Why are HubSpot Users Migrating to WordPress?

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Migrating from HubSpot to WordPress continues among many businesses. One of the companies we spoke with recently operates in three countries which means it is a sizable enterprise. Their reasons for moving from HubSpot to WordPress are;

  1. The API does not meet expectations
  2. The website is loading slowly (very slowly)
  3. Lacks the ability to include custom developed software
  4. There is no direct access to the database, which limits access to our own content
  5. Not seeing an SEO benefit

A consulting firm shared their primary motivation behind the move from HubSpot to WordPress.

  1. $250  a month is no longer affordable
  2. The purpose of driving conversions was not achieved
  3. The blog posting/editing system is a pain to use

We are not certain if there is a trend developing here.  WordPress is certainly gaining steam and it is quite natural for companies like HubSpot to see customers come and go.   Client companies may shrink or mature or take on internal expertise or hire topical experts.

Do you think there is a trend in HubSpot clients moving from HubSpot to WordPress?

If you are considering a move from HubSpot to WordPress contact us.

This entry was posted in Current Blog Trends, HubSpot to WordPress, Migration Reasons. Bookmark the permalink.

41 thoughts on “Why are HubSpot Users Migrating to WordPress?

  1. I think it is great that people are debating HubSpot vs. WordPress when WordPress has millions of users and has been around for a really long time, yet HubSpot is 3 years old with 3,000 paying customers. Clearly HubSpot is doing something right if WordPress folks are worried about us. 🙂

    However, I think it is less a question of HubSpot vs. WordPress and more a question of what are your marketing goals and what tools are right to meet those goals. HubSpot and WordPress can be used together. In fact, many HubSpot customers do that!

    WordPress is great open source software for managing your blog. But HubSpot does many more things than WordPress, since HubSpot is a marketing software system, and WordPress is a blogging system. HubSpot includes social media monitoring, landing pages / forms, email marketing, closed loop marketing analytics, CRM integration, lead nurturing, sales enablement tools like email lead alerts and notification when leads come back to your website, and lots more.

    Numerous studies show that HubSpot customers who follow our methodology and put in the required effort get 100% to 400% or more leads. (www.hubspot.com/roi) I’d encourage everyone (even WordPress users!) to give HubSpot a look. You can keep your existing website and blog if you want to, and still get access to all of HubSpot’s marketing tools.

  2. There is no doubt that the HubSpot system is an outstanding platform especially for novices that are just now understanding the power of search marketing and inbound marketing. Its a great DIY if you don’t have the knowledge or want to be bothered with things like CSS etc. There will always be a big market for a system like HubSpot’s.

    My own experience has been that while many very effective tools are built into the HubSpot platform, does it really justify $250 per month? Also we have noticed that the platform has gotten slower and slower over the last few months. There is times when we cannot even log in.

    For $250 per month, I need to get in quickly to make updates.

  3. Great discussion Mike, Tom and Jim,

    Thus far most of our moving traffic is due to the costs of HubSpot vs the anticipated return. I don’t doubt the value of HubSpot for the things that Mike says it will do for people who wish to invest in and follow through on the tools offered.

    For many however it is more than they wish — in that case Mike, have you considered offering an export function? I can do it and I have it somewhat automated already — but it would be a nice native function and you might find more people trying it when they don’t feel they are leaving their data trapped.

  4. -Mike, Thanks for stopping by with your customary insightful comments. You folks are 3 years old and WordPress is 5 years old and you both have quite different business models and services.

    I was worried more about HubSpot actually because I felt like there might be the early signs of a trend showing up in our sites. I certainly could be wrong.

    You are certainly right that WordPress and HubSpot have different tool sets and purposes, which made this all the more interesting to this outside observer. Thanks again for joining the conversation here at BlogWranglers.

    -Tom, you may be indicating that there is a segment of the HubSpot client pool that “graduates” when more complex requirements are on the horizon. Certainly speed and cost are considerations for every business, regardless of size or expertise. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  5. I am a HubSpot certified instructor and I use WordPress personally.

    HubSpot and WordPress are not comparable. The analytics and SEO tools thatHubSpot provides are really cheap compared to buying them separately. You would need to buy Compete.com, SEOmoz and several other services to boost WordPress into the realm of HubSpot.

    I get a lot of push back from clients who think HubSpot is expensive at $250/mo. Then they go through the following: launch a lesser priced solution then don’t see results then come back and ask for more advice and SEO services then eventually decide to go with HubSpot or a $7K/mo SEO package that includes all the services necessary to get high SERP rankings.

