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When researching different content management systems, personalisation is one of the key features you should consider. In 2020, HubSpot re-launched its CMS Hub with a host of new enterprise and personlisation features which allow businesses to create unique website experiences.

However, as the software landscape grows, we understand not everyone is best suited to the HubSpot CMS. 

Today, there are a great number of CMS platforms to choose from to suit your business needs, from small scale CMS platforms to large e-commerce CMS platforms – all of which our team have worked with over the years.

When it comes to website personalisation, your choice of CMS is key to delivering bespoke experiences. So, let’s dive in. 


What is website personalisation?

Website personlisation refers to the customised experience your website visitors receive on your website. 

With dynamic content, businesses can typically change the experience each visitor receives based on the user’s behaviour, demographic, location or any other relevant factors.

In a world of information overload, only showing the most relevant content to your visitors is essential to creating the best user experience possible and attracting leads to your website. 

Take Spotify for example. Its website and app only ever show highly personalised recommendations and playlists tailored to each user’s music tastes. This personalisation creates a highly personalised user experience that places Spotify above other music streaming services.


What happens if I’m not using the HubSpot CMS?

HubSpot’s CMS Hub sits alongside its Marketing, Sales, Service and CRM platforms. It is a powerful, easy-to-use system with a lot of personalisation built into the software. But its marketing tools also work fantastically well integrated with other CMS platforms (e.g., WordPress).

Watch our webinar with Luke Summerfield, Go-to-market lead at HubSpot, on the CMS Hub. 

Because of HubSpot’s easy integrations, many of our clients we support ask us about the personalisation capabilities on their website if they’re not using the HubSpot CMS. 

Karoline Hasch - What can I personalise if Im not using the HubSpot CMS_


In short – our response is that it completely depends on the type of CMS you are using. 

There are three common types of CMS we see and a level of personalisation you can assume for all: 

Basic CMS: 

If you're using a basic CMS such as WordPress, there are several plugins you can purchase at an additional cost in order to personalise your website. For example, if you’re looking to personalise your web content based on users’ location or behaviour, you’ll need to purchase a plug-in to enable this – it’s not built into the flat cost. 

Note: A lot of companies using software such as WordPress require over 30 different plug-ins on their website to create a competitive website. These all bring additional costs and require yearly maintenance– so make sure you consider the long-term costs of running a website on a basic CMS (consider the upfront cost the shell – to run a successful website you’ll be looking at around £1000 worth of plug-ins each month).

Enterprise CMS

If you’re using an enterprise level CMS such as Adobe, there are a vast number of sophisticated in-built personalisation and testing features which don’t require plug-ins. These will enable you to create a bespoke user experience for your visitors and the up-front cost should provide everything you need to deliver this. However, the name says it all and these CMS types do come at a high price point which might not be suitable for small scale or start up businesses. 


If you’re an e-commerce business you’re likely using a specialised e-commerce platform to support your needs. E-commerce CMSs typically offer a layer of personlisation bespoke to e-commerce needs – such as baskets, payments and customising content based on your customers previous purchase with unique recommendations for their next purchase. You can find out more about running an e-commerce website by watching a webinar we ran here.


Where does HubSpot’s CMS sit?

The HubSpot CMS is positioned as an Enterprise CMS but at a fraction of the cost of other Enterprise software. 

The CMS offers some unique out of the box tools that allow you to easily customise website content for specific users.

For example, the cycled smart content feature allows you to personalise content based on the following conditions: 

  • Location

  • Preferred language

  • Device type

  • Referral source

  • Lifecycle stage

  • List membership

All of which you can easily define in the CRM which sits at the core of the HubSpot tool.

Having these granular personalisation features allows you to deliver a smoother user experience. 

For example, if a customer lands on your website, it’s unlikely you want to push a “free trial” to these visitors as they are already using your product. Instead, by using the smart content feature ‘lifecycle stage’, you can set up your website to show all current customers a “speak to customer service” button, or better yet, push them to try another product on your website. 

In summary, every CMS platform offers a different level of personalisation so it’s worth doing your research first to understand exactly what each platform delivers. 

Basic CMS platforms are typically aimed at smaller-scale businesses which means as your business grows, there is sure to be added costs to purchase advanced features such as personalisation. Conversely, with more expensive CMS platforms you can assume there are in-built personalisation features as a set of core features.

We hope this overview was useful and if you have any questions around website personalisation or CMS options as a whole, please feel free to reach out to us here.

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