192 – WordPress V other blogging platforms

Debate with Nathan Wrigley and David Waumsley

Setting up the Debate

Who do you think will win this on a podcast for WordPress users?!?!

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Last time Nathan had to argue the case for the side that would most likely end up being defeated, so this time David will take the side of the alternatives to WordPress, and, to a large degree argue for things that he does not believen in!

We might have two arguments here. The functionality of WordPress over other blogging platforms. Then, the suitability of platforms depending on the aims of content producers.

We may all have different ideas about what a web log is. Digital marketers who probably have the most to say on the topic rarely pick one option only.

So here are the main point that we try to debate this time around…

WordPress – Nathan

  • Option to own your blog
  • Flexible – you can do anything with it with thousands of plugin and themes
  • Gutenberg is making default options better all the time
  • Ability to paste from Google Docs and Word
  • You can make money from blogging with WordPress (other platforms may have some options, but with WordPress you can run ads, affiliate schemes, get sponsorship and even sell it)
  • You can’t get suspended – well not likely anyway!
  • You’re not working to make others rich
  • The roadmap for WordPress is fantastic at present
  • You can control the type of engagement (delete comments / block commenters etc.)
  • Can’t beat WordPress SEO options 
  • Can’t use Google analytics with Medium (only their own stats)

Others – David

  • If you only want to write, WordPress is cumbersome (even wordpress.com)
  • Medium has a distraction free editor (Gutenberg copied) and is simple to use and set up – I think not so many changes there like you find entering the world of WordPress
  • Nice typography, easy to add Unsplash images from a search
  • Medium comes with and audience (60 million readers) and has social build it
  • You can make money from Medium’s partnership scheme
  • Blogger.com lets you earn with Google adsense
  • What about microblogging – putting effort into the social networks instead Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin (some professions just live of that), even forums or being a guest blogger
  • Which WP blogger relies solely on their own WordPress – most share the content to different platforms, rarely is it one v’s the other but which out of the many options should you focus on?
  • I question the need for the ownership WordPress blogging gives – for example YouTube rather than my blog gave me some kind of audience – probably the same with the podcast networks for this
  • Wix looks nice and is free (with adverts) and you can import your WordPress posts to it now and it does the redirections for you  (can make money with it too – did I say that already!)

Final thoughts

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Who remembers Expression Engine, Tumbler, MySpace, Drupal, Moveable Type and many more? You never know, in a few years we might be saying the same thing about WordPress, although I really hope not!

Some articles worth looking at:

The Best Blogging Platforms and Blog Sites for 2020 – “Want to jump straight to the answer? The best blogging platform for most people is definitely Wix.” 

FreeCodeCamp Moves Off of Medium after being Pressured to Put Articles Behind Paywalls

The long, complicated, and extremely frustrating history of Medium, 2012–present

“Media is broken,” so Medium’s launching a $5/month member program that offers small upgrades

