Is HubSpot Worth It? My Review as a Power User since 2018

In my opinion, HubSpot is an excellent platform for growing companies looking to streamline their revenue operations. If you are willing to invest, you will be repaid in time savings, scalability and better insights into your business.

Rob Boyle
Rob Boyle
September 26, 2023
HubSpot is excellent value and will help you scale…but there are a few items to consider first. Let's uncover the key talking points.
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Key Takeaways

HubSpot is a recommended buy for three reasons

  1. It consolidates your marketing, sales, service, operations, commerce and CMS tools into one place.
  2. It gives you a single source of truth into customer activity.
  3. The product team continously improve and add new features.

The main area of concern most buyers have is around the the price and the need to purchase the advanced packages to access the essential features. This is definitely worth considering.

You can use the ROI calculator on the HubSpot website to estimate whether the investment would be worth the initial cost.

HubSpot is excellent value and will help you scale…but there are a few items to consider

I’ve just attended the Inbound conference, which has reignited my love of HubSpot CRM and CMS. Here’s my review of the software and why the latest updates make it worth the cost.

I’ve been a HubSpot power user since early 2018. In my day job, I was hired to take ownership of the system and understand every nook and cranny to ensure it was suitable. Luckily, I fell in love with the HubSpot Academy and devoured every certificate before I started.

In fact, I became so embedded in the system that one year, I was crowned a HubSpot Champion User as one of the most active users globally.

HubSpot Power User Certificate
A proud moment after an exhausting year learning how to integrate HubSpot with our finance platform

After thousands of hours on the platform, I’ve looked at HubSpot in-depth to help you determine if it is the best choice for your business.

In my opinion, HubSpot is an excellent platform for growing companies looking to streamline their revenue operations.

If you are willing to invest, you will be repaid in time savings, scalability and better insights into your business.

However, I’m not just a fanboy here to say it's 100% worth it for every firm

The price can be off-putting to small business owners. It also requires a dedicated administrator and upgrades to make the most of it. 

There are also missing elements. Indeed, there are open items on the message board from years ago requesting fundamental features.

This feature request from 2017 has 768 upvotes and 12 pages of comments supporting it but it is still not planned.

My review will discuss the pros and cons, the characteristics of each hub and possible alternatives so you can make an informed decision.

Let’s jump right in!

HubSpot CRM

What is HubSpot, and what type of business is it a best fit for?

Target audience

HubSpot is a prime choice for small to medium-sized companies looking to scale. Its generous free plan makes it accessible for budget-conscious businesses. And its short setup time allows companies to use its features quickly.

Its main advantage is its ability to replace multiple email, social media, and contact management tools. 

Effectively, HubSpot serves as an all-in-one CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool.

Improving customer engagement and experience

The most significant pain point HubSpot addresses is the challenge of managing customer relationships. The platform aims to support companies of all types and sizes, helping them track and nurture leads and encourage repeat business.

Through its CRM and growth suite, HubSpot addresses the trust factor, ensuring businesses have the tools to build and maintain strong relationships.

Using HubSpot, companies can automate marketing, sales, and customer service processes while providing actionable insights that drive business growth.

Consolidating to a single growth stack

Software subscriptions pay build up over time. As our business expanded. I realised we were using more and more tools and creating technical debt. It gets harder to keep on top of cost and data integrity.

Moving to a single platform and consolidating everything I do makes it much easier to keep track.

With HubSpot, I can use one platform to eliminate several subscriptions and create a single source of truth.

  • Email marketing tools
  • Social media scheduling
  • Marketing automation and system integrations
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Content management system
  • Customer service tickets
HubSpot CRM Suite. Text reads 'HubSpot’s CRM platform is made up of six core products for marketing, sales, customer service, content management, operations, and commerce. Each product in the platform is connected to the same underlying CRM database, providing you with incredible insight into every contact at each stage in their customer journey. Although our products are powerful on their own, the real magic happens when you use them together.'

Pricing plans

HubSpot also has its downsides. 

