Coming down the final stretch and it’s WordPress in the lead! But wait! Who’s that in the orange? Flying past Usain Bolt and coming in hot it’s HubSpot! Yes it’s HubSpot! Working to close that gap between first and second! In the past, WordPress has been the platform of choice for website development. It was the warm blanket of comfort thrown over us when our coding knowledge created a shiver of uncertainty. However, recently WordPress has gained some competition… Racing up fast, striving to silent the nay-sayers, sporting the orange and grey with that beautiful new COS, it’s HubSpot! It’s a race to the finish, ladies and gents. HubSpot COS vs WordPress; who will reign champion?
DEFENDING CHAMPION: WORDPRESS
Most people are probably familiar with WordPress as a platform for blogging. Which is fine, because WordPress was originally created to be just that, and to this day, blogs make up the greatest chunk of the WordPress pie. But it’s important to note how beautifully WordPress has evolved since its birthday in 2003. The once simple blogging platform is now highly sophisticated and fully qualified to served as the foundation for truly dynamic, full content websites.
The fantastic WordPress Community. Let’s call them the Fans.
COMMUNITY – WordPress fans are unmatched. They are established, active and extremely supportive. On top of that, WordPress Fans go above and beyond to offer solutions for new users at NO COST! (WordPress doesn’t believe in offering you cake unless you get to eat it too). Now, lets talk about three more WordPress strengths that wouldn’t be possible without such and incredible community… Plug-Ins, Themes and Open Sourcing.
PLUG-INS – The WordPress Plug-Ins are truly revolutionary. Plug-Ins offer users the opportunity to create extremely customized websites without an extensive knowledge of code.
THEMES – Searching throughout the different WordPress themes grants new meaning to the phrase “kid in a candy store”. WordPress offers literally hundreds of different themes ranging from beginner to expert and tailored to each users different needs.
OPEN SOURCING – I had to fight the urge to write “Enough Said” and leave it at that. Even though the term “Open Source” really does say it all. Because WordPress is developed by members of its own community, you can trust that they are just as invested in the success of WordPress as its users. So you never have to worry about the company stock crashing.
Not let’s move on to the other major players: Modular Layout, Cost and FTP
MODULAR LAYOUT – WordPress takes the user back to the simple time of drag and drop; allowing users to swap different modules at will. The modular layout further contributes to the ease-of-use that WordPress prides itself on.
COST – FREE. WordPress can be easily downloaded FOR FREE faster than the amount of time it takes to microwave your HotPocket.
FTP – WordPress caters to both the experienced and novice alike. Standard FTP is offered to more advanced developers allowing them full creative control over their websites. On the other hand, WordPress also offers endless website themes for beginners, giving them the chance to create an excellent website with minimal knowledge of code.
THEMES - Yes, I did mention themes as a WordPress strength. But unfortunately, as wonderful as the WordPress themes are, the large selection can contribute to a lack of originality. Because there are so many different themes to choose from, users run the risk of creating a site similar to ones that already exist. Users with a more experienced knowledge of CSS formatting will not run into that issue quite as much.
CONTENT MANAGEMENT - Depending on your theme developer, your content could wind up a little drab. The text editor it pretty straightforward. So straightforward it can be compared to a Microsoft Word template, offering you basic options like text color and bold vs italics.
SECURITY - Everyone wants to be on top, but it’s hard to be King. WordPress is a major player and hackers haven’t failed to notice. It’s important to take the necessary security precautions to protect yourself and your site.
THE RISING STAR: HUBSPOT COS
In the past, HubSpot was used mainly for inbound marketing and analytics management. Design was not a hugely talked about feature; only three different built in themes were offered. If you wanted anything fancy you would have needed an experienced HTML coder. But the software was popular among marketers because it provided the opportunity to create and host a website all in one package by paying one monthly subscription fee. Despite HubSpot being great for inbound marketing, the lack of a more user friendly design experience left most users running to WordPress.