Importing Blog Posts from WordPress to the New Wix Blog

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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[00:00:00] Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news it from the WordPress community. Welcome your host, David Walmsley, Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there and welcome to the WP Builds podcast. This is okay. So number 192, entitled WordPress versus other blogging platforms. It was published on Thursday, the 13th of August, 2020, my name's Nathan Wrigley. And as usual, a little bit of housekeeping just before we begin, if you wouldn't mind heading over to the WPU builds.com website, you'll find a whole bunch of links across the top.
We'd very much like it. If you felt able to share this podcast, we've produced quite a lot of WordPress content each week. And depending on where you go online, perhaps Facebook or Twitter or. Some [00:01:00] platform of choice. If you wouldn't mind sharing it, if you do go on to Twitter at WP Builds would be most helpful.
Also, if you feel like going into your podcast player of choice and rating us, we'd be most grateful for that. Two other links, WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. Over on that page. You'll be able to join our Facebook group, find us on YouTube and sign up to a couple of emails, which we'll let you know when we produce content in the WordPress space.
But also there's another list on there, which will alert you when we find out about deals for plugins and themes and so on. So that's WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. Another one would be WP Builds.com forward slash deals. It's a bit like black Friday, but every day of the week, there's a. Tom, the filterable searchable products in the WordPress space, plugins themes, and so on with coupon codes.
So if you're in the market for something, go check that out. Also WP Builds.com forward slash jobs. If you've got a job that you know about in the WordPress space, we'd like to make that [00:02:00] available. It's completely free. Just upload the details that you know about may be that for your company or just something that you've heard about.
We'd be most grateful. And lastly, WP Builds.com forward slash advertise. If you would like to get your product or service in front of a WordPress specific audience, a bit like these guys have done. If you're an agency owner struggling to grow and scale your agency, the team at GoWP can help. GoWP provides white label services to help WordPress agencies grow and with their pricing, it makes doing things yourself seem pretty silly.
Create your free GoWP partner account to learn more about their services and get free access to resources and templates to grow your agency like lead magnets and landing page templates, partner with GoWP and grow your agency and AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests in record time?
Like in a couple of minutes, use your existing [00:03:00] pages and test anything against anything else. Buttons, images, headers rows, anything the best part. It works with elemental BeaverBuilder and the WordPress block editor. Check it out and get a free [email protected]. Just before we get into the topic today's discussion, which is WordPress versus other blogging platforms.
I would encourage you to check out to the links at the top, perhaps the archives link we produce content. The podcast that you listening to now comes out on a Thursday. We have a Monday news episode in which I try to sum up the WordPress weekly news. And then also we every week have a live version of the news.
That's WP Builds.com forward slash live 2:00 PM. UK time. I'm always joined by some notable WordPress people. And we chat about the news. I honestly can't tell you who's on this week because I'm not entirely sure, but go and check it out. There's also Sabrina's or Dan and I having a chat about zero to 10 K installs, and we do that on a Tuesday.
We are having a [00:04:00] couple of weeks off now and then for some holidays. So just go and check it out in the archives to see where we're at right now. Okay. What about this topic then? Yeah. Number 192 WordPress versus other blogging platforms. Well, it's a bit of a difficult one, both you and I I'm sure are into WordPress.
It seems like the best option. It's certainly the most popular option, but are there better options depending on your use case? Perhaps a simpler interface with less options is good. Perhaps having no security problems is good. There's a ton of reasons why you might choose a different blogging platform.
And David and I chat about that today. I hope you enjoy it. Hello. Welcome to today's debate, which is WP versus other blogging platforms, which probably is the most stupidest thing we could have ever picked for a topic, because obviously this is a podcast for. The WordPress users. So last time Nathan, you argued the case for the other side.
So this time I'm gonna argue the [00:05:00] side of that, the alternatives to WordPress, but actually, interestingly, as we've talked about this, I kind of more and more believe in the arguments that I'm going to be putting forward. Yeah, it is interesting. And obviously we'll go into these arguments, but before we probably pressed record, as we usually do, we spent close to an hour in this actually more than an hour, talking about it and discussing what the possible permutations were and options.
And it's suddenly actually became an actual debate as opposed to just picking something out. I think there are real genuine. Alternatives to WordPress and genuine alternatives. Well, I'll say alternatives, genuine moments where you might wish to deploy them. I think really we probably coming at this from the point of view of somebody who's just starting out often.
