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July 29, 2016

27 HubSpot CMS Terms Defined: Template, Layout, Page and More


HubSpot is an incredible full-funnel CMS and you know we're fans. But sometimes keeping track of the language the tool uses to refer to website options or features can be a bit of a task. So we've created this list of 27 terms that will get you up to speed and help you stay in the fast lane.

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HubSpot CMS Terms

Advanced Menus: Either Simple or Advanced Menus can be added to Templates in HubSpot. Advanced menu modules are often used for the main site menu and are always locked; they cannot be edited at the page level.

Call-to-action: A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that brings a user to the conversion page and creates the connection between what a site visitor has just viewed and the more high-value offer that comes next. It is used to drive prospective customers to become leads (as the next page should contain a form.) Generally the button or link contains micro-copy like “Read more” or “Download now.”

Cloning Templates: You can create duplicates of your templates to save time if you want to create small variations.

Content Settings: Be careful! This is where things can get tricky. Content Settings is where you can make site-wide changes to the header and footer. You can add a favicon, add style sheets, select error page templates and edit the company info that is brought in automatically in emails and the footer. There are also many links in the sidebar that go to even more dangerous places such as the advanced menus area, the URL mappings and the domain manager. Proceed with caution.

Custom Module: Used by expert HubSpot CMS developers to create customized functionality above and beyond the out of the box capabilities of the platform, and used to simplify (for the marketers) the process of adding content.

File Manager: Used to manage all of your files (images, PDFs, videos, etc.) alongside your templates and stylesheets.

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Flex Column: Flexible columns are added to templates in HubSpot and allow for content creators to add, remove and reorder modules at the page level.

Flexible Pattern URL: Flexible pattern URL mappings allow you to dynamically redirect URLs that have a certain URL structure, maintaining parts of the original URL in the destination URL.

Global Group: A group of modules that appears on multiple templates throughout the website, such as the header and footer. Things that appear on many templates and don’t change from one to the other.

Global Module: A module that appears on multiple templates throughout a website.

Head Settings: This is where you might attach another style sheet, javascript, add custom typefaces or tracking codes.

HubSpot COS: COS stands for content optimization system. The HubSpot COS is another term for the HubSpot CMS.

Layout: A template’s layout refers to the structure of elements on the page or template. You can use the Template Builder in Design Manager to build layouts without using HTML.

Lists: Lists are the different ways that you break up your contacts into smaller segments based on their similarities. Lists, and the contact database that powers your list-building, gives context to the content people consume and the experience they have with your site and company.

Module: A standard piece of back-end HubSpot CMS development. A building block of a CMS site. Each one has a different purpose: one may be for images, another for text, another for a slider, another for social sharing. These can be dragged around to represent the amount of the screen they take up in width and grouped with other modules.

Page: This one’s easy! A page refers to any page on your site, including landing pages, subpages, blog posts, etc. Each page has its own URL.

Page Settings: This is where you name the page, edit its URL, enter page-specific metadata, enter custom header and footer HTML, add or remove stylesheets from the page, change template etc.

Personalization Tokens: Personalized content performs better. Personalization Tokens are Smart Content, but refer specifically to the person or company visiting the page or opening the email. You might choose to personalize emails with the contact’s first name, using a “first name” Personalization Token, for example.

Primary CSS File: Primary CSS allows you to easily add styling to all of your templates and pages from one file. This takes you right to whatever file is designated the Primary CSS file in the content settings. Templates and pages, can, however opt out of using this file.

Smart Content: Modules allow for an option to serve up specific content based on certain segmentation criteria in HubSpot based on list membership, event tracking or referral source.

Smart CTA: A smart CTA is a call-to-action that changes based on information about the viewer. Allows you to serve different content based on where the user lives in your funnel.

Smart Lists: Smart Lists are in contrast to Static Lists. You can’t add to Static Lists after creation, but Smart Lists evolve, removing and adding contacts based on given criteria.

System Templates: Systems templates are used as the basis of certain types of pages generated automatically by HubSpot, such as 404s, password-protected and subscription pages.

Tabs: Build your templates alongside your stylesheets, or your stylesheets alongside your templates, get the idea. Tabs are just like tabs on a browser, but within HubSpot, containing different templates and coded files instead of the web pages your browser tabs contain.

Template: A template is a mold from which you create different pages. If one page is going to look significantly different from another, it needs another template. Templates are created in HubSpot Template Builder. You might have one template for blog posts, one for landing pages, and one for subpages. Template should not be confused with “theme.”

URL Mapping Tool: This tool lives in Content Settings and allows you to manually create 301 redirects

Workflows: HubSpot's Workflows tool allows you to create personalized, relevant marketing based on your contacts’ behaviors. For example, a contact might be enrolled in a workflow titled Lifecycle Stage | Marketing Qualified Lead.

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Christopher Mathieu

Christopher Mathieu is the Chief Design Officer at New Breed, where he oversees the creative strategy behind every project we produce. His unique ability to combine his fine art background with his technical web expertise has led Chris and his team to produce countless sales-ready websites and inbound marketing...


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