But HubSpot is no rookie, and all major players know that in order to stay in the game you have to be just as good as the rest. More importantly, if you really want be considered a competitor, you have to offer something that’s better.
Which is why in August 2013, HusbSpot formally announced the COS, or Content Optimization System. With the launch of the new COS, HubSpot users now have the best of both worlds; fully integrated inbound marketing software and a dynamic, content-rich site that outperforms all other platforms on the web because it incorporates personalization based on the visitor’s context. The COS is highly visual and creating new layouts is simple and intuitive. Once your site has been shifted, a user can create and implement a layout within minutes, while using a drag and drop interface; a big change from the classic software. So this all sounds great. But why?
THE CLASH - First and foremost, it’s different. Being a “COS” means that HubSpot helps the user optimize content so it can exceed others in a specific marketplace. Basically, this means that companies with multiple audiences will be able to create a website that changes, or is OPTIMIZED, based on each specific audience. Imagine you are the president of a school, and the audience for you website will consist of students, parents, faculty, and donors. By using the COS, you an create a homepage that will change based on who is viewing it which allows you to track every visitor to your site. Currently, HubSpot is the only platform capable of this technology.
SUPPORT - HubSpot makes it extremely easy to call their support desk and find the answers you need to any question. You get to talk to REAL people without the long wait. And even better, most questions can be answered right from the HubSpot website. Feel free to tweet any of the HubSpot service reps directly and you can expect a helpful answer in a timely fashion.
Since the announcement of the new COS, people have been diving into HubSpot. Because people love new. But every great product has weaknesses. Here are a few pieces of HubSpot kryptonite that you should take note of if you’re trying to decide the champion between WordPress vs HubSpot COS.
OPEN SOURCE? NO. – Open source was great, for WordPress. HubSpot takes a different view. HubSpot isn’t open to outside sources, “the community” cannot contribute to the improvement of the platform, only the developers.
SHINY AND NEW – The COS has been in beta for Partner Agencies like ourselves over the past six months or so, and it was formally released in late August. Right now, there aren’t a ton of resources available to show you how things work. Yes, as a Partner Agency you can take HubSpot’s COS training and gain a certification (I’m about to complete mine!), but this is the only resource currently available. Consequently, the number of developers is slim. This leads to more costly solutions if you are seeking someone to do this for you.
THEMES - While HubSpot does offer a few ready-built templates for the user, they’re going to be pretty costly because the software is still new. Add in the monthly subscription fee and this can run up the price pretty fast. Consider developing your own theme? Unfortunately, unless you have an experienced knowledge of code, you’ll be lost before you even begin.
ATTAINABILITY – Only Pro and Enterprise users are able to operate the sought-after Smart Content functionality. The new HubSpot COS is not something to try just for fun. Companies who are interested should assess their marketing needs and decide if they have the employees to successfully operate it.
COST - Adding to the pricy cost of themes, HubSpot packages start at $200/month; from there the price increases based on performance and how many contacts your company plans to bring in.
CONTROL – By purchasing HubSpot, you agree to surrender some control over your website and hosting. Users will have to rely on HubSpot customer service for technical support.
HubSpot COS vs WordPress; RACE RESULTS!
The new COS is the biggest update HubSpot has released to date. And to the WordPress advocates… Yes, HubSpot rose to the challenge! The new COS is has the whole package and came ready to win. The future of marketing lies in the inbound approach, and inbound is synonymous with HubSpot. The new system will enhance marketing for any company that decides to take on the software.
So who will cross the finish first? Only time will tell.
As great as the new COS is, becoming acquainted with the software is going to take time. There isn’t enough information available to help sift through everything it offers without help. However, given time, it’s likely that we will see incredible strides in marketing as a result of the new COS. So really, the HubSpot COS vs WordPress debate really comes down to personal preference and what you and your company wants to do. Use this guide to help you through the strengths and weaknesses of each platform to find out what’s best for you.