Why I’m not leaving WordPress for Medium

The one where WordPress looks cool

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I’ve been thinking about jumping ship and joining the Medium crowd for the last few months. As a matter of fact, when I set up this WordPress (dotcom) site about a year ago I was positively considering Medium. I was coming from a Google Blogger blog. All the cheesy themes there looked when I was 17, but as I got older Blogger wasn’t cutting it. Just getting on the first page of search results wasn’t important. I needed an active community around me. And WordPress was the obvious choice. Importing posts and setting up the theme and stuff was easy. My site looked slick and sexy. I settled with WordPress.

Back then, the only way you could use Medium was with your Facebook or Twitter profile. It wasn’t a deal breaker for me. I use Facebook, Twitter and Google logins for many sites. But somehow, it just didn’t feel right then.

It wasn’t really clear what Medium was supposed to be.

It looked like a social network. It functioned as a blogging platform. It wasn’t confusing per se, but it just wasn’t your traditional blogging website. They added the ability to signup using your email address later. That silenced a few critics. I got on the bandwagon and decided to join Medium.

I didn’t really care about people saying Medium owns your content. Medium certainly wasn’t going to reuse my story about my wristwatch.

I decided to give it a go. And I admit I was floored. Medium was smoother than anything. Everything was beautiful. The layout, speed of loading, focus on content rather than the author. It really gave premium WP themes a run for their money. So far so good. I imported one of my posts just to see what happens. Nobody looked at it. It just sat there for days until I deleted it out of pity.

Today, as you know, Medium is the all the rage. This is the party everyone wants to go to. It has become a norm, at least in the tech world, to use Medium as a medium for public statements. Sundar Pichai is there. Melinda Gates is there. Almost every public figure with a Twitter profile gets set up automatically once they signup. All your followers get carried over. That is a neat trick. I tried it. Other than Arpita and Maddy, no familiar faces among my followers. This was when I realized that when it came to getting noticed, Medium was exactly like WordPress; probably tougher – as almost everyone generates quality content. Your writing is the only currency there. And that is something not everybody is expert at. The odds of finding a goofball exactly like me were infinitely higher on Medium than WordPress.

And let us face it. When a site is known for being the voice of popular people in the industry nobody is going to use the search feature there to look for a poet. Medium, by design, is a magazine. The first thing you see there is a list of trending tags and popular posts. It helps if you already have an audience or are a popular person. If not, well, you need to work hard.

WordPress can do everything Medium can”

And this the part where I finally get to the point. The best thing that could happen to me on Medium is getting featured as the top post. Okay then what? I would get thousands of people reading my posts. A ton of traffic. What would I do with that? I cannot monetize it. There are no ads. I won’t have a dedicated URL for my blog unless I create a Publication. Publication for a single person doesn’t make sense. I’d rather post stuff directly. Even then, my blog doesn’t have a specific address or unique identity. Everything I write would be stored as a post behind my username. Writing for the sake of writing is great. But when you put so much effort into a post it sucks if you don’t get a reward and/or lose your personal brand.

  • Medium’s only use for me is providing me a medium of writing. And it does that exceptionally well. So does WordPress. I already have a small but solid group of friends here. There are no newsletters and email followers there.
  • Medium gives you the ability to follow the author directly and leave a comment. So does WordPress. There is this huge internal social network complete with a dedicated notification section about follows, shares, likes by other users. And though WordPress doesn’t support tagging users directly in the posts by @, it can done by linking their URL. They would get the notification. Same thing.
  • Medium has Top Stories. WordPress has Freshly Pressed.  (Update: Freshly Pressed has changed to Discover now)

 


 

medium ss
Medium has a beautiful Compose screen.

 


 

 


 

wp ss
So does WordPress.

                  


 

wp ss2
There are keyboard shortcuts too.

 

 

Medium excels at generating great content because it is intimidating. Everything you see is slick and polished. Everyone you see is writing about the next game changer. You find yourself right in the centre of the action. It is a publishing platform that enables you to write posts. If you blog because you are a housewife with free time, Medium is an overkill.  You try your hand at their game and it does not go well. When it comes to WordPress, as far as an average user like me is concerned, I get more service. It has always been a blogging service. There is a powerful ecosystem of writers. There is Blogging U for newcomers. There is customization. I am not a journalist or a CEO. I don’t make statements. I write for myself. And when I do, I like maximizing its reach. I like theming my site. It matters how my site looks to world. People are not going to find me unless I make them find me. WordPress has that front secured by SEO and the ability to use webmasters and sitemaps. All this is about the .com version. If you have a self-hosted site you can do anything. Use any plugins. You are in charge here. On Medium, you don’t really control anything.

