There are many websites over the internet for dummies and wannabes. However, there is something that even dummies and wannabes also do not need to know. As long as they are the dummies or wannabes who use internet, they are definitely aware of WordPress, or at least once in their long life span, they hear this word. Why? Because every dummy that wants to become an over a night millionaire over the internet, wants to own a website and WordPress is known to be the best and most famous website building platform. But not too long … while its hegemony is still without any doubt, a very potential website building platform named as Medium is challenging it.
In this article, we will try to discover as to which platform is the best. So, get ready to see as to which one outsmarts the other.
1. Let’s get familiar
WordPress still owns almost a quarter of the websites that exist over the internet. This is a big number. This simply means that 1 out of every 4 websites over the internet is based on WordPress. WordPress, just like Medium, is a website building platform and content management system. It comes in two different versions.
- www.wordpress.org – which is a self-hosted and totally free version of WordPress. It is the self-hosted version. If you own a WordPress website, highly likely it is based on the .org. Users have to download it or some hosting companies offer it with their service and thus you do not have to download. With this version, you can customize various themes and enjoy custom-made plugins.
- www.wordpress.com – which is also a free platform but includes paid addons, limited options and no custom-made plugins.
WordPress is praised for its simplicity, ease of use and efficiency. By the looks of things, WordPress seems to be a website development platform that will last the competition and keep its title.
Medium is also a website building platform. Although it is new and it has to walk a long way to reach where WordPress is now, but it certainly enjoys an edge over WordPress. Unlike adopting the WordPress approach of personalized blogging forum, Medium comes up as a community-oriented blogging tool. So, if WordPress writing is like keeping your own diary, getting your content published through Medium is just like getting published in a magazine with good readership. Medium’s plus point is its social side; it is owned and run by the co-owner of Twitter Evan Williams. Thus the forum is basically built on a socially-rich model. It has its own pros and now let us see if it has any guts to outsmart WordPress.
2. How social are they?
As it has been mentioned earlier, WordPress is a personalized writing and publishing system and to the contrary, Medium depends a lot on community building. Thus social organization and sharing on WordPress, depends on plugins and how the publisher goes beyond the limits of WordPress to make their content socially viral.
To the contrary, Medium is run by a social media mastermind and it enables the publisher to reach a larger and more committed audience. Since Medium is a community based website building platform, Medium users get a head-start against WordPress publishers.
3. Plugins and Themes Wise!
Well, what makes WordPress amazing? Let us tell you, it is the WordPress unique capacity to let people customize their website the way they want. For example, one of the Techverx editors own a personal hobby blog and he uses the Divi theme offered by Elegant Themes. Now, this theme is being used by hundreds of thousands of people, and yet our editor’s personal blog does not look ditto copy of any other Divi user’s blog. Why? Because WordPress offers you so many free themes and you can also get paid themes from theme stores to customize the look, feel and operation of your website. So is the case with plugins; WordPress comes with thousands of free plugins and people can also buy plugins. This gives WordPress user an unparalleled edge over any platform that offers limited choices to its users.
Medium comes with plenty of design and layout options, yet they are limited and do not give Medium publisher enough room as compared to a WordPress user. While they can add their own logo, edit their website’s header and choose a grid or stream layout etc. and the drag and drop editor is very easy to use, Medium users still cannot enjoy the freedom that WordPress users enjoy when it comes to design, layout and functionality of the website.
4. Ownership of the content
WordPress is a personalized publishing platform and the content is 100% the property of the publisher. You may publish a gazillion posts about how NASA never made it to the moon and how it was only a fake discovery filmed in Nevada’s deserts, no one will be able to delete your content because of it being unoriginal, unethical, false or based on conspiracy theories. This is called absolute ownership of the content. As long as you use WordPress on a personally owned website, your content is truly yours.
To the contrary, although Medium is a free community that let you share your stories and connect with like-minded publishers and readers, it is 100% owned by the organization named as “A Medium Corporation.” While apparently they do not have any wish to shut down or cancel your plan, they can do this at any time and deprive you of the right to publish over Medium.
