After much deliberation, I have decided to move my blogs away from Medium. I was considering setting up my own blog with Hugo but then decided to go with Dev.to. Below are the reasons why I decided to leave Medium and why I chose Dev.to.
All considerations were purely from a technical writing perspective as I was using Medium for publishing technical content.
The love-hate relationship with Medium
I loved Medium when I started writing here, reasons being;
- A simple minimal & clean UI — It still is one of the best
- Ease of authoring and publishing
- Community and visibility
- Ease of customization
But there were also things I didn’t like much which slowly become quite annoying
- The weird commenting mechanism(Every comment is a post, and they literally mess up your stories listing page)
- Medium had a weird WYSIWYG editor interface which is great for normal content creation but not so great for technical content creation. It had some markdown like shortcuts, but it could never match the ease of using proper markdown editors.
- Export only in HTML (Duh!!)
But these annoyances were not the main reason I decided to switch platforms. Below are the main reasons why I decided Medium isn’t a good fit for me.
Medium has been aggressively pushing for content to be put behind a paywall and they have made it clear that content not opting in will not get any push inside the platform. This means the community and visibility part is applicable only if you opt-in for the paywall. I understand why Medium does and I think its a great monetary source for established authors but it doesn’t work for mere mortals like me.
As a result of the above, the traffic you get from Medium itself is very low compared to external sources. See one of my stories below for an example. For newer stories, it is even lower.
So writing in Medium seems to have no benefit over other platforms as I could get similar views from external sources and might get better writing experience elsewhere.
So after a week of moving to the Dev community below are my stats and its incredible, I have ~50k views, ~1k reactions and ~300 followers and one of my post were featured in top 7 of the week and all this in just 1 week. I didn’t get anything remotely close to this from Medium in a year.
When I was trying to find a different platform, some of the most important aspects I considered were below
- Community: A community without paywall and a community were your blogs get visibility and get traffic.
- Ease of authoring: Authoring experience was important, hence at minimum Markdown support was a must. This way I can author posts in my favorite IDE(VsCode in this case) and doesn’t have to be restricted with the platform's capability. Also, this ensures that I can easily move my posts to another platform in the future if needed.
Dev.to satisfied these needs and provided a nice and clean UI and descent publishing experience on top.
I think Medium is still perfect for normal blogging and for content creators who have subscribers willing to pay even if they put articles behind a paywall. But for technical content creators who do not want their content behind a paywall, there are better platforms. I might still crosspost between Dev.to and Medium from time to time but Dev.to will be my primary blogging platform.