This doesn’t mean I am not going to use Medium. It is cool. But there is nothing groundbreaking about it that would move a set user away from WordPress. Will I use it along side WordPress? Yes. Will it replace WordPress? Never. I don’t want the trouble of moving into a new home 100 kilometers away and finding out that I am in an exactly same house, the only difference being a paint-job and an arguably better neighborhood.  I am going to use it for showing off my most popular posts. Because hey, why not!

 

 

Author: Rugwed

When Rugwed Soman isn't trying to create a kickass third person bio for himself, he is busy writing stuff, reading stuff, taking photos, dominating the world in video games and pretending to be Sherlock Holmes; not necessarily in that order.

19 thoughts on “Why I’m not leaving WordPress for Medium”

  1. Thanks for clearing my doubts and helping me make an important decision. How about Tumblr, if i may ask? Also, do you think to be visible to important people, one must be there on Medium (alongwith being on WordPress)? Or is WordPress sufficient enough.

    1. Hi! Thanks for reading!
      I don’t think either WordPress or Medium affect your visibilty. I mean you just write on Medium and your posts still would get unique outside visitors, thanks to the SEO. Where WP makes a difference is the *internal* visibility. Therefore, as long as you put out good content, visibility won’t be much of an issue on either of these two. All this being said, something extra never hurt anyone. Use Medium alongside WP to showcase your best work.
      Tumblr is not a good choice if your blog is writing heavy. Think of it as a Instagram and Twitter hybrid. The site is image dominated and isn’t exactly known for its writers. The community there is not consistent. Stick with WordPress. Use Tumblr for one or two posts. Audience is terrific there I tell you.

      1. Thanks for the advice. Shall use Medium then. Although, i am confused by the last line, did you mean Medium or Tumblr?

      2. I use both wordpress and Medium, but agree with your opinions on the latter and only use it to repost what I do on wordpress. However I have just discovered https://niume.com which seems like a worthy platform for consideration. You post to what they call circles, which is basically subjects like art, film, culture etc and your posts get sent to the feed of everyone who is part of that circle.

      3. Niume sounds great. It is a powerful tool for someone with a specific or a highly selective topic. The circles idea is neat. Concentrated posts. I’m checking it out now. Thank you for letting me know. 🙂

  2. Interesting. I’m apparently behind because I’ve never even heard of Medium. To me, it’s a no brainer to use WordPress because I want to eventually self host and use it as my frame for content. The community available via WordPress.com is stronger than I’ve seen in other places. Perhaps you needed to post several things to Medium and build an audience in order to get visitors though. You know?

  3. “I don’t make statements. I write for myself.” This truly resonates in me. I can be silly. I can be sad. I can be conversational. I can tell a story with just 6 words. And I don’t need to be intimidated by the potentially opinionated eyes of others who are admittedly much more worldly than I. (Which is perfectly okay! It is their lot in life. They have stories to tell too. I am happy with my very tiny but significant life, very happy with Word Press, and I am very happy you have re-joined us!!! Thank you for writing a very informationally personal post! Hugs & Blessings!

  4. Great Post! I find Medium too polished for its own good. WordPress feels cosy & homely. The support you get from community is just outstanding. I have had a medium account & deleted it probably twice or thrice. Its just not for me! (P.s – You don’t have to ask about PingBacks, feel free to do it anytime)

    1. Thank you AT. Medium isn’t all that bad though. Its just that it is so similar that it doesn’t make sense to packup everything and move into a new home which is more or less similar to your old one, just with a paint job.

  5. Enjoyed reading this. This was a wonderful comparison. I had also not heard about Medium before. I feel WordPress is much better than Google and the reason is, as you mention, the community. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    Love and light ❤

    Anand 🙂

  6. Because I have a premium plan and a premium theme, I can never leave WP (unless they do something unforgivable like delete my account). I also have great followers and friends who follow my blog here who would be confused or mad I moved so I can’t.

  7. Thank you for this post. This is the first time I have heard of Medium. I’m definitely going to check it out to see what I think myself. I started my current blog originally on Google blogger and I hated it! I just could not develop a community. I moved it over to WordPress and I am already making connections and having more fun. Thank you again for this informative post.

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