I expect that the main one causing you concern is the cost.

The ticket price of HubSpot can be challenging. Especially if you are tied into a long-term contract or need to go up a tier to access key features.

But you must also consider the cost of other marketing tools and platforms it will replace.

Not only that, there is an opportunity cost.

  • The time spent exporting data between systems adds up.
  • The missed insights of reporting from different systems.
  • The context switching from logging into each one.

Consolidating to HubSpot freed me and the team up. With time to focus on the critical parts of the business, we could close more deals and get better insight into what works.

If pricing is a factor in your purchase, then I understand completely. But price should not be separated from value in a decision.

Thankfully, HubSpot has ROI Calculators so you can get an idea of the expected returns based on similar companies in your industry or region.

Screenshot of the return on investment calculator
Enter your details in the ROI calculator to see benchmarks for return on investment
Screenshot: output from ROI calculator
And see a breakdown by industry/region

I’ll walk through the different hubs and my thoughts on their value. I want to clearly explain their differences because not every hub will be essential. 

However, understanding how they work is crucial because each hub's pricing plan structure differs.

Most importantly, they change because the crucial features are only available in the higher price tiers.

Contact-based pricing

Pricing varies per hub. The pricing for Marketing Hub is contingent on the number of contacts in the system. More contacts translate to a higher cost. This can get expensive if you cater to consumer industries or sell a low-cost, high-volume product.

HubSpot Marketing Hub Pricing
Marketing Hub pricing is done on a sliding scale depending on the package. With Professional, it is every 5,000 additional contacts (Starter is per 1,000 and Enterprise is per 10,000)
HubSpot Sales Hub Pricing
By contrast, HubSpot Sales Hub is priced on a per-user basis. The more reps you have, the more licences you need.

Marketing contacts

HubSpot introduced a 'marketing contact' feature a few years ago. This really helped as we have a lot of contacts in our database who are there for billing purposes or are former clients.

We need to keep track of the interactions with contacts but not actively send them emails or run ad campaigns. By setting them as ‘non-marketing contacts’, we aren’t charged and can continue growing our active database.

Features lead to higher costs

The major distinction between packages tends to be in features and scalability. The free and starter tiers lack tools like A/B testing and sophisticated analytics.

This is where a common criticism of the pricing emerges. As I delved deeper into HubSpot's ecosystem, I experienced FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – a desire for enhanced features. This led to eventually expanding to the full Growth Suite plus CMS.


Transitioning to enterprise offers features like custom event analytics and HubDB, a SQL-esque database that I can use for dynamic page management.

HubDB dynamic content

I have used HubDB to create dynamic modules on multiple pages to show case studies, testimonials, or meet the team sections.

By hosting this info on HubDB, I can change one row (for instance, removing a departed employee) and update hundreds of pages in one go.

However, I have a criticism of HubDB and its inability to initiate workflows. This would be really helpful when integrating databases. For example, generating job vacancies from another system and triggering workflows to bring in related info like maps and locations from the Google API.

Why HubSpot might not be the best fit for your business

It may not be ideal for everyone. Possible reasons to reconsider buying include.

  • You sell a low-ticket item with little repeat business. For example, a service business that repairs home goods and customers purchase every 3-5 years.
  • You sell a high-volume item and have a vast contact database. The pricing of the marketing CRM is on a per-contact basis, so costs could escalate.
  • You do not have someone who can be appointed a dedicated HubSpot admin. You need someone in charge of data integrity and systems optimisation to make the most of the tool.
  • You have limited interest in developing a digital marketing strategy.

Powerful features announced at Inbound 2023

I want to highlight a few new features announced last week at Inbound 2023.

I was near the front rows when Yamini Rangan announced these, and there was a wave of excitement and applause for each one.