That might be something which crops up quite a lot, but also incumbent users. It might be interesting, you know, once you're entrenched in one versus the other. Whether there's some kind of, what's the word when you, when you find it difficult to move over from one platform to another, that word, whatever that is.
I think [00:06:00] there's a little bit that inertia, I think is the word I'm after I think inertia might cause to just stay with one instead of the other, let's find out. Yeah. And we also, I mean, we talk a lot about the sort of technology, and so that leads us into the functionality of platforms when we're talking about this and really a lot of what we're going to talk about here or argue with is the fact what's going to be suitable as a platform for the content producers aims.
Really? Isn't it. That's where WordPress may not always be the perfect match. Yeah. I think go on. You carry on. Yeah. No. I was going to say I'm really going to lose aren't I entirely, if I try and argue that there are platforms out there which can do more than WordPress, you know, it's really hard one. And that in a sense is your biggest argument, I think, is the ability for it to do less, but do it well, or just enough, it does enough of what you need it to do.
Not necessarily have all the bells and whistles or all the possibilities to have all the bells and whistles. And it's interesting because you know, WordPress [00:07:00] goes back over 15 years now. And at that time, the, the rivals were, you know, I think similar, shall we say there were PHP scripts, freely downloadable.
Sometimes there was a, there was a pay wall yet. Hey, to download the script, I'm thinking of something like expression engine going back many, many years, you have to pay to, to use that, but largely it was free scripts. And that was, that was what was available. If you wanted to publish something online.
That's where you went. And then there was like an advent of things like blogger and various other things, obviously wordpress.com. But now, now there's so many really appealing services. We'll probably concentrate on one, maybe stray into too, but they're so sublimely good. You know, that they've been able to learn from the mistakes that services like WordPress have, have had over the years and build platforms, which just do one thing and do it really, really well.
So it is compelling. Yeah. So I do the platform that I guess the main competitor at the [00:08:00] moment, if you're thinking about blogging in the traditional sense of it, you know, writing articles, maybe it's medium. So let me put forward the arguments for medium then. So it, unlike WordPress, it will come with an audience there.
60 million readers there that's. The idea is that it's the kind of premise of this is it brings readers and writers together in this kind of platform. So you come with a ready made audience for something like that. And it's really easy to you use. Obviously you don't have to worry about hosting and of course you don't need to do it on wordpress.com.
But still, this is really distraction-free and Gutenberg as pretty much copied medium in terms of the layout and being able to write it's really simple to use, and it just gets on with writing and you've got an instant audience and you don't necessarily need to, Hey, anything to get started with this. I mean, in fact, you don't, and you can even earn money through signing up to their partnership scheme, where you can earn off the [00:09:00] readers who do pay.
For the subscription. So there's a lot of benefits for somebody who's a serious writer. Yeah over WordPress. It must be really demoralizing if you are a WordPress, doesn't matter whether you're WordPress or whatever, but if you are a self hosted blogger, if you pour your heart and soul into it and you are completely constrained by the SEO battle, which you're losing.
In other words, you you've spent ages writing and nobody comes build it and they will come well. They don't, you know, we all know that on the web. And so that, that must be difficult. And even if you don't surface and I don't know what the algorithm is or how it works on medium, but presumably they surface content, which is doing quite well, but there must be some element of surfacing your content.
To people who have an interest in your particular niche. And one of the things that you do when you sign up for medium, right. Turns out. Cause I did that a few minutes ago is you have to, you have to stress what things you're interested in. And then when you write [00:10:00] content, you have to cut it with those categories.
So there's, or that you'd like to say it was a ready made audience. And even if it's five people or two people or nine people or a thousand people, that's better than no people. How many blogs must be out there where people have lost interest because of the zero readership right off the, you know, off the bat.
So I'm, yeah, immediately I'm arguing from your point of view, but that is a very compelling, and it's the reason we all returned to Facebook. Isn't it. I produce more content on Facebook probably than anything else, including my WordPress install box. and the reason is the audience is there. And it's the radius read it.
Reason we set up Facebook groups. And what have you, because we know that on some level Facebook, whether we have any control over it or not, but we know on some level that this book is pushing that stuff at people who are similar to us. I haven't. I have no insight into how, how much of WP Builds gets [00:11:00] into your, or my Facebook feed.
But the fact that people see the content is telling me that on some level they're being fed and WordPress just can't compete with that. Every install is unique and completely walled off to everything else. Your only friend there is Google. and I, you know, I've a couple of friends of mine have gone on to wordpress.com to do some blogging.
