They also provide great marketing advice and tips through their website, inbound.org and HubSpot Academy. HubSpot, as always though, is more marketing focused than design or development focused. Meaning, if you have questions on marketing, they are great, but it may be harder to find the free technical advice you need in the HubSpot community.

FLEXIBILITY & OWNERSHIP

WordPress

Because WordPress is open-source, when you build a site on the platform, you own that site. It is yours to do with as you please and to move from host to host. When you build your site on WordPress, you are building an asset that is not dependent on pricing and licensing fees that come with a proprietary CMS such as HubSpot.

By being free and open-source, there are millions of tech solutions, support and communities available, which means users have access to a vast array of solutions with different price points, different implementation options and different providers. While WordPress offers support for a plethora of solutions in multiple formats as soon as a one is released, HubSpot often lags and offers minimal options once they do catch up.

HubSpot

HubSpot is closed-source, so when you build a site, you don’t own that site; HubSpot does. This can make it a lot harder if you ever decide to move your site to a different host or platform, say WordPress or Drupal.

HubSpot can be a great solution for many businesses. Especially if you are a smaller company that doesn’t have an in-house development team, marketing team or the resources to build a custom site on WordPress. However, the moment you want flexibility or you want to scale, HubSpot’s CMS can pose huge challenges. This is especially true if you have back-end systems like CRM, ERP, inventory, billing or other solutions that you want to connect to your site.

Due to the limitations in HubSpot, the software can almost strangle small to mid-size businesses who are looking to grow and scale. Not only that, but due to the closed-source architecture in HubSpot, many solution providers, supporters and communities are unable to reach their full potential and provide the same tools for HubSpot users as they are able to provide for WordPress users.

WordPress = You own your site
HubSpot = You rent your site

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