HubSpot AI

Recognising the transformative impact AI will have on our working lives, HubSpot have added a raft of AI-powered features

  • AI Assistants to help draft content, images, blog ideas, landing pages and reports.
  • AI Agents to assist service reps and automate customer success. (To go live in 2024)
  • AI Insights to improve analysis and forecasting.
  • ChatSpot combines ChatGPT features with access to unique data sources, including the HubSpot CRM
HubSpot AI Roadmap 2023

Improvements to HubSpot Sales Hub

In the announcement speech, Yamini highlighted that most reps spend more time on admin than creating genuine connections. Yet, connection was recognised as the most critical part of their jobs by 88% of sales leaders.

With this in mind, the improvements to the sales hub are designed to streamline the sales process. They also steer the measurement focus from quantity to quality of leads. This improves lead management for all concerned (buyers, sales, marketing and customer success).

  • Improved prospecting workspace to consolidate the process and help reps stay organised and focused.
  • Advanced lead management and reporting capabilities enable marketing and sales teams to get shared insight and visibility into lead conversion and prospecting.
  • Intelligent deal management and forecasting powered by HubSpot AI. Adding AI to reporting enables sales leads to better prioritise and predict pipelines.
  • Seamless meeting scheduling and handoff. The transition of leads is a huge source of friction between sales and marketing teams. HubSpot aims to improve this process by allowing reps to book meetings for others or automating lead assignments.
  • Updated integration with LinkedIn will provide an improved sync between deal activity and Sales Navigator.

New Commerce Hub

Recognising the challenges of getting invoices paid and reducing daily sales outstanding, the Commerce Hub is designed to streamline payments.

  • Use payment links, quotes and invoices to automate purchase requests.
  • Add a checkout experience and can take payment online.
  • Manage recurring payments and subscriptions.
  • Connect to accounting tools like QuickBooks and Zero.

Mobile messaging

With HubSpot’s SMS integration, I can send text messages to CRM contacts that are personalised and relevant.

What are the main strengths and weaknesses of HubSpot?

HubSpot's strengths include

  • User-friendly interface. HubSpot is known for its intuitive interfaces and accessibility for less technical users. It's designed to be easy to navigate, even for those unfamiliar with marketing platforms.
  • Comprehensive set of tools for marketing, sales, and support.
  • Seamless integrations with other critical software like LinkedIn, SurveyMonkey and Salesforce.
  • Training and resources. It is user-friendly, and I can quickly learn essential features and skills in the HubSpot Academy. 
  • Regularly updated. I am amazed at how often additional features are added to HubSpot, and the product roadmap is consistently full of plans. 
HubSpot Product Roadmap: Recap of Features launched in H1 2023
A recap of additions to Marketing Hub (HubSpot Product Updates)

However, there are also weaknesses:

  • High costs at higher tiers
  • Pricing. The cost can escalate if you have a lot of contacts or need more advanced features.
  • Despite its user-friendliness, there is a learning curve. Newcomers might need time to familiarise themselves with the platform, especially if they've never used CRM tools.
  • While suitable for a broad range of businesses, large enterprises might require more robust functionalities than HubSpot offers.
  • While HubSpot does offer numerous integrations, not every third-party tool or software integrates seamlessly.

Let’s dig deeper into the different hubs so you can make an informed decision on whether HubSpot is a good fit.

The different hubs compared

Comparison table rating the HubSpot CRM Suite

Marketing Hub

The Marketing Hub is HubSpot's cornerstone. It is an all-in-one solution to streamline inbound marketing, email campaigns, social media reporting, lead generation, and relationship management.

Personally, my four favourite aspects of HubSpot marketing hub are

  1. Contact forms
  2. Lead scoring
  3. List management
  4. Workflows and automation

Combining the four, I have an excellent way to generate leads and track the entire buyer journey.

Forms and lead scoring help to filter out bad fit enquiries

Each form submission can be analysed granularly to track the pages and positions that convert best. I then use customised lead scoring to assess the quality of leads and the likelihood they will lead to sales.

HubSpot Lead Scoring. Text reads 'Take control of your lead scoring efforts by toggling between traditional and predictive lead scoring. Create new scoring criteria based on data from form submissions, page visits, and more. Then, use your lead score to segment email lists, trigger rep notifications, or personalize your web content.'

