This post is part of our weekly “HubSpot vs WordPress” series where we break down and compare the attributes of two of the most the popular digital publishing platforms on the market. Come back next week for HubSpot vs WordPress Round 3: Integration
If you take budget out of the equation, HubSpot is the hands-down winner in the support round of our HubSpot vs WordPress matchup, but if you’ve got more time than money, WordPress may be the way to go.
HubSpot vs WordPress: battle of the business models
The core reasons for HubSpot’s upper hand in the area of support can be traced to the distinctly different models adopted by the two organizations. WordPress is free and open-source, relying on a large developer community to extend its functionality; whereas HubSpot is a unified, premium, proprietary platform that comes with the functionality that plugins add to WordPress on day one (and then some).
WordPress Support: Not for the faint of heart
WordPress users are frequently faced with identifying the source of issues that could originate in the core WordPress software, a parent theme / framework (e.g. Genesis), a child theme, one or more plugins or their hosting environment before they can even seek help. Generally, each one of those elements was built and is managed by a different company or individual, each with their own way of handling issues – and that’s assuming that they’re supporting their product at all.
If you’re able to determine that the problem is in either the WordPress software, a free plugin or a theme, you’ll likely be sifting through a ton of not-so-user-friendly documentation or forums with answers that often don’t apply to your particular software stack and/or version.
Those using a premium WordPress framework, theme or plugin (e.g. you paid for it) will have access to some form of support via a forum or email. I have yet to see phone or live chat support offered for WordPress or related add-ons.
Service levels and response times can vary significantly across vendors, and with many plugin and theme developers hailing from outside the US, you may be dealing with a time difference and/or language difficulties.
If your WordPress problem turns out to be server-related, you will receive the level of support offered with your hosting plan, which usually involves phone and/or live chat options.
With all so many different players involved in even the most basic WordPress configuration, you face the possibility of being passed from vendor-to-vendor with each claiming the problem is with the other, i.e. “that’s a problem with your host, you need to have them XYZ…”
HubSpot: You get what you pay for
While their support offering isn’t perfect, HubSpot offers an expansive library of online documentation written for various experience levels, roles (e.g. designer, developer, marketer) and languages; as well as phone, live chat, email and forum support from a single source. The only exception would be if you buy a HubSpot theme from a HubSpot certified vendor, in which case they would provide support for issues specifically related to their product.
Like most large-scale support operations, HubSpot will run you through an escalation procedure, progressively engaging more expert resources when the issue can’t be solved at a lower support tier. While this can take time, I have had tier 1 support specialists reach out on my behalf to developers and product managers on the team responsible for the area in question; though I’ve also had an issue escalated to the highest level with no resolution.
As discussed, you’re going to pay a minimum of $200/mo (usually around $800/mo) to license HubSpot software and avail yourself of their support offering. If you’ve got more money than time HubSpot wins the HubSpot vs WordPress battle for support supremacy handily, but if the opposite is true – and/or you have or wish to acquire dev skills – WordPress might be your jam.
The easy button
Having said all that, the ultimate solution may be to hire a digital agency with expertise in both HubSpot and WordPress to handle the complexities for you so you don’t have to worry about any of it! If that sounds intriguing, get in touch.