We recently had the pleasure of chatting with the infamous web design guru, Luke Summerfield, Go to Market Lead, Web and CMS at HubSpot to take deep dive into the HubSpot CMS history, future, features, and more.
Over the next couple weeks, we'll publish various pieces that cover our discussions, and we hope you enjoy!
In this post, we discuss where the HubSpot CMS is headed in the future.
A NEW HubSpot CMS Editing Experience
When you look at content management systems like Wix or Squarespace, they seem to do a phenomenal job of making it super easy for marketers to jump into a website and make changes and edits.
So HubSpot naturally took notice.
Luke informed us they have been thinking about what an 'ideal' editing experience looks like in HubSpot CMS for some time now... and the natural progression is going towards 100% drag and drop.
This would allow you to do things like change the size of an image by just dragging it and pulling it wider or adding a new column with the click of a button.
The intention here is to create more of an interactive experience for the non-technical admins to be able to easily design beautiful, functional websites.
AND guess what???
This NEW web editing experience is now in BETA!
In addition, you may or may not know that this same 'drag and drop' editing experience has been available for creating and designing marketing emails since early 2018.
These editing features make creating a marketing email simple and intuitive, allowing marketers to change layouts; make images bigger or smaller; change header sizes, fonts, colors, etc., by simply dragging any element of your email into place, adding content, and sending.
You might be asking, so what makes this SO special?
Now, you don't need any web design skills to create an email!
In your portal go to Marketing > Email> Create New > Regular, and then you'll see the 'Drag and Drop' tab at the top left. There are a total of 19 options for you, including 1 completely blank template where you can start from scratch.
*Note - once you create an email, the template doesn't save, so if you want to use it again, you just have to clone your previous email.
Since its release, HubSpot has also added these new features:
- Additional templates - showcasing advanced functionality, including template defaults, section backgrounds, and full-width sections.
- New combined recipients and send screen - to simplify your creation flow, you'll now see the send and schedule tabs together.
- Quickly convert to an automated email or go back - under the “Actions” menu, you can convert a regular batch marketing email into an automated email or an automated email into a batch marketing email from any screen inside the email editor.
NEW HubSpot CMS Local Development Tools
The next inside tip Luke gave us was that HubSpot has been UBER focused on improving the marketer's AND the developer's experience. To support this, they now have over 80 full-time folks just cranking away building content tools and creating new, modern functionality that's being released on almost a monthly basis.
A NEW product that just went into BETA last week: a pure local development working experience!
So for any of you developers out there reading this: Luke said they know that y'all like to work locally, using your own frameworks, in your own editors, on your computers and that you weren't really keen on learning how HubSpot's web design tools worked.
This new local development tool will allow you to use whatever editors or frameworks you prefer, giving you the ability to pull everything down and sync it locally. Once it's local, it's easier to use workflow systems like Git or GitHub for managing processes.
This is something Luke and HubSpot are pretty excited about, and it's come a LONG way in the last two and a half years.
HubSpot APIs for Days
If you're headed to Inbound 2019, you'll hear all about this, but if not, you've heard it here first!
HubSpot will be announcing an identity shift.
The platform is transitioning from an 'all-IN-one system' to an 'all-ON-one system' where everyone can connect in multiple ways.
In the past, HubSpot was known as being a pretty closed, proprietary system that allowed some integration with approved sources, but nothing compared to their largest open sourced friend — WordPress.
Lets just say, users spoke and HubSpot listened again and they went to work on their APIs.
They now have 45 APIs for all the different tools within HubSpot and their team does not plan on slowing down anytime soon, with plans for new API and endpoint releases in the next 6-12 months.
So what does this means for developers?
These APIs now give you the flexibility to basically create almost anything you can think of on the CMS and connect it with all your other systems and tools that you're operating your business on.
"This creates A LOT more flexibility in the world of 2019 in terms of what's possible" - Luke Summerfield
You can check out HubSpot's 'Connect Program' that supports companies with prepackaged integrations and tools, and allow marketers with no technical knowledge to click a button, install, and set up.
Luke said HubSpot has just hit over 375 apps in the program, and they are continuing to grow it daily.
In addition, there are other options now if you have a custom need or if you want to build our own app that's just for your company. All these new APIs make it very easy to get in and move the data you want and keep everything connected.
HubSpot + WordPress = A Powerful Duo
Last but not least, while we are on the topic of connecting tools into HubSpot, we have to discuss one of the most popular integrations: HubSpot + WordPress.
- HubSpot’s tools are now intuitive and quick to set up, so WP Engine customers can collect email subscribers, generate leads on their website, and have real-time conversations with website visitors.
- All the features of the plugin are built on top of the free, fully-integrated HubSpot CRM where customers can manage all your email contacts.
- Customers only need to use one plugin instead of five different plugins, so you spend less time managing tools and more time building meaningful relationships.
- Fewer plugins also reduce security vulnerabilities and the likelihood of plugins conflicting with each other.
- Combined with using WP Engine as your hosting service, customers can feel comfortable knowing that the website is secure from the numerous WordPress hacks.
Now, the HubSpot for WordPress plugin works with WP Engine's StudioPress pro themes to make the process of creating and setting up lead capture tools easier. No more figuring out how to manually create the forms, pop-ups, and live chat—yippee!
How to do this:
- First install the HubSpot plugin with a StudioPress theme activated on your site.
- The plugin will automatically create these assets for you and apply the popup and live chat modules to your site.
- This then helps you get set up on HubSpot’s tools immediately and gives you the flexibility to edit those assets as needed.
At HubSpot we want to solve for all customers and this includes customers who use WordPress. To do this, we are making investments in WordPress including our WP Plugin, Partnerships with folks like WPEngine and Gravity Forms, and we're even exploring a Web Agency Partner Track.
We want to thank Luke Summerfield for this insightful discussion that helped us wrap our heads around the future of the HubSpot content management system.
Again, stay tuned to learn everything you need to know about the HubSpot CMS.
Upcoming posts and content will include an in-depth look at the history of the platform, the migration process, the content management features and benefits, and we'll address some of the most common objections.
Do you want to learn more about the HubSpot CMS?
Check out another blog we've written called, 'All About The HubSpot CMS: The Content Management System for Professionals' by clicking the button below.