In the world of digital marketing, the right tools can propel your business to new heights. It's always exciting when a platform as powerful as HubSpot releases a new feature. Today, we are thrilled to break down the new changes to the HubSpot marketplace.
But, before we dive too deep into modules let's take a look at why it even matters and how we got here.
Web Canopy Studio and the HubSpot Marketplace
WCS first joined the HubSpot Partner Program in 2014. At the time we were doing a lot of website development work building countless landing pages for our clients on HubSpot.
But, we were using HubSpot in a way that many others weren’t.
While everyone else was hardcoding anything and everything making the platform difficult the use and websites harder to edit, we zagged. We wanted to make things as easy as possible for the HubSpot user. After all, it’s your website. You should be able to edit it how you see fit.
At this point, the HubSpot marketplace consisted of templates. You could download a pre-built template for landing pages, emails, or blogs. Let me correct myself, you could buy a template.
The marketplace was full of overpriced templates that didn’t deliver on their promises. To be blunt, it was mostly expensive junk.
We wanted to turn the whole thing on its head. So we did.
We used our experience building all these landing pages on HubSpot for our clients and created a landing page template that actually worked. The best part, it was free. We called it Prelude.
When we tried to sell it, we got a marketplace error because HubSpot didn’t know how to process a $0 transaction. You could say we broke the marketplace, but I like to think we fixed it.
We had over 100 downloads in the first month. Then 200. Then 300.
Turns out there was a major need for HubSpot users to free assets they could use to help accomplish their marketing goals. So we created a bunch more templates for the marketplace, and they were all free.
Other agencies didn’t like us. We were simply providing too much value for free and it was hurting their business. They hated our free model and thought we were “ruining it for everybody” but now everyone is using this model and innovating on it.
So what was next for us? Well, we already had all these templates so we found a new way to package them all together and make Symphony.
Our first website pack changed the game again. Up to this point, HubSpot only had templates for landing pages and blog pages. If you wanted change something across your entire website (like colors or button styling) you needed to know CSS to make a sitewide change. We wanted to continue to make things easier for users by making a module that would give you the code needed to make the changes yourself. And a how-to video showing you the incredibly easy process.
We even got the attention of HubSpot again for discovering a back door to allow sitewide customizability to non-developers.
Another issue that new users were facing was an empty portal. When they first signed into their HubSpot portal, they would have no assets. They would have to make everything from scratch. So we made a portal starter pack to help make their HubSpot transition easier. It had a bunch of landing pages, email templates, and blog pages ready to go for them.
At this point, the HubSpot Marketplace has all these individual templates, and then website packs that let you group together a bunch of different pages. Their next step was to introduce modules (yes they’ve done this once before).
These were quite primitive and not nearly as cool as the new release. The idea was there, and some really cool things were put in the marketplace, but they were ahead of their time. There were a lot of CSS issues where modules would conflict with the site they were being placed on and they wouldn’t function as they were designed to.
So, in 2020 HubSpot shut down the modules program and shifted the marketplace entirely to focus on themes.
These were NOT built the same as templates. They were exactly what we had been trying to make with our website packs and portal starters. A way to jumpstart your HubSpot journey with ready to build website pages, templates, and theme specific modules.
Our StudioCanvas theme was the first free theme released into the marketplace and is still one of the most downloaded. We have released many more free themes since.
We now also have some of the most expensive themes in the marketplace but they come with coaching, training, and a bunch of additional resources beyond the theme (which just so happens to be our best and most complete theme to date as well).
Now, HubSpot has re-introduced modules. But they learned from their first attempt. Themes now have a lot more requirements on how they are built on the backend but that opens the door for universal modules and allows them to be added to any theme that meets these new requirements. If the theme and module are built correctly (anything currently listed on marketplace has passed a HubSpot validator for compatibility), you can add a module from the marketplace to any theme from the marketplace. You already know we’ve got big plans coming for modules just like we did for themes.
So why do I tell you all this? Because we've been in the marketplace since the very start. We know what works, we've seen what doesn't, and we couldn't be more excited for the opportunities this will open up for HubSpot users.
Modules: Supercharging Your Web Design
Modules are individual, reusable components that bring enhanced functionality to your website. They are essentially the building blocks for your website. You can now use them as customizable, plug-and-play elements that can be added to your existing website theme. They provide the ability to extend the versatility of your site, opening up new possibilities for customization and unique content presentation.
Modules are poised to be a game-changer in the HubSpot ecosystem. They will be integrated with various HubSpot features allowing users to take full advantage of the platform's capabilities without being reliant on their theme provider.
Bringing the Change: The HubSpot Template Marketplace
With these changes, HubSpot has rebranded the “Asset Marketplace” to the “Template Marketplace” which is full of both themes and modules available for download. The marketplace will continue to offer businesses an ever-expanding collection of diverse features, empowering users to customize their website in unique and exciting ways. Whether you are looking to add interactive elements, advanced animations, or specific niche features that your base theme does not offer, the Module Marketplace will be the way to go.
The goal of the new marketplace setup is to allow all modules to be seamlessly integrated into existing themes, regardless of the provider. This opens the door to an extensive range of customizations and fosters a more collaborative environment, allowing providers to create modules that will plug into any theme.
See our timeline module for reference.
Delivering Value with the HubSpot Modules
The introduction of the HubSpot Module Marketplace is set to deliver significant value to all users:
- Versatility: With the ability to plug in modules from any provider on the marketplace, you have an extensive range of options to build out your website exactly as you envision.
- Time-Efficient: Crafting a module is less time-consuming than creating a whole theme. This efficiency allows the marketplace to scale faster, providing users with an ever-expanding catalog of features.
- Enhanced Collaboration: The module ecosystem allows providers to make modules compatible with all themes, fostering a collaborative environment that accelerates growth for everyone involved.
Ultimately, everyone will benefit from more customization options and efficiency gains. This is only the beginning so we are excited to see what amazing things get built, and the innovative ways that modules are used.
The introduction of modules into the HubSpot Marketplace represents a significant step forward in the world of web design. It's a breakthrough that facilitates rapid, versatile website creation and customization, enabling businesses to stand out and better cater to their customers' needs.
No matter your industry or business size, these changes bring exciting opportunities to create a more engaging, functional, and personalized web presence on HubSpot.
We are excited to see what you create!