I was reading a post by MasterWP’s Ben Gillbanks today, where he was wondering why people bother using Medium for a blog. You don’t get to own your own data, and the user experience (UX) is awful with the myriad of on screen popups:
Ben’s post is a couple of years old at this point, but it’s still relevant today and well worth a read:
My thoughts on Medium blogs
I find Medium to be obnoxious when it comes to the UX. The popups are horrible, and by default you only get to read a couple of posts a month without a subscription.
There are also a number of examples where Medium’s practices have forced blogs from their platform due to their sh*tty business practices. All in all, it’s fair to say that I don’t like Medium.
Having said that, their editor experience a really great to use – they do have that nailed. To be fair, Gutenberg isn’t far behind, but getting to know WordPress can take time.
Ben says in his post:
Owning, or controlling, your content is so important. Medium clearly don’t have a sustainable business model, which is why they keep changing it. And it could change again at any time!Ben Gillbanks
I wholeheartedly agree with Ben that people should endeavour to own their content where possible. These days that can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.
Side note: “managed hosting” means someone else takes care of your site for you, but you still own it.
You could even try WordPress’ hosted platform, which has a free tier. But I would advise against the free tier as you can’t use your own domain name.
At the other end of the scale, you could build your own blog from scratch using something like Jekyll. Granted this would be almost impossible for someone who isn’t technical, but you really don’t need to be a nerd to start a blog.
So what’s the answer?
If you’re looking for a blogging platform that has a simple writing workflow and is relatively easy to get started with, WordPress is pretty close. It has a great editing experience and it’s used everywhere so is well supported. But there is a learning curve.
Write.As is a little more like Medium in its implementation, but this again has a learning curve since you need to learn how to write in Markdown.
Ultimately, I think there’s going to be some reading to do for anyone who wants to get into blogging. I don’t think the perfect solution exists. But in my opinion, WordPress is pretty darn close. Whatever you do, please don’t use Medium.
What do you think? Is Medium ok for someone who wants a simple blogging workflow?