WordPress vs Medium [Infographic]

So you’re ready to start writing online — but where should your work live?

When searching for a website hosting platform, you should consider not just your current needs, but where you want to take the site in the future. Pick a platform that’s scalable and can grow and flex as you do. Is that platform WordPress.com or Medium? You decide: our infographic below makes the WordPress.com vs Medium comparison.

infographic comparing WordPress vs Medium

Who is it for?

Medium was created first and foremost for writers. It was developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams as a way to publish pieces too long for Twitter. It’s been called a home for social journalism, and its tagline is “where words matter”.

WordPress.com is also a blogging platform. With the stated goal of democratizing publishing one website at a time, WordPress.com goes beyond empowering writers to get their words out — it enables users to build a rich online presence that they can truly own and evolve. WordPress.com is run on open source software, which makes it highly flexible and easily customizable. It’s estimated that more than 30 percent of the world’s bloggers — writers, photographers, creators, and businesses of all kinds — use WordPress.com as their publishing platform.

Customizing your site

A testament to its flexibility, WordPress.com allows users to sign up using any email address. Medium requires users to register and sign in with either a Google or Facebook account. Once you’re set up on one service or the other, you can turn to customizing the site name, look, and feel.

However, Medium’s customization options are limited. Your domain will be formatted as medium.com/@user, and all pages come preformatted with the same standard design. You can add logos, avatars, and headers, but a set template is used for all accounts.

As an add-on to WordPress.com’s free plan, users can purchase a custom domain name for an annual fee, while custom domain names are included with all paid plans, which begin at $4 per month. This means you can build your website on the WordPress.com platform and direct people to a professional-looking custom URL.

There are so many customization options included with WordPress.com that you needn’t spend a dime to get your website looking totally unique. WordPress.com offers hundreds of free themes, font customizations, and more. You can adjust the page templates to enhance the words or the images, and add widgets and plugins for additional functionality such as advanced SEO, eCommerce options, and booking software. Medium’s only expanded functionality is integration with IFTTT.

Managing content

WordPress.com enables its users to write and publish posts and pages, customize excerpts, and more. Search engine optimization can be enhanced through specialized plugins and by creating custom metadata for each page. When evaluating Medium vs WordPress.com, remember that while you can write and publish your own posts on the former, you are restricted to the same template. Word-based content is the priority and end goal of Medium.

Getting your hands on data

Finally, what about the all-important site data to help you improve and grow your audience? Those using Medium can track followers only through their Medium accounts, while WordPress.com gives direct access to followers from the WordPress.com Reader and to site subscribers who provide their email addresses.

Medium’s metrics include the number of page views but are otherwise basic. WordPress.com’s users can access advanced metrics, including visitor numbers, referring websites, most popular pages, and more, all from the WordPress.com dashboard.

In the battle of WordPress vs Medium, who comes out on top?

If you’re a writing purist who wants nothing to distract from your word-based gems, Medium may be a good option for you. However, if you want to create a truly bespoke website that can grow with you and your audience, WordPress.com is the way to go.

If you’re ready to bring your voice and brand to a broader base of readers, viewers, listeners or buyers, check out all WordPress.com has to offer and get started today.

Thousands of small businesses and online stores call WordPress.com home.

Whether you’re looking to promote your business or share your story, we have a plan that’s right for you.

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