Here at ClearPivot, we recommend our clients run their entire website on a single platform such as HubSpot, as opposed to running dual platforms in parallel. That way, you have everything in one tool rather than jumping back and forth. However, in reality it’s not always possible to use just one system.
Sometimes companies that are already using WordPress or another similar platform add HubSpot because they want to take advantage of HubSpot’s analytics and marketing automation capabilities. Adding in the HubSpot tools to their WordPress site can help them improve their overall marketing performance.
Or perhaps you’re building a new website with custom functionality or user management which require customized server-side programming. HubSpot doesn’t allow for that, so you need another platform with server-level access, such as WordPress, to enable that type of functionality.
So although we usually recommend using a single platform for everything, we know you may need a hybrid setup to achieve your goals. In light of that, we hereby offer our “Plan B” recommendations to help you get the most from your total package.
There are three areas where the two platforms need to interact. Here's what to do for each of them:
1. Regular web pages
If you’re running these on WordPress, you should set up HubSpot to run on a subdomain and run WordPress on the main domain. Then install the HubSpot tracking code in your WordPress theme's source code. Make sure you also export and embed all the HubSpot CTAs (call-to-action buttons) you will be using on web pages.
Using the HubSpot tracking code allows you to follow individual user experience on your site. That makes it a great tool to see within your contact database what pages attract visitors initially, what other pages they visit, and where they convert. Using exporting and embedding your HubSpot CTAs into your WordPress site also allows you to track the performance of different marketing offers, and also do A/B testing if needed.
Your blog can be built on either platform. We recommend HubSpot because of its built-in email subscription, social media auto-publishing and SEO tools. With WordPress, this functionality is not possible without installing a separate plugin for each of those things.
Nonetheless, if your blog is on WordPress, we recommend you follow the same procedure as for regular web pages where you have tracking code and HubSpot CTAs. By doing this, you can use the HubSpot analytics tools to monitor and evaluate your WordPress blog as well as individual CTA performance. For more information download our free e-book on creating and executing calls-to-action.
If you run your blog on your WordPress installation on your main domain, it will exist in a subdirectory of your main domain such as www.yourcompany.com/blog. If you run your blog on HubSpot connected to your sub-domain, its URL might look something more like this: info.yourcompany.com/blog.
3. Landing pages (conversion pages)
While regular web pages and your blog are OK to run “out-of-the-box” on WordPress, landing pages are a different story. This is where marketers most often bring in HubSpot to augment their system, because WordPress does not have any native functionality for landing page management.
If you build your landing pages in HubSpot, they'll exist on the sub-domain you connected to HubSpot. Their URLs might look something like this: info.yourcompany.com/landing-page-name. You won't need to do any additional integration work beyond that, since every component of the landing page is running through HubSpot already. Download our free e-book to learn more about how to optimize your landing pages for conversions.
If you're building your landing pages in WordPress, it will take a few extra steps. You'll want to put the HubSpot analytics tracking code on the landing page template, just like every other page on your site. You'll then want to set up the conversion for inside HubSpot, then copy the form embed code and place it in the part of the WordPress page layout that you want the form to appear. You can't track as much landing page-specific analytics with this setup as you could by running the landing pages through HubSpot, but it will get the job done.
So there you have it. In a perfect world, we recommend using HubSpot as your single website production and management platform. But if your world requires running HubSpot and WordPress together, these guidelines will help you do that more effectively and avoid common mistakes along the way.