What’s the best platform to start a blog?

If you plan to blog or post content online regularly, you may have heard of Medium and WordPress. Both are incredibly popular tools, and both make it incredibly easy for people to post content online.

However, while the two serve a similar purpose, they’re actually quite different. WordPress is a content management system, while Medium is a publishing and blogging platform.

If you’re confused between the two, here we’ll compare the two options to see which one is better.


How does the medium work?


Screenshot of the Medium homepage

Basically, Medium is a publishing platform that allows anyone to blog on the site. All you need to do is register to start writing.

When you start building an audience, Medium may ask you for permission to maintain and promote your posts to its user base through “Topics”, which are essentially the publishing part of the platform.

Related: How to Create an Attractive Profile on a Medium

Initially, Medium simply offered a platform for people to post content. Over time, Medium brought monetization into the fray.

How does WordPress work?


Screenshot of the WordPress home page

WordPress is a blogging tool, publishing platform, content management system, and website builder, all rolled into one. Over 43% of all websites on the web are built on WordPress!

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The main difference between Medium and WordPress is that if you go with the former, you will need to purchase a domain name and hosting separately. Next, you need to install WordPress on a server (either a physical or hosted on) to get started.

Like Medium, WordPress is free. However, you will have to pay additional fees to get hosting and a domain name, but it gives you more control over your site.

Monetization options on WordPress and Medium

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If your end goal is to make money from your writing, Medium may seem like a better choice. If you join their partner program, you can get paid every time Medium hosts your blog posts.


Screenshot of Medium's Earn page

However, your payout is dependent on the traction your posts get. If it goes viral, for example, you could end up earning thousands. More importantly, while Medium allows first party promotion, you cannot go for third party promotion.

This means that you cannot write content that promotes someone or something else. But, since it only pays you to write, Medium often seems like a fantastic opportunity for budding bloggers.

WordPress

If you choose WordPress, you basically own your site. You are not posting content on another platform; you create your own. This gives you the freedom to monetize your blogs in several different ways:

  • You can join an affiliate program (third party promotion).
  • You can publish sponsored articles.
  • You can serve advertisements.

If you are serious about blogging and plan to expand in the near future, WordPress is by far the best choice.

Main features of WordPress and Medium

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Medium has a built-in editor that lets you blog easily. The “what you see is what you get” editor allows you to preview articles before publishing them. It also supports all the rich text features you would expect, including videos, images, and GIFs.


Screenshot of Medium's blog interface

However, you cannot install a theme or change the design of your blog posts. You may also not be able to express yourself as freely as you would like, as all posts are subject to Medium’s rules.

The writing and editing experience is incredibly easy, and you can also add a preview image (similar to a featured image), tags, and decide if you want Medium’s curators to promote your. story.

WordPress

The best thing about WordPress is that it is incredibly versatile. You get a fantastic block editor in Gutenberg, a seemingly endless collection of blogging themes, and an insane amount of customization options.


Screenshot of the WordPress plugins page

You can change the theme, design, layout, whatever you want. Mainly, you have the plugins. WordPress has over 50,000 plugins that you can install and activate. These plugins give you unparalleled control over every element of your site, from SEO to design.

Related: How to Improve Blogging Productivity on Android and iOS

You can choose from publishing tools that automatically publish your content to multiple social channels, schedule upcoming posts, and review existing posts.

You can even hire writers and give them access to your site to write and publish articles. Like Medium, WordPress also supports a wide range of media including images, videos, and GIFs.

Content management on WordPress and Medium

Average

The content management features in Medium are virtually non-existent. You won’t find any additional settings to optimize your content, and you won’t be able to share it directly from the editor.


content management on Medium

You also cannot add any extensions or plugins to improve your experience. The main goal of the Medium Editor is to give you a distraction-free experience, and it shows. For some users, however, this might be what you’re looking for.

Related: How To Use Social Media To Increase Your Audience In A Medium

Once you publish content to the platform, you may see it appear in the Stories section. Click on it and you will be able to view more detailed statistics, including the time spent by readers on each blog. And that’s about it.

WordPress


Screenshot of Gutenberg editor in WordPress

WordPress has extensive content management features built into the platform. From custom fields to snippets and links, WordPress has it all. With the large number of plugins available, you can also optimize your content for different platforms, including social networks.

More importantly, with the plugins available on WordPress, you can also get granular details on how visitors are interacting with your site. This includes heat maps, bounce rates, visitor entry and exit channels, and more.

Related: The Most Effective WordPress SEO Plugins

The reason why WordPress is so widely preferred is that it offers a lot more flexibility when it comes to managing your content. You can design and present the content in different ways, or write however you want. You can also add categories and tags to posts to further streamline your website structure.

Final verdict: should you go with WordPress or Medium?

If you just want a blogging experience and don’t worry about scalability, go with Medium. It has a neat and clean interface, and all the tools you need to write.

However, if you want complete ownership and control of your site and its content, then WordPress is the way to go. Buying hosting and a domain name requires an upfront investment, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs.


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