Cause they've wanted to do that and build up an audience. And it's not being really good because of the audience thing. I mean, you know, something which we, I. Pretty much disabled all the time, which is ping backs, you know, this whole thing back like the early days. So they blog. Yeah, exactly. And that's kind of how things used to work in this blog.
That's fair, but that no longer yeah. Existed it doesn't, we're not in that world. So in some ways, medium. Fills in that kind of gap, which you can't get. I don't think from wordpress.com or.org where you've got this kind of community, just because you've set up a blog. Yeah, I don't think so. I think medium out [00:12:00] shines that if it's like some of my friends now, I think they would have made a mistake go into wordpress.com.
They would have done better perhaps on medium. So, so this is the surprise. We didn't really expect to happen. We thought this would be a debate with her out common, but this is it. This is the unique thing. Yeah. We've discovered over the last hour or so discussing it. Yeah. Is that if you're a, if you literally, I have no interest in technology and they medium.
And their rivals do go to great pains to point out the strife that will be caused. Should you dare to stray into self hosted WordPress? You know, the problems of constantly updating things, security in all of those patches and all of that hosting costs and blah, blah, blah, a million things that they can shout out about the problems with WordPress.
Th there is an argument there, you know, you CA you get an audience, you've got a simple clutter-free interface. It does what you want, and it's totally. And utterly free and it kind of feels like a newspaper. It kind of feels [00:13:00] authoritative whether or not it has that authority. It looks good. The, the way that the home page is organized to set out here's what you should be looking at.
The fact that presumably if your content is gathering an audience, it will automatically email those people. Should they have the notifications set up? It's all set up for you. It's set up to. To, to, to, I dunno, foster your audience and, and incubate it and make it work for you. And it's brilliant, but it's not mine.
Yes. yes. And I think this is the biggest thing. Right. And, and it's the thing which speaks to me on a level that I don't quite understand. I've always been into open source, anything. And, and I do like the ownership of it. And I fully expected that that was going to be the only consideration in my head when we had this conversation.
But it's not mine, but it's not mine, but it's not mine. But when I look at those [00:14:00] medium things that compelling, but, but yeah, but it's not mine. Why do you want it to be yours though? I think it comes down to, for me, at least. Anyway, it comes down to the, the need to customize things. The, or at least the ability to customize things and.
And, and I, I, you and I are both slightly different in this debate in that way. What I mean is you and I sit on, on a very different side of offense than the average user of a block in that we enjoy that tinkering. We enjoy fiddling with things and wrangling the CSS and moving things around and playing with SCO plugins.
And dare I say, even updating things, it's just an out and out joy to us. We enjoy it. And so that's great. And I think they're the reasons that I want it. I know that I can do anything with it. I know that should the hosting turn out to be dodgy. I can zip it up and take it somewhere else. Take the database, put it on some other platform.
If there's a problem with the way anything's working, the SEO is not [00:15:00] working out. I can fiddle that and make it work to my advantage if I've got the time and energy. So that's why, cause I like to customize things. I think. Yeah. I mean, the argument, I guess, against it is the, you know, the simplicity of medium.
And one of the issues as a reader is that if you have to go to multiple WordPress blogs, they've all designed them differently with different layouts. If you keep within something like medium, it's like a newspaper where the UI remains similar. So, you know, in some ways. Yeah, the customization of it being looking different.
Can, can, I can also be a bit of a, a user experience issue, I think, for the readers. Well, so yeah, that, that is really interesting. And because that's one of the unique things we always bang on about in workplaces and it is, you know, you can customize it to within an inch of its life. You can make it stand out, be completely unique.
And yet if you are just blogging, So an example would be, I have two sources of news that I go to. I won't bore you with [00:16:00] what they are, but in the UK, there are two news agencies. Should we say that I regularly open and I I'm very familiar with their UI and I'm very happy with it. And the way it works is completely familiar to eat to me.
They are both reasonably similar, but not identical. And, and, and when I go to other news outlets to read their news, their UI just. Bothers me. It just, everything's not where it should be because I'm used to this. And I think if you're a medium user and you're one of those 60 million people. Which is a ton of people, by the way.
So many people, then you get that familiarity and you get into the swing of things and you'll probably get your favorite authors. And, and it just, it's just like a little ready-made community. The problem is I'll say 60 million is quite big. I'm sure that some WordPress blogs will get more, have a, more of an audience than that.
60 million just by themselves. Yeah. Yeah. And [00:17:00] you know, it's always, I mean, what it's money is always in this, isn't it? I mean, one thing about the ownership. For you is the fact that you can monetize it in any way that you choose. Yeah. And I think that's, you know, probably yeah. On your side of things, but you know, one of the things about the ownership, this is interesting.
