Whether you wish to create a personal brand or promote your business more effectively, launching a blog is still considered one of the best ways to spread a message. There are numerous statistics to support this, blogs are trusted source of information for people seeking accurate online information.
If you want to start a blog, you have no doubt been wondering which platform your blog should live on. In this article, we’ll talk about popular two blogging platforms WordPress and Medium and discuss how they compare so that you can make an informed decision.
- Medium Vs WordPress: Introduction
- Digging Deeper: Ease of Use and Accessibility
- Medium Vs WordPress: Features & Flexibility
- Your Purpose: Promoting a Personal Brand or a Business?
- Medium Vs WordPress: Pricing
1. Medium Vs WordPress: Introduction
What is WordPress?
We cannot introduce WordPress properly without mentioning the two WordPress versions available. So, below is the short description of the two WordPress flavors.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
At the heart of this is the platform’s diversity, as there are two distinct versions of WordPress. The first is accessible via WordPress.com and focused purely on providing a fully hosted blogging platform with various pricing options. This initially free package means you’ll be using a WordPress.com subdomain, which in turn will create a blog web address such as myblog.WordPress.com and afford you relatively simple access to your audience.
The second version is accessible through WordPress.org; this iteration has a nominal price and requires you to download the open source file and host it on a webserver. It is important to note that the self-hosted platform is far more than just a place to blog; it has in fact evolved into a fully fledged customizable content management system and runs some of the world’s largest and most popular websites currently online.
If you want a more detailed description, see the full comparison between WordPress.com and WordPress.org here.
In this post, we will focus on WordPress.org and how it compares with Medium as a blogging platform.
What is Medium?
While Medium may lack the diversity of WordPress, it also offers its audience more than just a simple blogging platform. Medium mixes blogging and social media while introducing ease of use, establishing it as a quick fix for anyone looking to share their story or create a personal brand online.
It has enjoyed incredible growth since its inception five years ago, achieving an Alexa rank of 382 and building a cult following in nations such as the U.S, the UK, Japan, and India (the site is the 209th most popular in the States).
In some ways, Medium has become a social media network for storytellers, helping its users to lay the foundations for their personal brand in the process. Medium’s ‘About us’ page claims that their platform is a “place where everyone has a story to share and the best ones are delivered right to you.”
The Medium team goes on to explain that, “posts range from scrutinies of world affairs to deeply personal essays,” and that, “Medium sifts the best of these for you and delivers them directly onto your home page.”
Ultimately, it is Medium’s simplicity and beautiful design that continues to drive its appeal among bloggers. The platform also makes it relatively easy for bloggers to successfully share their content and build readership, as it utilizes an algorithm which studies read-ratio analytics and the popularity of individual posts to determine which content benefits from the most visibility. You can check the popularity of your content through your user interface, helping you to distinguish popular posts and understand the key to engaging readers going forward.
2. Digging Deeper: Ease of Use and Accessibility
Still feeling confused about the difference between WordPress.org and Medium? If so, let’s delve into this a little deeper into this and try to clarify which blogging platform is right for you, starting with the ease of use and accessibility of each.
The use of the internet has increased drastically over the last decade, with more and more people using the internet to educate themselves, keep up to date with world news and communicate freely using words, voice or video.
It can be argued that one of the main catalysts for this evolution has been the WordPress.org platform, which has revolutionized the way in which individuals and small businesses create content for consumption online. This is true across the globe, as the platform has a total of 72 translations available to users including Albanian, Icelandic and Persian.
Previous to the development WordPress.org, a website could also cost thousands of dollars to create, but there is now ample opportunity for just about anybody to create a website for their business or personal blog.
The global accessibility of the platform has enabled WordPress.org to dominate the world of digitally written words. It has honed the craft, making life easier for the masses who wish to share their stories online with audiences across the globe.
You will need to download the affiliated open source software to access WordPress.org, however, while publishing content is a little more consuming if you choose to set Meta Tags and descriptions.
Medium, on the other hand, offers up a less complicated and instantly accessible platform that enables those same storytellers to create quickly and share easily across an integrated network of readers.
In fact, the platform allows for anyone to start their first blog quickly and share it across the site, while tags and hashtags can be used to categorize your content and make it visible to others. Many people are using Medium to build their personal brands and share their stories with a large audience.
3. Medium Vs WordPress: Features & Flexibility
From the perspective of ease of use and straightforward blogging, Medium has a clear advantage over WordPress.org. This does not necessarily make it superior, however, as WordPress.org offers a far wider range of features that contribute towards a customizable, scalable and easily monetized website.
More specifically, WordPress.org is probably best described as a content management system, while the platform can be used to power both simple blogs and complex eCommerce websites alike. This is reflected by the latest statistics while highlighting the influence of WordPress across a number of markets and confirming that it accounts for an estimated 60% of the content management sector share.
Not only this, but WordPress.org also offers thousands of elegant WordPress themes and templates. Also, there are thousands of free and paid Plugins, which add diversity to your website by integrating purposeful software elements. These translate into various publishing and content management features, enabling you to customize and scale your site over time.
4. Your Purpose: A Personal Brand or a Business?
In this respect, we suppose the real question is this: What is your blog about and what do you want it to achieve?
In essence, there are two words that we believe can help to differentiate between WordPress and Medium, and they are Personal and Brand.
After all, these days almost everyone is trying to use the Internet to create their own professional or personal brand, applying words and images to share compelling stories.
If you are looking to create a personal brand or share your stories in blog form, no matter the topic, then Medium is a great place to start. This platform is also ideally suited for beginners or those who are new to the practice of blogging, thanks to its ease of use and its simplistic, single focus.
However, if you want a more advanced blog or are thinking about aspects such as customization, opt-in forms, SEO and eCommerce then WordPress.org is the only viable option. You must then determine which iteration of the platform you want to access, depending on your precise needs and core blogging objectives.
Use Medium to:
- Start your first blog
- Talk about important issues
- Quickly build a personal brand
- Share your writing skills with others
Use WordPress to:
- Grow your blog
- Create a website for a business
- Monetize your blog
- Get serious about your personal brand
- Add eCommerce and sell to the world
5. Medium Vs WordPress: Pricing
Finally, let’s discuss the subject which most bloggers will base their decision: Price.
If you are willing to self-host a WordPress website, you can download the latest version of WordPress from WordPress.org. Then, you can host it anywhere you like, control your content, and have your own custom URL structure. Most web hosts charge between $3-8 dollars per month to host a WordPress site, but you’ll have to shell out more if your traffic begins to spike.On the other hand, Medium offers a free service across
On the other hand, Medium offers a free service across the board. The only downside is, unlike with a self-hosted WordPress website, you have no control over your content, or the URL structure, while as we have already discussed there are far fewer options when it comes to customizing the platform.
WordPress and Medium are commonly compared because they both appeal to the blogging community.
But the reality is, they both serve different purposes.
WordPress is ideal for businesses looking to launch an official blog. It offers great functionality out of the box, plus an endless list of plugins and integrations to keep the blog fresh and flexible.
Medium is best suited to the lone wolf blogger, who perhaps already has a strong following on Twitter and Facebook. From there, they can attract those same fans to their Medium account, and begin to build a reputation within the existing Medium community.
So, the only real question let is, what kind of blogger are you?
Marco Mijatovic is a blogger and WordPress enthusiast. He’s one of the guys behind First Site Guide so make sure to check out his other work, including in-depth guides and posts where he features latest WordPress insights.
(This is a guest post.)