We reveal the whole saga of our time with Hubspot. How it was good and how it all went bad.
HUBSPOT SINCE THE START
We have used a company called Hubspot to host our website for several years. Hubspot are an American company who are dedicated to idea of inbound marketing. That is you create compelling content in the right way and Google then directs customers to the content. They then think how great you are and buy your product. That is the theory and it works, kind of, but not as well as they would have you believe. We were one of their first clients and I can still remember the excitement of my 1st transatlantic sales discussions as they pitched the concept.Fast forward 5 years and they have grown massively with more and more clients.
The functions their platform performed grew and grew. Then in 2014 they announced that they were catching up with the responsive revolution and would update our site for free so that it was mobile friendly. Oh dear presumably they subcontracted to an outside company who sort of did it just. Then worse it just went live a big bang happened and my glorious site was broken all over the place and the platform to update it had changed beyond recognition. I used to be able to navigate to a page within a structure now I had to know what it was called to search for it. I managed to fix it but wasn’t happy with the results.So in early 2015 I decided that we needed an outside company of experts to redesign and update my site.
REFRESH AND REDESIGN
I emailed all of the Hubspot partners in the UK and talked to a good few. The majority wanted to start again and develop a site from scratch using their process which would take ages and cost loads. Eventually, having visited a company to prove they were real, I settled on them. They said they would listen to what we wanted and do it.
The only problem was that the guru would be on holiday really soon now and so it would have to wait until he arrived back. So in early May 2015 we had our meeting and they explained they had a process and it would take 6 to 8 weeks and we would have to follow this process.
This, of course, was what we were trying to avoid but the guru was very nice and we had by now said goodbye to everyone else who had a process. So a few days of activity ensued whilst we looked at a few websites and chose the one we wanted our new website to resemble. The guru then explained that we would see nothing whilst they went into production mode. Indeed we did see nothing for the next 6 weeks.
I began to ask for progress reports and it looked as if not much had happened. The guru needed to take another holiday, by now, and I had to wait whilst he was away .When he returned we began to see the fruits of what I thought was progress. Things would be sorted really soon now I was assured and definitely before the gurus next holiday.
He left for his next holiday having delegated the last tasks to a very nice lady who knew nothing. By now we were at week 16 of the 6 8 week build. They broke my existing website but then they fixed it.
I couldn’t understand why things couldn’t be fixed. Eventually I sussed what they had done they had subcontracted the entire job to a Philippine company who were in a different time zone. I was appalled especially since their website said that this was something they would never ever do. It was obvious that the whole mission was impossible and so on week 20 of a 6 to 8 week build I cancelled it.
So what to do now. The “nice” web design company kindly threatened to sue me if I used any of their copyright material. Hubspot was by now big bloaty and still impossible to follow. So I spent some days looking at alternatives and concluded that a platform called WIX was the way to move forward.
We built a website using the platform but it never really felt right. It was great if you wanted to do a very simple 2 or 3 page website but to do anything more advance and the limitations came flooding in. The final straw was when we wanted to pass parameters from a link into the website. The idea was that we would send you a text and then you would click on it and we would then be able to personalise your experience. This was way beyond what WIX could do.
ENTER INCOMEDIA WEB X5
I had used WebX5 from Incomedia extensively in the past but it had never been responsive. With all of the delays that had gone on it had now delivered on that. It is quirky as blazes and crashes a lot in development but it produces a lightening quick website which up to now can do most of what we want.
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