I'm sure he won't mind me mentioning it, but somebody I used to follow and has become a bit of a friend of mine, a guy called Rob Cubbon is one of these people who did WordPress blogging way back in 2006. And that was a good time for them. There wasn't so much competition he's done really well out of it.
And it was a big. Big person for arguing the ownership of your content and WordPress blogging. If they, it doesn't do so much of it now. And really some of his biggest successes have been when he started doing courses, did it on you to me. And that's probably where he gained the biggest audience. So it wasn't on his own platform, but he was able to use that to bring them to his own platform.
But I can see very much over the time with them. You know, he's gone against that kind of [00:18:00] ownership advice. In most cases, you know, the importance of owning your own content and gone through other platforms and it's done so much for, yeah. And also, sorry. So things have changed as well. Since this time in the early blog in times written word was pretty much with everybody's kind of bandwidth on their internet was all you could really do most of the time.
Now we're expecting much more meat, you know, visual. Presentation. So our blogging has changed. Doesn't it? You know, YouTube has obviously become big. Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting as well. It just suddenly sort of occurred to me that. The, the, the person who you're writing for is different in both scenarios as well.
So for example, the person who I'm writing for in WordPress, well, there are two, I think one of them is me. I'm writing it because I want to write this stuff, but the other one is our audience. I'm writing it for our audience. Whereas in medium, there's a third person that you're writing it for. And that is.
Medium, because medium will benefit [00:19:00] from everything that you do. And so there's this, this, this bit that we couldn't really get a hold on in medium, we couldn't really understand why you would want to upgrade, but turns out that everything usually on medium is consumable completely for free. You have an account.
In fact, you don't even need an account. You just. Rock up to a medium blog and you're off, you're reading it, but they pay wall behind a subscription of $5 a month or $50 a year. Their most popular authors. I'm guessing. I'm guessing it would be that I don't know what the criteria is, but authors who have proven to do well on the platform.
Get put behind this paywall system. Now you can read, it would appear three articles. Across the platform which fits in this premium tier for free each month after that you've got to subscribe, but, each time you're writing, you're, you're helping media make money. And I dunno, that just seems a bit weird.
Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, mediums quality. I mean, the times I've gone to [00:20:00] a medium article, I've now come to associate it with really good journalism and really good articles, because I think that probably. It is what it's known for. And I think, you know, if you're that type of person, if you have writing for newspapers and you wanted your own story to go somewhere else, you might go to medium rather than set up your own WordPress blog or something like that.
But if you're a, you know, a mommy blogger, that sounds very patronized, doesn't it. But that kind of. People do just want to blog about things that they do in their daily life. I can't imagine you would do very well on medium for that kind of stuff. Yeah. The, the, although the audience is there, I wonder if it would sync, but then again, it would equally sync, I suppose, on WordPress, you know, the only, the only criteria for having a good readership is good content.
You would have thought and discoverability, but here's another argument. Completely unrelated. And I don't know how true this may be. It may be that this has never happened, but it may be that it happens a lot. Can you be suspended from medium? In other words, can you, [00:21:00] can you post something which is controversial enough that your content is deemed to be, no longer admissible on the platform?
Can you be just removed for a mistake that you made? Can you be removed from the platform? In other words, all of that Goodwill that you've. Put into the platform for years, all of that hard work just goes away, for, for something that you did. And if so, is there a way of getting stuff out of medium?
So this comes back as in a sense to the ownership argument that I made a moment ago, but that would be catastrophic. Wouldn't it? yeah, I think, and that is the problem. Isn't it. With any platform that somebody else owns, they must be able to control the content that goes on their platforms. You don't get to choose, do you, whatever it is, I'm pretty sure we haven't checked this out.
Have we? But no, I'm pretty sure we haven't medium would have to retain that right. To be able to remove your content if it didn't fit in with their policies as a company. so I think that's true of. All of the kind of [00:22:00] micro blogging platforms we have out there, because really there are so many when we start to bring in that as a fact, that's the big change, isn't it from blogging, you know, we didn't, you know, as Facebook has taken off and we've got Instagram and we've got LinkedIn for professionals, sometimes those platforms are just a lot better.
I've met. Lots of people who just write good articles, LinkedIn, you know, because all they want to do is to attract professionals, their particular area, and they live off that. What's the point in them owning their own blog. It really doesn't matter. The work is just going to come in through that, but they could lose it.
