Since I started our business in 2014, we have been on team WordPress. Just like many other businesses and agencies out there, we gravitated towards WordPress because it's so well known, fairly easy to use, super customizable, and there are approximately a zillion plugin options to help accomplish whatever you want your website to do. We've gone through a few different iterations of our website over the last six and a half years and each of them has been a new WordPress site...until this one.
We have officially dumped WordPress.
Ok maybe it wasn't as dramatic as Ross and Rachel. I should preface this with the fact that we still love WordPress and still develop a lot of websites on WordPress for our clients. It's a great CMS and has a ton of options, functionality, and benefits. But, we felt like it was time to move to a CMS more ingrained with the tools we already use and add some additional features and functionality.
Our Favorite HubSpot CMS features
It wasn't an easy decision to leave WordPress. We had spent years on that platform and we've developed over 100 WordPress websites for our clients. To say that we know WordPress inside and out would be an understatement. But, there were some pieces that we just had to have in order to take the next step as an agency.
By far the sexiest reason to move to the HubSpot CMS is the smart content feature. The ability to customize your website depending on who is viewing it is a big deal. With user experience being a key reason business is won or lost, tailoring your message and experience to your prospects and customers is an absolute game changer. The smart content option within the HubSpot CMS allows us to identify targeted lists or contacts and serve them the information that they want and that speaks to them. This all produces one amazing user experience that separates us from our competitors.
Like many businesses, our software stack was segmented. We had our website on WordPress while our blog and CRM were with HubSpot. When you are using multiple tools that closely, it can be hard to have a 100% seamless experience. Ours wasn't seamless. While it wasn't terrible, there was a definite difference when you moved back and forth. It also made it difficult to keep everything looking and feeling the same as we grew and things changed.
Plus there was the nightmare of updating website navigation on the website and then forgetting to update it on the blog and thank you pages - yeah that was becoming a pain.
There is no one-stop-shop tool. And it can be really frustrating sometimes. Using a tool for advertising, another for your CRM, another for your website, another for email, and others for social media, blogging, landing pages, etc. can be exhausting and overwhelming.
We felt that consolidating our tools was something we simply had to do. It was getting too hard to have so much in HubSpot, but the most important asset that we had (our website) lived somewhere else and had to be managed completely separately. It was time to rely on a single tool.
The biggest complaint I have with WordPress is the maintenance. It is such a struggle to have to continuously monitor and manage updates to plugins, extensions, themes, and WordPress. Plus the added risk of an update to a plugin or theme causing chaos and even crashing the site.
Managing and maintaining a large WordPress site is no small task. It takes planning, testing, and an understanding of what will happen, how to fix any potential problems, and how to spot those problems early.
Then there is the risk of hacking. With so much of the internet being on WordPress, it's become a hacker's paradise. Even some of the biggest, most important, and most well known plugins are susceptible to being hacked. See Elementor, just a few weeks ago.
With the HubSpot CMS, that's all taken care of. HubSpot manages all of that, keeps the software up to date, and keeps everything safe, secure, and moving forward. It's a huge weight off our shoulders and has provided peace of mind.
Isn't HubSpot CMS Expensive?
To be completely honest, we thought so. Why would someone pay $300 (or $900) per month just to have their website on a platform? That's absurd. WordPress is free.
Well - the truth is, nothing is free. That includes WordPress.
While we weren't paying for the WordPress software, we were paying for plugins, hosting, a CDN, and probably 3-5 hours per month for maintenance. We charge $150/hour. That 3-5 hours is really $450-$750 per month alone. That doesn't take into account the hosting, CDN, or plugins.
Once we sat down and really looked at the numbers, it was a no-brainer. For $300/month (we're on CMS Professional), we are able to eliminate the need for hosting, CDN, and maintenance. That alone has us in the green and on top of that it's a better platform for our needs and provides features we just can't get out of WordPress.
So no, the HubSpot CMS is not expensive when you really consider all that is involved.
The Increase in Conversions
Our goal was to create a better user experience with our website. We are running on a Growth Driven Design framework to help us understand how our visitors are using the website and how they want to use it. While our website has only been live for about a month and we haven't actually made many UX updates yet because the data is so new, we have already begun seeing substantial growth not only in number of leads, but quality of those leads as well. We have produced a better experience for our visitors, we have created a better path for them to find what they need, and with everything under the HubSpot platform, we were able to tailor their experience to them.
We talk a lot about making your website your company's best salesman and no offense to our amazing sales team, but it truly is for us now.
The Final Decision: Why we Made the Switch
It wasn't easy. It wasn't an overnight decision. But it was a decision that has dramatically impacted our business and changed the way that we operate.
WordPress is a fantastic platform that we've enjoyed having our website on the last six-plus years, but making the switch to the HubSpot CMS is probably the best decision we have made this year. While a switch to the HubSpot CMS may not be for everyone, it was definitely the right decision for us. We are so ingrained in the HubSpot ecosystem and our entire business relies on it, having our website on another platform simply made no sense.
One thing we really pride ourselves on at HIVE is that we "drink our own Kool-aid", meaning the same things that we recommend to our clients are things we do for our own business. That is why we get a lot of inbound leads. That is why we are so easily found. We treat ourselves like a client and we deliver on our own campaigns. We know that inbound marketing works because we do it for ourselves.
And now, we know that being all-in on HubSpot was the best decision we've made.
While this post wasn't meant to be a forum to talk you into the HubSpot CMS or out of WordPress (we still build in both and love both), it was meant to share our first-hand knowledge of what it's been like to be on both platforms. If you're trying to determine the best CMS platform for your business, I invite you to check out our brand new CMS Comparison where we look at how the HubSpot CMS, WordPress, and Squarespace all stack up against each other. Check it out below.