List management

The best feature is the list management tool, where I can use active or static lists to segment contacts.

Among many use cases, I have active lists for

  • Visitors to our website in the last seven days or three months.
  • Leads who converted via organic, search or social media posts.
  • Contacts I have emailed recently, and they’ve not read or clicked an email in the last three messages I sent.

All of this generates valuable insight into our marketing efficiency and the quality of my contact list.

(However, be cautious, especially given recent privacy measures by tech giants like Apple that can obfuscate email interaction data. I can’t always see the data on people opening emails.)

Automation workflows

The workflow tool helps me easily automate repetitive processes and is triggered from most objects in the platform.

I can set up nurture email sequences based on a contact record. Or change a contact to a sales-qualified lead when they are set as ‘claimed’ in a separate CRM.

Worfklow automation in HubSpot
Workflows are easy to set up and familiar to users of other automation platforms like Zapier

Custom reporting

Reporting is a major strength of HubSpot. Being able to report on email deliverability and interactions with my campaigns can help me zero into what’s working.

For example, assessing brand positioning and messaging by A/B testing email subject lines or landing page variations.

The HubSpot reporting dashboard
The HubSpot reporting platform gives you a range of insights to enhance your digital marketing strategy
Campaign performance screenshot

Smart content

I can also use the list management tool combined with smart content to show different messaging to different groups.

On one landing page, I am targeting both small businesses and enterprises and want to present different content to each. Using active lists and a smart content module in the design manager, I can present different messaging designed to appeal to the differing pain points they experience.

Overview: HubSpot marketing hub enhances your digital marketing strategy but be careful if you have a large database

Key Considerations

If you are purchasing HubSpot, the marketing hub is the primary hub to buy. It is worth buying, but you should be mindful of your database size and feature requirements.

As you are charged per contact, you need to use automation to keep your list clean and set inactive records as ‘non-marketing contacts’

The Free and Starter packages lack some advanced features like A/B testing, campaign reporting, and deal/company scoring. Enterprise-level is more suitable for businesses needing advanced analytics and scalability.


  • Easy-to-use interface.
  • Comprehensive list management tool.
  • Strong integration with sales, service, and other tools.
  • Comprehensive marketing automation workflows to nurture leads through the sales funnel.
  • Lead scoring based on behaviours and characteristics, making it easier to prioritise high-value prospects.
  • Social media management, scheduling and analytics.
  • In-depth analytics and reporting.
  • Native A/B testing to refine strategies and improve conversions.
  • Ads integration with Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  • Pricing can escalate if you have a lot of contacts or grow fast and don’t carefully manage your database.
  • Essential features are only available in the pro and enterprise tiers. This means you need to either upgrade or use third-party tools.
  • While it's comprehensive, beginners might find the range of features overwhelming.
  • Using Marketing Hub to its fullest often entails deeper integration with other HubSpot products, which can make migration or diversification to other platforms more challenging in the future.
  • No ability to send attachments in marketing emails or cc others in.

Rating: 5.0 Stars

Sales Hub

Streamline and automate every stage in the sales pipeline

The Sales Hub is designed to streamline sales activities and focuses on generating and nurturing leads. It combines all relevant information on one platform, drastically reducing friction in the sales lifecycle.

The sequences function is a powerful tool for automating prospecting and follow-up emails. 

HubSpot Sales email sequences
Automated email and to-do sequences have cut out a lot of unnecessary data entry and coordinating separate apps

Additionally, the sales software includes call tracking and recording, making it an indispensable tool for both outreach and coaching junior sales reps. This enables you to build repeatable sales processes and continuously improve them. 

Sales sequences made easy
Sequences can be easily customised


For sales managers, you can use conversation intelligence to become a more effective coach for sales teams. 

HubSpot Sales coaching

It's tough to find time to sit in on calls, but this feature lets you train new reps, spot top performers, analyse performance trends, and even give real-time feedback on specific parts of a call. 

It's like having an extra set of eyes and ears, making it easier fto guide your team in closing the best opportunities.