Yes, you're right. Yeah. And I suppose we are concentrating on medium just because it's expedient and it feels like the closest Rob, but you you're right to bring up things like LinkedIn and Facebook and yeah. Twitter. I mean, it's a blogging platform or be it, yeah, no, very, very short. But all of these things.
Yeah, you are in a sense beholden to their terms and conditions. Whereas with WordPress, I presume that the [00:23:00] worst terms and conditions you've got to fight with are your hosting. And of course, as I've said earlier, if your host has a problem with your content, you can always take it somewhere else. You could, even, if you so wish to, and you had the expertise, you'd set up your own yeah.
Exciting environment and serve it from there. caveat emptor is probably not a good idea, but, you know, you could do that. So yeah. Yeah, it's interesting. I would just hate the idea. Perfect example is the amount of effort that both you and I have put into this podcast, you know, WP Builds. Something occurred.
Let's say, for example, in error, I S I had some, I dunno, some pop song in the audio of this podcast and it got caught and there was a, there was a black Mark against us, and I don't know what medium's policies are. Maybe they'd just shut us down because we're a risk to the platform. We don't want to be sued by whoever it is who wrote that track and we're gone.
We're just dead to the internet, whereas we've always got a fighting chance and we put in a lot of work and you feel you'd like that work to [00:24:00] stay there as long as you're willing to pay for it to stay there. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And when we look at how this is a bit tricky, but if we look at things like my space and, and tumbler, which now is owned by automatic kind of platforms, which have, I mean, a tumbler, maybe it would be brought back to life, but it's kind of lost its audience.
So you could put a lot of effort into a particular platform. There are other ones aren't around there as well, you know, tick, tocks becoming the new thing, isn't it? Where, you know, to kind of, yeah, that, that's the thing, right? You've got. Th the, the, what's the word, the popularity of a particular platform in time it's bound to dwindle, isn't it?
I mean, YouTube has been the ascendant forever since goodness knows. Probably 15 years or more, maybe 20 years. I don't really know, but a long time and it feels like that audience has matured and it's got bigger and bigger, but it does feel like. Tick tock is taking a bit of a swing at its audience, and it might be able to pull some people away permanently.
So [00:25:00] medium could be the same, you know, all it would take would be medium version two, you know, called something else to come out, which is the same as medium, but slightly better. And somehow they've managed to get 128 million people in their audience. And all of a sudden medium goes quiet. Nobody's interested.
It's yesterday's news. It's a bit sad and jaded. And so that, that one thing that you went to the platform for its audience has gone away. And my space is the perfect example of that. It was everything for so long. And then Facebook. Yeah. I don't know. Google plus. Yeah, cool. Google plus Google plus it feels so long ago, but it's quite recent, isn't it?
That they closed the doors on that. So, I mean, I mean, it never really took off. I mean, I think it's just all of the people out there digital marketers felt they needed to get in early on what seemed to be a winner, you know? And there were other ones that I've not even been able to work out where.
Perhaps we haven't done our research [00:26:00] well enough, but ghost is a platform which was there to, as a kind of somewhere in between WordPress and medium, it was supposed to give you very easy distraction, free blogging, but it, although it was, we just discovered didn't work together. That it is open source effectively.
It generally is. It's a paid service, isn't it that's meant to make everything easier than WordPress. Yeah. Yeah. Like a lot of these things, they have a, they have a, probably quite difficult to deploy. Version, which is open source, but rarely the product is, yeah, it's not, I mean, it doesn't even tout to the open source.
It's on the very bottom of their feature. Yeah. Literally at the bottom. Whereas something like WordPress, it's probably making that bold claim right. At the top, you know, we're open source, it's yours and it's, it's just different model. and you know, you've got to get hub repo with minimal instructions on how to deploy it and so on and so forth.
So yeah, it's just different. yeah, so there are different alternatives, but I feel, I just feel, yeah, they're all out there running. [00:27:00] WordPress's nailed that space. Yeah. I think you have to win on that and then go stick it. It caused a splash for a while. I don't know when it came in. I mean, medium goes back to 2012.
I think ghost maybe became a little bit after that and it had its time where people want to look at it, but it seems to have died. No one seems to mention it now. Yeah, I've got a client who's on the platform, interestingly enough, but well, and you have to maintain the, no, I'm not dealing with it. I mean, it's, perhaps their site will come to me at some point and it as interestingly been hacked as well.
So they claim that it's more secure than WordPress may not hold up, but I know one example, so it's not fair. Here's another angle as well. Is that, the. The sort of the open source nature of WordPress. And I don't know if medium forgive me medium users if this is in error, but it feels to me that the opensource nature of WordPress leads to some kind of understanding all be it it's a little bit [00:28:00] vague.
Sometimes cough, Gothenburg, cough, WordPress, 5.0 cough. At least we've got a roadmap. We, we know what we know, what the future holds. To some extent it's Don out in open. It may not be what you want, but we've got a feeling of what the roadmap is going to be. Certainly for the Gothenburg editor, which has dominated the news for the last couple of years, we know where that's going, full site editing and translations, and the ability to do all sorts of other fun things.
