E-commerce is an unforgiving arena to do battle in. To give yourself a fighting chance, you’d be well advised to plan carefully. Your first step? Choosing the perfect platform to host your store on. This is no mean feat — the market is saturated with all sorts of providers, each with its own specialisms (and pitfalls). For simplicity’s sake, we’ve narrowed it down to two industry favorites — WordPress and HubSpot.
WordPress or HubSpot Both of these platforms are well-established stablemates, trusted by business leaders and responsible for powering some of the internet’s most successful e-commerce stores. Below, we’ll delve into some of the key factors you should consider when choosing between WordPress or HubSpot — by the end of this article, we reckon you’ll be better placed to make an informed decision for your business.
There are a lot of technicalities involved in the dark art of SEO. Aspects of page layout and optimization, keyword use, and metadata are all important for helping Google’s algorithm form a verdict on your store’s authority. So, with that in mind, which platform is more likely to deliver SEO success? Let’s weigh things up:
Handily, HubSpot comes prepackaged with a suite of SEO tools, all designed to demystify the process. While this makes it easier than ever to nail keyword research and initial optimization, the tools provided are pretty standard fare. We’ll admit — it’s nice of HubSpot to include these tools, but there are far better stand-alone options on the market; services like SEMrush or SurferSEO are two prime examples.
Unlike HubSpot, WordPress doesn’t come with a ready-made suite of plugins already built in. Luckily though, that’s no problem. Being open-source and completely customizable, WordPress is backed by a bevy of tools, all of which are supported by an active community of enthusiastic developers. These plugins are more comprehensive than HubSpot’s stock offering, allowing a fine-tuned approach to your store’s optimization.
It’s probably fairer to view Hubspot’s set of tools as an SEO starter kit for the absolute beginner. And while we’ll admit that this is great for anyone getting their first start in e-commerce, it’s likely that any successful venture will soon outgrow this some what-lacking suite. WordPress benefits from a smorgasbord of plugins, equipping the user with a powerful kit of SEO tools. The platform delivers on scalability, allowing deep analysis and customization, but may prove less beginner-friendly than Hubspot’s approach as a result.
Whichever platform you decide on, it’s worth noting that where SEO is concerned; the performance of your store is just as important as the content you’re optimizing. Slow load times can really hurt your search position, so you’ll want to keep things speedy. Hubspot makes things easy by including hosting as part of the package. However, if you’re using WordPress, you’ll need to arrange your own hosting. Bluehost.com or Cloudways.com both provide solid platforms to host your store on, but remember to do your own research (g2 is a great site for comparing your options, but be prepared to wade through a sea of choices!).
Just remember — it’s no use having the fastest WordPress hosting if you’re skimping out on other aspects of SEO. Aim for a well-rounded approach, and your store should earn a respectable spot on Google’s results page.
Themes and Styles
If you’re aiming to make sales, you’ll need an appealing storefront. Not too long ago, this would’ve meant hiring a costly website designer or learning how to code. Luckily, the process has been simplified considerably since then, through the use of themes.
While many of us may like to think we have an eye for design, the sad truth is that we often don’t. Those of us old enough to remember the web of the 1990s are keenly aware of this fact. Luckily, themes have since made the process of creating a beautiful website simple and fun. Wannabe web designers are now able to take their pick from an endless variety of these cleverly assembled complimentary packages of fonts, color palettes, and other stylistic elements.
The HubSpot Marketplace has over 5,000 templates available to download. Unfortunately,
though, not all of these are complete themes for your store. In fact, if you’re looking specifically for themes to outfit your site with a complete ‘look’, your options are quite limited. As of now, less than 300 site-wide themes exist on the marketplace. In comparison,
WordPress has thousands of site-wide complete themes for you to choose from. These are hosted across multiple marketplaces and most are totally customizable, without the need for any coding know-how in order to apply them.
With cybercrime on the rise and the methods of attack used by criminals becoming ever more sophisticated, security should be a priority for your site. Hubspot’s security offering is an all-in-one affair, featuring an array of protective tools and measures designed to shield against most of the threats typically faced on the web. This includes:
- DDoS mitigation services
- VPN Services
- Two-factor authentication
- Intrusion Detection Systems
For those who opt to use WordPress, things become a little more complicated. Essentially, users are left to construct their own security solution by manually selecting from a range of security plugins. Popular options include Sucuri or Jetpack — both of which not only claim to protect your site but speed it up, too.
We’re going to call this a draw. However, if we were forced to pick a side, it could be argued that (as always) the extra customization offered by WordPress gives it the edge. That said, figuring out exactly which security features matter most and choosing a plugin accordingly might seem needlessly complicated to some.
Also read: 10 Ways To Improve Your Website Security
The stats tracked by your chosen CMS will be used to inform future business decisions — from simple site design tweaks to a complete brand overhaul. A website is only as good as the stats you have on it, and so your CMS’s capabilities in this field matter a great deal.
Unlike WordPress, HubSpot can claim marketing and analytics as a part of its core business proposal. Their CMS offers a raft of features to track your website’s progress, from which detailed reports can then be generated and displayed on a customizable dashboard. Key website metrics can be measured, too. Site owners can analyze how pages are performing, and identify which traffic sources bring in the most website sessions, contacts, and customers over time. All of this data can be filtered and sorted through, too – allowing users to take a deep dive into their store’s performance over time.
Sadly, the WordPress CMS offering doesn’t bring any built-in analytical features to the party. This isn’t an issue, though. Tools like Monster Insights and other similar options do a fine job of pooling and presenting data, giving valuable insight into what’s working (and what’s not). Even better, many of these plugins are free — you can even use HubSpot’s analytics tools as a WordPress Plugin! For this reason, we’ll have to hand this victory over to WordPress.
You’ve probably recognized a pattern in our comparisons… The choice here should really boil down to which you value more: total customization or ease of use. Lacking the patience to deal with endless plugins or lengthy setups? HubSpot is your best bet. Want complete control and enhanced flexibility? WordPress may suit you more. Hopefully, we’ve given you some food for thought!