Pricing structure

The Hub's pricing structure is based on a per-user model, offering packages that range from 'Starter' to 'Enterprise'.

  • While the 'Starter' package is apt for solo entrepreneurs, allowing for 200 emails per month and limited document sends, the higher-tiered packages cater to more extensive sales operations. 
  • In contrast, the 'Professional' and higher tiers allow the sending of over 5,000 documents.
  • The key differentiation among the packages lies in the features provided. For instance, the more advanced packages offer functionalities such as e-signatures, which significantly reduces the back-and-forth often associated with finalising deals.
  • The 'Enterprise' package notably expands on analytics and automation, introducing predictive scoring and refined tracking capabilities.

Managing deals

The deal pipeline may be customised to suit business needs. This flexibility allows me to collect and manage essential data relevant to our operations.

Deal workflows
Deal workflows can be triggered by changes to deals including when a new one is created

The hub also integrates with other aspects of the marketing and sales process, offering a more comprehensive overview of the business operations and the target audience. 

Overview: HubSpot Sales Hub improves the prospecting and customer experience for sales teams but requires some technical support

Key considerations

Sales Hub adds more automation and repeatability to your sales process. The last thing reps want to do is enter admin. Sales Hub automates a lot of that activity so they can focus on building relationships.

I wouldn’t recommend the enterprise package unless you have a dedicated admin to set it up and create standard operating procedures.

automated email sequences
Automated email and to-do sequences have cut out a lot of unnecessary data entry and coordinating separate apps


  • Seamless integration with HubSpot's Marketing and Service Hubs offers users a comprehensive view of current and potential customers.
  • Receive immediate notifications when a lead opens an email, facilitating timely follow-ups.
  • Automated sequences and email follow-ups. This not only saves time but also ensures that leads are communicated with consistently.
  • Syncs with calendars, allowing potential customers to schedule meetings, and making the appointment process smoother.
  • Conversation intelligence makes it easier to coach reps and continuously improve the sales process.
  • The visual interface allows users to manage and monitor deals throughout the sales cycle.
  • Make calls directly from the platform and automatically log them.
  • Create, save, and reuse email templates for outreach, ensuring consistency and efficiency.
  • Custom objects allow me to add a CRM section dedicated to my business. This could be products or services offered. In my instance, I have a custom object for job applications.


  • There are caps on the number of lists, properties, and other data elements you can create, depending on your subscription level.
  • Requires more technical support than Marketing Hub. You will need a dedicated HubSpot admin to ensure it is correctly set up and maintained.

Rating: 4.9 Stars

Service Hub

Customer service

HubSpot's Service Hub is designed to delight and retain customers. Service teams can swiftly resolve requests by streamlining the communication process across multiple channels. 

The system's key benefits include efficient ticket management and integration with HubSpot's CRM.

Customers expect prompt, personalised, and round-the-clock service. The Service Hub's features help our reps meet this expectation and improve customer satisfaction. 

Ticketing and group management

A feature I like is connecting a shared inbox to a chatbot and other platforms, like Facebook Messenger. This lets me consolidate complaints, questions and requests into one place and swiftly resolve queries.

Combine ticketing, chatbots and the knowledge base feature, and you have the potential to streamline a lot of repetitive service rep work. This will free them up to spend more time adding value and delighting customers.

I have used the ticket system in two different ways

  1. To handle incoming requests to a shared marketing inbox for design or other support.
  2. To coordinate customer enquiries from chatbots and Facebook Messenger.

Both work smoothly, and I can use workflows to access tickets to the right person based on geography or the type of request,

Ticket management
Managing support tickets and internal requests is made easy in Service Hub

The additional AI features announced at Inbound will enhance this service even further. I can set up an AI chatbot trained on the entire website and knowledge base to automate FAQs.

NPS surveys and feedback

Customer feedback fosters repeat customers and improves operations. Service Hub enables me to measure this with NPS surveys and feedback forms. 

The insights gathered from these surveys can be used to build customer trust and improve service delivery.

