Which one is right for your business? Let’s dig into the pros and cons of each so you can understand when to use HubDB or custom objects.
Option 1 - HubDB
HubDB is HubSpot’s ready-to-use database. Instead of relying on your IT team to build and manage it, HubDB can easily be used by different members of your team (provided you give them access), displaying data in an easy-to-understand spreadsheet format.
HubDB brings a lot of firepower to your brand, especially if you’re using it for website work. You can use HubDB to create dynamic pages. If you have a gigantic website and need to edit back-end information quickly, this is a huge plus.
HubDB means you can display information on a webpage and even in email. If you have information that requires a dynamic page, the only way to truly offer a dynamic page—at least for the time being—is through HubDB.
We also like HubDB because, frankly, it's less expensive than custom objects.
While HubDB is great in a few situations, it does have its limits. HubDB has several weaknesses, including:
- Row limits: You can only have 10,000 rows per table, and HubSpot limits you to 1,000 tables per account.
- It’s isolated to the CMS: If you need to link your data to the CRM, it won’t work with HubDB because it’s only compatible with the CMS.
- Unauthenticated APIs: Sure, you can create a public API to access the database, but that means unauthenticated APIs can access your data. Be careful with what you share.
Option 2 - Custom Objects
HubSpot includes standard objects like contacts, companies, deals, tickets and other object types such as marketing events (currently in beta). But if you need a more personalized approach, you can create a custom object in HubSpot. That means creating properties and associating them with HubSpot’s existing objects. You’ll also need to use an API to create a custom object.
While HubDB is tied to your CMS, custom objects are great for anything in your CRM. Custom objects allow you to display information in your CRM, on a webpage, and via email (currently in beta).
Custom objects allow you to unify your business and website data for anything you need, from reporting to automation. If you want to associate activities or information to a specific contact (or any other object of your choosing), custom objects have the flexibility to make that happen.
Plus, HubSpot doesn’t limit the instances per object type, so you have a lot more freedom using custom objects.
The biggest downside to custom objects is that you need a HubSpot Enterprise subscription to use them. If your business is on a limited budget, it can be difficult to upgrade just for this feature.
The bottom line
Generally speaking, custom objects have more options and variations than HubDB. They can also be used in your CRM and CMS, while HubDB is CMS-based. But since you need a pricey Enterprise subscription to use custom objects, HubDB can get the job done on a lot of projects, too.
When it comes to HubDB and custom objects, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. It's about understanding your needs. Use this quick guide to determine the best direction for your business. If you need to talk it through with HubSpot professionals,