Reviewing the HubSpot CMS Hub: Is It All It's Cracked Up to Be?
Chris is the Head of Operations and a Growth Marketer at Lean Labs who enjoys strategizing and writing content that drives results. When not typing away, Chris is exploring nature with his two daughters, wife, and dogs.
Does the hunt for the perfect CMS (Content Management System) seem endless?
With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which one is the right fit for your needs.
You need an aesthetically pleasing website, but it has to do more than just look pretty — it needs to convert leads into customers.
Sure, you can pay a designer to put together a gorgeous website with all the bells and whistles, but if you don't take the time to optimize the content on your site, it won't lead to a revenue increase.
HubSpot CMS Hub is an extremely powerful tool that can help you get your design and content on track, but that doesn't mean it's the perfect fit for everyone. Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of HubSpot CMS Hub so you can decide if it's the right fit for you.
HubSpot CMS Hub Pros and Cons
HubSpot CMS Hub uses a combination of themes, templates, and modules to create website pages, landing pages, and blog articles.
Themes are what control the overall look and feel of your website. You can modify your website's colors, fonts, headers, and footers all from the theme settings.
You can use a pre-built theme — like Sprocket Rocket — or pay a developer to build a custom theme specifically for you.
Templates are what controls the layout and functionality of your website and landing pages.
HubSpot CMS Hub provides 3 types of templates for you to use when building your website:
- Page Templates: home, about, contact, etc.
- Blog Templates: blog articles (aka blog posts)
- System Templates: 404 pages, password prompt pages, search result pages, subscription pages, etc.
Inside of templates, you’ll find modules. Modules are blocks of content you normally see on website pages, such as text, images, CTAs, forms, etc.
Theme modules are specifically designed by the theme developer to work with your theme and match the styles (colors and fonts).
For example, a fitness studio theme might have a custom module built-in that allows them to create a list of classes they offer.
You can even hire a developer to create custom modules for you if you can’t find a theme that gives you the functionality you need for your business.
Pages are the final finished product that is published for the entire world to see. Some examples of pages would be your home page, about page, contact page, landing pages, and system pages.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to create websites using HubSpot CMS Hub let's dive into the pros and cons and discuss how Sprocket Rocket makes getting a high-converting website that much easier.
HubSpot CMS Hub Pros
Pro #1: Drag-and-Drop Builder for All Page Types
If you’re familiar with WordPress, or another similar CMS, you know just how hard making changes can be.
Everything looks confusing, and if you paid a developer to build your site for you, you’re likely scared to mess with much for fear you’ll break something and need to pay a developer again to fix it.
Making changes inside of HubSpot CMS Hub is as easy as clicking on sections, columns, and rows and dragging them where you want them to go on the page.
Global Content saves you time when making changes to your header, footer, and other global content. You make the change once on one page, and it will update the content on every page it appears on.
Pro #2: WYSIWYG Editor
WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editing means you can edit your page exactly how it appears to your website visitors.
For an example of what this looks like, check out the side-by-side comparison of the WordPress editor next to HubSpot CMS Hub’s editor.
In WordPress, you have to type your text and add images in blocks that look nothing like how they'll appear on the website's front end (what the world sees when it's published).
This makes it more complicated to get the end result you want, which makes HubSpot CMS Hub a better option for non-tech-savvy individuals who prefer a more visual editing experience.
Pro #3: Marketplace Templates
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the 3 templates you can choose from with HubSpot CMS Hub are page, blog, and system templates.
HubSpot even provides a marketplace you can browse to find more templates to take advantage of when building your website.
Sprocket Rocket provides several templates for you to choose from when building your website.
You’ll have access to templates for the homepage, case study pages, pricing pages, contact pages, and much more.
To see a full list of the templates included in Sprocket Rocket and what they look like, visit the Sprocket Rocket website.
Pro #4: Theme Controls
Making changes to your theme used to mean a phone call to a developer that resulted in you writing a pretty hefty check.
HubSpot CMS Hub gives you the power to make small changes to your theme without the hassle of involving a developer.
Do you need to change your theme’s color from blue to green? Or maybe the font is hard to read, and you want to use a different one.
HubSpot CMS Hub makes these changes as simple as clicking a button inside your theme’s settings — no coding knowledge required.
Website visitors are no longer satisfied with a brochure website that’s not personalized.
HubSpot built the CMS Hub on top of their CRM to provide you with all the tools and features you need to collect plenty of data for you to customize the user experience.
What is a CRM? A CRM (customer relationship management) tracks and manages your relationship with your prospects, leads, and customers.
HubSpot’s CRM includes contact properties that allow you to correct the right information via built-in forms that help you collect leads on your website.
