It’s one of the very first and most common questions we get, especially from those looking at the monthly subscription fee for HubSpot Marketing software when they are used to WordPress or another free or low cost platform.

A CMS decision is never as easy as you’d think.

A good portion of companies and potential clients come to us asking about improving their SEO or helping them with a website redesign, not to help them select a CMS. For these businesses, the honest answer is that any of the current CMS platforms will do the trick, if you know how to use them and are familiar with online marketing best practices.


But, for the more experienced marketers – those who come to us for help improving their lead capture, or wish to grow their business – it’s a different story. The toolset found in HubSpot marketing software is robust and stable – 23 tools at last count – and they are fully integrated with one another, including analytics and reporting that you won’t need an IT person to decipher.

If you choose a WordPress website…


You’ll likely need to add a forms tool such as Gravity forms and set up automated email responders, connect a contacts database like MailChimp for contact segmentation and email marketing, purchase and install (redesign?) a visual design theme from one of the large resellers, install a social sharing plugin, set up SSL via your hosting provider, plus add a backup tool such as BackupBuddy with Stash offsite archiving.

That’s pretty much what we do for WordPress clients.

For a bit of icing on top, and smarter lead capture, you will also likely install a tool like Unbounce or LeadPages, or custom design your own landing pages. You’ll also likely need to hire a technical/design team to maintain security and plugin updates for all of these along with the WordPress CMS itself. (Did you know that in 2016, there were 26 WordPress updates? I’m not sure it’s possible to count all the plugin updates too!)

The reason there are many pieces and updates, is that WordPress is an open source platform. Pretty much anyone can create a tool for it. That can create a lot of great options, along with a lot of concerns at the same time.

If you choose to create a HubSpot website…


You’ll purchase a software subscription. Depending on which subscription you get, you’ll receive either ‘most of’ or ‘all of’ the tools HubSpot has to offer. All security and functionality updates will be handled automatically, plus technical support is provided by HubSpot for free. And, as a SaaS model, HubSpot has a SOC2 security certification to keep your data safe. That’s almost as secure as your bank.

Can I have WordPress and HubSpot at the same time?

Yes, of course you can. HubSpot was created to act as an external tool (without the ‘Websites’ add-on which would be where your home page and regular pages reside) or as a full scope tool. If you don’t get the Websites tool, WordPress – or any platform really – can act as your main site. It will work just like any 3rd party tool – you only need to install the tracking script to collect data from your site into HubSpot’s analytics and reporting tools.

If you have a tool/application of your own or perhaps a secure login, you’ll actually can’t only use HubSpot – a hybrid of HubSpot and another platform will keep the functionality you need while adding the marketing power of HubSpot.

If you’re wondering why, you can’t just have HubSpot, here’s your answer… As HubSpot is a SaaS application, another application cannot be placed inside of it (same goes for other apps). Nor can HubSpot store confidential information (by policy) such as credit card details. If you have an e-commerce store, you would keep it and HubSpot separate. Different tools for different jobs.

What’s the difference between maintaining WordPress and HubSpot sites?

This is the part I like the most: maintenance for a WordPress site is largely technical which costs money for IT, whereas, the maintenance for a HubSpot site is in adding more content to your website in order to generate more leads. WordPress maintenance just keeps your site up and running. HubSpot maintenance helps generate more leads and brings more money in the door.

So how do you decide on which CMS to use?

It really comes down to what your business can afford. Both platforms have a monthly cost associated, and require effort to run.

A WordPress site’s cost isn’t a subscription fee though, it’s the undetermined cost of ongoing updates and fixes to keep your site up and running properly. If you choose not to invest in ongoing maintenance, your site could go down and you would potentially lose a lot of time and money getting it back up and running, not considering the potential for lost revenue.

A HubSpot site has a monthly subscription fee that you can budget. All the technical maintenance is taken care of for you. And you can focus your efforts on improving your online marketing and lead capture rather than just making sure your site running.