HubSpot is an amazing tool for your website marketing. From theirwebsite "HubSpot brings your whole marketing world together in one powerful, integrated system". It really is a fantastic system for getting found, converting and analyzing your inbound marketing. We use it at Big Thinkery and can't recommend it enough. The CMS is pretty robust and can be overwhelming. Here are 3 things to know when you start a design or redesign in Hubspot. As a side, I'm assuming you are a professional web designer here. There are great tools in the system for simple customization for the average user here, but if you are a pro just getting started with the HubSpot CMS, these tips will probably be a little more helpful to you.
1. Know the HubSpot Templates.
HubSpot allows you to choose from 6 different templates. They aren't really templates, though, I would call them frameworks. These frameworks give you the overall "shell" that you can place your design into. These shells can be modified with code. The frameworks that are available to choose from are Allston, Brighton, Cambridge, Duxbury, Everett and Foxboro. I believe that Foxboro is installed by default. Each of these have their own set of rules: how the navigation is displayed, how the content is structured by default. You can read more about each one here. For most of my clients we use Foxboro. We tend to gravitate toward the dropdown navigation and the bottom pane gets used too. Ultimately, its just a framework for your beautiful design and content, so choose which one works best for your project.
2. Customizing the CSS.
You can find the main CSS file under: settings, file manager, custom.css but WARNING. You mess up here, you can mess up the entire site. You can also set up new CSS files and link them in the page header that you are working on. The CSS includes the code for the particular template or framework that you have selected. This can be modified to meet the needs of your site.
3. Craft is king, but you have to remain flexible.
There is a lot about the CMS that is great, but there are some that, as a designer, will drive you crazy. One thing that drives me nuts is the blog main page. You can't move that blog navigation where it says "current articles | rss feed" etc. I would love to be able to move that to the right or left but it is impossible. Also if you want to break your top or bottom panes into multiple columns, you have to do it with code. This makes things difficult for the client to update. So, be careful when creating a new design. You want to make sure that the CMS can meet the needs of the project scope.
There are tons of little quirky things about any CMS. HubSpot works well for Big Thinkery and some of our clients mainly because of the backend tools and the ease of integration with the CMS. In the end, a tool is a tool. You have to find the right one that fits!