    HubSpot is fantastically successful for a good reason: great staff, amazing customer service and solid technology. I have never seen them provide a slow load on web pages. And they do offer ways to integrate custom software (if you upgrade to their $9k and $25k programs).

    Overall, you get what you pay for. If you have a lot of time and expertise and willingness to work hard — then go with WordPress. If you are a small business that needs fast results with minimal time — go with HubSpot.

    1. Olin said:

      … they go through the following: launch a lesser priced solution then don’t see results then come back and ask for more advice and SEO services then eventually decide to go with HubSpot …

      We’ll just as happily move WordPress to Hubspot as the other way around. We have significantly improved our methods which makes for quicker moves with less little issues arising from conversions.

  6. Olin Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I trust my correction to your comment (HubSpot to WordPress ) is consistent with your intent.

    When I wrote this piece we had moved a few HubSpotters onto WordPress but not to MovableType or Blogger or any other platform.

    Our current offerings focus on moving to WordPress. If folks are moving somewhere besides WordPress we want to know about it and adapt.

    I agree that the default install of WordPress on it’s own does not provide the same level of services that HubSpot offers. WordPress can provide a foundation for a website and blog. Plugins, consulting and additional external services may be used as necessary to provide a well rounded publishing and marketing platform.

    I spoke with a business owner today who is a current HubSpot client, wants the services and generally “gets marketing”. However, he found that even paying $500 a month was insufficient motivation to turn his attention from paying customers to marketing his business. With this realization firmly in his grasp, he now simply wants to pay for what he can reasonably use in a given month. So, his choice to use only a small portion of the resources available diminished the value he was getting and forced a decision.

    This issue has nothing to do with HubSpot or WordPress but everything to do with why some folks move from a fee based platform to a free platform.

    We want to be sure that we are prepared to serve folks no matter where they choose to move.

    As for HubSpot’s success, there is no question that they are growing. I was at their new larger offices on Tuesday. What a place! A banner on the wall, a gift from their former land-lord according to Mike Volpe, showed an impressive growth curve representing new hires.

    I certainly hope that they continue to attract new business. And I hope that BlogWranglers continues to grow and find better ways to serve our clients no matter whether they want to move.

    1. Actually, I intended to say that HubSpot provides cheap tools compared to using WordPress and buying all the tools separately that are included in HubSpot.

      I love this open conversation. I think you are seeing a lot of people move to WP because it is so much better than the other open source CMS platforms. Also, it is the easiest to use.

      Love you business model. I hope you thrive. You provide a great service and have a very spart approach.

      1. You are right again Olin. WordPress has a huge installed base, continues to improve the core offering and has a vast developer network building paid and free plugins and other tools to bolt on to WordPress. Being built initially for writers, as compared to say Drupal which I always say was built for coders, it is easy enough to learn the basic functions and get your thoughts out on the Internet. With a little focused attention you can really polish it up and with some additional custom coding and plugins you can turn it into a lot more than just a blog ( membership site, social network site, e-commerce site, forum and so on ).

        Glad you like the conversation, the business model and your compliments. How did you find us? I can’t help thinking that I just saw Mike on Tuesday. 😉
        Oh, and your engagement was one day after our wedding date. Congratulations!!!

  7. @BlogWrangler – very interesting conversation – thanks!

    @SEOWrangler – very interesting comments (see below). I’m not quite sure what you are saying here – love to get some insight.

    “I spoke with a business owner today who is a current HubSpot client, wants the services and generally “gets marketing”. However, he found that even paying $500 a month was insufficient motivation to turn his attention from paying customers to marketing his business. With this realization firmly in his grasp, he now simply wants to pay for what he can reasonably use in a given month. So, his choice to use only a small portion of the resources available diminished the value he was getting and forced a decision.”

    1. @John This client had three premises. 1) He needed to do marketing. 2) He wasn’t doing it on his own. He opined shelling out $500 a month would force him to do it 3) He felt HubSpot offered what he needed. He joined HubSpot, time elapsed, bills paid, but he did no more marketing than before. Realizing this, he determined that continuing to pay for services he was not benefiting from was wasteful.

      His first remedial step is to move from HubSpot to WordPress. After the migration, the second step will likely be to reallocate the monthly expense to pay for marketing services like link building, article marketing, keyword research, creating more and then syndicating his quality content to more locations on the web and possibly redesigning his blog and website to bring it up to standard.

      Is that a clearer insight into one person’s experience?

  8. I think this is more a case of matching customer needs and expectations with the right technology.

    If you’re not going to use the capabilities that Hubspot is designed to deliver – an integrated online marketing platform – then you shouldn’t be using it.

