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Pro-Tips for Setting Up a Website with HubSpot CMS Hub Themes

HubSpot CMS has proven to be a robust system for building and maintaining dynamic websites. While it provides all the features you need to develop a functioning website, doing that from scratch is a difficult job – one that requires some technical skills. That’s where HubSpot themes come in! 

Themes are essentially just pre-built bundles of assets. They are fully customizable and can be used to create websites even without any coding experience. Themes are a collection of modules, style settings, templates, and global content that can be mixed and matched as per your requirements to create your perfect website. 

HubSpot made themes available on the marketplace from June 25, 2020. Before that, there was something known as “templates”, but that wasn’t as versatile and customizable as a theme. In this blog, we’ll walk through some key benefits of using HubSpot themes along with some pro-tips that you must keep in mind while implementing your HubSpot theme! 

Benefits of Using HubSpot Themes

HubSpot has always thrived to simplify their users’ marketing efforts – whether by automating MarTech operations or streamlining follow-ups, or designing sleek websites. HubSpot themes are one such attempt to tackle the different challenges faced while developing websites on the HubSpot CMS. Here are some benefits of working with HubSpot themes for your next website: 

Workflow Bliss with CLI

When working with themes and HubSpot CLI tools, you get the ability to work on the code editor, version control, and build processes of your choice. If you don’t have a workflow currently, check out HubSpot’s tutorial for setting up a Continuous Integration with a GitHub Repository using GitHub Actions.

Theme Fields

In the case of standard HubSpot templates, if you wish to make any style changes, you’ll need to modify your CSS files and update the corresponding areas by locating the correct CSS classes or variables. This is an okay-ish approach for building light websites, but when things get complicated or when it comes to designing or updating items – such as buttons or heading weights, or background colors – using this method can be counterproductive. In contrast, with HubSpot themes, you get theme fields where you can create different controls that permit content editors to easily tweak global styles and get the changes reflected without worrying about digging through CSS style sheets. 

Theme Modules

Earlier, if you worked on multiple modules for a specific template, you’d have found all the modules mixed in with all the other modules of your website. This could add to the difficulties of your content creators by making it difficult for them to find the right modules and making the overall code a lot more complex. On the other hand, theme modules allow you to create separate modules and display them in a “Theme Modules” section above the rest. This way, you’ll always know what modules are explicitly built for the theme at hand. All the other website modules will still be accessible to you under the “Common Modules” and “Custom Modules” sections. 

Pro-Tips for Implementing HubSpot Themes

Evidently enough, themes are the way to go if you’re looking to develop useful websites on the HubSpot CMS. However, since the concept of themes is fairly new in the HubSpot ecosystem, you need to know some pointers while implementing your theme to get the most out of it. Here are some such pro-tips for you to keep in mind at all times!

Website Performance Enhancement

The first set of tips related to implementing HubSpot themes is about improving website performance. No matter how attractive or engaging your website is, it won’t be useful for the customers if it doesn’t pass the basic tests – like load time, page size, and such. Since HubSpot themes are bundled items containing different assets and elements, it becomes more important for you to go the extra mile in optimizing your website performance. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind in this regard: 

A fewer number of themes

While working with themes for your website, it might get tempting to use multiple themes for different effects. However, as a rule of thumb, you should keep in mind to restrict the number of themes to one or a maximum of two (one for the website and one for blog pages). Since these themes are zipped bundles of assets, there is a high chance of inter-theme conflicts, wherein the resources from one theme bundle can conflict with those of other themes. If this happens, the website’s performance can be drastically impacted. As a result, it’s a good idea to use as few themes as possible to eliminate any chances of conflicts. 

Image and multimedia optimization and scaling

To make your website more interactive and engaging, you’ll definitely be using images, videos, gifs, and other multimedia elements. While these are essential items to improve your website’s interactivity, these are also the assets that end up sucking a lot of page size and load speed if not appropriately managed. For best results, all the multimedia items that you use across your website should be scaled (cropped to fit the exact size that it takes on the website so that there’s no wastage of space) and optimized for the screen it’s being viewed on

Brand Voice and Identity

HubSpot themes are generic in nature. In the sense that they’ve been developed for reuse. It isn’t a good idea to just select a theme and start working on website content without focusing on the colors, voice, fonts, and overall brand identity. An important thing to do while working with HubSpot themes (or any CMS themes, for that matter) is to tweak the global color and font settings to reflect your brand colors and brand identity. If you go around doing this manually, for each element, it’ll become an impossible task. HubSpot themes allow you a few tweaking options to reflect your entire brand feel in an instant. Here are some things to keep in mind for that: 

Global Theme Styles

HubSpot themes come with a Global Theme Style option wherein you can get your brand colors reflecting quickly. Unlike earlier, you don’t need to make changes to CSS files or individual elements when using templates. Using Global Theme Styles, you can make direct changes to the theme instead of duplicating the pages and modifying them. 

Brand fonts

Global Theme Styles also allows you to change the global font values. The idea is to get your brand fonts reflecting all across the website. For that, you can set your brand’s font family as the global font of the theme. One tip to keep in mind here is that you should try and limit the number of web fonts you’re using on the site. Ideally, you should use not more than two or three fonts for best results. 

Color pickers

Define primary, secondary, and tertiary colors quickly by using color pickers. Set your brand colors to your color picker to easily access the colors from anywhere on the website, just by referring to primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. 

Improved User Experience

Now that the website performance and brand tone have been settled, it’s time to polish the user experience so that your website speaks out to a wider audience and attracts more people. Here are some things you can do to keep the UX of your website top-notch: 

Default error and blog pages

Your website is incomplete without setting up default pages. Default pages include error pages, including 404. This also includes the default blog page that will be used for your website. The HubSpot theme that you’re using will already have such default error pages. All you’ll need to do is modify them as per your brand’s voice and tone and link them to the desired location. 

Content strategy for the website

When it comes to web UX, content plays a huge role. No matter how pretty your website looks, if the content on the website is not suited to the visitor, you’ll be noticing higher bounce rates from earlier. For that, you can work on creating an elaborate content strategy for your website, which could include the sitemap, all the different pages to be included, and even the blog strategy. After all, the theme that you’re using is only as good as the problems it solves for you. Without a solid content strategy on your website, you’ll find yourself struggling with more problems than earlier!

Let’s Help You Set Your HubSpot Themes!

At ContentNinja, we’ve helped a variety of clients set up their websites using HubSpot themes. We’re experts at working with the HubSpot CMS and are here to help you. If you’re looking to implement HubSpot CMS; or need help with deployment, code, or integration between the different hubs – reach out to us today! 

Author avatar
Shriya Garg
Shriya is the co-founder and CEO at ContentNinja. She started her first blog when she was 12 years old, and coded her first website by the time she was 14. An avid reader and writer, she published her first book when she was 16 years old and has sold over 10,000 copies since. When she's not fielding client calls, Shriya can be found cleaning cat hair from her clothes.