HubSpot vs WordPress For Small Business

Anabeth McConnell Anabeth McConnell
March 13, 2023   |   14 min read time
Topics: websites

Are you tired of using a CMS for your website that doesn't meet your business needs? If so, it's time to explore your options. Two popular CMS platforms, HubSpot and WordPress, both allow business owners to customize appearance, themes, and functionality but tailored to different business needs. With so many features and benefits to consider, it can be challenging to determine which platform is right for you. In this article, we'll dive into the features between the two platforms to help you decide which CMS offers the better solution for your business needs.

WordPress Content Management System (CMS)

WordPress, first developed in 2003, is a widely used content management system. As an open-source platform, it offers numerous customization options that allow developers to create plugins, themes, and templates that enhance the visual appeal and functionality of websites. WordPress is relatively easy to learn for non-developers, and numerous tutorials are available to help guide beginners in building their websites.

HubSpot Content Management System (CMS)

HubSpot, first launched in 2006, focused on developing products and services for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. The HubSpot CMS, released in 2020, is much newer to the game and specifically designed for marketers and developers. With HubSpot’s product hubs already focused on marketing, sales, and services, the addition of the CMS helps a business owner integrate those efforts with their website. 

How User-Friendly Is the CMS Platform to Use?

Whether you’re wanting to build your website yourself or simply want the ability to maintain your website once it’s launched, choosing a CMS platform that is easy to use without the constant need for a developer is important to consider.

WordPress CMS - User-Friendliness

If you’re new to building a website, you can still start building very quickly using WordPress, especially now that Gutenberg is now the default editor for WordPress. Because there is a very large community of existing WordPress users, there is always someone to reach out to ask questions and get support when you’re stuck. With a quick search, you can find a tutorial to help you get started.

Page builders such as Beaver Builder, Divi, and Elementor also provide make the process even easier with simple drag-n-drop functionality to build out the elements of a page.

While you can build a website without any coding knowledge in WordPress, if you need more advanced integrations and functionality, you’ll need a strong understanding of HTML, Javascript, CSS, and PHP to make the most of WordPress. The good news? There are thousands of WordPress developers to choose from to help support your needs.

HubSpot CMS - User Friendliness

The HubSpot CMS is a platform designed to cater to the needs of marketers, developers, and IT teams. Marketers have access to a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, making it an excellent option for non-developers, but unless you’re using a pre-built theme or page template, it’s not quite as easy to start using right out of the gate. HubSpot does provide a basic set of modules to start building pages, but these modules generally only help provide a simple layout.

HubSpot offers courses through its academy to help non-developers learn how to build pages in the platform. (the academy itself is extensive helping you in other areas such as marketing and sales!)

However, to create a more advanced website on HubSpot, advanced coding knowledge is required. The platform utilizes HubL, a unique markup language used by the platform. When seeking developer support, it is vital to find someone with specific experience building on the HubSpot platform.

HubSpot's unique features and functionalities make it an ideal option for businesses that need advanced marketing capabilities, automation, and integration with their built-in CRM system.

What Are The Customization Options In HubSpot And WordPress?

While page builders and pre-built themes and page templates can provide a nice-looking site, sometimes your needs require some customization to enhance both the look and functionality of your website.

WordPress CMS - Customization Options

WordPress CMS is renowned for its easy-to-use customization options. Users have control over their website's width, color scheme, and font selection, even on the most basic WordPress themes. WordPress offers countless choices for plugins and themes enabling to tweak your website for just what you want for design and functionality. These plugins cover various categories, including form plugins, SEO plugins, security plugins, and many more.

Even with the pre-installed default editor, Gutenberg, you can customize text, media, layouts, and custom code to personalize your website. Page builders such as Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Divi offer countless customization options, allowing you to turn your WordPress website into a no-code design powerhouse. These builders help you adjust every aspect of your website and provide you with pre-built content blocks to quickly build out your website.

Of course, we could dive even further into customization features with parent and child themes, but we’ll leave that for another day.

The drawback to having almost unlimited customization options? Too many plugins or some themes and page builders may bloat your website, slowing its loading speed. A slow site can increase the bounce rate, negatively impacting the user experience and giving you a big hit on your Core Web Vitals.

