To make some terminology clear here:
- CMS = Content Management System
- CRM = Customer Relationship Management
Both are essentially database-backed systems for managing data. HubSpot is both, and much more. Where a CMS might be very focused on content and the metadata around making content useful, a CRM is focused on leads and making communicating with current and potential customers easier.
They can be brothers-in-arms. We’ll get to that.
Say a CRM is set up for people. You run a Lexus dealership. There is a quote form on the website. People fill it out and enter the CRM. That lead can go to your sales team for taking care of that customer.
But a CRM could be based on other things. Say instead of people it’s based on real estate listings. Each main entry is a property, with essentially metadata like photos, address, square footage, # of bedrooms/baths, etc. Leads can be associated with properties.
That would be a nice CRM setup for a real estate agency, but the data that is in that CRM might be awfully nice for literally building a website around those property listings. Why not tap into that CRM data as literal data to build website pages from?
That’s what I mean by a CRM and CMS being brothers-in-arms. Use them both! That’s why HubSpot can be an ideal home for websites like this.
To keep that tornado of synergy going, HubSpot can also help with marketing, customer service, and integrations. So there is a lot of power packed into one platform.
And with that power, also a lot of comfort and flexibility.
- You’re still developing locally.
- You’re still using Git.
- You can use whatever framework or site-building tools you want.
- You’ve got a CLI to control things.
- There is a VS Code Extension for super useful auto-complete of your data.
- There is a staging environment.
And the feature just keep coming. HubSpot really has a robust set of tools to make sure you can do what you need to do.
- Need serverless functions? They got ’em.
- Where do you keep files? The file manager.
- Is there a generic database for data? Yes.
- Does the site need to support multiple languages? That’s a first-class feature.
- What about auth? One better, they give you SSO.
- Do you have to use some third-party thing for search? Nope, they got it.
As developer-rich as this all is, it doesn’t mean that it’s developer-only. There are loads of tools for working with the website you build that require no coding at all. Dashboard for content management, data wrangling, style control, and even literal drag-and-drop page builders.
It’s all part of a very learnable system.
Themes, templates, modules, and fields are the objects you’ll work with most in HubSpot CMS as a developer. Using these different objects effectively lets you give content creators the freedom to work and iterate on websites independently while staying inside style and layout guardrails you set.