    If all you need is a CMS or blogging platform then there is a lot of choice / alternatives out there, WordPress being one of the best open source alternatives for sure

    However if you understand the value of lead generation and nurturing (versus having a website and blogging) and need to measure you’re results, move quickly and without hassle, all of which is really a business driven application then you need to look at alternatives like HubSpot.

    1. @B2B Leads You are absolutely correct.

      That is the point for this example. It is true that in some cases clients are not using HubSpot because they don’t understand it. In other cases it is because they are busy running their business. Either way people soon realize that paying handsomely for something not being used is a waste of money and source of frustration in any economic time. In some cases a business owner can pay for someone to do it for them (professional services), rather than paying for the ability to do it all themselves (HubSpot). And in some cases a business owner will simply not do the “doing” no matter whether it is expensive or free to do it.

      There are also those who sign up with HubSpot, learn a lot, understand the value and feel they can fly on their own using other tools that are available in the market place.

    2. You will get no argument here. If what you mainly want is to publish and be found on search engines, then I’d suggest that you are spending too much at Hubspot. Those moving are in that category.

      Different question, why sign up for a service that locks in your data and causes you to have to hire a service like us. Granted we do a lot of other moves like mt (moveable type) where the data is not locked in because we can do it faster and we do it often vs a client doing it once so we have advantages, but why not select something that gives you your data when/if you want it?

  9. Our company recently moved to hubspot from a flash based CSS recently. Our company is not in “Media and Advertising” business where most bloggers make money. We are in the Identity Management business, and live off client leads. In the end, we moved to hubspot for the tools and methodologies required to generate leads and conversions. If you just want a blog tool, you can’t beat word press. If you have the expertise, you can probably do most of the technical activities with word press and other tools, but many times, your technical resources are time committed. We internally struggled with this subject before moving. In the end, I’m the one who does the inbound effort, and I don’t have time to deal with trying to manage multiple tools.

    For me, hubspot is a combination of tools, and methodologies, that unless you are a inbound marketing expert, and a web developer, you may have difficulty finding elsewhere. My gripe about hubspot is that they do give you enough rope to hang yourself, because the $250 a month only includes self paced training and a group webinar. If you don’t follow the methods, you are basically spending $250 a month for a process that will fail. If you go with Hubspot, you need to commit to the process and methods and complete the on-boarding process.

    1. Marc: Getting out of Flash based web pages is a great move. Your analysis is consistent with Blog Wranglers migration clients that have moved from HubSpot. In some cases it makes sense to switch from the self-paced system to either doing what they can themselves or hiring talent to perform these marketing tasks.

      Another angle is that after a certain amount of self-paced learning clients reach a state of omniscience and shed the training wheels. 😉

    2. Hi, Marc.

      First, thanks for being a HubSpot customer! I have been with the company for several years now and we certainly appreciate your business. 🙂

      I want you to know that we are committed to providing ongoing education for our customers beyond your initial consulting or group training. Are you aware of “Content Camp”? (http://camp.hubspot.com/) – This is a series of weekly webinars specifically for HubSpot customers and there is no added cost. You can check out the details on the site, but I think you’ll find it helpful. Happy lead gen!

      1. Wow – this may be our first comment from an Olympic Gold Medalists – Thanks Colleen for chiming in.

        http://www.hubspot.com/services/colleen-coyne/

        Good information about continuing education for your customers.

        Question – some people have other needs and decide to migrate, some wish backup, some have other needs entirely and yet no data export is available. Is there any good reason why you don’t provide exportable data to your clients so that they have if for several purposes including:
        1. backup
        2. exit needs
        3. re-use in other applications

        Most major systems offer this type of data portability, but not Hubspot that I can see/find.

        Aside: FWIW Colleen, your picture on your hubspot profile page is jammed up against your text paragraph in my browser. Easy fix if you wish I’d be happy to send the css to you or a screenshot to show what I am referring to.

        1. Aaah…excellent question and you are correct, there was a time when we didn’t have these features available. However, today, you can do all of that using our Blog API. Documentation can be found here: http://docs.hubapi.com/wiki/Blog_API
          This ought address those needs. Thank you for letting me know there are HubSpot customers out there who are not aware this is available. We’ll have to do a better job at making this known. Cheers!

  10. We use Hubspot and WordPress. Hubspot’s BlackSwan will be an analytics company that rolls up what Hubspot does and offers it to WordPress CMS users for less than $100 per month. Conversion tracking and landing page creation are cheap and simple already. Integration to Salesforce.com is there. That leaves inbound link tracking, keyword ranking, graphical traffic analysis. Moore’s Law tells us the price will drop as the field expands. With shortcodes and simple API integration, WordPress users have a very flexible system at their disposal. I’m referring to users who see WP as a tool, not a blog.

