Hubspot vs. WordPress? I’ve been reading articles and talking to clients about the differences between Hubspot and WordPress over the last five years. What I’ve never understood about this “debate,” is why everyone overlooks the fact that they really aren’t comparable. Consider this simple comparison, then we’ll dive in deeper:
Hubspot is a paid, all-in-one marketing solution that also happens to have a great CMS to host your website.
WordPress is an open-source, virtually free CMS with no built-in marketing tools and was built primarily as a blogging platform.
WordPress is essentially free after you pay a minuscule amount of money for hosting to GoDaddy, et al. Maybe you buy a pre-built template for WordPress to get your website started, but regardless, you’re not spending more than $150 on your WordPress site for the first year if you do it yourself, and even less after that.
How does that compare to Hubspot?
You can’t have a Hubspot website on the CMS (or COS, depending on who you talk to) without committing to buying Hubspot’s Marketing Software for at least a year. If you just get the basic package ($200/Month), plus the Website Add-On ($100/Month), and the required on-boarding ($600 w/ basic), you’re paying $4,200 in the first year. Even if you get a discount, that is not even in the same universe as WordPress. Furthermore, I’ve read many Hubspot vs. WordPress articles that use Smart Content as the go-to-feature that Hubspot provides over WordPress. What they consistently fail to mention is that Smart Content is only available on Professional, which costs $800/Month and $3,000 required on-boarding to start. It’s like comparing the self-driving, Autopilot features in a Tesla to cruise control on a KIA.
How are we still trying to compare these two?
Harping on price points isn’t meant to criticize Hubspot or offer an advantage to WordPress. It’s to illustrate the point that they aren’t comparable. You get A LOT OF VALUE and ROI for your money when you build your website on Hubspot. I’d argue that every dollar is well spent and gives you a clear advantage over your competitors who go with cheap website solutions like WordPress. But if you don’t have the budget or your company isn’t ready for this type of digital marketing solution (read: commitment), Hubspot isn’t an option for you. Period. You get what you pay for, which is hardly worth noting.
Comparing Community Support
Both Hubspot vs. WordPress have great communities with very knowledgeable companies and freelancers that can help you. WordPress has a well-documented support forum and open source community while Hubspot has an army of friendly Custom Service Reps here in the U.S. and some of their own documentation.
The only major difference between the two communities is, of course, the pay wall. Hubspot puts out a lot of free content, but access to Customer Service Reps is only if you have an active account or 30 day trial. You also will have a very hard time finding talented and knowledge designers and developers with Hubspot experience that can help for free. Hubspot does have a new off-shoot site called inbound.org, which was started by one of their co-founders, that has a lot of forum-style support. However, the level of expertise available to respond to posts is not as robust as the WordPress Community and far more marketing-centric than design-focused or technical.
Coding Language Comparison
I’m not going to get too heavy into this, but let me just say that it’s pretty comparable for what most small-to-mid-sized businesses will require for their websites, unless you need an eCommerce website. Hubspot simply isn’t built to handle an eCommerce website in form, design, or function.
WordPress is built on the well-known PHP coding language. It’s highly customizable and a fine foundation. Many great designers and developers have used it to create incredibly great design, development, and marketing solutions. But unless you buy pre-built themes or plugins, the learning curve or added cost for creating these solutions yourself is high.
Hubspot, not to be outdone, have their own coding language called Hubl, which is actually quite useful and helps developers create even more user-friendly features and templates for Hubspot Users. Hubspot also provides a more user-friendly, drag-and-drop template builder right out of the box making custom design and development far more accessible to the non-coder and everyday user. However, you don’t have access to the core server files on Hubspot, like you do on WordPress, which isn’t huge deal for what most businesses need, but is notable.
This might be the biggest problem with WordPress. Granted, WordPress has done A LOT to make the platform more secure over the years, but ultimately you will need to pay for additional premium plugins to really secure your site and constantly update your plugins and WordPress platform just to keep pace. However, even with all of that, the sheer volume of hacker attacks on the platform suggests that it’s really only a matter of time before someone gets in. Just look at this report from Sucuri on Infected Websites Platform Distribution in Q1 of 2016:
By comparison, Hubspot is backed by the Akamai Content Delivery Network for reliable uptime and fast performance. They also have a Web Application Firewall and SSL included in your website which makes it very secure from any potential threats, right out-of-the-box. There are a lot more features baked into Hubspot security which you can read here, but the point is that Hubspot is a far more secure platform and it’s not even close.
Hubspot was built for marketing. WordPress was not. While you can piece together various solutions for WordPress to handle SEO and Marketing, it in no way compares to all the built-in features you get with a Hubspot Basic account. I’ve mentioned cost a few times, but I should note that you’ll probably spend as much or more on WordPress finding paid, add-on solutions to match all the features of Hubspot. You’ll also spend a lot more time finding and organizing these tools and be left with a much bigger mess to manage in a day-to-day digital marketing operation. When it comes to marketing, there is no Hubspot vs. WordPress, there’s just Hubspot vs. no one.
To hammer all these points home, let’s break them down, feature for feature:
HubspotIncluded in Basic
- Paid Platform
- Drag-and-Drop Design
- Forms Included
- 1-on-1 Customer Support
- Faster & More Secure (SSL)
- Smart Content (Only on Professional)
- Email Marketing Platform
- Workflow Automation
- SEO Tools Integration
- Reporting Tools Built-In
- Blogging Platform
- Social Media Management Tools
- Not good for eCommerce
- No Open Source Community or Plugins
- Not Cheap
WordpressHosting Cost Included
- Free, Open Platform
- Download or Buy Design/Templates
- Thousands of Free or Paid Plugins
- Better eCommerce Platform
- Large Community of Free Help
- Easier To Find Affordable Professional Help
- Poor Security (Moderate Probability of Being Hacked)
- Varying Site Performance Speeds
- No Marketing Tools Included
- No 1-on-1 Customer Support
- No Smart Content Available
What I hope the above pricing comparison does is really help to illustrate just how different Hubspot and WordPress are from each other. If you’re looking for a long-term solution for your next website that integrates a complete digital marketing strategy, Hubspot is the absolute best all-in-one solution on the market today. You can mimic some of what Hubspot does in WordPress for cheaper, but you will spend countless more hours piecing together all the options and juggling multiple free vs. paid accounts, to say nothing of trying to get everything integrated and communicating together.
In the end, they are two software products that provide different solutions, at different price points, for very different reasons. We would all be better off if we viewed Hubspot vs WordPress like this going forward.
Hubspot vs WordPress? It’s not a debate worth having.