On the internet, there is WordPress and then there is everyone else. More than a third of all sites currently online are built using the WordPress platform. It’s easy to see why. The initial platform is free, it doesn’t require a large degree of technical skill to get started, and there is plenty of online support to help users when they get stuck.
As an open-source platform, thousands of developers from around the world help pick up where WordPress platform designers left off. There are easy-to-use plugins that extend the platform’s capabilities far beyond the blogging for which it was originally intended. These tools extend WordPress’ functionality and provide everything a business would need for the online face of their business.
On the surface, HubSpot seems to pale before WordPress. It’s share of global websites is probably just a fraction of a percent, and the company doesn’t just give away its platform for free.
However, HubSpot was designed to power inbound marketing efforts. Every tool, interface and function is intended to move first-time web visitors into the marketing funnel, and help nurture existing leads until they are primed for the sales team to take over. HubSpot may not be the global leader of all website development, but it brings serious tools and processes to support marketing’s efforts.
Both WordPress and HubSpot have intuitive page layout features that make it easy to quickly ramp up your site and put it online. Using themes coupled with drag-and-drop page builders, even new users to each platform can produce a functional website. HubSpot’s page creation tools are part of the platform, while WordPress requires users to download drag-and-drop plugins if they want that functionality.
Customized User Journeys
HubSpot’s web platform sits atop its CRM database. This creates an incredible opportunity to personalize each web visitor’s experience when they arrive on site. Let’s walk through an example: a software provider with multiple SaaS offerings covering sales, accounting, and productivity software.
First time visitors to the site might be treated to an overview of all the different lines of software. Their online experience is catered to a more general audience. Contrast that with someone (even a first-time visitor) who arrived on the site after clicking an ad for accounting software. Their experience will focus on the different software solutions available to help businesses with their bookkeeping and money management.
If the CRM recognizes an existing user who reached the site through the same accounting ad, it can deliver a different user experience. Rather than seeing high-level blogs or a customer video, the system can nurture the user by sharing higher-value content, such as a data sheet or presentation.
Now, WordPress can do all this as well, but there’s a big difference. In HubSpot, this functionality is built into the platform. It doesn’t take any extra programming or development to build in multiple user journeys. WordPress, which began as a popular blogging platform, needs multiple plugins to get it behave this way, as well as web development work to connect the CRM database with the personalization plugin.
HubSpot sites are hosted by HubSpot on the HubSpot servers. WordPress sites can be hosted on whichever server you choose. While hosting the site might not seem like that big a deal, a web host can impact usability and security in several different ways.
Content Delivery Network
This can get a bit technical, but content delivery networks, or CDNs, help websites load faster. The CDN takes parts of your website, like scripts and images, and stores them in multiple servers and data centers around the world. When users come to your site in North America, the server loads the page from a North American-based server, while European users would see your site based off a London or Paris-based server.
This helps in several ways. First, your site performs better by loading faster. Second, it helps with your SEO. Google search considers speed in its algorithm, and because your site loads faster, your bounce rate decreases as fewer users give up while waiting for your page to appear on screen.
CDNs offer other network benefits as well, including network redundancy if your server in one region is down, and the capacity to handle increase traffic flow.
HubSpot includes CDN in its website package. WordPress sites, which need to be hosted by third party servers, can have CDN if the host offers that service, but it is dependent on the third-party host.
Security is built into the HubSpot platform to ensure that your data is protected, and your site maintains on online presence. The platform comes from a single source, allowing HubSpot to ensure that every element meets its rigorous security standards.
WordPress users aren’t as fortunate. WordFence, a WordPress security plugin, reported that there are 90,978 attacks happening every minute on WordPress sites. The use of multiple plugins from a number of vendors makes sites vulnerable if any of those plugins aren’t updated with the latest security patches.
There are a number of hosting services that include robust security measures capable of protecting WordPress sites. However, that’s one more hosting function that WordPress users need to consider as they set up their website.
Which Platform Builds the Better Site
WordPress has nearly unlimited options when it comes to adding new features, through plugins or web development. HubSpot, on the other hand, limits users to the tools it provides. However, HubSpot provides a comprehensive toolbox for inbound marketers, allowing them to create the right marketing website for its offering.
If you need a hammer, you can walk into a small neighborhood shop and get the exact tool you needed. Alternatively, you could walk into Walmart, browse through aisle after aisle of merchandise that you’re not interested in, before finally walking out with a hammer. In both instances, you get the tool you need, but one was a much simpler, more precise shopping experience.
If you’re looking for a website to handle your inbound marketing, you probably want to use a site that specializes in exactly what you’re looking for.
by Rob Cohen on November 15, 2019
As Creative Director at Penguin Strategies Rob leads Penguin's clients to marketing success by creating visually appealing content that attracts and engages users to the brand and message of each company.