When I started at Six & Flow I was given a few tasks to dive into, and getting to grips with the HubSpot Content Management System (CMS) was at the top of that list. I had no previous experience with the platform which would be key to my role as Front-End Developer, so I was keen to make a start. Here's my experience as a newcomer to the HubSpot CMS - and come to think about it, a newcomer to HubSpot in general!
In a nutshell, HubSpot is an all-in-one online platform for inbound marketing and sales. The software includes numerous tools for social media management, marketing automations, content creation, reporting analytics, sales enablement and much more. Luckily for me, HubSpot also offers a bunch of online courses which take you through all key areas of the platform. Emma, our Business Administrator, kindly pointed me in the right direction, and I worked my way through some of the courses which would be most useful to me in my new role.
To be honest I didn't know a lot about inbound marketing before joining Six & Flow, so it made perfect sense to make a start with the HubSpot Inbound course. The certificate is broken down into small manageable chunks and allows you to progress through each section at your own pace. Insightful content is supported by video tutorials, short quizzes to keep you on your toes and plenty of helpful resources.
I was particularly impressed by the video content, as it's clearly presented, concise and informative. At the final stage of the course, you sit a multiple-choice exam which really picks your brain on the various parts of inbound marketing. I'm pleased to report that I successfully passed the exam, and have gained a great understanding of inbound marketing as a result.
With my first certification out of the way, I moved onto the HubSpot CMS for Developers course. This was more specific to my role and I was eager to see what the CMS had to offer.
The course structure was similar to the Inbound certification, but included some additional practical tasks which required me to follow a brief and tackle a number of challenges. The main focal points included creating a page template, attaching a stylesheet and building a module to support dynamic content. This was a great way to put my HubSpot CMS knowledge to the test and allowed me to demonstrate my own skills in development.
The interface for creating a page template is very intuitive with its drag and drop functionality, and is an ideal format for maintaining templates. The page layout relies on the popular front-end framework Bootstrap and the flexible grid can be adapted easily by dragging the columns to suit your needs. Even if you don't come from a developer background, it's really straightforward to use and constructing a responsive web page shouldn't take too long.
To bring the page template to life, you need to implement the brand and design of your web page. You achieve this by attaching a stylesheet to the template, either by creating a new file or using an existing one from the system's repository. What I found really useful in creating stylesheets was the support of using variables and filters. These attributes help you to work more efficiently and provide consistency within your code base.
The most impressive part of the HubSpot CMS up to now has been using modules, which provide an excellent way of displaying and manipulating dynamic content. A array of fields and bespoke functionalities provide the building blocks which can be used any number of times, reducing repetition of code as well as saving time. Once added to a template, the facility allows the user to interact within the parameters of the module structure. It's a great way for users to manage website content and data to their needs.
Overall I've enjoyed learning about the HubSpot CMS, the platform more broadly, and the whole methodology of inbound marketing. I'm still at the early stages of learning, but HubSpot's online courses have definitely assisted me in developing Six & Flow's own website, and I'm looking forward to continuing my HubSpot journey.