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HubSpot website builder review (2024): Pros and cons, features tested by our experts
8:28 pm | January 19, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro Website Building | Tags: , | Comments: Off

If you're in search of the best website builder to create an eye-catching website for your startup or side hustle, HubSpot website builder is certainly worth a look. In our hands-on review, we’ll dive deep into HubSpot’s offering and decide whether it’s a game-changer for solo entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to make their mark online.

After all, HubSpot is more than just a free CMS website builder - it's the heart of HubSpot's comprehensive content management system (CMS) suite. Whether you're launching a side hustle or rebuilding your current site, this tool streamlines website creation. Despite a slight learning curve associated with advanced tools, HubSpot provides a powerful tool to support your online efforts.

To help you make the right choice, we've rolled up our sleeves and delved into the nitty-gritty of the HubSpot website builder. Our team of experts has rigorously tested this builder, creating multiple websites to assess its user interface, design flexibility, and integration with HubSpot's ecosystem. 

So, whether you're a first-time website creator or want to level up your game, our Hubspot website builder review can serve as your roadmap to navigating this tricky tool.

Is HubSpot the right website builder for me?

Choosing the right site builder is crucial for the success of your online presence. Let's break down who HubSpot is best for and who might find it less suitable.

Who is HubSpot best for?

HubSpot drag-and-drop website builder is an excellent choice for solo entrepreneurs entering the online realm, especially those prioritizing inbound marketing. It provides tools to create and promote content that resonates with the target audience. 

Additionally, small business owners and marketers without a website can benefit from HubSpot's all-in-one solution, particularly due to its strong integration capabilities. If you're seeking a platform where your website, CRM, live chat, email marketing, and automation are interconnected, HubSpot is a solid choice. It also supports up to three languages with automatic connections between language variations.

Who might find HubSpot less suitable? 

HubSpot's pricing structure can be confusing and costs significantly increase with advanced features. If you're on a tight budget, the leap from the entry-level plan to more advanced tiers might be limiting. 

The user interface of HubSpot's builder can also be overwhelming, which might not be suitable for those who prefer a simpler, more straightforward dashboard. In such cases, a site builder like Wix, with a more intuitive design, could be a better fit.


HubSpot website builder - perfect for CRM and marketing integrations

HubSpot's website builder integrates with their CRM and other marketing tools. With a generous free plan, it makes HubSpot a great option for small, start up, and growing businesses. View Deal

HubSpot features and tools

Templates

Screenshot of Hubspot website builder in use

HubSpot's themes are clean and bold, a great way to make a statement about your business. (Image credit: HubSpot)

HubSpot boasts a collection of over 170 themes, covering a diverse range of categories and you're invited to preview themes before installation. And if that's not enough, you can even spice things up by adding themes purchased from ThemeForest, expanding your design options.

When it comes to customization and adding a personal touch, the theme editor is your creative playground. You can easily tweak colors, fonts, and spacing to match your brand's vibe. What's best, these changes ripple across all your pages, saving you time and effort.

One advantage that sets HubSpot and Wix apart is HubSpot's ability to switch themes without bidding farewell to your content - it's really a rare gem in the website-building realm.

HubSpot website editor

Screenshot of hubspots website editor being used to view a website on mobile

HubSpot's website editor is easy to use, but lacks flexibility (Image credit: HubSpot)

Now, the heart of the matter - HubSpot's drag-and-drop editor takes center stage, offering an array of content elements and modules to elegantly populate your pages. 

From dynamic galleries and testimonials to structured columns and vibrant videos, the editor is there to empower your creative choices. Tweak the finer details of your website's appearance effortlessly, from global fonts and spacing to typography, buttons, forms, and tables, ensuring a polished and cohesive design throughout.

However, despite the decent creative potential, HubSpot's website editor is far from being a champion of flexibility. Precise placement can sometimes feel like orchestrating a dance routine without mastering all the moves. Text editing takes a brief detour into a separate pane, introducing a slight interruption to the flow. For those meticulous about the alignment of elements like text and images, you might find yourself desiring a bit more control.

Domain

HubSpot offers a free subdomain, providing a starting point for your online presence. If you're seeking a personalized touch, HubSpot simplifies the domain registration process right within its platform. However, you don't need to upgrade to a paid plan right away.

Unlike many other free website builders, with HubSpot, you have the benefit of connecting your own domain name for free - and it offers a simple step-by-step guide to help you do it. 

If you don't own a domain, registering one usually falls in the range of $10-20, though it can vary based on factors such as popularity and the registrar you choose.

