It’s perfectly possible to create a hybrid website where your blog and landing pages live in HubSpot, and your main site lives somewhere else like WordPress. In the past this has been a popular setup for a lot of companies adopting HubSpot. A blog and landing pages tend to be new elements to the site, and they can be brought online alongside an existing site with little disruption to the main site. Even if you had a blog on WordPress beforehand, there’s an excellent import tool in HubSpot to transfer them all in so you don’t have to do it manually. But there’s still a disconnect between the 2 systems, here’s a list of reasons why if you’re going to do things properly with your online marketing, you really need the entire site developed in COS.
To test, measure and refine you need to make sure that your marketing efforts are neatly boxed off into campaigns with time frames and goals set against them. This is straightforward with blogs, keywords, calls to action and landing pages, but measuring the traffic to your cornerstone campaign pages should also be a key marker you monitor for the success of a campaign. Unfortunately you can’t add external pages to campaigns within HubSpot, only website pages in the COS system and that means you’re going to have to pull in analytics from other sources to measure the success of those which will make reporting more lengthy and difficult.
2. Calls to action
The key thing with any website page is your call to action. As great as the content on the page may be, it’s no use if the user doesn’t take the course of action you want them to. The best way to make that happen is to add relevant calls to action on the page to entice the user into the next step, and whilst you can extract the embed code for any call to action you create, it’s a lot more fiddly than selecting the call to action as a module or just dropping the call to action in with a simple shortcode. The more comfortable you are using the call to action system, the more likely you are to press ahead with more custom integrations such as personalisation which is where your results will really start to rock!
The cloud solution is developed in house at HubSpot. They commit new bits of code every day, but the team is disciplined and everything is thoroughly tested before it is published to the live environment. They beta test new features extensively before rolling them out across the platform. The flexibility of systems like WordPress with it’s extensive list of plugins and themes seems great, but there’s so many moving parts from so many different development teams it’s really easy for things to go wrong during a simple update. We’ve had to deploy many man hours recovering systems and chasing developers for fixes, who in fairness have created plugins for free and aren’t obligated to help and might not be able to come up with a fix in a short period of time, which could leave major sections or in fact all of the site broken and damaging your online presence.
I still marvel at the COS editing system. For such a relatively young system, WordPress has just turned 13 by comparison, it’s already evolved into one of the easiest to use interfaces for editing website pages. The great thing about the new system that’s been rolled out over the last few months, is its duality. It has a click to edit system, the end result page appears in the editor, and you just select the bit you want to change and the edit tool appears and away you go. And if you want a more traditional way of editing, there’s a menu system that lists all of the sections of the page, allowing you to click on them and fire open an editor from the left to work in to then update the live page on the right. It really is a very well thought out system that makes learning how to edit a page a very straightforward process whilst offering up real control to power users at the same time.
The flexibility of desktop publishing programs such as Word rarely makes it onto the web. There’s a history of fixed boxes and forms for people to fill in, shaping the content to suit the layout which is crazy. For the content to have the desired impact it’s key the template supports it in the best way possible, and traditional web template systems don’t allow this. We’ve an array of plugin solutions for WordPress which have a varying degree of complexity which results in a varying degree of control, but none of them really make life easy when anyone ‘non-technical’ wants to make significant changes to the layout. The COS system on the other hand utilises a simple 12 column grid system, drag and drop and dropdown module type selection system. Don’t have a big image to support the opening paragraph? No problem, clone out the template, take off the image module et voila! So simple and yet so powerful, a really intuitive and flexible way to keep your site looking fresh and making full use of responsive columns.
If you’re shortlisting CMSs for your new site and want to know more about how COS works, get in touch with us today.