Figuring out whether Medium or WordPress is a better fit for your blog is a big decision. The two platforms offer very different models for how they present your content - and will determine the success of your website!
To help you choose whether Medium blogging or WordPress blogging is better for you, I’ll take you through a head-to-head comparison of Medium vs WordPress.
What is Medium?
Medium, as it describes itself, is both a publisher and a platform.
It’s not simply a site to publish your blog, but a content curator with a personalized homepage for every visitor that promotes interesting stories tailored to their specific interests.
Thanks to this, Medium is, in many ways, the social network for blogs. It makes it simple for users to follow and share blogs and stories, and to discover new blogs that relate to their interests.
Another nice thing about Medium is that Medium blogging is free. There is a ‘Premium’ subscription available for $5 per month or $50 per year, but that’s only for reading ‘Premium’ blogs rather than for adding your own stories to the platform.
What is WordPress?
WordPress offers much more than just a blog. You get a full website that you can populate with blog content as well as static pages, as well as customize with different themes and plugins.
However, a lot of customization can be done only on a self-hosted website if you use WordPress.org. Doing that is going to be a little bit more difficult and take more time.
So the better, easier alternative is a WordPress-hosted website on WordPress.com. Similar to Medium, it's a free, simple way of building your blog.
Paid WordPress.com accounts range from $5 to $25 per month and offer a custom domain, more content storage space, and the ability to use custom themes and plugins. WordPress.org is free, but you’ll need to pay for a hosting provider and domain name.
Medium vs WordPress: Comparing the Main Features
Both platforms are big players in the blogging field, loved my milions. To find the more suitable solution for your blog, here's a rundown of the most important features of Medium and WordPress.
Medium Offers A Better Writing Experience
When it comes to working on your content, Medium blogging wins every time.
If you have a written blog post and just want to put it online as quickly as possible, publishing on Medium will take only a few minutes. The same post on WordPress could take 30 minutes to publish, and includes a lot of extra hassle.
The difference is in how Medium and WordPress structure their publishing tools. Medium is extremely simple and the blank page resembles a Microsoft Word document, with only a few formatting options and simple embedded images.
WordPress, on the other hand, comes with a whole world of plugins and additional options beyond whatever you’re writing. There are many more formatting choices to deal with and it can be confusing to figure out the built-in versioning and post categorization tools, not to mention navigating the administrative dashboard to even get to the post editor.
Most importantly, when you are writing in Medium you can see exactly how your post will look as you’re writing it. In WordPress, you need to click the ‘Preview’ button, which will then load a version of how your blog post will look. That’s a big difference for anyone who wants to put out a finished, quality-looking blog post as quickly as possible.
Monetizing Your Blog
Another important advantage to Medium blogging is that making money from your blog posts is significantly more straightforward than WordPress.
Medium offers a ‘Partner Program’, which allows you to decide for each post whether it should be available to ‘Premium’ members only. If you choose to put up that paywall, you get a few cents or more every time a ‘Premium’ member reads your post.
On WordPress, making money from your blog requires more legwork and is a bigger ask for many readers. First, you must have either a self-hosted WordPress blog or a ‘Business’ account on WordPress.com for $25 per month.
Then you have to convince readers to sign up for a subscription for your site. Unlike on Medium, where a ‘Premium’ subscription allows them to read thousands of blogs, subscribers to your site will only get access to your blog.
Of course, you will be able to do a lot more with plenty of custom plugins - but in general, it's quite expensive and difficult to pull off.
Medium blogging is also more social than WordPress blogging. That’s because Medium offers every user a homepage that displays posts from blogs they’re following as well as posts that are popular across Medium.
In contrast, a WordPress blog is standalone. Users have to go to your website to find the latest blog posts since there is no aggregator homepage across WordPress blogs.
That said, both Medium and WordPress offer social sharing functions to promote your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other big social networks. You can also directly share links to your posts to aggregator websites to help get more people to see them.
Where the choice between Medium vs WordPress for blogging gets trickier is in customization. Medium is fast and easy to use in large part because it offers just a fraction of the customization features that WordPress has on hand.
Most Medium blog posts tend to look the same. Black text on a white page, with very little to distract from the writing itself.
WordPress blogs, on the other hand, can be completely different from one another even though they were created with the same platform. The reason is that WordPress allows you to install different themes on your site, gives you access to add custom code to your theme and individual blog posts, and even lets you use plugins that can change the look and feel of your site.
However, note that all that WordPress customization doesn’t come for free. Free WordPress.com blogs, like Medium posts, tend to look the same because ‘Basic’ subscribers don’t have access to many customization features.
So if you want your WordPress website to look good - prepare to pay. Either on WordPress.com, or by moving to the self-hosted version.
Medium vs WordPress: An Easy Solution Versus A Complex One
If you just want a blog rather than a full-fledged website, the choice between Medium or WordPress is simple.
Medium is free, extremely easy to use, and makes it easy to attract new visitors to your blog and monetize your posts.
WordPress, on the other hand, is weighed down by its complex pricing and hosting options. Getting new visitors to stumble onto your blog can be hard, since they have to visit your website specifically rather than Medium’s social media-style publisher.
But, if you want to pair a full website with your blog, WordPress offers many more customization options and much more control over your content than Medium.
Which one should you choose for your blog? All depends on your personal preference. So let us know down below.