HubSpot ecommerce

screenshot of hubspot's ecommerce tools

HubSpot's app marketplace is the go-to for those looking for advanced ecommerce tools.  (Image credit: HubSpot)

When it comes to ecommerce functionality, HubSpot CMS doesn't provide native features for selling products. Still, the platform allows you to receive payments through your site, primarily suitable for processes like donations or simple payments, but this functionality is limited to users based in the US. 

Despite this limitation, HubSpot extends its ecommerce potential through its app marketplace. Here, you'll find plenty of free ecommerce Apps compatible with HubSpot, such as WooCommerce, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, Magento, and more.

As for transaction fees, HubSpot adopts a transparent approach with no setup fees, monthly fees, minimums, or hidden charges. The cost structure is based on a percentage of each transaction, ensuring you only pay for the service when it's actively utilized.

The specific fees, however, depend on the payment processing option you choose within HubSpot. If you opt for HubSpot Payments, expect to incur a 2.9% charge on all credit card transactions and a 0.5% fee (capped at $10) on ACH payments. Alternatively, if you integrate your Stripe account as the payment processor, HubSpot applies a platform fee of 0.5% per transaction, alongside the processing fee agreed upon with Stripe.

HubSpot marketing integrations

screenshot of HubSpot's app marketplace

HubSpot's marketing integrations are plentiful and high powered. (Image credit: HubSpot)

HubSpot shines in the realm of marketing integrations, providing powerful SEO tools to boost your online presence. With features like personalized content, email marketing, and seamless integration with CRM and automation tools, HubSpot provides an all-in-one suite for managing various marketing aspects.

The platform's Marketing Hub is aimed at experienced marketers, offering capabilities like email campaigns, SEO strategy development, ad management, automated campaigns, content uploading, and detailed reporting. This makes it an attractive choice for businesses seeking streamlined lead generation and nurturing processes.

HubSpot doesn't stop there – it also integrates seamlessly with various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, further enhancing your ability to reach and engage with your audience.

Website security

Screenshot of hubspot security details

HubSpot offers top-notch security for your website. (Image credit: HubSpot)

As soon as you connect your domain, HubSpot will automatically set you up with a standard SSL certificate through Google Trust Services, giving your site a secure foundation.

Behind the scenes, HubSpot entrusts your website's security to top-tier cloud providers like Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services. These providers adhere to strict security standards like ISO 27001 and SOC 2 compliance, ensuring your website is in good hands.

HubSpot employs a web application firewall (WAF) to safeguard against attacks, including DDoS threats. Real-time monitoring keeps an eye on traffic, promptly identifying and thwarting any malicious activity.

And when it comes to data protection, HubSpot has it covered. Your information is securely replicated and backed up across multiple storage locations ensuring your data's safety and quick recovery if needed.

To keep a pulse on your website's security, HubSpot's Security Health is your go-to tool. It provides a comprehensive overview of your security measures, pointing out areas for improvement. You just need to follow the links to address any concerns and strengthen your account’s security.

HubSpot pricing: Is HubSpot good value for money?

Hubspot pricing page screenshot

HubSpot offers a great free plan and an affordable starter plan, but for advance features the jumps in price are significant.  (Image credit: HubSpot)

To start your journey with HubSpot, you'll have to choose from their CMS Hub plans, each tailored to cater to specific business needs.

There's a forever-free plan and it comes packed with essential tools for marketing, sales, service, content management, operations, and commerce. They're perfect for small businesses looking for budget-friendly yet impactful solutions that can be simply upgraded as their business grows. However, keep in mind that this fee plan comes with certain limitations, such as up to 25 website pages, no dynamic content, and includes HubSpot branding with a non-customizable favicon.

The next in line, the Starter plan ($20/month paid yearly) is likely enough for most small-to-medium businesses, but if you crave advanced features, the Professional plan ($360/month paid yearly) offers personalization, A/B testing, custom reporting, and more. 

The Enterprise plan ($1,200 /month paid yearly) goes further with advanced development-focused features such as additional root domains, memberships, adaptive testing, web apps, and custom objects - everything needed to build a robust foundation for wide-ranging business growth.

HubSpot lets you create custom bundles for your business. The four key products - HubSpot CRM (free), Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub - come in Free, Starter, Professional, and Enterprise plans. For an all-inclusive approach, the Growth Suite bundles them together at a discounted price.

You have the option to optimize your HubSpot experience with expert assistance, ensuring you make the most of the platform's capabilities. To dive deeper into specifics about HubSpot's plans and pricing, check out their pricing page.

