Are you thinking about starting a new blog? Confused about which is the best blogging platform? We heard you. In this article, we will compare two of the most popular blogging platforms Medium and WordPress.
Let’s start with the introductions:
- Medium was launched in 2012 as a publishing platform for content.
- With its ease of use, Medium mixes blogging and social media.
- It lets the user post their content and share them with the other members.
- Content on Medium is sorted by category, not by author.
- It is a free and simple place to get going for anyone who is just starting to blog.
- WordPress was launched in 2003 as an open source content management system.
- Earlier WordPress was only used to create blogs but now because of its massive plugins and themes directory, it is the most popular way to create a website.
- WordPress is available in 2 forms WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org
WordPress.com is a fully hosted blogging platform. It gives users different packages with different pricing option with a free initial package. If you create a blog on WordPress.com you will get your web address on a subdomain i.e yourblog.WordPress.com. It will give you basic features and you will have to purchase additional features.
WordPress.org, on the other hand, is a self-hosted blogging platform. You will need a domain name and hosting space to create your blog or website using WordPress.org. Since it is a self-hosted platform you have the control over every aspect of your website. You can grow your blog and add any extra features you like.
NOTE: In this article, we will be comparing Medium vs WordPress.org.
Understand Your Purpose
Before you even think about which blogging platform to choose between Medium vs WordPress, you need to clearly state your purpose for starting a blog.
Are you looking to create a personal or a professional blog?
If you are looking to create a personal blog or are just trying to write some short stories then Medium is a great place to start with. This platform is ideal for beginners because of its ease of use. You don’t even need any extra knowledge to set up and use Medium.
However, if you are looking for a professional website or blog you should opt for WordPress. You get so many more feature to customize your own site and grow your brand.
Comparison: Medium vs WordPress
On the basis of the following category, you can decide which platform is best suited for your blog.
According to Medium Terms of Services, you do own the right to content you created but they have the permission to reuse, publish or even delete the content if they like. Medium can decide to shut down your blog and cancel your account anytime.
With WordPress, you are the one who hosts your website and you get full control over the data. There is no agreement to sign here. No one can delete your content (unless you break some law), you can publish anything you want.
Medium is free to signup and you can read unlimited stories for 3 months. Eventually, you will have to upgrade your plan for $5/month or $50/year. In the paid membership you can read unlimited stories, get an audio version of popular stories and can even save them offline.
For starting a blog on WordPress, you will need a domain name and web hosting. A domain name will cost you around $10/year and the cost of hosting depends on which type of hosting you prefer. We do recommend going for managed WordPress hosting as they are experts in providing hosting solution and 24*7 support. Once you have your domain name and hosting, installing WordPress is free and you will get free themes and plugins to customize your site.
When you post something on Medium remember you are posting your content on their website. You are promoting their brand with your stories. Medium does offer some setting like changing your page layout, and accent color and set a logo. But your logo will appear next to Medium’s logo. Creating a brand is tough because even if you write something amazing chances are people will not remember your name just that they read an article on Medium.
On the other hand, WordPress is the most customizable blogging platform. You can give the look and feel you want for your blog. You don’t need to show any WordPress branding on your website. Your content will be recognized for your name only. If you want your blog to look like it’s your go for WordPress.
Medium is a fully hosted platform, they are the one who has to make their website safe for their users. They keep your data secure using industry standards.
Whereas with WordPress, you are responsible for the safety and security of your data. WordPress does provide regular updates and support to fix any security problems. You can also download security plugins to keep your WordPress site safe.
This will be the most important point in any Medium vs WordPress comparison. Every blogger looks for ways to monetize a website.
Medium focusses on their reader so ads and popup are very rare. They have paid partnership plan, which you can join to monetize your blog. If a paying member clap on your blog, you will receive a portion of $5/month membership fees. The tricky part is payment of per clap varies. Members who clap very often have lower paying per clap than those who clap just a few times. Another way to monetize your articles on Medium is by adding affiliate links.
With WordPress, you can not only use traditional affiliates or ad monetization but you can also extend your blog to an e-commerce store. A lot of bloggers also get paid to write reviews. A sponsored blog post is another way to earn money from your WordPress site. You can approach companies to work out sponsorship deals.
6. Ease Of Use
Medium is very user-friendly as there is no learning curve. For a beginner, all the small things that can be overwhelming are handled by the website. Medium offers a simple content editor.
You can drag and drop to reorder your content. To add media just click on icons provided in the toolbar. Medium also handle all the software updates and security measures for you.
To start a blog on WordPress you will have to buy a domain name and web hosting, install WordPress on your web hosting, customize themes, install plugins, add pages etc. It is a whole learning curve. WordPress content editor is also a little complex.
WordPress is not difficult to use but it has several steps that can be intimidating especially to a beginner.
7. Set Up Process
As stated in above point Medium is known for its ease of use. For their basic plan, you just need a working email address. Sign up with your Email and you have an account on Medium. You can start posting blogs straight away.
You can install and setup WordPress in many ways, using cPanel, locally to your computer using MAMP/XAMPP/WAMP. The process can be chaotic for someone who is not a tech savvy. Although if you go for managed WordPress hosting you can get free installing and setup.
Medium is very limited when it comes to designing. You can choose either a grid or stream based layout. You can also add your logo and background color. Your blog is limited to choices available in Medium. There is no real way to make your blog stand out.
WordPress has no limit when it comes to customization. You get thousands of themes for free you can also extend any feature using plugins. You can get as creative as you want with your website.
Which one to use: Medium vs WordPress
WordPress and Medium are commonly compared because of both appeals to the blogging community. But they both serve a different purpose. We have discussed below when to use Medium and WordPress.
Use Medium When:
1. First blog
As a beginner, it can be a little intimidating to get full control. Medium is a great option as you can get some experience writing and later when you think you are ready to grow you can always switch.
2. Quickly build a personal brand
One of the biggest advantages of Medium is that it comes with its audience. There are a lot of people who use Medium just as a reading tool. You will get this built-in audience for your blogs.
3. Talk about important topics
Even if you don’t consider yourself as a blogger but want to talk about some issues or just share your suggestions Medium is a great place for you.
4. Show off your writing skills
You don’t have time to regularly post a blog but still want to practice your writing skills, Medium is the place for you. You can write short fictional stories, narration just to kills some time.
Use WordPress When:
1. Grow your Brand
Medium gives you the option to quickly build a personal brand but your brand will still be under Medium. There is a chance people will not even remember your name from an article you post on Medium. If you want your unique brand you should definitely go for WordPress.org. You will get your unique domain name and people will recognize your blog with your name.
2. Earn Money
Earning money is very difficult on Medium. But with your own website, you can put advertisement and affiliate marketing links. Sponsered blog post and reviews are another way bloggers are earning money.
3. Add e-commerce
You cannot buy and sell on Medium as it is just a blogging platform. If you want to sell something on your blog you will need just an e-commerce plugin available for free in WordPress.org.
Turns out you don’t have to choose between these two blogging platforms, you can use both.
You can create and run your website on WordPress and syndicate some of your content on Medium. This way you can get more audience from Medium for your blog.
Medium offers an import tool which makes it very easy to import your content and it automatically adds rel=”canonical” tag to ensure Google doesn’t give you penalty for duplicate content.
Winner: Medium vs WordPress
WordPress is for those you want to build a brand and Medium is a place to reach opinionated bloggers.
Medium gives you limited control over your content whereas you are the sole owner of everything in your WordPress site. Medium provides ease of installation and use. With WordPress however, you can go for WordPress hosting and enjoy the freedom of customization.
It all depends on what kind of blogger are you.