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The Web App Builder Hidden in HubSpot CMS Hub

Brandon Jones

Web apps are an inventive way to expand the functionality of your website and increase the level of interaction you have with your users. But before we explore how to build web apps in HubSpot, let’s cover the basics.

A web app is software that runs in a web browser rather than natively on a device’s operating system. Web apps are also sometimes referred to as “web experiences” or “dynamic experiences.” But no matter what you call it, web apps offer a higher level of interactivity than your average web page built for reading and watching static content.

Take, for example, one of the most popular web apps: Gmail. When you access Gmail through your browser, you can retrieve, compose, and send mail, edit your account settings, and more.

To build a web app like Gmail, you’ll either need to use a third-party tool, or handle everything from scratch yourself — storage and computing resources included. And how do you integrate the data with your CRM?

HubSpot users might be surprised to learn that there’s a third option — building web apps directly in CMS Hub. In this article, we’ll explain where to find these tools, and discuss some benefits of using them to build your next B2C or B2B web app.

How Building Web Apps in CMS Hub Works

If you’ve opened CMS Hub to look for that elusive web app tool, we’ll save you the hassle — there isn’t one.

Rather, there are a few different tools and functionalities in CMS Hub which enable the creation of complex web apps. That’s why we say “hidden” — it isn’t an official web app builder, but a combo of many powerful tools that make it possible to create your own. Heads up: Most of them require a CMS Hub Enterprise subscription.

Before reflexively upgrading, we recommend a cost-benefit analysis. You’ll need to assess the ROI of your web app ideas to see if the added subscription tier is worth it, then compare the cost of an Enterprise subscription with alternative web app solutions, such as self-hosting and third-party providers.

If you’re confident about adding CMS Hub Enterprise (or already have it), consider leveraging these helpful features:

Serverless functions

Of all the tools at your disposal, HubSpot serverless functions are the one that makes web apps on HubSpot CMS possible. Basically, you can store data in HubSpot CRM or HubDB, and users interact securely with these databases via your website. No extra servers, costs, or pesky configurations required. That’s great news for a scaling business! 

The beauty of CMS Hub is that it handles all the computation, and data is stored securely in HubSpot, all in one place. You also have the freedom to customize the web app's appearance and functionality in Design Manager using JavaScript. There are some limits, but most B2B use cases (and many B2C use cases) should be doable.


HubDB is a native database tool in CMS Hub that allows you to maintain and edit databases, then use that data to build dynamic experiences. Similar to a spreadsheet, tables are formatted to suit your data needs. Use it as part of your data management strategy to set your business up for success.

HubDB IMG 1 ENGHubDB supports dynamic content creation across your website.

You also have almost unlimited creativity in what types of information you can store and retrieve in HubSpot CMS Hub. Rich text, URLs, images — you name it, HubDB will manage it.

Keep Reading: How to Build a Store Locator Page with HubDB

Custom objects

HubDB isn’t the only place to store and retrieve data for dynamic web apps. HubSpot CMS Hub lets you do exactly that by defining custom objects. That means you can personalize a user's web app experience based on their preferences, actions, and history. You can also use custom objects to store data on specific users’ contact records.

Membership portal

Like CMS Hub’s other tools, the Memberships feature offers a high degree of customization.

signupMemberships requires visitors to register an account in order to access content.

This native membership portal functionality allows users — customers, resellers, or partners — to securely log on to your web app and manage their accounts. You’ll be able to create personalized user experiences while maintaining information between sessions.

Benefits of Using CMS Hub For Web Apps

With CMS Hub’s web app builder, you can create the best possible experience for your users. But what’s in it for you? Here’s why you’ll love it:

  • You don’t need to purchase and configure extra software
  • It’s scalable for low- and high-usage web apps
  • You can code everything in JavaScript
  • It’s completely customizable

And you won’t have to worry about maintaining integrations between HubSpot and third-party tools. Isn’t that a welcome change?

But the greatest benefit is native integration with your other HubSpot systems.

Think of it as a CRM-powered CMS — the single source of truth for your sales and marketing teams. That means CMS Hub can fuel customized marketing workflows, sales sequences, or whatever else teams want to achieve.

Examples of Web Apps You Can Build in CMS Hub

Here are a few examples of what you can create in CMS Hub’s web app builder. This list isn’t exhaustive — just use your imagination!   

Event registration portal

An event registration portal shows users how many slots remain in your upcoming events. HubDB dynamically feeds information to the web app while safely storing input data (which are pushed into HubSpot CRM).

Quote builder

If your business receives quote requests, why not develop a quote builder? Users can select products from your catalog, displayed via a HubDB table. You can even add custom objects, like warranty type, to offer users more personalization.

HubSpot Products & QuotesUse the Products tool in HubSpot to build your catalog...

PivIT Quote Request...and allow users to build their quotes directly on your website! (Source)

ROI calculator

An ROI calculator is an excellent lead qualification tool that determines the results of a product or service. HubSpot serverless functions capture user data and return the expected ROI.

Sprint Ray ROI CalculatorAn example calculator built for Salted Stone client, Sprint Ray.

Dynamic forms

These smart forms leverage existing contact data to dynamically update fields. If generic fields already have a value, setting a progressive field to request new information will reduce user friction and capture richer prospect data.

Personalized content library

HubSpot loves personalization. This content library dynamically tailors content to your users based on stored contact data. The approach is up to you!

Learning management system

A learning management system handles online learning functions like course enrolments and content management. By using HubSpot serverless functions, you can enable users to pick up where they left off on any device. CRM connectivity also offers re-engagement opportunities via new lists and workflows.

How Salted Stone Can Help

Building apps in HubSpot’s CMS Hub Enterprise has perks for developers and users. Customization, personalization, and scalability, not to mention the connection with HubSpot CRM, make CMS Hub a no-brainer. The options are endless.

If the thought of using these tools on your own is a bit daunting, talk to our team. As an Elite HubSpot agency partner with experience creating B2B web apps, we can help you strategize and ideate — and if you like, we can also execute it for you.

Ready to build your next web app?


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