An agency hands you the keys to your new website. You’re stoked. Finally, the website project is done, and you get to add and edit content.

Then, you open the door. Overwhelmed, you shut the door.

It’s an age-old story that’s finally laid to rest by the HubSpot CMS and HubDB.

In this article, we’ll spell out some benefits of HubDB, and then we’ll review three examples of how we used it on the website, supersod.com, to make editing content simple and enjoyable. 

With HubDB, you can create tables to easily add and remove data on your website. Several users describe it as a “simplified spreadsheet that is easy on the eyes.” HubDB works great for content such as:

  • Event calendars.
  • Team member bios.
  • Locations (with map features).
  • FAQ pages.
  • Company history/timeline.
  • Product catalogs.

Data sets can consolidate and display on a single page (example: team member bios). They can also be used in their own individual pages (example: locations). Or they can be used for a combination of both (example: a product catalog with individual product pages). 

 

A Simpler Life With HubDB

With HubDB, tasks are made easier for designers, developers, and editors.

 

Enhanced design and development

From a design and development standpoint, HubDB is great because it keeps the design consistent and separates content editing from design.

What does that mean for content editors?

You waste less cognitive resources on templates and design, and you get to focus more on the content itself.

 

Enhanced content editing

From an editing standpoint, you can use HubDB to add to and maintain beautifully designed pages without having to touch a line of code. Most importantly, it provides a single place to do so.

Imagine the headache that comes with creating a frequently-asked-questions directory with hundreds of questions. Traditionally, you’d have to give each question its own page, open each page to edit and publish it, and then pray you’d never have to hunt through hundreds of pages just to slightly change the page’s content. That pain point is beautifully solved with HubDB.

For custom post types, HubDB provides a place for users to edit and add content, route that content to a database, and then allow the CMS to display the content in the appropriate template. Also, HubDB natively provides editors the ability to edit all the posts in a single place. To put the icing on the cake, you also have the ability to import data from a CSV. Just route the spreadsheet’s columns to your database columns, and presto – you’ve successfully imported content.

Ready to use HubDB in your own HubSpot account? 

Access Your HubDB Tool in HubSpot

 

HubDB in Action

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of HubDB, let's see them in action in the three examples below.

1. Dynamic FAQ page

Super-Sod approached us wanting a website redesign. After auditing the site’s content, we realized they were living the hypothetical nightmare scenario described above. They had at least 100 pages of frequently asked questions, and editing was cumbersome. Also, from their customers’ shoes, navigating the master FAQ page was difficult.

HubDB to the rescue.

We created a spreadsheet, categorized each question, and made the master FAQ page filterable with anchor links. 

faq-page-frontend

Users were happy, and the marketing team’s job became easier. They no longer had to go to individual pages to edit each FAQ. With HubDB, every question and answer was in one table, and minor edits to a question/answer were no longer a daunting task. It’s also worth noting that HubDB prevented a bloated list of website pages cluttered with FAQs. 

faq-editing

 

2. Filterable online catalog

Super-Sod’s website needed another vital solution: an easy-to-use product catalog. This required easy product filtering and better product scanability.

HubDB to the rescue…again.

This involved HubDB’s dynamic child pages and child tables. There were already product categories in place, so we created child tables in HubDB for each product category. 

hubdb-category-table

 

And this is how we displayed the categories on the front end:

product-category-frontend

 

Whenever content editors at Super-Sod want to add or edit products, all they have to do is enter data in HubDB.

product-column-dropdowns-backend

 

3. Location finder page with customizable locations

Another scenario where HubDB saves the day is with location-based data (e.g., a store locator). In this particular case, the client needed to mix scalable data (store names, phone numbers, coordinates, addresses) with customizable, niche data (individual store specials, individual store announcements, product lines that varied per store). HubDB needed a sidekick — and custom modules delivered. This location finder below is a marriage between HubDB and HubSpot’s custom modules.

location-finder-frontend

With the mix of scalable and non-scalable data, it could have been easy to lose the benefits of the dynamic website pages that HubDB provides. And it could have gotten “hackey” fast — which would have made editing content a nightmare.

Luckily, since HubSpot’s products are designed to work with each other, individual pages were pre-populated with dynamic HubDB content. They also provided a smooth way to add custom “about us” sections and store alerts, seasonal store specials, and custom products. 

location-individual-frontend

 There's a lot of cool things to learn using HubDB. Check out this free HubSpot Academy lesson on using HubDB: 

Access the Lesson in Your HubSpot Account: Using HubDB in HubSpot 

HubDB Takeaway

The primary feedback we kept getting from the Super-Sod team was “This is so easy!” If you want a CMS that provides user-friendly ways to edit content and you aren’t already using it, we highly recommend HubSpot’s CMS and HubDB.

Want to connect with others on HubSpot tips, tricks, and updates? Head over to the HubSpot Community to join a conversation or start one of your own. 

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Originally published May 20, 2019 10:00:00 AM, updated May 20 2019