However, I find the forms clunky and less effective than alternative products, like Survey Monkey or Microsoft Forms. The advantage of HubSpot is that it smoothly integrates with our contact data and is triggered off their actions through workflows.

Overview: HubSpot Service Hub creates a connected customer experience, but the survey function is limited 

Key considerations

HubSpot's overarching goal is to consolidate all customer-related tools into one platform, making scaling and systems creation more efficient. 

Whilst this promises efficiency and better growth, the cumulative cost of accessing all of HubSpot's functionalities can be hefty. 

The most value is derived when integrating several hubs, ideally on the professional plan, to benefit from comprehensive analytics. These insights, encompassing sales calls, customer interactions, and more, are crucial for businesses aiming to 'grow better'—HubSpot's central ethos.


  • The ticketing system makes tracking customer issues easy and ensures no request goes unanswered.
  • The knowledge base allows businesses to set up an FAQ or self-service portal, reducing the number of repetitive inquiries.
  • Live chat & bots enable real-time customer support and can automate responses to frequently asked questions.
  • Detailed reporting and analytics provide insights into team performance, ticket volumes, customer satisfaction, and more.
  • Workflow automation ensures timely follow-ups and escalations, increasing efficiency.
  • Team management tools for assigning tickets, tracking agent performance, and monitoring team productivity.


  • The customer feedback tool is limited and does not allow the customisation needed for complex surveys. I still need a third party like Survey Monkey or Microsoft Forms to achieve this.

Rating: 4.7 stars

Operations Hub

The Operations Hub provides data management tools, automated processes, and integrations to keep the CRM clean and processes scalable. Its prime offerings revolve around facilitating better integrations between HubSpot and other platforms. 

Operations Hub enables efficient decision-making processes and better customer conversations by empowering internal operations teams with accurate data.

Integrations: the heart of HubSpot

Arguably, one of HubSpot's most robust facets is its capability for integrations. Whether it's Mailchimp, Salesforce, Dynamics 365, or other CRMs, HubSpot provides a relatively straightforward API for those technically inclined. 

The comprehensive documentation further simplifies the process of setting up integrations. Users can use HubSpot's 'Private Apps' to create custom integrations or rely on external tools like Zapier or Azure to act as middleware.

Webhooks and workflow extensions

One standout feature is the ability to dispatch webhooks within workflows. This has been a huge timesaver for me recently. I need to integrate four different CRMs. 

When a lead enquiry emerges from a HubSpot-hosted website, I need to review it and send it to the relevant CRM. The process sounds intricate, but HubSpot's workflows make it relatively seamless.

For instance, a workflow can be structured such that if a contact fills in a form and scores above a particular threshold, a webhook directs the data to a specific location.

Before I began using HubSpot, APIs were a bit of a mystery. However, the ease of setting up and managing these integrations in HubSpot was nothing short of revolutionary. The platform introduced me to the world of APIs and made navigating them incredibly user-friendly.

Pros/Cons: HubSpot Operations Hub improves the quality of your data but can be complex to set up

Key considerations

The Operations Hub, a relatively new addition to the HubSpot suite, offers more integrations between HubSpot and other platforms we use, like MS Dynamics. 

Despite introducing advanced data management features, there is a learning curve to maximise its potential and managing duplication is a manual process.


  • Seamless integration and bidirectional sync with other platforms and apps, ensuring data consistency across systems.
  • Data quality automation ensures customer records are free from inconsistencies and duplication, helping maintain a clean database.
  • Ability to customise automation workflows based on unique business needs.
  • Workflow extensions allow users to connect and extend HubSpot workflows to third-party apps, broadening the scope of automation.


  • Complexity of advanced features like programmable automation may require a technical understanding or assistance.
  • The duplication tool is excellent at highlighting data issues, but it requires manual effort to merge or clean records.
  • Even with workflow extensions certain functionalities or automations are not achievable.

Rating: 4.8 Stars

HubSpot CMS

HubSpot's CMS is a website builder that neatly integrates with the CRM. While WordPress powers the majority of the internet, I have issues with the clunkiness it brings to web publishing. 