HubSpot help and support

screenshot of HubSpot's support page

HubSpot offers several good ways to get support and learn more about the platform.  (Image credit: HubSpot)

Even on the Starter plan, you've got the backup of both email and live chat support, and the team is quick to respond and genuinely helpful when you're facing challenges. Also, if you're ever curious or need quick updates, hit up HubSpot support on X (Twitter) – they even encourage their users to do so.

The knowledge base is like a gold mine, covering a ton of topics. It might seem a bit overpacked at first glance, but think of it as your go-to resource, helping you through common issues and diving into advanced features.

There's also a community forum where you can chat with fellow users, tap into their collective wisdom, and pick up strategies to grow better with HubSpot. Plus, HubSpot keeps you in the loop with real-time updates on system status and security – just visit their status page.

However, to get round-the-clock phone support, you'll have to go with the Professional or Enterprise plans. For a pretty penny, this will add that extra layer of assistance for a smooth website-building journey.

HubSpot: What’s not included? What could be better?

While HubSpot CMS Hub offers an extensive array of business-focused, particularly marketing features, the platform could benefit from increased flexibility within its editor. Design flexibility is limited, requiring potential reliance on developers for precise customization, making it more akin to a comprehensive content management system like WordPress than other DIY website builders such as Wix and Squarespace

One notable downside is the platform's learning curve, attributed to the multitude of features available. Less tech-savvy users may find it challenging to familiarize themselves with the different interfaces and editors for various tasks. The editor's rigidity, despite offering drag-and-drop functionality, might make it a bit challenging to customize the design exactly as you want.

Still, if you're willing to invest time in navigating the learning curve, HubSpot website builder can be a powerful choice, particularly if you're already using HubSpot's CRM or marketing tools.

HubSpot Review: Final thoughts

In summary, HubSpot’s website builder comes as a compelling all-in-one solution, especially when integrated with HubSpot's CRM or email marketing tools. It might not be the most beginner-friendly choice out there and isn't as flexible as some of its competitors, even free website builders. Nevertheless, HubSpot is a marketing powerhouse that excels with robust tools for SEO, blogging, and lead generation.

If you've decided on HubSpot but are looking for superior customization or lack the time to navigate the learning curve, consider collaborating with a developer. When understood and utilized effectively, this comprehensive solution can empower your online presence and marketing endeavors.

The bottom line is, if you are a small or growing business that wants an all-in solution for CRM, marketing tools, and website building, there is little out there that can beat HubSpot’s offering. However, if you want more flexibility in your website design, assessing other options will be worthwhile.


HubSpot website builder FAQs

Is HubSpot really free?

Yes, HubSpot offers a forever-free version but with basic features, including CRM tools. For more advanced features and capabilities, you'll want to check out their paid plans.  

Is it hard to learn HubSpot?

HubSpot can have a steep learning curve due to its extensive feature set. While it provides user-friendly interfaces, the diverse range of tools may require some time to master. Fortunately, HubSpot offers training resources and solid customer support to help you navigate the platform effectively. 

Is HubSpot good for SEO?

Yes, HubSpot is in high demand for its SEO capabilities. The CMS Hub, in particular, provides robust tools for optimizing content, managing keywords, and enhancing website visibility on search engines. It is considered a powerful option for businesses focused on inbound marketing and SEO strategies.

Wix website builder review (2023)
2:48 pm | March 18, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Wix is a giant in the website builder industry. Just days ago, its share prices rose by 20% after it announced that it was on track to generate $500 million in free cash flow and had enrolled 4.7 million new subscribers in the latest quarter. Its marketing campaigns across all mainstream media have made it a household name, rivalling the likes of Godaddy.

Browse its website and clues to this success appear right away. The service isn't just packed with appealing features, but the firm does its best to outperform everybody else, and there's plenty to appeal to everyone from the total design newbie to big business and experienced web developers.

While some services give you only a few templates, Wix has more than 500. Its built-in image editor has 40 Instagram-style filters. The blog supports 26 languages. The App Market has more than 200 widgets for enhancing your site and integrating third-party sites and services.

Looking to build a web store? Wix has plenty of ecommerce templates, too. And the company doesn't have any transaction fees on your sales (whereas Weebly, for example, charges 3% on some accounts).

Beginners can sample much of this for free. But experts can go much further, with features like Wix Code, enabling them to manage database collections, generate dynamic pages and custom forms, use their own JavaScript, access APIs and more.

It’s not all perfect, though. The templates aren't responsive in the usual sense, although the effect is very similar (Wix can generate a separate mobile version of the site and use it when necessary). Some features, like form building, come in the form of apps which require extra payments to get their full functionality. But nonetheless, this is a powerful and comprehensive service with a lot to offer all classes of user.

