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First of all, congratulations on deciding to make the move from WordPress to HubSpot. We can't promise it'll be stress-free, but we can say it's the best move you'll ever make (unless you're planning on upping sticks to Fiji or something).
This blog is inspired by our webinar. So if you're more of the audio-visual sort, you can watch the webinar and download the slide deck, here:
HubSpot CMS vs WordPress from Matthew Stibbe on Vimeo.
How to move to HubSpot
Now, how do you migrate a site from WordPress to HubSpot? We won't get too into the weeds of it — but, here are the key points. First off, some options:
Option 1: Migrate your existing site
HubSpot has a factory to migrate your existing site from your current platform. On CMS Pro they will move 20 pages for free for you, so if you have a small site somewhere else, they will recreate it in HubSpot for you at no added cost. These are web pages, not blog posts.
If you sign up to Marketing Pro for the marketing automation, they will also clone your existing site design to build a blog template and landing page templates as part of your onboarding.
You can be into HubSpot within a few weeks. Sometimes clients use this as a stepping stone to a fully fledged built-native-for-HubSpot site. (Note that here, some asterisks and footnotes apply if you want to do this. For more information, check out our guide.)
In our experience, the sites are identical in appearance to the old ones. But there are sometimes functionality changes, like HubSpot forms instead of the forms you used to have.
HubSpot does a lot of the hard yards but you still need help to finish the journey. They will not migrate your blog. They will not go live with your website or hold your hand with the DNS settings or integrate your Google tools. There's some testing and some process that has to happen there, which is where a partner agency like Articulate Marketing might come in.
Option 2: Build a new site
You can come to us and we will design a bespoke, beautiful website for you just as you could go to a developer and get a bespoke, beautiful WordPress site. Or, as with WordPress, you can go to HubSpot and you can download a theme from the theme library. There, you can get started with a free theme to build your own site.
Alternatively, you can buy a theme and have a marketing agency like Articulate instantiate it, build out all the pages, write the copy, do the images and illustration and launch the site with QA testing.
We have a theme that we've built called Nucleus. It's at nucleustheme.com. To borrow a phrase, we're not saying it's the best HubSpot CMS theme out there but it's certainly in the top one. The code is clean, the user interface is intuitive and the variety of sites you can build with it is astonishing. All hail our in-house development team!
Move your blog
HubSpot won't migrate your blog, but Articulate will. Depending on how neat and tidy your blog is currently, it could be an easy job, or rather painful. Just like if you were moving house, really.
HubSpot has lots of different import tools. We used to do the XML file import, which works pretty well. Now we've started using WordPress Connect, which makes things a little easier still.
Health warning: If you just copy and paste text from an old site to the new site, and there are images or links in that text, the links will point back to the old site. That means if you've got an image in the middle of your blog post, and it's hosted in WordPress and you paste it into a HubSpot, when you turn off the old site it will break the image. This is true of any website migration. You have to import the images properly to avoid this issue.
Before we launch a HubSpot site as a protection against unexpected issues, is we always make an archive of a WordPress site before we move it.
That way, we've always got a living archive we can go back to if there are any problems with missing images or text. This means we're also not dependent on a previous supplier.
To go live, you need to set up some proprietary steps in HubSpot settings, such as GDPR cookies and analytics. You need to set up and connect the DNS to make sure that your website address goes to HubSpot. These steps will take less than a day, so not a huge job but quite a lot of moving parts to get right.
Here, you'll want to run a substantial set of checks to ensure everything has gone smoothly. We have a 40-point checklist, to give you some idea.
In our experience, it takes a couple of days to launch a HubSpot site if you do it properly and if you know what you're doing. You can do it in a couple of hours, but you might be cutting corners that probably shouldn't be cut. DIY your shelving, not your livelihood.
Ask Articulate to migrate your site to HubSpot
Or ask someone else. We hope you ask us. We're rather good at migrating sites to HubSpot. We've got it down to fine art. And we like doing it. You can even read our guide all about how to choose a HubSpot agency for your new website.
And on the off-chance you're ready to go right now, this minute, the sight of your outdated, plugin-infested WordPress site is actually nauseating, then, hey. Come on over to the HubSpot side. We've got cookies.