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Medium vs WordPress – which one to use?

Medium vs WordPress – which one to use?

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Whether you’re just starting your blogging or are a writing savvy, a question like WordPress vs Medium is among the ones to ask when preparing yourself for an online hobby or business.

Right from the start, the very basic thing to know is that both WordPress and Medium are writing and publishing platforms. That being said, WordPress alone has two options: .com and .org, depending on what you want to do with, i.e., for personal or business purposes. So, when we talk about WordPress vs Medium, we are actually talking about WordPress .com vs .org vs Medium, and here’s why.

guy with glasses wondering about medium vs. wordpress usage

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a free blog version where you use .com to host and publish your articles. WordPress’s subdomain (yourblogname.wordpress.com) is your address, but that comes with a price of not being able to use all the benefits in plugins and widgets that make WordPress what it is – the most popular and used CMS in the world. Although, you could use some of them for a monthly fee – if you’re going to pay – why not start using WordPress.org from the beginning, right?

Examples of WordPress.com blogs:

WordPress.org

With WordPress.org there’s a whole other story. You are downloading WordPress as software and installing it onto your website – and, for that, you’ll be needing your domain name and good hosting. Small price to pay for flexibility, owning your own site and content and using tons of beautiful themes, useful plugins, and widgets, right?

hand holding an WordPress logo noting that WP is better in WordPress vs Medium debate

And, for the showcase, just look some of the website examples made with WordPress:

Medium

Ah, Medium… Founded in 2012 by ex-Twitter CEO’s Evan Williams, Medium is – what I like to call it – a Social Media blogging & publishing platform which became pretty much popular among bloggers and content writers. Why? Only because of its minimalistic interface design and built in Social Media shareability and community where, everything you post and publish, gets shared by Medium itself and is searchable through keywords, and you get the weekly newsletter to keep you posted.

wordpress vs medium article title written in Medium

The beauty of Medium is that it’s a simple text editor that promotes your articles to people who would read it and it is a great way to set yourself out there. It’s a place where the focus is on the publications instead of the authors. But (there’s always a but).. With Medium, what you see is pretty much what you get – there’s no option in changing the design, layout, limited analytics, you are not the owner of your content and similar.

To get yourself familiar with how Medium works, we recommend you visit these publications for a start:

And, while I do admit that WordPress native text editor is a bit dated, if you’re using Medium and thinking of switching to WordPress, you’ll have no trouble adapting since there’s new player in town, and its name is The Gutenberg Editor, which is set to enhance the user experience to the fullest.

So, in terms of WordPress vs Medium, which one should you use?

No, I won’t just tell you to use WordPress – what you should be doing is using BOTH WordPress and Medium. And, why? Simply, Medium has that built in shareability and community in itself that will help you in reaching more awareness of your work and/or business. So, it could be a great opportunity to use Medium as a marketing tool for you and your work.

laptop, coffee, pen and a notebook surrounding

I’m not saying that you should copy/paste the content from your website/blog, but… Mix it up, revive your old content, use Medium to promote it as a teaser/a referral to your website. In that way, you are increasing the odds of being noticed and remembered, so why not give it a try?

 

On the other hand, there is one thing that happened recently, which sparked my interest and I wanted to share with you. Only yesterday, Josh Pigford, the founder of Baremetrics, shared some interesting views about Medium. They used it for over a year as a primary blogging platform and – besides initial success – things didn’t quite run that well. I feel as it’s my duty to share his experience with you, and let you drive your own conclusion on Medium vs WordPress debate.

 

What are your thoughts on using Medium and WordPress, which one suits you better and would recommend?

 

*Editor’s note: originally published July 25 2017, updated January 25 2018

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Ivana Cirkovic

Ivana is a Digital Marketing, PR and Social Media consultant with over nine years experience in the field. She is also a WordPress enthusiast and an active member of WordPress community who lives online almost 24/7. In love with Twitter, WP, photography and NYC.

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