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Does a HubSpot Website Migration Let Me Keep My Current Site?


You’re at a crossroads. Your company’s website hasn’t been generating nearly enough traffic -- and the resulting void in sales leads has left you scratching your head.

So, you’ve found a friend in HubSpot's CMS (content management system). The benefits are palpable. But what would packing up and moving mean for your current website?

Do you love your site as it is? What if you’re happy with only certain parts parts of your current site? Can you pick and choose pages for “going live” with HubSpot?

No matter the angle, the correct answer is "yes."

So whether you’re saying yes, maybe, or no to HubSpot, here are some options available to you.

Your Options for HubSpot Website Migration

There's a reason (or 10) B2Bs flock to HubSpot. The CMS offers an extremely flexible, closed-loop solution for growing a brand and a sales pipeline. Much like with WordPress, there are thousands of integrations available to make it easier to transition and work alongside your other tools.

But perhaps you like your website as it is. You spent months going back and forth with your web dev to make it perfect. It looks great and performs well on both desktop and mobile devices.

Don't worry -- there are several options (which we'll explain below). No matter the exact path, you’ll have access to your familiar site AND a host of tools to help you monitor, analyze, and adjust your marketing strategies to help you attract, convert, and close leads.

Migrate Current Website As-Is

It's possible to build a facsimile of your website in HubSpot, no matter the current host. This includes all* of your existing site content and styling. This is a great option if your customers already love and are super-comfortable with the site's user experience (UX).

(*There are limitations we'll cover in a bit.)

You can simply keep your site as it looks and feels now and move it to a new host -- and you’ll avoid the pain of changing your URL! There may also be fewer hiccups that temporarily decrease site performance and rankings in Google Search.

25 website must-haves for B2B marketing - Click to download free e-book!Migrate Some of Website

You may like most, if not all, of your current website. But you think some things would be best managed by HubSpot.

No worries. That’s common.

Many companies choose to migrate only their blog domain or landing pages to HubSpot. While it’s not as effective as moving your entire site over, you’ll still have access to the same web analysis, content management, and optimization tools.

Just migrating your blog alone will bring several benefits:

  • Drag-and-drop functionality your non-programmers can use without weeping
  • Better file management
  • Closed-loop reporting
    Content personalization & AI tools
  • Fast and secure site framework
  • A beginner's SEO checklist that points out any rankability issues with the page you're building

Migrate to New Theme

Another sneaky-useful option: The migration of your existing site content into a theme of your choice from HubSpot’s Template Marketplace.

When using a HubSpot Marketplace theme, you can either update or keep your existing branding. Either way, you won't be building a website from scratch.

HubSpot's templates are mobile-responsive, ensuring your site will look on smartphones and tablets. On the downside, buying off the shelf means your site may look similar to a competitor's, and there's slightly less wiggle room for customization.

HubSpot website migration - moving van, boxes falling out of back

How the HubSpot Website Migration Process Works

Migrating a website to HubSpot (or anywhere) is a complicated process with many steps:

  1. Export existing website's content, including pages, blog posts, and other assets
  2. Set up your HubSpot account and choose a domain
  3. Build the design and layout (or select and customize a Marketplace template)
  4. Import and map exported content to the appropriate sections of your new site
  5. Integrate the migrated website with any other HubSpot tools you use
  6. Customize design and navigation to match branding and functional requirements
  7. Test thoroughly before going live
  8. Launch the site and add 301 redirects from your old URLs
  9. Monitor for errors and performance dips that serve as red flags

You have three options for making a website relocation happen:

HubSpot Migration Services

HubSpot itself offers website migration as a service. A dedicated "replatforming specialist" will assist you in navigating the relocation, every step of the way. 

HubSpot will only do this for subscribers to its Content Hub's Professional or Enterprise tier (and Starter tier in special cases).

  • Good when: You can afford the services of the guys and gals who know HubSpot best.
  • Not so good when: You're itching for a major website makeover or need highly customized layout; you want to move more than 150 pages.

HubSpot Solutions Partner

The Solutions Partner Program is an ecosystem of third-party agencies that HubSpot entrusts to skillfully execute web design, marketing, sales, and other activities.

If your team lacks the skills or time to update or overhaul your website, an agency can handle the tricky tech stuff:

  • SEO auditing
  • Layout & design for UX
  • Technical setup
  • Post-launch support
  • Training

With fewer customers, a Solutions Partner will probably give you more personalized attention than HubSpot itself.

  • Good when: You have wide-ranging needs (i.e. CRM onboarding, marketing support, or sales training)
  • Not so good when: You pick a crappy partner.

Do It Yourself

Of course, if your team has the chops and the bandwidth, you can move a website to HubSpot yourself without having to change its look or function. Just know what you're getting yourself into. These are monthlong projects at least for a dedicated third-party team. ... How long will it take yours?

After choosing HubSpot as a host, you'll have to:

  1. Design and format the site, making sure nothing will go wonky in translation
  2. Migrate thousands of assets
  3. Set up and check (and recheck) every technical aspect of site launch
  4. Be diligent about post-launch maintenance
  • Good when: You have strong, talented web development and marketing teams with availability.
  • Not so good when: Team members don't have time for big projects, and training others in-house isn't an option.
(Related Post: B2B Website Migration Checklist: 5 Steps for CMS Transition)

Limitations of HubSpot Website Migrations

Every CMS, even HubSpot, has its pros and cons. If you want to keep a massive or intricate website 100% intact, you may run into limitations.

No-Gos Specific to HubSpot's Migration Service

HubSpot's in-house service typically excludes migration of these features. Here they are, along with examples of each:

  • Database-driven content -- Extensive product catalogs, postal code/location-based search, knowledge bases
  • Gated content -- Logins, password protection, and pages only accessible by form submission
  • E-commerce -- Shopping carts, storefronts, payment processing
  • Advanced forms -- Multistep forms, calculators that collect submissions, forms requesting personal info
  • User-generated content -- Comments, ratings, forums
  • Third-party applications -- such as live chat, accessibility widgets, commenting engines, and job boards.
  • Certain custom elements -- Stylesheets, mobile responsiveness, mobile versions of sites
Again, these are the limitation's of what HubSpot will do for you. A digital marketing or web development agency may have none of these restrictions.


Think Before Your Transfer a Website

HubSpot CMS presents a strong case for switching web hosts. In additional to the benefits above, HubSpot-hosted websites can integrate seamlessly with other HubSpot platforms (i.e. marketing, sales, customer support). In other words, it's a one-stop shop for generating website traffic and great-fit leads.

Before you pick a fork in the road make sure you know what you're getting into. It pays -- literally -- to understand how SEO and UX work in the modern era of digital marketing and websites. Our free e-book serves as a steady guide for exactly that:

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(Editor's note: This article was originally published in April 2017 and was recently updated with fresh insights.)