There has always been debate about the virtues and shortcomings between using the HubSpot COS or WordPress. Marketers and agencies battling it out over which has faster loading times, is more robust, delivers best SEO benefits and the list goes on and on.
However, in my experience as an agency owner, I've found one unique situation in which it makes sense to combine the two together to produce one triumphant experience for businesses that aren't your typical B2B or B2C organizations. Let's take a look.
HubSpot COS: The Knight in Shining Armor (Somewhat)
One of our agency's newest clients is a unique organization by HubSpot standards. They are a large, city organization funded by taxpayers and could care less about ROI (what, what, what?!). The juice for them lies in HubSpot's ability to improve their online agility -- monitoring and responding to public sentiment, swiftly mobilizing members for causes and maximizing their social engagement in a methodical (and automated) fashion. Aside from the standard CMS capabilities of course. Now, everyone touts HubSpot as a leading tool to measure and quantify the ROI of inbound marketing efforts, and they're right. But in this case, it's proven to be a awesome, centralized resource for an organization that ultimately wants to manage, measure and engage. A knight in shining armor! Well, almost.
There was one seriously debilitating flaw. A flaw that didn't rear it's ugly head until my client decided that it wanted a secure, members only area where it's members could access sensitive information using unique login credentials. Wa waaaaa. Fear not, HubSpot, I still love you and your ability to password protect individual pages...but for organizations with more sophisticated membership structures, you get no high fives from this guy.
WordPress: The Unexpectedly Trusty Steed
So what the hell is an agency to do when HubSpot, in all its glory, is missing such a critical feature that isn't even in beta yet? Fortunately, I drink a LOT of coffee. I consulted with our team, hit my network of other professional marketers and even called other hosting providers and CMS companies directly to develop a reasonable workaround. The result? WordPress with a simple membership plugin.
For us inbound and automation savvy marketers specializing in HubSpot services, the software just rocks. But WordPress has unexpectedly come to the rescue as a glorious, open sourced steed! The same software we typically transition clients away from has triumphantly come to HubSpot's (and my own) rescue! By creating a custom branded WordPress website hosted on a subdomain with the Membership plugin, we were able to solve this dilemma and grant our client's members the experience they wanted.
Additionally, we used HubSpot tracking codes on those external pages to monitor their performance as well. The downside being that we can manage the page content and design within the HubSpot COS. Sill, at the end of the day, we got the primary functionality we needed without diluting the end results to a simple password per page scenario.
P.S. We won. You can view their case study here.
The Path to HubSpot & WordPress Victory
HubSpot is awesome, yes, but still has some limitations. As digital marketing professionals, we need to keep our eyes open to other software solutions that may act as alternatives or serve to supplement our efforts. Our bosses or clients expect us to deliver greatness and tend care less about the inner workings and more about the end result.
If we, as marketers, stay savvy and open-minded to solutions available to us, we will continue to deliver triumphant results!