I’ll admit that I can do more with WordPress, but I have to add a lot of third-party plugins and time spent faffing to get there.

I personally migrated a website from WordPress to HubSpot CMS around five years ago. I prefer HubSpot because it naturally integrates with the CRM, and the learning curve to get team members to update blog posts and pages is shallower. 

As a marketer, three cool features that I simply love are: 

  1. The ability to edit an image in the file manager, and it updates across every page and email in one go.
  2. Scheduled publishing of pages.
  3. Using smart content to show different material to users based on the CRM. For instance, a homepage with different messaging for Enterprise and Small Businesses.
  4. Adaptive testing to show different page content and measure the impact of changes
Adaptive testing
Adaptive testing makes the process of creating A/B tests easy


The integration with Google Analytics/Search Console ensures my (ahem) digitally hesitant peers can log in and easily see page-level data at a granular level. 

This could be my boss or a member of finance (I’m not naming names) looking for more info and concerned about needing multiple platforms to do it. 

Need to know whether a marketing campaign has been driving leads? Go to the landing page and see a breakdown of traffic by source plus the conversion rate for each source.

New AI features

With the additional AI features announced at Inbound, marketers will have more firepower to go from idea to execution with less decision-making and delay. 

In theory, I can create an AI-generated landing page with a few clicks and commands. Realistically, it will take more work than that, but it will remove the issue of staring at a blank page.

HubSpot AI website generator
The AI website generator is currently in beta, so I can’t give a fair review of its capabilities just yet


HubSpot CMS has limitations, especially the need for HubL, a programming language specific to HubSpot. This requirement may pose a challenge for developers used to working with common languages like PHP.

Additionally, the CMS has a smaller selection of design templates than WordPress or Webflow and is more costly. 


Distinguishing between the 'Professional' and 'Enterprise' packages, the primary difference lies in scalability. With the 'Enterprise' package, businesses have a more comprehensive suite of tools to manage intricate website design and structure modifications. 

They can also employ custom objects, run page variation tests, and leverage the memberships portal. This portal is particularly advantageous for businesses running communities and wishing to offer exclusive logins or content behind a paywall. 'Enterprise' also enables the integration of custom web apps, from calculators to learning management systems.

Meanwhile, 'Professional' suffices for most websites, ensuring efficient performance and benefiting from HubSpot's Content Delivery Network (CDN). This ensures my site can load consistently fast, no matter where my visitor lives globally.

Pros/Cons: HubSpot CMS smoothly connects your website and CRM to increase traffic but lacks the customisability of competitors 

Key considerations

As a marketer, I like the CMS a lot. It’s easy to make updates and share previews with colleagues. The fact that it naturally integrates with the CRM and Google Analytics/Search Console makes life much easier. I can easily track traffic data and measure the impact of our digital campaigns.

If you want to customise your website, then WordPress may have more scope and flexibility. However, this increases the complexity and reliance on third-party plugins to get things done. It also increases the security risk if the plugins are not updated.


  • Personalised smart content offers seamless integration with HubSpot's CRM, allowing me to tailor content based on user behaviour and interactions.
  • Users without extensive web design knowledge can still create and modify pages thanks to the drag-and-drop editor.
  • HubSpot CMS automatically ensures that websites are mobile-responsive, providing a consistent user experience across devices.
  • Integrated SEO recommendations help guide content creation, making it easier to rank in search engines.
  • SSL certification and advanced security features to protect websites from potential threats.
  • Content staging allows me and my development team to prepare and review new content or design changes in a staging environment before going live.
  • Native A/B Testing so I can test different versions of web pages to determine which performs better in user engagement and conversions.
  • Integrated analytics provide detailed insights about website visitors, their behaviour, and conversion metrics directly within the CMS.


