Warning, this article is a case for WordPress. WordPress is used to refer to WordPress self-hosted, WordPress.org as opposed to WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a service that does not provide the same flexibility as self-hosted WordPress.
Typical Web Marketing Scenario
You need a great looking website to represent your brand, you need easy to use SEO tools and marketing automation. If you just want to hang your shingle out and don’t plan on spending to much time working on SEO and web marketing, then Squarespace is perfect. You will get a great looking web site with decent SEO for a very reasonable price. If you need a basic web site, a little more robust automated marketing tools like Drip Marketing, A/B testing, HTML Newsletters, HTML email creation, and list management, then HubSpot is probably a good choice.
If you want web site that has zero limitations in functionality, and everything that SquareSpace and HubSpot offer, your web marketing tools of choice should be WordPress/Google/Mautic. Google, in this case, means Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Google Search Console and potentially Google Marketing Platform. WordPress plugins and Google tools are some of the best SEO and SERPs tools out there. There are many players in the marketing automation niche like HubSpot, SalesForce, and Eloqua, and they can all be integrated with WordPress. I think that Google’s Marketing Platform could be a winner as well.
I’m excited about a relatively new player in the marketing automation space, Mautic. One reason is that it’s very similar to WordPress self-hosted model. Mautic is free, open source and easily integrates with WordPress. You can host it on the same server that WordPress is running on. The initial cash outlay would potentially be larger than with a service only solution, but when your site is designed and ported to a premium WordPress theme, Mautic is installed and everything is working together including Google, you will have a beautiful site, a powerful set of SEO/SERPs tools and industry-leading automated marketing tools, all at a human scale cost. OK, what are the costs? You will need to pay a developer to set it up and modify WordPress to fit your brand. You potentially may need a custom design, and you will need to pay the reoccurring costs of hosting, domain registration, and (if you are not going to do it yourself) updates and security management. Additionally, if you are using a premium theme and/or plugins, you will want to keep those subscriptions up-to-date.
Rough Math Reoccurring Annual Costs
Cloud WordPress/Mautic Hosting: $350.00
Domain Registration: $20.00
Premium plugins and theme: $120.00
Upgrades/Security/Maintenance: $2,100.00 (Assumption, you are handling content creation and day-to-day marketing)
Total: $2,515.00 to keep all of your web marketing tools up and running. Compare that to the cost of SalesForce or Hubspot. I’m still a big fan of MailChimp, I trust the monkey, so if you have more than 2,000 contacts in your list, you may want to pay him/her to keep it in your suite of tools. Less than 2,000 contacts and it’s free.
Depending on how big your site is, the level of customization, desired functionality and how much you would do yourself, it could be anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. I find that most of my projects are around $6K to $8K.
What can you do with your WordPress/Google/Mautic self hosted site?
- Custom look-and-feel
- Easy to use drag-and-drop page builder
- HTML email newsletters
- Granular focus key phrase SEO pages, and landing pages
- Any type of form imaginable
- Easily integrate with third-party services like Mail Chimp, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console, litmus, etc. WordPress has the largest development community, chances are your 3rd party hosted service has a plugin.
- Mautic provides detailed contact tracking along with powerful contact nurturing tools to help you organize your marketing campaigns. Mautic automates the process of finding and nurturing contacts through landing pages and forms, sending email, text messages, web notifications, tracking social media, and integrating with your CRM and other systems.
- Room to grow for the future. Maybe you want to add a custom product selector application, or you want to use a 3rd party API. The foundation of your architecture is completely ready for customization. Both WordPress and Mautic are structured in a way that you can customize them without touching the core files. Additionally, you can opt to use Google Marketing Platform with or in lieu of Mautic. The main point is that WordPress should be the center of your web and internet marketing universe.
One last thought
If your hosting provider and developer are good, you will have a very fast and secure site. In the right hands, WordPress is as secure as any web application service. Keep it up-to-date, make sure you using a security plugin like WordFence, and don’t be careless with your passwords, and you’ll be safe and sound. Seriously, you will have a world class web and internet marketing platform.