  11. Toby, thanks for sharing the Black Swan analogy and offering something more to think about. It is fascinating to consider what may spring up and dramatically alter a business model.

    I definitely see WordPress less and less as simply a publishing platform, but more and more as a development platform or a starting point from which to build and add on to based on whatever the business need is.

  12. WordPress Vs Hubspot,I have tried WordPress but i find wordpress more complex.
    I find Tumblr very easier to use and i would recommend every blogger to give a try to tumblr and it will make your blogging life a lot easier.
    Regards,
    IAmJayesh(iamjayesh.com)

  13. Jim, interesting post and great subsequent discussion. First off, I think HubSpot’s great. HubSpot’s CMS/blog seems like it can be great for someone that is a novice, whereas with WordPress, you can get much more sophisticated and you’re not nearly as limited in what you can do (I’m assuming Colleen’s spacing issue you referred to above is amongst those limitations of the HS CMS). Making their CMS/blog really simple does come with it’s advantages and disadvantages. As I see it, it really just depends on what you need.

    If you’re ok with being very restricted with what your site/blog will look like, HS is probably easier to just write and click “post”. But if you do care, and you’re willing to learn even just a little bit, you’ll probably want to look at WP. I’m non-technical and use WP every day for a CMS and blog, and it’s been really easy to pick up.

    The reason that I decided to chime in is that I work for Spectate; we’re an alternative to HubSpot that doesn’t require any particular CMS and we integrate with WordPress. Sorry I’m late to the party! spectate.com

  14. I might be one of those customers above.

    I’m getting more and more familiar with Hubspot, and I’m grateful for what I’ve learned. I didn’t know anything about inbound marketing and social media before Hubspot.

    However, I’m starting to wonder if I can conduct social media campaigns without Hubspot at first. My only goal is really to just write blog articles that have links to forms where people can ask for more info.

    From what I’m seeing, the following can be done without HubSpot pretty easily:

    1. Search the internet to learn what people are talking about.

    2. Write articles and link your articles to their discussions. Post links to the blog in my social media accounts.

    3. Add CTAs to get their contact info

    4. Send e-mail drips to those who fill in the forms

    5. Repeat steps 1-4 above to get more and more contacts. Some of the contacts will turn into leads.

    I know that without Hubspot, I don’t have access to a lot of the reports. However, with our small marketing budget, I wonder if I should just generate traffic manually first. Then once I have enough leads, upgrade to the Hubspot solution, so that we can increase automation and get more access to reports.

    Thoughts? Am I missing a big component to what Hubspot is offering?

    I wonder if Hubspot might provide a refund for the remaining months I haven’t used…

    Micky

  15. I appreciate the offer. I only have 5 blog entries! 🙂

    I keep thinking that I could create my own landing pages pretty quickly, since I come from a web design background….

    1. Mickey it sounds like you have plenty of options once you make a decision. You may already know how to handle post dates, meta data and 301 redirects and how to move your images, text and other content. HubSpot employs a lot of nice folks, don’t be reluctant to speak with them directly and get your questions answered.

  16. I have to say that I’m not happy with Hubspot. When I purchased my annual membership, the sales rep didn’t let me know that there was a 30-day free trial, nor did he inform me that I could pay for the service on a monthly basis.
    After using the service for a few months, I realized that I could do these tasks on my own – manually, saving myself $3,000 per year.

    Additionally, it’s not posting to my LinkedIn account and Google can’t even find my company if I type in the company name!
    When I called to cancel the account and ask for a pro-rated refund (like many service providers allow – ie GoDaddy, etc), they refused. My account rep sent me to the collections manager, Rob. He refused to cancel the account too.

    He said he was choosing to “honor the contract terms between the two firms”. Now I’m stuck with an expensive service not relevant for a small start-up company on a shoe-string budget.

    In the end, you don’t need hubspot to particiapte in social marketing. It’s just a tool. The important thing is to do the activities, and the traffic will come. Don’t buy Hubspot! Do the tasks manually first. When it’s working manually…then use an marketing automation solution.

    1. Micky, Your experience is not consistent with what I have heard about customer interactions with HubSpot in the past. I am sorry to hear of your unhappiness and hope you find a way to make lemonade with your lemons. Personally, it hurts to see GoDaddy compared to HubSpot. I am not a big fan of GoDaddy’s marketing choices, WordPress implementation, domain management or customer service.

