This romantic friend of mine always says bad choices make the best memories. Of course, she basically refers to the drummer she was dating recently. And well, maybe the old dude she was going out with before too. Now that I went there, I guess the one before — the guy with a long beard and tattoos has his part too in her philosophy.
Anyway, this might or might not be true in dating life. Speaking of blogging, though, I do not think making all those wrong choices is gonna pay off for you. This particularly holds true when we’re talking of such primary and crucial choices as is picking the platform where you’re gonna blog.
Most often bloggers struggle with two alternative options — Medium and WordPress. The two are utterly different, each with their pros and cons and it takes very close consideration for each individual case to choose the right platform personally for you.
Now, let’s talk about each option separately, what exactly each of those is and discuss the reasons why you might consider blogging in each platform.
As Medium people love to call it themselves — Medium connects people, stories and ideas that matter to you. To simplify — it’s a place for writers, publishers and readers to mingle, share ideas, network and grow.
Basically, Medium is a publishing platform for stories, that allows you to grow a wide range of readers and, let’s say, if your story is “truly good” your chances of going viral are pretty much out there.
But Medium is more than a place to get published. It’s a unique mixture of blogging and social media platforms. A place where you can write, read and socialize/socially engage.
Okay, so why would someone consider blogging on Medium.
- Well, for one — Medium is super easy and fast to get started with. You don’t need to go build a whole blog from design and scratch. All you really have to do before you actually start writing is to create an account on Medium.
- What’s more, is that Medium’s text editor is super simple and cool. It offers you all the directly necessary tools you need without any complicated destruction.
- There is also the fact that Medium isn’t a mere blogging platform. It’s sort of a social platform too. It’s a place to engage in a professional community and benefit from communication.
- There is still more to Medium. This platform is a pool of potential readers and if your writing is good and you find your way to market yourself — it’s a place where you can find your target reader easily.
- Overall, Medium is the place for writers. Of course, it does offer you image and video embedding and editing tools, however, one thing is to remember — the text, the writing is what matters in Medium.
So now, what is WordPress?
WordPress, unlike Medium, is a full CMS — a content management system, which means it is a toolkit for you to create and fully manage a whole website. It’s not purely about blogging — you can as well monetize your blog or create an E-store or a business website or whatever using WordPress.
For some added emotional effect — WordPress ain’t just any CMS. It is, in fact, the most popular CMS in the world at the moment, with a total of 60%+ market share.
Well, so why WordPress?
Oops, I just said it out loud and my colleague screamed back at me: “Because it’s cool!” Or was that my inner self? Okay, whatever.
- First of all — WordPress is about customization. I mean full and absolute customization. You create your own blog and you choose everything — from every single little detail of the design to fonts, from the colors to the tools and elements. Everything!
- In WordPress, you don’t just blog. Yout literally manage the content. You don’t have to stick to the simple text blogging and adding some visuals. Instead, you can use cool tools and elements for engaging your readers. You’re free.
- WordPress is a land of opportunities — you can jump to reconstructing your blog into something totally different — whether it’s an E-store website or something else that you have in mind.
- Again — WordPress is control. You get full control of your space, your topics, your design, your comments, your blog’s… well, everything. You create your kingdom, set your rules, build your own community and sustain it the way you want to.
To Compare the Two…
Now that we kind of discussed what WordPress and Medium are each about, and what the main benefits each offers are, it is important to put them side by side to actually compare and see who our ultimate winner is.
Of course, it is very much understandable, that it’s a little bit subjective and the outcome of the debate might end up varying from case to case, but let’s try to sort of generalize and draw a map of pros and cons.
Let’s evaluate each main blogging feature with Medium and WordPress and see where it takes us:
Ease of Use
I mean… There’s really not much to discuss here. Medium gets the crown.
You wanna blog in Medium? — just enter your name and email, confirm your email and start writing right away. On the other hand, it takes time for actually building a website before you start to blog in WordPress.
The editors vary too. It’s not like WordPress’s Gutenberg editor is very confusing or anything. But still, the Medium editor is much less of a pain to figure.
So, Medium is absolutely the winner when ease of use is what you’re looking for.
- Features and Flexibility
Much of comparison here might totally hurt the feelings of good old WordPress. And what’s there to compare.
Medium is a fixed canvas for you to fill. On the other hand, WordPress is about endless elements, features, services, plugins, and addons that you can get depending on your interests.
Say, for example, you’re travel blogging. On Medium you can… hmmm… write? Attach photos of your trip? Cool. On WordPress you can play with the whole travel context, create interactive maps, use tons of photo and video plugins out there to create additional effects.
Let’s just not go into all the depths. I mean, WordPress, without a doubt, wins this category.
WordPress is associated with a number of payments you just have to make, those being the price of the domain, hosting and the fees of any additional services you may purchase. Medium, on the other hand, offers you free services.
Okay, Medium — you got this one too. You’re cheap (no offense, just a mere fact).
- Customization and Control
Now, we’re so not discussing this in a boring, lengthy paragraph.
Medium is for writing. WordPress is the king of customizations. Any customizations — color, shapes, fonts, styles, images, forms, pages, media, etc., etc.
WordPress wins with a triumphal knockout. That’s it.
- Community Building
I already said that Medium is a little bit of a social media network too. It’s a place to connect to your potential publisher, do idea exchanges with fellow interested in the same fields as you, etc. etc. On the other hand, WordPress, although it allows comments and does offer response forms and contact forms to be embedded to your blog, is still not a networking platform.
So, yeah, Medium pretty much wins here.
Backups are everything in blogging. Not backing up your content properly is one of the most catastrophic mistakes bloggers make.
Medium, however, doesn’t create backups for your writings. It just saves whatever you write in one place alongside with all those other writers.
On the other hand, WordPress has endless backup and security plugins and even services — some of which come free and help you create safe and easily recoverable cloud backups for your blog.
Who scores? WordPress does!
And Our Winner Is…
Let’s draw a few conclusions depending on the observations about different criteria we’re discussed above. What can we say?
Medium sounds like a cheap and easy option to start blogging when you want to engage in the community and the content you plan on offering is based on text majorly. It’s also great for all those who are seeing professional communication as a writer.
On the other hand, WordPress is a bit more costly, harder and demands more effort to be into the process of blogging. But! It’s so much more than textual blogging. In fact, it’s a full website experience where you’re the utter master! You decide on everything and anything and you’re given all the flexibility on earth, whenever you need to switch from A to B.
I’d say, if we’re talking blogging and I mean real cool blogging, not just making the ends meet — WordPress is the answer.
Still, if you’re just a starter and you have 0 technical knowledge and you’re too scared of technicalities and you’re looking for the simplest text editor to put your thoughts together and you do not need a fancy website but a simple bloggie works just fine for you — feel free to reach out to Medium. To keep it fair — Medium IS a great first for newbies.
Do you still want more options? Here’s GearFuse’s list of 5 blogging platforms for beginners.
There you go now. Don’t forget to tell us in the comments below whether you’re a WordPress or a Medium person.
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