HubSpot CMS Review (Feb 2023) – The Ultimate Website Builder for Marketers?
To create a functional website, entrepreneurs flock to various content management systems (CMS), also known as website builders. These platforms enable you to arrange your content and customize it to achieve a more personalized look for your brand.
HubSpot is a giant in the digital marketing sphere and has long been known for its marketing capabilities. But the provider also offers a CMS that’s universally recognized as quick to learn and implement. Therefore, it seems the obvious choice for marketers who might be interested in connecting with HubSpot’s many other sales and promotions-focused features.
However, for anyone else, HubSpot might not immediately appeal as an option next to popular choices like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix – to name a few!
That said, this article looks closely at HubSpot CMS to determine where its strengths and weaknesses lie. Hopefully, by the end of this HubSpot CMS review, you’ll be able to decide whether HubSpot is the right website builder for you.
Let’s get started!
HubSpot CMS Review: What’s HubSpot CMS?
As we just hinted at, the HubSpot CMS hub is a content management system built by and for marketers. Founded in 2006, it’s amassed over 73,400 customers, spread across 120 countries. The CMS itself was launched as part of HubSpot 3 in 2012 and resembles many of the features found in HubSpot’s CMS today. Back in the day, HubSpot 3 was the first version of HubSpot. It combined all their various inbound marketing tools into one software.
It comes with a higher price tag than many alternatives. This isn’t surprising, considering this feature-rich solution is aimed at established businesses with high annual revenues and complex needs.
This CMS seamlessly integrates with the remainder of HubSpot’s marketing suite, which offers a wide range of features to cover all your digital business needs. Most notably, email marketing, contact management, customer support features like live chat and ticketing, shared inboxes, analytics, and more.
Although HubSpot features a wide range of advanced and sometimes complex features, its websites are easy to build. HubSpot CMS is explicitly created for users who don’t know how to write a single line of code in mind. Everything about HubSpot’s websites is highly optimizable to achieve the best possible results. It automatically analyzes search engine algorithms to optimize your sites and facilitates the rare ability to A/B test individual pages. On top of this, HubSpot boasts a dedicated customer support team and a wide range of self-help resources.
HubSpot CMS Review: Key Features
HubSpot’s CMS platform is built on its existing marketing and customer management features. With any of HubSpot’s tool kits, you also have access to free tools across marketing, sales, service, operations, and CRM functionalities.
It also weaves a great deal of functionality into its website builder. Plus, it provides a smooth and intuitive editor that goes a long way for beginners seeking a user-friendly experience.
We don’t have time to list all of HubSpot CMS’s functionality, but below’s a taste of its most noteworthy features:
A/B testing is vital for determining which campaign variation achieves better results. HubSpot allows users to A/B test website content with as many as five variations on the Enterprise plan and one variation on the Professional Plan.
For this process, you prepare two or more variations of a page. Half of your website visitors see the first version, whereas the other half see the alternative. You can then compare each version’s performance and select a winner. This will then be the version made public to all visitors.
Starting a split-test campaign is as easy as navigating to your landing or website pages and selecting “Run a test” from the menu. You’ll get the option to experiment with various form fields, images, copy, and offers.
Search engine optimization is another area where HubSpot CMS excels. Its SEO tool automatically analyzes search engine algorithms and makes helpful suggestions for optimizing your site. Thanks to these invaluable tips, you’re better positioned to establish effective meta tags and descriptions, create clean and readable URLs, and build an effective sitemap for Google.
HubSpot offers a range of free customer service tools that work helpfully alongside its CMS. HubSpot’s free service tools include:
- Ticketing – Enable customers to send in support tickets detailing their problems and quickly review and deal with these tickets in your inbox.
- Email scheduling
- Live chat – Enable live chat on your website so customers can get in touch with you.
- A shared inbox for your customer support agents
In addition, HubSpot CRM allows you to collect customer data and manage buyer info. For instance, customer interactions, purchase information, support tickets, demographics, etc. With this up-to-date data to hand, you’re better positioned to nurture leads more effectively.
Plus, every visitor on your site is automatically tracked to leverage new CRM data. For example, page views on your site, the traffic source, how long they stayed on your content, etc.
HubSpot provides advanced analytics with a great deal of customization. For example, you can create hundreds of custom reports on its more expensive plans and manage multiple dashboards with dozens of reports. This allows you to create dashboards where the most relevant information can be organized however you prefer, making it easy to track changing details.
Reports you can generate include:
- Search engine ranking
- Session times
- Traffic sources
You can also generate reports on which content types, sources, and campaigns drive the most leads.
It’s easy to personalize websites with custom website content for each visitor. With this feature, your site automatically displays dynamic content variations based on customer data in your CRM. For example, you can show personalized product recommendations based on a customer’s previous purchases or display a different headline based on their location.