  • While HubSpot CMS is user-friendly, it might not offer the same flexibility and customisation that some developers seek from platforms like WordPress.
  • The platform requires HubL while most developers will be familiar with more common languages like PHP.
  • While there's a range of templates available, there might be limitations in tweaking them without diving into the code.
  • If moving from another CMS to HubSpot, migrating all content and functionalities might require a significant effort.
  • More expensive than WordPress and other CMS providers like Webflow.

Rating: 4.9 Stars

HubSpot Academy: A valuable tool for self-development and employee onboarding

I want to briefly highlight one of the main benefits of the HubSpot ecosystem. One that is freely available to non-customers as well.

HubSpot Academy is a free online training platform with courses in inbound marketing, sales, and customer service.

The Academy's two main advantages are accessibility and cost. The courses are available online and delivered in a bite-sized, approachable manner. Plus, they're free, removing cost barriers for professionals.

HubSpot Academy Certificates
The Academy is my first port of call when I need to learn about a feature update or onboard new team members

The classes are tailored to suit different levels of expertise, ensuring something for everyone.

Most importantly, the academy provides thorough training on the HubSpot software and the inbound methodology. This has been invaluable in onboarding new employees with the tools and marketing philosophy we work with.

The Inbound Methodology

I should explain inbound marketing a little, as the HubSpot ecosystem is built around generating inbound leads and delighting them.

The inbound methodology consists of three stages: Attract, Engage, and Delight. The goal is to create lasting relationships with customers.

  1. Attract: The first step is to draw in potential customers with content that addresses their questions and pain points. This stage includes strategies such as SEO, blogging, and social media.

  2. Engage: Once potential customers are attracted, businesses must engage with them. This can be achieved through tailored offerings like email marketing, personalised calls-to-action, and lead nurturing campaigns.

  3. Delight: The final stage focuses on turning customers into promoters by delivering exceptional support, remarkable experiences, and additional resources. This helps maintain a positive relationship and ensures customer satisfaction.
Inbound marketing flywheel

How does HubSpot compare to other software alternatives?

HubSpot stands out with its easy-to-use interface, integrated ecosystem, and diverse automation capabilities. It would be difficult to outline a clear alternative for the entire HubSpot suite. 

However, there are certainly competitors to consider.

  • Pipedrive is a strong alternative for Hubspot's CRM hub, with a focus on usability. It offers a clean user interface and robust features but lacks advanced marketing automation features.
  • Mailchimp is a popular alternative for email marketing, offering a suite of tools and templates for effective email campaigns.
  • Salesforce shines in sales automation and reporting for the enterprise but can be more expensive and complex than HubSpot.
  • Zoho CRM is ideal for small businesses seeking an affordable CRM, though it lacks some of the advanced features of HubSpot. 
  • While it may not be as comprehensive as HubSpot in terms of CRM features, ActiveCampaign delivers powerful email marketing and automation capabilities.

Summing up: Hubspot is not just an inbound marketing platform. It improves every step of the buyer journey

In the five years I have been using HubSpot, I have been delighted with the continuous improvements they have made. I strongly recommend buying, but be wary that you should go all in to see the benefits.

The biggest impact you can make is to purchase the CRM suite together, so they interact. Marketing, Sales and Service are all interconnected, and the Operations hub can ensure every department has clean data. 

You can begin with the Starter package and you will quickly see the benefits of scaling up to the Professional or Enterprise options in order to see the biggest returns on investment.

Get the best deal for CRM Suite starter

Ready to begin? As a new customer, you can get all five HubSpot Starter products for the price of one.

CRM Suite Starter is now available to new HubSpot customers at an 86% discounted price for only $20/month for the annual plan or $30/month for the monthly plan.

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About the author

Rob Boyle is the founder of Jigsaw Metric and oversees content strategy and research projects. 

As a child of small business owners, Rob understands the challenges of growing without resources. He set up Jigsaw Metric as a side project to help more small businesses grow from 10 to 1,000 customers. 

For Rob, digging into the data and seeing KPI charts trend upwards is the most rewarding part of the role.

When not devouring business plans and books, Rob enjoys playing guitar and spending quality time with his infant daughter and toddler son.