HubSpot CMS - Customization Options

HubSpot also offers themes that help control the global styling of your website, the same as WordPress but the customization for individual pages is generally within the modules used to create the page layout. HubSpot’s basic modules included out-of-the-box do offer some customization features for fonts, color, etc. Similar to modules set up with WordPress themes and page builders, customizing your page is based on the options available in the pre-built modules included in a selected theme.

The main difference between customization options between HubSpot and WordPress? WordPress has a much larger library of modules and templates providing a greater selection to choose how you want your page to look. While pre-built customization is more limited with HubSpot, web developers can custom-build modules that can be used on pages, limited only by the technical abilities of the developer (and your pocketbook).

The good news about more limitations for customization from a non-developer side? Your styling is more likely to be consistent across your website and you don’t spend days looking for “just the right one” to build out your website.

What Themes And Other Assets Are Available On The CMS Platform?

A theme allows you to change the visual appearance and provides certain sets of customization features. When selecting a theme, you can customize your website to match your brand image and desired functionality.

Because your business needs and your design preferences are unique, having plenty of options when choosing your theme and assets will help you build a website that you will be proud to promote.

WordPress CMS - Themes And Other Assets

WordPress is an open-source platform meaning hundreds of developers have been building themes and plugins specifically for this platform. This work provides an extensive collection of themes and plugins, making it one of the best CMS platforms for theme selection. With an extensive library of themes and thousands of developers in the WordPress ecosystem, users are guaranteed to find something that meets their specific needs. 

HubSpot CMS - Themes And Other Assets

HubSpot CMS provides a selection of default themes included with their CMS subscription. Additional themes and page templates, both free and paid versions, are available in the HubSpot Marketplace and more recently in Envato.

While HubSpot doesn’t use plugins to expand customization, developers can modify a selected theme to provide more customization including more custom modules to fit your functionality needs.


HubSpot CMS

WordPress CMS


  • Paid monthly subscription, may require additional costs for themes and customization

Free for the actual CMS but requires payment for hosting, themes, and plugins


  • Proprietary software limits customization without the need for a specialized developer
  • Open-source software and countless plugins provide easy ways to add new features

Ease of Use

  • Specialized markup language that may require developer assistance
  • User-friendly interface and drag-and-drop editor
  • Page builders make building and maintaining a website user-friendly
  • If a fully custom site may require developer assistance


  • Integrates with HubSpot’s marketing, sales, and service hubs for an all-in-one platform
  • Offers some integration with other apps
  • Wide range of integrations


  • Built-in analytics dashboards
  • Not included by default, Plugins available


  • Designed to scale by upgrading pricing tier
  • Can scale with custom development

Maintenance & Support

  • CMS updates handling automatically
  • Technical support available based on your pricing tier
  • Limited community support
  • Theme and plug-in updates are managed manually
  • Technical support provided by your own developer or outside company
  • Highly active community support

Content Optimization

  • Provides built-in SEO tools for optimization and analytics
  • Not included by default, Plugins available (and may provide more control over optimization)


  • On select pricing tiers - offers dynamic and personalized content based on visitor behavior
  • Not included by default, Plugins available

Marketing Automation

  • Provides built-in lead capture forms, lead nurturing workflows, and email marketing
  • Not included by default, Plugins available


  • Doesn't offer built-in e-commerce capabilities
  • Offers e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce


  • Requires Professional or Enterprise pricing tier
  • Limitations on functionality
  • Requires custom development
  • Not included by default, Plugins and themes available

What Blogging Tools Does The CMS Platform Offer?

Both WordPress and HubSpot CMS offer blogging capabilities with many similarities, just slightly different interfaces.

WordPress Blogging Tools

WordPress was originally developed as a simple blogging platform and it still offers the same simplicity helping you to start writing and posting quickly and easily. Users can create posts using two methods: the classic editor, which is similar to writing within a Google Doc or Word document, or the Gutenberg editor, which has a slightly different appearance but operates similarly.

WordPress doesn’t have built-in features to enhance the publishing process but there are powerful plugins to help create engaging blog posts and extend features for optimization and analytics.