5. Whose Brand are you promoting?
The list of people who started as individual bloggers over WordPress and evolved into a brand, is limitless. Take Neil Patel for example. He is known for owning stunning IT companies and having been mentioned in Entrepreneur. He started his personal blog www.neilpatel.com and soon it evolved into a brand. This is possible on WordPress because of the freedom it gives you and because you promote only your content. You grow on WordPress in your own style and once you manage to gather some good number of readers, you can monetize your content the way you like. Your content, your ideas and your hard-work, will only be known as yours.
Now come to Medium. No doubt that being a community-oriented website platform it offers you a boost to let the Medium community know of your efforts and read your content, but you have to promote their brand as long as you use Medium. You are branding for a corporation known as “A Medium Corporation” and not for your own brainchild. Plus, content from other publishers also appears as next stories under your own story. They do so in order to promote their community, but in doing so they force you to compromise on your own brand and identity. Thus it is highly likely that your readers will only remember your story, but not your name or your brand name, or worse, they will click on a next story and some other publisher will win the loyalty of your prospects.
When you choose to become a content publisher and develop a website of your own, security of your content becomes a very big issue. Medium and WordPress have their own ways and limitations when it comes to the security of content. WordPress, unless in the case of wordpress.com, does not provide hosting. This means that people who choose to go with wordpress.org option, have to choose a hosting company. Thus, the safety and security of website relies a lot on the efficacy of the hosting company. In the end, responsibility to protect the content and website depends on you since you are the captain of your own ship. Although WordPress deals quickly with security issues and there are many plugins to protect your site, the security is still not flawless.
When it comes to Medium, their users enjoy another edge over the users of WordPress; they have a fully hosted platform and thus software is 100% protected. The highly secure servers of “A Medium Corporation” guarantee the protection of your private information and invaluable content.
7. Ease of move
For one reason or another, a website owner sometimes have to move their valuable data and content from one site to another, one hosting company to another hosting company or one platform to another platform. It is so disturbing for any noob to transfer from one to another hosting or platform. However, WordPress makes it easy in so many different ways. Since it is an open source platform, it gives you total freedom to transfer all of your data from one to another place. You can use import-export option or use WordPress backup plugins to transfer your site from one to another host.
Now, in this scenario, when we compare Medium to WordPress, it is simply not impressive. Medium lets the export of data in HTML format and WordPress does not easily import it. So, if you want to move from Medium to WordPress, transferring the content can be a real headache. Likewise setting up redirects is nearly impossible in a Median to WordPress scenario. You will have to follow a painful manual process to redirect each and every story to WordPress.
8. Technical Support
WordPress also outsmarts Medium in case of technical support or help. WordPress is an open source community and thus free community support is always there. Members love to help members and they do not need any staff members. This enables more than one people to help one troubled user, and thus more than one solutions to a problem are offered.
However, in case of Medium, the support is offered by the limited number of staff. They have a ticket system and although the support is so far absolutely free, it takes time based on the number of requests that the representatives have pending. While one cannot deny the value of technical support provided by the educated, trained and experienced staff, the traditional CS or TS guys can never show the eagerness to help and cannot truly empathize with the aggrieved complainant. An example is Fiverr Customer Support. The way they deal with sellers who use their freelance forum, is simply anything but customer service. Internet is full of stories about how they mishandled simple issues and ignored the troubled sellers as well as buyers.
By now, we believe that you have developed a general idea of both website development systems. These systems are definitely not perfect and both have their own shortcomings, but they service different kind of end-users. If you are someone who wants total control over their content, WordPress is the best choice for you. On the other hand, if you believe that you need a more modern and socially-viral way of content publication, then Medium is absolutely for you. However, we have to give a verdict, and we believe that for many apparent reasons as mentioned above, WordPress is still a much better website development platform for it being open source and for its diversity.