Build a Site

The building process starts with a few simple questions (Image credit: Wix)

Getting started with Wix

Wix does its best to get you quickly up to speed. Account creation is as simple as entering your email address and a password. You're asked to choose the type of site you'd like to create – business, photography, music, blog and so on – and then whether you'd like to have Wix generate the site for you, or if you’d rather do it all yourself from scratch.

If your needs are simple, you've never used a website builder before, or you're just in a hurry, having Wix automate the process might save you a little time.

Basic Editor

Using the basic automatic editor leads to a limited range of editing tools (Image credit: Wix)

Wix Editor

You can modify your site in many ways. Hovering your mouse cursor over a section displays buttons to edit it or change designs. Or you can click something to view and edit its properties in a sidebar. But the automatic editor doesn't allow you to drag-and-drop objects on the page or resize them. However, since most of the design is done for you, you can set up the site, populate your web store, write blog posts, preview and test your pages and put them online in next to no time.

It’s possible to switch to the full-fat Wix editor at any time (which is also what you get if you don't choose the automatic process initially), but the problem is that you can't then switch back and keep your changes. It's an either-or decision, simple or full Wix power: there's no way to combine the two, unfortunately.

Advanced Editor

You can upgrade to the regular editor, but you can’t really go back should you change your mind (Image credit: Wix)

Opting for the regular editor gives you complete control of layout. Objects can be positioned with pixel-level placement, rather than being automatically aligned in blocks or columns.  You can drag-and-drop complex blocks (contact forms with headings, buttons, text) as a whole, change alignments, even ungroup items within a block to rearrange them however you like.

Visual tweaks include neat animations and colour filters for images, and you can assign a range of actions to most objects. You can add all the usual elements to your page in a couple of clicks. There's plenty to explore.

One major highlight of the editor is its visual previews, enabling you to see any component before you add it. Choose Gallery, for instance, and you don't just get text items such as Collage or Grid. Instead, the editor displays thumbnail previews of what each option will look like, helping you to immediately choose the right component. It's a similar story when you're browsing buttons, menu styles, or audio and video players – Wix always clearly shows you what you're going to get.

The core editing functions are equally well designed, and are more like a native application than the average website builder. Right-click menus show you appropriate commands for different controls, for instance. Alignment guides and on-screen displays of control heights and widths help you position and size items accurately, and floating toolbars give speedy access to key options and features.

The editor supports a vast number of keyboard shortcuts, a major plus if you regularly use them in other applications. You can Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click to select multiple items, then use standard key presses to delete, copy and paste them, send them to the front or back of the page, save the project, preview it, undo actions if you've made a mistake, or redo them if you've changed your mind.

Put this all together and the Wix editor feels polished and professional, with both the visual cues that beginners need, and the shortcuts and workflow support that experienced users expect.

Upload Images

You can upload images from a wide variety of sites, or use stock footage directly from the Wix interface (Image credit: Wix)

Wix Media

Wix offers wide support for multimedia, with native components to display single images, slideshows, image galleries, music and video files in all the main formats.

There's support for directly importing or playing media from Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Google Drive, Flickr, Google Photos, YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, SoundCloud, Spotify and more.

A "My Uploads" area enables building your own cloud-based media storage bin. If you've got 10 images you'll use on multiple pages or sites, for instance, you can upload all of them to Wix. You'll then be able to access them directly from the Add Images dialog without having to upload the files each time you need them. You also have access to Wix’s own media library and those from Unsplash and Shutterstock (the latter aren’t free).

The Wix App Market has further add-ons to give you more playback features, higher bandwidth, user stats, document viewers (PDFs, Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings and Slides) and more. They're welcome, but keep in mind that although most are free in some form, they often require extra payments to remove branding or get their best features.

Blogging

Blogging is clean, simple and straightforward  (Image credit: Wix)

Wix Blogging

Wix's blogging platform is easily accessed from a standard button on its left-hand toolbar. In a click or two you're able to add a new blog post, customise its layout or change how you would like the blog to work.

Blog posts are created using a simplified editor, but this still has a decent set of functions, including options to add images, galleries, videos, music, GIFs and custom HTML.

There are plenty of ways to customise a post. You're able to add tags and categories, define related posts, and set meta titles, meta descriptions or separate mobile-friendly titles. And once you're done, posts can be published immediately or scheduled for some future time.

Selling

The Online Store is ready for you to customise it to suit your needs (Image credit: Wix)

Wix ecommerce

Building a web store with Wix seems very simple. Browse an array of templates, add any extra components you need, and the visual previews and sample images make it easy to define the look and feel of your store. Don't be fooled, though: there's plenty of power under the hood.

