Medium vs WordPress

What should I do about Medium vs WordPress?

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Medium vs WordPress

To Medium, or not to Medium?

I have been watching and looking at Medium for about a 18 months to see whether or not …

a) I should be using Medium instead of my WordPress blog,

b) cross-posting to both my WordPress blog & Medium, or

c) leaving Medium alone to fizzle away in the background.

This article has been in draft for about 12 months while I was procrastinating, redoing my WordPress stylesheets to recreate the simplicity of Medium, and watching how others were using Medium. I thought it was time to bite the bullet and convert this post from “draft” into “published”.

Medium is a beautiful writing environment

Medium allows you to focus on writing. And it does an awesome job of keeping you focused.

Medium is focused on keeping you focused.

Medium is a very effective platform for writing. It’s just so simple… it doesn’t have all the widgets, sidebars, plug-ins, or distractions of WordPress. People who have used WordPress will immediately notice the distraction free writing of Medium.

Considering that I fervently believe that you “write to think” this is a massive advantage of Medium over WordPress. It really is very simple to get “into the zone” and begin writing, editing, collaborating, and finishing.

Medium is beautiful reading environment

Medium has an incredibly beautiful interface — which prioritises quality over quantity of posts. It reminds me more of a magazine than a blogging platform. Everything ends up looking very polished and curated.

However, I also think that because of the very limited writing interface, everything ends up looking the same. The individuality of different people’s posts seem to get lost. Whilst reading it, I hate to say it, but I tend to vague out rather than get ensconced into the different posts / articles, and end up skimming rather than reading in detail.

“I can’t help but think it looks too much the same.”

I realise that you can use imagery in a really fantastic way, include background blocks to disrupt the flow, and differentiate in some other simple ways, but given that you can’t change the body font from Freight Text and heading font from JAF Bernino Sans, the environment ends up looking like a very beautiful, but very consistent, magazine layout.

Branding

Part of the brilliance of Medium is that it is a curated environment.

But this means that if branding is important to you, then you will need to achieve this in another platform. To use Medium instead of WordPress, I would have to ditch my domain name, and I’m really loathe to do this, so in some way or form, my view is that Medium cannot take over from my WordPress blog.

So is Medium the next WordPress?

When I first saw Medium, I really thought it was going to be the new WordPress, or at least, the next iteration / version of WordPress. It was such a fresh approach to writing, curating and collaborating content that I thought it would overtake WordPress.

But the more I use it, the more I think that Medium & WordPress need to co-exist. Medium is more like a high-end glossy magazine — say like The New Yorker — very high quality content that should be curated. You write specific content for it — article based content—that you would probably create from scratch for Medium. Maybe it would be a culmination of a few different posts from your blog into a single Medium article?

I’ll keep writing primarily for my www.stevenhallam.com blog and looking for featured content that I should cross-post or re-write for Medium. I’ll also keep watching how Medium evolves… it might adjust some of it’s characteristics so that eventually it could be the new WordPress.

  1. Self-hosted wordpress is by far the best way to go for a blog, and wordpress is widely used as the standard solution for many full websites because of the huge variety of templates, themes and plugins that allow you to customize it any way you want. I’ve used wordpress almost exclusively for the last 7 years.

    If you have a blog and you want to be legitimate, you need traffic. Traffic comes from search engines, which requires good SEO practices which is not personalized to your own brand and features with blogger, or wordpress.com hosted sites. Business (and money) comes from good branding which comes from traffic which comes from SEO which comes from good search engine rankings, it’s a simple as that

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