The CMS is also a one-stop solution for managing and running your ads – more specifically, you can:
- Create and manage social media ad campaigns
- Create and manage your Google ads
- Feed campaign results back into your website analytics.
Use a drag-and-drop website editor and pre-built themes to customize your website. There are hundreds of themes to get started with, over 50 themes in the asset marketplace, and over 259 HubSpot Themes available on ThemeForest.
You can edit the text content within the editor by clicking on which paragraphs you want to modify. You can also change the theme’s color scheme, sections, fonts, and make other web design decisions without a single line of code. In a nutshell, HubSpot’s website builder functions much like other WYSIWYG editors.
However, one nifty feature is that you can create and customize reusable modules to drag into your content. For instance, you could create a module for an author card with a photograph and bio or design a module advertising your service variations – to name but two of many potential modules!
Developers can alternatively access the code to build websites the way they prefer.
Your HubSpot website benefits from high-quality hosting. With access to a content delivery network (CDN), you’re guaranteed faster site speeds. You’re also granted an SSL certificate and enjoy the protection of a Website Application Firewall. In addition, there’s 24/7 cybersecurity monitoring, and you benefit from automatic software updates.
From HubSpot’s asset marketplace, you can purchase things to help improve your website and user experience. However, on the Starter CMS Plan, you can only purchase website themes. But, with the Professional and Enterprise plans, you unlock access to email templates and modules. For the uninitiated, modules are reusable components that you can drag and drop into your website. For example, there are modules for team-member panels, pricing plan displays, and more.
As we’ve already hinted at, these were just some of HubSpot CMS’s key features. In truth, HubSpot offers many more advanced features, so here are a few worthy mentions:
- Localized translations are built into HubSpot websites, so you don’t have to deal with clunky translation plugins.
- You can create complex forms to up your marketing game. I.e., you can collect customer details and automatically update your CRM accordingly.
- Benefit from smart files and media management in your media library. I.e., suppose you update a file in your media library. In that case, HubSpot CMS automatically updates all instances of it across your site.
HubSpot CMS: Integrations
HubSpot benefits from a network of several dozens of integrations. Some of these are built and supported by HubSpot itself. In contrast, others are developed by external HubSpot Connect partners. Integrations are organized into categories, including sales and CRM, marketing, analytics, video and webinars, advanced content creation, and workflow automation.
We couldn’t name all its integrations, but here are a few noteworthy mentions:
HubSpot CMS Pricing
If you want to try HubSpot before buying it, you can request a demo or start a free 14-day trial. This is advisable because HubSpot’s pricing takes some committing to. Also, while there’s a plan suited for a small business, most of HubSpot’s services make more sense for well-established firms with high annual incomes.
There are three premium plans to choose from, whereby annual billing saves you 10%. In addition, each program includes storage for up to 15 million contacts and 1:1 technical support.
Prices based on annual billing are as follows:
For $23 a month, you get:
- Access to all free HubSpot tools
- Website themes
- Access to a drag and drop website editor
- Access to the asset marketplace
- A reporting dashboard with up to ten dashboards with ten reports each
- Forms to collect customer data or feedback according to your needs
- Premium hosting and CDN for fast site speeds
- An SSL certificate
- Custom domain security settings
- 1 blog with unlimited posts
- You can create up to 15 website pages
- Your website can support up to five currencies
For $360 per month, you get everything in the Starter plan, plus:
- You can create up to 100 blogs.
- Access to 25 dashboards with 30 reports each
- You can create 10,000 web pages.
- Limited dynamic website personalization and record customization.
- Content staging
- SEO recommendations and optimizations
- A/B testing functionality
- Custom reporting
- Up to 10 teams – You can organize users into groups with different organizational and reporting needs
- Site tree – review your page hierarchy with a site tree to better understand and optimize your site navigation.
- Duplicate management
- Default permissions for team members to control what access they have to edit your site settings
- Your website can support up to 30 currencies.
Finally, for $1,200 per month, you get everything above, plus:
- 50 reporting dashboards with 30 reports each
- Your website can support up to 200 currencies.
- Additional dynamic personalization and record customization features – you can create smart content rules based on various categories, including ad source, country, preferred language, lifecycle stage, etc.
- You can generate up to 500 custom reports.
- Test up to 5-page variations at a time with split-testing
- Single-sign on
- Activity logging
- Field-level permissions – restrict which individual properties can be edited by staff members. For example, specific details on a customer record.
- Content partitioning – partition your assets on HubSpot so only specific teams and users can view and edit them. This allows you to separate assets by department or project team.
- Site performance monitoring
These are just some of HubSpot’s features amongst many. To review each pricing plan’s features, visit HubSpot’s detailed pricing breakdown.
There’s also the option to bundle HubSpot CMS with other HubSpot tools. For example, the Starter CRM Suite includes HubSpot Marketing, HubSpot Sales Hub, HubSpot Service Hub, and HubSpot Operations.
