On top of the standard HubSpot fee, you’ll be expected to pay an additional £140 for the COS or website pages system on top of that to have your main site in HubSpot. Whichever way you cut it, that’s an expense that a lot of companies have and can continue to avoid using alternative options such as a self hosted WordPress setup. Side by side however, is the cost implication that different?
Heading on over to this site there's a great guide for replicating the functionality of HubSpot with WordPress. Wow, that’s a lot of plugins, and whilst most of them are free, think of the amount of your time, and therefore company money you’re wasting keeping track of all those moving parts. And these are disparate systems, they’re not aligned with one another and probably reminiscent of what most people current have and should really be moving away from to ensure joined up sales and marketing or smarketing.
Whilst a lot of plugins available for WordPress are free, hosting usually is not. We have a server which we host WordPress sites on, but cards on the table, you’re looking at a very similar price for a years hosting on there as you would from having the HubSpot COS setup. The problem is really that our hosting is on servers based in high speed high security buildings in the London Docklands area, so whilst its great, very fast and exceptionally reliable, it’s not cheap.
On top of that, WordPress needs quite a bit of TLC. There’s a perpetual string of updates to the main core code, not to mention the plugins you’ve used on the site, and they’re all going to need keeping up to date, not to mention all the times when they run into compatibility issues and workarounds need creating.
You can set updates to the core to automatically update, but we wouldn’t recommend that as whilst builds of WordPress are very stable when they’re released, you can often knock out a plugin that hasn’t factored in changes to the core so it’s a good idea to check the compatibility of your plugins before updating. All this takes time so what you’ll find is a lot of the time web agencies will charge a retainer fee, which not only covers the actual cost of the physical hosting, but also the time spent doing general updates to the WordPress site. Many web agencies don’t have any junior developers, so its not like they can hand these ‘simpler’ tasks off to someone to keep the costs down, so this work is completed at full developer rates.
The cloud platform that HubSpot COS is built on uses Amazon web servers, and updates can be rolled out by their team as far reaching as they desire and they’re part of the service agreement you have with them, so it’s not something you’ll ever need to worry about. Coupled with a lighting fast CDN supporting all the content on a COS site, you’ll be hard pressed to find servers that’ll deliver up content faster than COS will. Speed is definitely of the essence when it comes to optimising your site for mobile and this comes right out of the box with COS.
Along with speed, security is a key issue to consider when it comes to getting your site ranked. HubSpot now allows you to enable SSL on your site in a really simple and straightforward way. Sure you’ll still need a certificate as you would with any normal site, but HubSpot does a much better job at ensuring it only ever delivers up the secure version of your pages to users and search engines alike, something that’s often difficult to ensure with other platforms, which can lead to the wrong URL being indexed and even the potential for a duplicate content penalty.
I think the simple truth is this is more about your ability to create an ROI in your online marketing. There simply is no better content management system out there for marketers to populate their websites with new content and make additions and freshen up the old content. It’s this freedom of control that for us is the real value of having HubSpot COS.
HubSpot aren’t daft, they often tempt and tease people in with the lite version of HubSpot, which is just the blog and landing pages of someones sites in HubSpot, with the rest of the site elsewhere. You’ll find with this sort of setup that when you start to dig down into the analytics of what’s going on with the visitors on your site, HubSpot is somewhat more coy about about data its picked up from external sites that you’ve included the tracking code on. It’s subtle, but it does make a massive difference when you’re tracking the path of your users through your site and having everything in COS will make your life a lot easier when you're publishing, testing and refining, which is the key to inbound marketing success.