For example, Yoast SEO is a powerful tool for optimizing your site to attract more visitors. In addition, if you opt for the Gutenberg block editor, numerous plugins are available to extend functionality by adding more modules to select from. These plugins allow users to create visually appealing blog posts with ease and streamline the content creation process.

​​HubSpot CMS Blogging Tools

HubSpot also offers blogging capabilities, allowing users to create engaging and informative blog posts. Depending on your subscription tier, there are limitations to the features that are available to enhance your blogging experience. 

Similar to WordPress, users can compose blog articles similar to Word or Google Docs. However, there is a key difference between the two platforms. HubSpot only permits “tags,” unlike WordPress, which enables users to categorize and tag their posts. Despite this, users can still filter by a category, although without a clear distinction between the two in the post itself.

On the Pro and Enterprises subscriptions, the blogging features truly do shine with built-in optimization support that helps you fine-tune your article for SEO and analytics that are tied directly into your CRM, allowing you to see which articles have influenced your revenue.

Additionally, you can link your post to topic clusters will a “content tree” view that helps you maximize your content strategy by connecting related blog posts, ensuring that your articles are well-organized and easy to navigate.

How Secure Is The CMS Platform?

In today’s digital landscape, hackers can truly cause havoc on your website. A website lacking robust security protocols is vulnerable to various types of attacks, including DDoS, malware, bots, and hacks. 

WordPress CMS - Security

Ensuring website security is a complex matter, especially when it comes to WordPress. The security of a WordPress site is largely dependent on the hosting provider selected and the plugins used. For this reason, it's crucial to choose a high-quality hosting provider that offers robust security features such as Flywheel, WP Engine or SiteGround.

In addition to selecting a reliable host, using security plugins is an effective way to keep your WordPress site secure. Wordfence and Sucuri are popular options that offer firewalls, bot protection, and protection against DDoS attacks. It's also worth noting that WordPress releases regular updates to its platform to ensure optimal security.

The bottom line with WordPress security? It’s not the CMS you should worry about, it’s your choice in hosting and plugin selections.

HubSpot CMS - Security

HubSpot CMS has a robust security system that offers unparalleled protection for its users. Being a SaaS solution, HubSpot provides everything needed to keep your site secure wrapped up together with an SSL certificate, network and perimeter protection, customer data protection, and application protection, making it a comprehensive security platform.

Additionally, you’ll receive a web application firewall, protection against DDoS attacks, and regular vulnerability scanning. HubSpot’s commitment to security means users can rest assured that their site is protected against the most common online threats.

Which Is The Best CMS for SEO: HubSpot or WordPress? SEO?

While your content and backlink strategies are the major players in your search engine optimization (SEO), your CMS choice does play a role in how you manage the content and technical aspects of your SEO tactics.

WordPress CMS - SEO

WordPress is a leading CMS that has been around for quite some time and is highly regarded by Google due to its impressive URL and site structure. As a result, WordPress has become a popular choice for those looking to improve their website's SEO. One of the best and most well-known plugins available to WordPress users is Yoast SEO, offering a wide range of features that can help you boost search engine rankings. From analyzing content to providing recommendations on improving metadata and keyword usage, Yoast SEO provides you with a powerful toolset for optimizing your site.

HubSpot CMS - SEO

HubSpot's Professional & Enterprise tier licenses offer a suite of powerful built-in SEO tools that can help businesses improve their website's visibility and ranking. The SEO Topics keyword tool helps you to plan and strategize content for pillar pages and topic clusters based on high-ranking topics.

Another built-in tool is the SEO recommendations feature, which analyzes your websites and provides a list of action items organized by priority. This tool can help you improve your website's on-page SEO, mobile experience, crawling and indexing, security, performance, user experience, and accessibility issues. 

What Are The eCommerce Capabilities Of The CMS Platform?

If you’re wanting to sell either digital or physical products, an eCommerce solution is a necessity for your online presence.

WordPress CMS - eCommerce Capabilities

WordPress is a popular CMS choice if you are looking for eCommerce solutions, with a variety of integration options available. The most commonly used eCommerce plugin for WordPress is WooCommerce. The plugin offers both free and paid pro versions and allows for quick and easy store setup.