HubSpot CMS Review: Customer Support
Customer support is invaluable for your web projects, whether you’ve run into an issue with your website builder or just need to learn a little more about a specific feature. Fortunately, there are many ways to get in touch with HubSpot to get the help you need.
First of all, you can call the HubSpot team. Several international numbers are available if you’re calling outside of the US. You can also reach the team via email or request a callback. Alternatively, you can reach out to the HubSpot community within the forum to ask for advice.
Alternatively, you can visit HubSpot’s academy if you prefer the self-help route. Here you’ll find a range of articles addressing direct questions or issues. In addition, there are in-app help links associated with specific website elements and features that redirect you to the correct page in the knowledge base.
HubSpot CMS Review: Pros and Cons
We’ve covered lots of ground, so let’s quickly summarize the key advantages and drawbacks of HubSpot CMS:
- HubSpot CMS is an excellent CMS for complementing your marketing efforts.
- It integrates with HubSpot’s free service, operations, CRMs, and marketing tools.
- You get access to advanced SEO features and can further integrate with Yoast SEO for more analysis of your SEO data.
- Access to an intuitive page builder with a drag-and-drop interface and a wide range of templates
- There’s minimal coding or cumbersome customizations to worry about
- You benefit from advanced content management features, like being able to establish content collections.
- You can A/B test website variations and optimize your content accordingly.
- Phone, email, and community support are all available.
- HubSpot CMS is highly scalable, making it an excellent choice for growing businesses.
- You can get a detailed analysis of almost any aspect of your website.
- You can freely arrange report dashboards and generate custom reports to hone in on data relevant to your business.
- HubSpot CMS is a little more complicated. First, you need to set up and bring together elements like payments, sales reporting, product feed creation, shipping, etc. In comparison, services like Shopify or WooCommerce already combine these features in a more streamlined fashion.
- HubSpot CMS quickly gets expensive with its higher plans.
- The sheer array of features can be overwhelming.
- On the cheapest plan, websites are limited to 15 pages and landing pages to 20 pages.
- A/B testing is locked behind more expensive plans.
- Establishing eCommerce functionality with HubSpot CMS is a little more complicated. First, you need to set up and bring together elements like payments, sales reporting, product feed creation, shipping, etc. In comparison, services like Shopify or WooCommerce already combine these features in a more streamlined fashion.
HubSpot CMS Review: FAQ
Still, have questions about HubSpot CMS? Hopefully, we’ll provide the answers to them below:
How does HubSpot CMS compare to WordPress?
HubSpot is a worthy contender to WordPress, with a few noteworthy differences. First, Hubspot simplifies the hosting, maintenance, and security aspects by taking care of this for you. It’s also more intuitive as a page builder and comes with more marketing and SEO features built-in. Finally, unlike WordPress, HubSpot CMS is also part of a larger SaaS product.
In contrast, WordPress offers better server management and makes theme customization and custom theme building more accessible. Its open-source framework may also make it a much cheaper alternative. Plus, it more easily offers eCommerce functionality with its free WooCommerce plugin.
Which languages is HubSpot CMS available in?
HubSpot CMS supports 11 languages, including:
The team also offers support in these languages. On top of this, HubSpot provides pre-written translations for email notifications, error messages, quote templates, scheduling pages, chat flows, and more, including a broader range of languages.
Just to name a few!
Are HubSpot CMS pages fast to load?
The rest is up to you- i.e., whether you adopt website optimization best practices and the kinds of content you upload.
HubSpot CMS Review: Our Final Verdict
All in all, the HubSpot CMS is a powerful website builder, made all the more impressive by integrating seamlessly with a range of free HubSpot tools. This makes HubSpot one of the best platforms for scaling businesses wanting to manage most of their business operations from the convenience of one centralized place. I.e., customer service, sales, operations, contact management, marketing, etc.
HubSpot excels at marketing. Not least because it provides access to various tools like ad campaign management, email marketing, discount and coupon creation, landing page building, and more.
It’s also the perfect tool for data-driven businesses that want more granular insight into their websites. HubSpot provides a wide range of useful analytics and grants all the control you need to get your reports, permissions, and media in order.
However, for complete beginners or those with simpler needs, HubSpot might be both overwhelming and too expensive. In addition, many of its key features are locked behind the Professional plan, which will set you back hundreds of dollars each month. While the Starter suite has excellent appeal, only growing businesses with confidence in their scaling revenue will really be able to afford and manage this complex toolkit.
However, HubSpot presents a streamlined, intuitive option for those familiar with web development. Plus, it comes packed with plenty of features even before you consider integrations and takes care of security, maintenance, and page optimization!
Are you going to try out HubSpot CMS for your next website project? Share your thoughts on the software in the comments below, and let us know what convinced you to make the switch.