  17. HubSpot does do a crappy job of handing off a new sale, and I’ve had this conversation with them. If they failed to plug you properly into the system, I can see why you would be angry.

    In the end, it really is a great platform in total, and a good value given all the tools you get, plus support. I tried building out a duck taped system, and found it was more trouble than it was worth.

    For me the real value is the system and education. Inbound marketing I’ve found is much more than just social media marketing, and hubspot is really the only platform that does a good job of having all the top tools, a methodology, and support / education in one place.

    I would suggest, if your already stuck, make the best of it, use the hell out of the education materials and methodology. Keep in mind, you can use that information in any platform. Also, there are many users of Hubspot who use the tracking code in their WordPress site and leverage it that way. You don’t need to use the CMS, but it helps, plus you don’t need hosting.

    Before you kill it off completely, go to your hubspot dashboard, and in the top right, you should find a link called:

    “Jump to … Your HubSpot Training Center”

    This is invaluable information, and must be done start to finish to find success. If you skip any of it, you will not success in inbound marketing. (This basic info will translate to any other CMS). Also plug into the community, they are also a valuable part of the Hubspot platform.

    Note to Hubspot, this must be more emphasized in the dashboard!!!

    In the end, the blog wranglers have no problem migrating people to WordPress.

  18. Thanks for the feedback. I’ve been following their methodology and practices to the tee. It’s working.

    When I spoke with them, I tried to explain that it’s nothing wrong with the product or methodology. I simply don’t need it because I’m technical enough to do the tasks manually. It doesn’t take me that long to copy a form template and create a call to action. Additionally, I don’t really need all the advanced reporting. The real value is in form submissions, not website traffic at this point. …trying to keep it real simple.

    I’ll try to switch to a monthly billing cycle, paying the difference in fees accumulated so far. If I can’t, I’ll just keep using it to get my money’s worth. I just wish I had asked for the 30 day trial or to see if there were different billing cycles besides annual, to give me more flexibility.

  19. One more note – Hubspot’s training program was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Being in the training industry, I was very satisfied with the post-training experience. The only downside was that tech support was only available during business hours. Many times, I would want to call in with my questions on Saturdays.

    Not a big deal, and overall the post-sale experience was great!

  20. I have been on both sides of this story. And these two cases sum up most of what is mentioned here.

    1st case: We are currently migrating a blog from wordpress to hubspot for a real estate auction firm. Kind of the opposite of what people are talking about. We have 3-5 in our marketing department and have been using Hubspot for a year. Customer service is top notch, never had a problem, though we are on the Enterprise level client. But the point is, that it has taken that team of marketers a year to learn how to use hubspot at full speed. We now have blog and social media manager to bring in the leads and manage SEO, a database person to nurture leads, and a graphics person to do emails and landing pages CTA buttons. All of this is done easily in Hubpost, way easier than working with a bunch of 3rd parties. Hubspot covers all areas of SEM, and the consulting has been great, which probably comes with our Enterprise level contract. Honestly, I am not sure we would have been able to grasp and utilize all the hubspot tool without that consulting. But now that we are using it functionally, we are able to handle lots of volume, and hit all the bases of inbound and traditional marketing. We have not generated much business as of yet, but our leads are off the charts. I wholly expect our traffic and leads to grow greatly with the new hubspot blog.

    2nd case: My other client is a local insurance guy. We built him a wordpress blog that we are using as website. We will slowly grow and add on to that, so in that sense we are using it as a development platform. I love wordpress for this purpose.

    Client number 2 is spending $500 a month on AdWords, and I think it would be better spent on Hubspot. We will probably just drop the analytics code into the wordpress blog for tracking with hubspot. And then we can use the landing pages, email tools, social tools, and SEO from Hubspot.

    1. Keith, thanks for adding your experience with HubSpot and WordPress. You reference a team of marketers (Blog and Social Media manager, database administrator and graphic designer. Are they full time employees at the real estate auction firm? I want to be clearer in understanding the monthly cost in salary and HubSpot fees that you are describing to support this website. What are two things that will improve your conversions? Thanks.

      1. The team is a mix of full-time and part time, I am part time now and have a couple other clients. I do the blog and social and SEO. And we have some outside coders and stuff every once in a while. That’s why I say it is 3-5 people total, and could be 3 or could be 5 any week. And it is not easy to find part time employees that know how to do this stuff.

        Conversions are tough, because we are at a price-point $2million plus homes. I think they will improve as we start writing blog posts and content offers that are directed to specific clients. That brings more quality leads. And 2nd having someone to manage those leads.

        Again, this stuff takes time. And as the content ads up, so do the leads. And once you have the leads, you need someone to nurture them.

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