If you've ever tried to build your own website, then you know the frustration of designing something from scratch. You might pick a template you love, but then you can't customize it. Or you might find a theme that looks great, but you can't add your brand's color scheme. Or worse, you might want something specific, but that little box of CSS computer code looks as familiar as a Sanskrit newspaper. Odds are one or all of these forced to let out an exasperated sigh, throw your hands up and quit. Good news though, people who shared in your frustration created a solution. It's called a CMS.
What is a CMS?
A CMS (Content Management System) is a website platform that allows users to create, edit and publish content without needing to write code. Most modern websites are built with some kind of CMS, but they all offer varying levels of flexibility and usability. That's part of the beauty of using the right CMS to design your web pages: everything can be customized to your business.
Websites are getting more complex by the minute, and building one that functions well across different browsers and is adaptive to varying device sizes while maintaining snappy speed and easy-to-use navigation is no small feat. To address all these variables, different platforms offer different services specifically targeted to overcome your biggest obstacles. If you're a small business, you'll probably need different services than a multinational corporation, so it's important to evaluate a few CMS platforms to determine which will be the most useful.
How Your Website Can Create Bloat in Your Organization
Unfortunately, once your website is built, it won't run on its own. You will undoubtedly need consistent content creation, updates for software and regularly evaluated website themes to ensure your site still matches your brand and runs smoothly. On top of that, there are a number of costs associated with running a website, such as domain hosting, website hosting, SSL certificates and even SEO optimization services.
On top of those costs, many companies hire an agency or individual to handle their website management. This might be helpful for some businesses, but others with a tight budget can save money by streamlining their website work so it's easier to manage on their own. For example, you might devise an easy content delivery network so you know you always have dynamic content ready to post, or you might assign your marketing team to focus solely on customer experience on the site. If you can implement these workflows effectively, your website becomes much easier to control.
A Website Platform Built for Marketers (and Your Everyday Joe)
HubSpot is known for popularizing inbound marketing, and it's relatively new to the CMS world. Despite being in their early years of CMS, they’ve found a way to focus on creating a usable and highly functional system that even the everyday Joe can use without having to spend a weekend watching tutorial videos or clicking around and hoping for the best. HubSpot went above and beyond to put the power of a professional marketer in the hands of every business, all on one platform.
HubSpot's CMS focuses on usability for the marketer first, but they’ve also allowed plenty of customizable options for people who want to hire a developer (as most do). The best part is a developer can create custom elements for your site, such as landing pages, and they'll still display be easy to edit and manipulate on your own. You can test out the user experience yourself and make any adjustments you see fit to ensure your customers can easily navigate and use your website.
If you're more interested in doing everything yourself, then you can check out the HubSpot Academy to learn all its ins and outs. This program can even help to train your entire team on the CMS so they all know how it can work to their respective advantages.
One neat feature that makes HubSpot so easy to use is its drag-and-drop editor. With this tool, you can easily select an element from their web app experiences library, drag it over to the design of your page and drop it in. This makes adding new elements a sinch when you're designing web pages because you can put all the important information front and center where search engines can find them for the user.
Data is King
Because HubSpot has deep roots in inbound marketing methodology, it included a host of tools in its CMS that utilize the data it gathers. Things like A/B testing website pages and using smart content to deliver personalized messages to your website visitors are just a couple of things HubSpot can do. And, because all of the tools live under the same roof, each of the "Hubs" (Marketing, Sales and Service) can take advantage of the data being gathered.
Geared for Growth with the HubSpot Ecosystem
The two core pieces of technology most business owners rely on are a website and a CRM (Customer Relationship Management software). CRMs often function outside of but integrate with your website so you can track and nurture the leads your site is generating.
One of the biggest advantages of HubSpot is that a powerful CRM is already part of its system. HubSpot CRM and HubSpot CMS live under the same roof, so it's easy to build end-to-end tracking and take full advantage of the data your website gathers. There's also a "Hub" full of powerful marketing tools—including marketing automation and social media management—sales software and a customer service hub, so every area of your business has access to personalized tools.
If you're looking for more information on the best marketing automation platforms out there, we wrote a blog that breaks down the top options for you. Check it out.
HubSpot CMS for Enterprise Organizations
HubSpot has an enterprise-level product for each of its Hubs that responds to the niche needs of larger brands. The Enterprise CMS is perfect for organizations with multiple locations that need unique content for each one, such as in a franchise.
Beyond the functional power of HubSpot Enterprise, one of the biggest perks of having one provider with multiple tools is that it helps to keep things streamlined if you're managing various tasks among multiple departments. With HubSpot's broad functionality and the breadth of integrations available, you can bring most, if not all, of your key operations into its platform.
What the HubSpot CMS Pricing Includes
For just $300 per month, you can get HubSpot CMS Hub Professional, which includes SSL and website hosting, making it more of an all-in-one solution than its competitors. You'll still need your domain hosted through a third party, though, so keep that in mind when figuring overall costs. The CMS Hub Enterprise is $900 per month and includes support for things like memberships, serverless functions and additional brand domains.
Although it may seem more expensive than WordPress or other website builders, it’s actually comparable when you factor in the cost of maintenance and ease of use. In WordPress, for example, you’re responsible for managing all the plugins, updates, etc., on the site. If you have an issue, you have to coordinate with your theme or plugin developer. With HubSpot, its team takes care of all the maintenance for you, so you’ll never have to click the “update” button or wonder why things are suddenly moving slowly. Plus, you get 24/7 support from their extensive support team, so there's always someone to lean on.
I've tried to present a pretty objective picture of the HubSpot CMS, but if you've made it this far, I'm going to reward you with my very special brand of bluntness. I've used a number of major website platforms, and HubSpot's is the easiest to use and maintain, bar none. It reduces the risk of making costly mistakes, their support team is responsive and pleasant and they're constantly releasing new features that improve the platform. Honestly, it's the best decision for most medium and large brands.
If you're moving your current website to HubSpot, they offer free migration services. If you're looking to redesign your website, there are hundreds of HubSpot Certified Partners (*cough cough* including us) that are experienced in creating easy-to-use websites on the HubSpot CMS.
If you want to talk more about HubSpot or other options for your website, feel free to reach out. We love talking about websites and pretty much anything that involves digital marketing!