And that. That also makes me feel good about the future of WordPress and why I wouldn't want to move away or start over there on a different system, because I feel that all of the endeavors being put into WordPress and it's community, I wonder if medium even has a community. I wonder if people meet up in the real world to talk about the medium platform, probably not, but that, that whole roadmap and the open source nature of it is also a really good thing.
And I feel that the roadmap for WordPress at the minute is, is more exciting than it's been since I joined. Yeah, it's really exciting. I mean, you know, [00:29:00] I think WordPress has wobbled a little bit. It's interesting with tumbler cause tumbler. That's always been a thing that Matt Muller work seems to have always loved and influence influenced WordPress as well.
And people don't really use it post formats, this idea like tumbler, where you can just put out sort of published content. So if you only wanted to share with your audience, so you had a format for a quote, if it's just a video, one for video, we have different style things. You could just keep shoving out content like that.
Tumbler does at the moment. So it's kind of fun to play with something like tumbler and that was put into WordPress, but sometimes I think WordPress loses its way, cause it never really took off cough. Did it who uses post formats? Maybe they do maybe. Yeah. I don't know. I really don't know. It's I've just got no insight into a lot of that stuff.
And another thing, sorry, I'm just going to hijack the conversation yet again, cause I've got a list of things and I've feel like I want to get through a couple of them, the, the ability to the ability to have more control over the content that you [00:30:00] actually create. So let's say for example, I create a blog post I have in WordPress.
Really good. I mean, depending on which. Plugin you, you opt for, or how you set up your theme or whatever, really good options and configurability over SEO. Whereas really, I don't know field, I've got that control in, in go, let's go back to medium. Let's just use that as an example, don't feel I've got that control.
There's a couple of things that you can do. There's a couple of fields that you can do. You can change the slug. You can change the sort of description and so on, but all of the modern SEO stuff, the things that Google are inventing all the time and the things that the SEO. Plugins are constantly keeping up to date with it would appear that none of that is configurable in media.
Maybe it does a lot of it by default. I don't know. Maybe the SEO for medium simply simply comes from the fact that it's just super popular, so they don't really need to concentrate too much on the SEO, but I feel it would be hard to surface your, your individual blog posts on a [00:31:00] Google search page, as opposed to a WordPress one.
Yeah, absolutely. You know, one thing we haven't mentioned here is that there are, you know, that the threat for WordPress is always coming from these SAS, options. And Wix is one of those. And I did just look up there because I watched that I saw an article, which was really interested in that, put Wix as the top blogging platform, should you want to get started blogging?
And that really surprised me cause it's not known for its good SEO. Like you're saying, because most of these platforms, you can't. Have control over the, the names of the images that you put up, which is good for SEO, and you don't get that, you know, the metadata on the images itself and the titles of it.
And Wix is very limited as well, certainly with the images, but it's interesting that this one article, of course it had an affiliate link for weeks. It was the only way they could make money. So it was biased. But, what it may be do is to look up what their offering was now. And it's very interesting.
they aren't clearly going for that market because [00:32:00] now you can, one of the new things that they've got, you can import your WordPress posts into Wix. If you like. Oh, that is interesting. What, but why would. Wasn't that dilute your SEO. Isn't that really a dumb move? I don't know. No, they've always argued haven't they?
And not very successfully that their SEO is good. I mean, it is missing some things, but perhaps, you know it again, it's you're right. You're not, I mean, I don't think anybody's going to beat the SEO argument when it comes to WordPress. But then it becomes the hammer. How important is that really these days compared to the ease of being able to manage your platform, you know, where do you want to spend your time?
And I can see why Wix might start to pull in some people for blogging. Yeah, it's interesting. I mean, certainly those platforms do appear to be growing. Their ad spend seems to be astronomical. You know, the fact that they can actually put adverts on the telly. Whereas WordPress, you know, you haven't seen a WordPress out on the telly product.
I have, it, maybe I have don't [00:33:00] know what press.com possibly. Maybe not the, yeah, they're doing well. So they're catering to an audience for sure. yeah, so, okay. We've kind of cracked that half an hour point. So let's maybe if we try to sort of draw it in, is there a. Is there a, is there a perfect candidate for one platform over another?
Let let's go medium versus WordPress. Let's just stick to that to keep it easy. Do you think there's a particular type of person, a particular user where it is an out and out when to go with medium? It may be C journalists who write is their thing. They may. A benefit because that's what they want to do.