Beyond the option to implement the WooCommerce plugin, WordPress also integrates with other eCommerce commonly used platforms such as Shopify and Printify. The flexibility of WordPress allows for seamless integration with multiple eCommerce solutions through plugins and integrations, offering businesses the ability to customize their online shopping experience.

HubSpot CMS - eCommerce Capabilities

At the time of this writing, the HubSpot CMS does not offer a built-in eCommerce solution. However, there are two options available for users who want to sell products online. One way is adding a script or shortcode provided by your payment gateway like PayPal to embed the payment buttons on your website. While this is a quick and easy solution for sites with only a few products, it is not recommended for businesses that need to manage their products or generate reports within HubSpot.

The second option is to set up a dedicated shopping platform like Shopify and integrate it with HubSpot's marketing hub. Although this option requires more effort and may require the assistance of an agency, it provides a full-featured eCommerce solution with robust product management, reporting, and integration capabilities. Combining HubSpot's marketing automation features with the powerful eCommerce tools of Shopify can be a game-changer for businesses looking to optimize their online sales. The con? It requires the management of two different platforms.

How Much Does The CMS Platform Cost?

When considering the cost of using either HubSpot or WordPress, know that both platforms offer budget-friendly ways to get started. However, as your business grows, so will the cost of upgrading your website.

The cost requirements for either platform will vary depending on the features and functionality requirements you choose to include in your website.

WordPress CMS - Costs

It is possible to create a website with WordPress for free (after the cost of hosting of course), but typically the customization options will be limited without investing in premium tools. While there are many free themes available, investing in a paid theme can significantly enhance the appearance and functionality of your website, with prices typically ranging from $10 to $200.

In addition to theme costs, there are also plugin and optional page builder costs to consider. Plugins are essential to customizing your WordPress website, with thousands of free and paid options available. Whatever functionality you require for your website, there is likely a plugin that can help you achieve it.

While page builders are not strictly necessary, they provide an easy way to build pages for those without web development skills. It is important to factor in these additional costs when considering the overall cost of building and maintaining a WordPress website.

HubSpot CMS - Costs

When comparing the cost of HubSpot CMS and WordPress CMS, it's important to note that HubSpot CMS is only one part of the all-in-one marketing platform offered by HubSpot. Although the CMS can be purchased separately, the true benefit of HubSpot lies in the integration between the different hubs within the ecosystem.

HubSpot's pricing is subscription-based and offers different pricing plans based on your chosen tier level, each tier offering additional features and benefits. The CMS-only starting price is $29 per month (as of the date of this writing), but this plan is relatively basic. The Professional tier, starting at $400 per month (as of the date of this writing), offers significantly more features, including the SEO tools mentioned earlier.

It's essential to keep in mind that these prices only cover the cost of the CMS Hub. If you want to access the full benefits of HubSpot, you'll need to add the other hubs to your subscription plan, which can become quite costly. For example, if you want both the Marketing Hub and the CMS Hub Professional level, you can expect to pay around $1200 per month.

Which CMS Platform Is Better For A Small Business?

Ultimately, choosing your CMS platform depends on your specific needs and budget. WordPress gives you more flexibility and customization for a lower start-up cost, but HubSpot provides so much more beyond just your website, but you will fork out a much larger chunk of change.

If you prefer a highly customizable platform that allows you to have full control over your website's design and functionality and has a wider net of development support, WordPress may be a better fit.

If you're looking for a comprehensive, all-in-one marketing, sales, and service platform with an integrated website as well, HubSpot may be a better choice.

For companies that have a larger budget and the time and resources to build and manage a fully integrated sales and marketing system, I recommend building your website with the HubSpot CMS and taking advantage of the other HubSpot hubs for a fully integrated ecosystem.

Smaller budget and just getting started building out your sales and marketing funnels? Here’s one final option - the HubSpot and WordPress integration. You may choose to have WordPress as your website and choose the starter tiers in HubSpot as your CRM, sales, marketing, and customer service hubs. With the HubSpot WordPress plugin, you’ll have access to forms, live chat, CRM, email marketing, and analytics.

Whether you’re interested in building your website on WordPress or HubSpot, the design and development team at Inbound Design Partners is here to help. From helping you develop your brand message to building a conversion-focused website, you can count on us as your business partner!

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