When a website visitor fills out a form on your website, the information gets stored in the HubSpot CRM database, and you can start tracking their activity on your site, for instance, what pages they're viewing and how many times they are viewing them.
Collect useful information such as their job title, life cycle stage, or even their favorite color and use it to create more effective marketing materials and campaigns.
You can even create custom contact properties, so you collect exactly what you need. Segment your contact lists using the data collected so you can create more effective campaigns.
Pro #6: Smart Content
Because HubSpot CMS Hub builds on top of their world-class CRM, you can even use the data you collect to change what content a viewer sees.
You can tailor the experience with smart content by a visitor’s:
- Country: determined by visitor’s IP address
- Preferred Language: determined by the language set in the visitor’s browser
- Referral Source: organic search, social media, email marketing, etc.
- Device Type: desktop, mobile, or tablet
- Contact List Membership: lists you create in the CRM
- And, the Contact Lifecycle: subscriber, lead, marketing-qualified lead, sales-qualified lead, opportunity, customer, and evangelist
For example, Zipcar leverages the power of smart content on the website's home page by customizing the user experience based on location.
Depending on where you are, you'll see a map with Zipcars available in your area, and the personalized text to reference specific locations in your city that people living there would easily recognize.
Smart content is a powerful tool to add to your marketing tool belt, but there are some rules you need to follow when using it.
Pro #7: 3rd Party Integrations
Having all your data spread across multiple platforms is inefficient. How can you review and leverage the data you’re collecting when it takes an unreasonable amount of time to even find it?
HubSpot solves this problem by making it effortless to find and connect all the third-party apps you need to your HubSpot website via the HubSpot App Marketplace.
It’s so convenient and easy for developers to create and add new apps, that new apps are being added all the time.
Some of the most popular apps available at the time we published this article are:
- Google Search Console
- Survey Monkey
- And many more…
Filter apps by category, collections, pricing, compatibility with your HubSpot plan, or even search for an app by name.
You’ll be able to review your data much faster and improve the effectiveness of your marketing materials and campaigns as a result.
HubSpot CMS Hub Cons
Con #1: Pricing
The first year of inbound marketing is the hardest. Costs are at their highest, and ROI is at its lowest.
You have to get yourself up to speed with what inbound marketing is and how your brand will use it. You'll need to train your team on how they're going to be a part of the system, and your goal to produce more content than you've ever tried to produce before at the highest-quality possible.
Add to that the cost of a new marketing platform and all the tools and resources you need, and HubSpot might seem out of your reach.
For startups, HubSpot pricing is pretty intimidating. But, if you take into account all the tools and features you’re getting all-in-one, you’re really coming out ahead.
But wait! Don’t lose hope just yet! We have a secret that can help you save 60% off your first year of HubSpot to get you up and running now.
Find out our secret by downloading your free copy of our guide: Save Up to 60% off Your 1st Year of HubSpot.
Con #2: Flexibility
HubSpot CMS Hub is one of the most flexible platforms out there, but it’s not the best.
Other platforms like ClickFunnels give more flexibility with templates you can choose and customize vs. build or buy.
Creating new themes from scratch is still a task that’s better left to the developers and designers, so you’re stuck using pre-built themes you can customize when you want to cut costs.
Sprocket Rocket helps with some of these issues, but not all of them, so it may or may not work for you.
There is some good news, however. Sprocket Rocket has a freemium version you can take for a test drive and kick the tires — so to speak.
Learn more about Sprocket Rocket and take it for a spin.
Con #3: The Learning Curve
The biggest downside to HubSpot CMS Hub is the learning curve.
Because they have so many tools that are all integrated with the CMS, it’s a lot to learn — thankfully, they make it easy.
When you’re willing to invest the time in HubSpot Academy, you’ll find some of the best educational videos that teach you how to get the most out of everything HubSpot has to offer.
But what if you don’t have time to take a ton of courses and learn how to use their tools and software?
In that case, you can always hire a HubSpot developer to build your site and teach you how to use it much faster.
At Lean Labs, we created Sprocket Rocket to make the learning curve as small as possible, and our team is always here to answer any questions you have and guide you through the process.
Find out if Sprocket Rocket is a good fit for you by clicking here.
Is the HubSpot CMS Hub Right For You?
HubSpot's CMS Hub is an awesome tool. But it's not perfect.
When compared to other platforms like WordPress, however, it’s one of the best CMS options out there.
One of the areas we wanted to improve was in its use of flexible and modular patterns to build your site, so we created Sprocket Rocket.
With Sprocket Rocket, you can customize nearly every piece of your website without leaving HubSpot's editor.