HubSpot migrations vs redesigns: Which is right for you?

Kids viewing a website migration to HubSpot on a laptop

* Not my actual kids. Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels.

My worlds have recently collided: at MTR, there is a lot of interest from clients about moving their websites from WordPress to HubSpot.

At home, my kids want their own bedrooms. They promise to keep them clean, eat their vegetables, and possibly make peace in the Middle East . . . if I would just move my office downstairs so they can have the extra bedroom.

And when I explore options of each, there is actually quite the parallel -- moving my office and moving websites -- it is all about ROI.

If I were to actually consider the kids’ plan, I have the option to simply move my stuff downstairs, or I have the opportunity to take additional steps and redesign the once family-oriented space into an office that's uniquely mine.

Such is the conundrum faced by many of our clients when they want to “migrate” their website from WordPress or another CMS to HubSpot’s CMS Hub. They want to know how to minimize the investment and maximize the returns.

Fight friction and force productivity?

The kids claim their own bedroom would make them fight less and do their homework in peace. HubSpot is often used to eliminate friction and add force to your flywheel

A very secure platform, purpose-built for marketers, easy-to-use and quick to master, HubSpot is used by some of the world's leading companies to overcome some of marketers’ hairiest obstacles, often making its value a no brainer for our clients. 

If you have ever dealt with security breaches to outdated WordPress widgets, or reporting from multiple platforms that just never matches up, or having to get into your developers’ queue when your website updates are not their top priority, then you just know. 

HubSpot migration frustations

* Not actually me, either. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

 

That is...you know you should “migrate.”

But you don’t exactly know how you could “migrate” in a way that ensures ROI.

Migrations Don’t Exist

To bust one of the industry myths, there is actually no such thing as a migration into HubSpot. There is no way to “copy & paste” or “transfer” pages - in essence, your pages need to be rebuilt on HubL

It is similar to the problem of “migrating” my office. I have a desk that does not fit through the door - so it needs to be taken apart in the upstairs bedroom and then rebuilt in the downstairs office. Like your pages.

When it comes to moving to HubSpot, a migration is actually a rebuild - albeit a less time-consuming and less costly one.

Nonetheless, this rebuilding process takes resources. And when you need to invest resources in marketing, you must be able to show a return on that investment.

For this reason, more than any other, we typically do not recommend a “straight” migration: a one-to-one re-creation of your existing site on the new platform. To your visitors, your site will look and feel the same -- there will be little to no improvement in its metrics; and therefore, no possibility to show return on your investment.

While you could do a complete redesign while transitioning to the HubSpot CMS, a typical all-out website redesign could cost somewhere between $30,000-$100,000 and take 2-5 months, and that is often too heavy a burden for a project that was often unexpected and unbudgeted. Typically, not a wise investment.

Figure Out How

There are basically four options for "migrating" your site:

  1. Rebuild the site as-is and show no ROI. 😒
  2. Start from scratch, do a complete redesign, and spend more than you need to for a chance at ROI. 😭
  3. Do a Growth-Driven Design project to redesign your highest-impact pages and do the rest later. 😐
  4. Build-in some high-impact, yet minor site changes now that will improve results but not cost a fortune or take an eternity. 😍

We call the fourth option the “Premium Migration,” but it is important to understand what you get and what you don’t before you decide which path to take.

Premium Migration Service

The intent of the Premium Migration is to deliver a site on HubSpot CMS Hub relatively quickly, relatively cost-effectively, and show ROI. To do so, we make some improvements during the process. However, a premium migration is not a full redesign.

✅ Example

Here is an example: A hero module that starts like this:

Hero module before a migration to HubSpot

  • Can turn into this:
    • Hero module after a migration to HubSpot
  • Basically, the changes implemented here were fonts, styling, content, and alignment to the HubSpot grid for easy responsive breaks. There are no structural changes, so it can be done quickly and applied throughout the entire site.

    It is like taking an existing room and painting it, cleaning it, and hanging some art.

    ❌ Example

    Here is an example of a structural change that would NOT be included in a Premium Migration.

    This blog was structured to show recent blog posts in date order:

    • culta-before
  • Making that into this requires structural and functional change. It is now broken down essentially as two blogs (one for wholesale and one for patients) with a featured post and tags by topic. This would be considered a redesign, not a premium migration:

    • culta-after

       

  • This would be akin to turning the windows into French doors, upgrading the wiring inside the walls, and adding plumbing for a wet bar.

How can you tell for yourself? 

If you give the elements on your page a name (heading, CTA, paragraph) and discover that the changes you want to make can still be called the same thing, you likely have a Premium Migration on your hands. It doesn’t matter that your headline is in a new font, a different color, or new placement...it is still a headline - green light (but if it was a “featured post” and needs to become a “headline,” no go).

Not sure? Just contact us - we promise not to bite (nor sell you anything that you don’t need -- which is much worse).

Expected Deliverables, Timeline, and Budget

When you opt for a Premium Migration Service, you get:

A GDD-Ready, responsive, theme-based, drag & drop HubSpot website that is easy to maintain, change, and extend by yourself or with a HubSpot partner of your choice. The deliverable will include:

      • A personalized HubSpot theme
      • All HubSpot system pages
      • One HubSpot page for each migrated page of your current website
      • All HubSpot templates required for your pages
      • Configured HubSpot forms
      • A Figma design file
      • A URL mapping file

Assuming full cooperation and easy collaboration with you, a full premium migration can take 15-20 working days.

The fixed fee will be calculated based on the scope of your project. Migration projects can take between $2,000-$20,000, depending mostly on the number of pages to be migrated. If you need additional design support, that will be provided at an hourly fee.

Have any questions? Want us to scope your project so you have an actual timeline and budget for your scenario? Let’s chat!

 

Making it make sense

To go back to my office “migration:” 

  1. Breaking my back to bring all my stuff downstairs, moving all the furniture to the new space, setting it up like the old office, only to find that furniture doesn't fit right and I need additional updates to make everything work together - all for the ROI that my kids just have to yell at each other more loudly because now there is a wall in between their spaces is like a straight migration.
  2. Tearing down the walls for better flow, installing new lighting, buying all my faves from Ethan Allen, getting a new iMac for a completely new office (and likely filing for bankruptcy in the process) is like a redesign.
  3. Moving just my desk and getting a new chair now and seeing how it goes before deciding what to do with the rest is like a GDD project.
  4. Moving my furniture and devices, but having it painted, reupholstered, and upgrading the memory on my computer while I move is like a Premium Migration.

 And listen here, kiddos, promising me #4 may actually get me to consider your sordid plan.