Wix supports digital as well as physical products, for instance, and also includes services.

Products can be illustrated with videos, as well as images. You can give them custom options (size, colour), a weight or an SKU (a product code to enable automatically managing your inventory.) You can promote them with coupons, organise them into collections, or set up your own shipping and tax rules. Wix supports plenty of payment providers, and even shows you only those available in your area, including their own payment system

Wix stores can't quite match specialist ecommerce solutions (or for that matter the best web hosting providers), but that's no great surprise. The service does make it easy for personal and small business users to start selling online, though, and considering the low price you're paying, that's a pretty good incentive.

Wix support

Wix has a lot of built-in support. Left-clicking any object in the editor displays a toolbar with a Help icon, and a Help menu is permanently visible in the editor's own toolbar. Separate screens like the Blog Manager always have their own Help icon in the top-right corner.

Wix plans and pricing

Wix's free plan includes Wix branding, gives you access to the drag-and-drop editor, and in theory supports an unlimited number of pages. In practice, though, a 500MB storage limit and maximum 500MB data transfer per month mean it's only suitable for very small sites.

The Connect Domain plan lifts your bandwidth limit to 1GB and allows using your own domain, but still includes Wix branding. It's priced at $4.25 a month for the one-year package. Keep in mind though that this plan is not available in the US and other locations.

The Combo plan offers 2GB bandwidth and 3GB storage, and finally ditches the branding. There's a free domain, you're able to use a customised favicon, and you get $75 of ad vouchers. It's yours for $16 a month when you commit to the service annually.

The $22 a month Unlimited plan gives you unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, premium form building and a Site Builder app to drive more traffic to your site.

The VIP plan completes the range of ‘Website’ plans at $45 a month, by increasing the storage to 20GB, adding a few perks, and offering ‘priority response’ VIP support.

There are also three ‘Business & eCommerce’ plans, all of which allow you to sell products online.

The cheapest one is Business Basic at $27 a month which looks similar to VIP in terms of storage, minus the perks.

Next up is Business Unlimited which increases your storage to 35GB, for $32 a month.

Finally we have Business VIP, which offers you 50GB of storage and brings back the ‘priority response’ and VIP support, for $59 a month.

Wix's Enterprise plan is a completely custom plan, with a dedicated account manager, therefore, the pricing is customized to suit individual needs.

Signing up for Wix Free gives you as much time as you need to try out the service basics, but Wix also has a no questions asked 14-day money-back guarantee for its Premium products.

Final Verdict

Wix's attractive templates and excellent editor make it easy for even total design newbies to build a great-looking, powerful website. We're less convinced that Wix has the support services that big websites require, but the core features are so strong that you need to try it yourself.


Wix website builder FAQs

Is Wix good for beginners?

Wix's drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create a professional website – without having to know a line of code! Beginner-friendly and scalable, Wix is suitable for anything from personal online portfolios to small business websites.

Via: Website Builder Expert

Why is Wix bad?

The biggest reason you should not use Wix to create your website is that you are not a professional web designer. When you create a website using a DIY site builder, you are likely not designing it with a good user experience which will diminish your user experience resulting in lost customers and revenue.

Via: Tyton Media

Is Wix better or WordPress?

WordPress is far superior to Wix as a web publishing platform for any kind of website. While Wix offers an easy-to-use website builder, you can accomplish a lot more with WordPress over the long run.

Via: WPbeginner

Is Wix good for SEO?

Wix has a wide range of great SEO tools to help websites rank well in search engine results. Wix gives you the ability to customize your website’s meta tags, URL structure, canonical tags, structured data markup, robots.txt file and more.

Can you switch from Wix to WordPress?

There are two ways you can convert your Wix site to WordPress. The first way is by using an automated migration plugin and the second is by using the RSS feed to import all your posts then manually migrate your pages, images and other content on your website. Website owners who built on the New Wix Blog can use an automated migration plug-in by CMS2CMS.

Do Wix sites show up on Google?

Wix websites are search engine friendly, with Wix guaranteeing that all of your website content can be crawled and indexed by search engines (e.g. Google and Bing) whether you have a Premium site or not. 

Is Wix payment secure?

Yes, Wix Payments are secure and complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). 

Why is Wix so slow?

If you are experiencing a slow loading time on your website, this could be down to the images and media used. If you've chosen high-definition images and videos, it takes up a lot of space. The server first loads the image before loading the site, thus those high-quality images and videos will take more time to load.