Medium is a blogging platform that is focused on the reader. Their focus was the interface. Clean, clutter free, focused on the content. Everyone is [mostly] uniform in look and feel. Not a bad thing, because their layout and typography is nice. It’s well thought out.
There is also a social aspect of community. I’m part of the larger Medium community where they are pushing articles and suggesting other materials to read. This is a double edged sword though. They might find you, but they can also leave. Medium can also require your readers to pay before they read your content.
Pay to read
My frustration is that every time I click on a google search result and it’s a medium article, 90 percent of the time I need to login to medium and be a premium user to even read this article. It’s highly frustrating that every random person’s blog is becoming a paywall for medium. The web as we know it is eroding. This isn’t like paying for a subscription to the NY Times or Washington Post [insert your favorite publication here]. No, these are un-curated articles of varying writing quality, and now I have to pay to read them.
How to combat Medium with WordPress
Don’t start using Medium as your blogging software or channel. Use something else, anything else. I personally like to control my own destiny and own my data. Hosting is so completely cheap these days that looking for that free solution is usually going to waste more time than the hosting would cost.
4 Easy ways to setup a WordPress blog
This is probably the easiest way to get started. These are the guys that own and support the open source software wordpress. WordPress.com is the hosted solution that supports the open source side wordpress.com.
Plans start at $4 for a fully managed plan. Though an upgrade to the $8 plan is required to remove ads and you’ll get a free domain for a year.
I personally felt they were a bit limiting for the price, and I didn’t need that kind of hand holding. I was also looking for a cheap solution for my low traffic blog.
- Easy to setup
- From the makers of wordpress software
- Manage everything
- pricier than all the other options here. Though, it is fully managed.
Number one, Namecheap is a great alternative if you’re still hosting with GoDaddy. The domain management and the cleaner checkout process that doesn’t bombard you with upsells like GoDaddy does.
In addition to their registration business, they also have various products. One of them being a managed WordPress solution called EasyWP. It starts a $12 per year (for the first year). After the first year it jumps to $29, which is completely reasonable.
I’ve personally used this for this very site for about a year. I only recently moved it to LightSail from aws.
- Really easy to setup
- SSL Cert is automatically setup when you purchase via Namecheap
- Inexpensive $12 for the first year, $29 each additional if paid annually
- Good support
- No shell access
- Seemed sluggish at times.
This may be my favorite way of getting wordpress up and running. Their website interface is intuitive and their knowledge base is extensive and seemingly well maintained for whatever your needs.
Getting off the ground is a one click process. Pricing is simple and starts at less than $5 per month.
They also have a nice upgrade path should your blog take off.
- Inexpensive. Less than $5
- easy to use
- well supported
- everything is a docker container
- billing is by the hour. Pay for what you use.
- Shell access
- data isn’t persistent. You’ll need to purchase additional storage to persist your data across container shutdowns and boot ups. (It’s not expensive, but a consideration)
This may be the newest member of the group. I’m currently using this solution. I don’t know if I’ll stay here forever, but for now it’s nice being able to have everything in aws.
Aws is the juggernaut in the cloud space. The improvements they have been making in all areas of their cloud offerings have been moving at a break neck pace. One thing to mention here is that right now, the interface is completely separate from the aws console. Given it’s intended audience, that may be a good thing for you.
The setup was easy, and they have pre-configured instances with wordpress and wordpress multi-site. Their plans start at $3.50 per month making them the lowest of the 4 providers listed here.
- Low pricing
- aws quality and backbone. They are the biggest player in the game.
- easy to setup
- shell access
- persistent storage built in
- pricing for a managed db addon down the road is high. This can be worked around by just using an aws rds instance, but the control panel leads you to their more expensive solution.
- pricing for a load balancer is higher than everyone here
Referal Links and Coupon Codes
Full Disclosure, some of these links are affiliate or referral links. I’ll receive credit or a commission if you use it.
- Digital Ocean use this link and you’ll receive $50 to spend on Digital Ocean.
- AWS Lightsail This isn’t an affiliate link, but right now it’s my preferred provider.
- WordPress.com I haven’t personally used them. They allow quite a bit of hand holding and no technical experience necessary to get started though.
- EasyWP from NameCheap This one was fully managed, they have good support. The first year is incredibly inexpensive and a good way to test the waters of blogging.
What else would you like to see here about wordpress solutions?
I recently tried every single one of these solutions except wordpress.com. Normally I wouldn’t make a suggestion that I hadn’t used before, but they are the makers of the software. It would be negligent to leave them out of this.