And they want to read to reach an audience. So apps for them. Yep. I would sort of argue that people who are just beginning. and I just want to see if they've got an audience and they just want to experiment. You mean, I would always encourage them because of what we do. I would always encourage them once they've detected, there's an audience to then flip over to WordPress and carry on to, you know, get that audience interested.
[00:34:00] But you know, the battle. Of of SEO is so difficult. And if there's an audience that can be immediately gained by medium, then that seems like a good place to start. So if you absolutely never blogged before, and you just want to test the waters, does anybody care that I make, I don't know, plastic, rubber ducks for a living.
Well, let's see if there's an audience for that show. We let's go write about it and find out six weeks later. Hmm. Nobody's read it. Okay. Let's move on. that seems like a good use for me, but my suspicion is that that medium would be rather good at keeping you on the hook. you know, they not going to let you have your content for a start.
You can do a copy paste though, right? That wouldn't be so hard, but, presumably you know, they're going to be giving you all sorts of drip information about how your, how your content is doing and how you can make it better. And yeah. What about this? I mean, again, this is kind of jointly, but. We've talked about [00:35:00] this before, when dealing with clients and clients, often, we often want to say to them, perhaps they should get into blogging.
Cause it'd be great for the SEO, the one of the benefits of WordPress, but that's always tricky, you know? A lot of them are more comfortable with that kind of micro blogging. We'd making WordPress posts or Twitter, or, you know, LinkedIn, Instagram, et cetera, that more happy with that. And you do think, you know, is there an argument that WordPress arguments that say, no, you really, really should spend your time doing that.
And not that, yeah. I don't know. That's difficult. Isn't it? The one thing I can say to that is that you basically don't get any help. If you've got a WordPress website, apart from your developer or the person or your hosting company, what I mean is if you're this person who just pushes out content, you're on your own with WordPress, you really are.
you could, you could feel terribly isolated with that and really drawn to ground very quickly and have to just abandon [00:36:00] ship. But if you're on some of these other platforms, like for example, medium, I feel that, that you might get some help from the platform to promote your content. And certainly the fact that you'd appear in their automated email campaigns and, you know, category emails that go out based upon the things that you've said, you're interested in.
That's, that's a help and it's more than you get out of WordPress. Yeah, it's nice and contained. And they do have some names, articles, and advice about how to write a good headline and that kind of thing. You know, I mean stuff we can find elsewhere, but if, if you're part of that kind of community, then it kind of helps doesn't it to get that one advice from one source and understand it is it comes at you.
I feel it would come at you whether you wanted it or not. So in other words, the notifications are all set on for medium. So you're going to start being hit by that stuff straight away. Whereas you're not going to be hit by any helpful stuff from WordPress, from a word you've got to go looking for it.
And often that you wouldn't even know what to look for. [00:37:00] so yeah, that's an, well, what about you're on the WordPress side? So what I'd put to you then is if your clients were coming in and they've, they're selling blue widgets and they, they really want to put content out there to reach people, to let them know about that blue widgets, excluding, would they be better?
Do you think? Just going for microblogging and going from multiple little platforms that they don't own. Just to test out the water or do you think they should start with no, I'm going to build up my domain authority by putting the content on my own site and I'm going to use, because let's face it, anybody who's a digital marketer who is going to be arguing for it.
You must have a WordPress blog. Isn't entirely using the WordPress blog as their only source to get that traffic they are using. So it's, it's only a case of where you put your efforts really. Isn't it? The only, the only thing I can say to that is yeah. The only people that I know who've done really well are people who have spent masses of time.
Creating really good content. [00:38:00] And I don't mean that you spend years of time. I mean, literally you might spend three months of writing really great articles and then putting them out once or twice. They're, they're the stories that I hear that have now been successes, you know, as opposed to the, well, we produced a bit of content and nobody picked it.
It feels like you can do really well on WordPress as much as anywhere else. But as always the question let's see of the content, the length of the content, the amount of research that you do, the engagement, all of that, that equally matters. So yeah, if I was telling somebody the honest truth about selling blue widgets, I'd say.
Know, this is so on achievable for most people, but I'd say spend months writing really great blue widget content about every angle that you can think of for blue widgets, and then stick it on a WordPress blog with good SEO and wait and see what happens. Cause I think Google does pick up on that and you become an [00:39:00] authority and they're the only out and out success stories that I can dip into.
You may have done really well. Microblogging. I mean, you only have to look at people. Who've got incredible audiences on Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and all of these tick tock. Yeah. And they don't really seem to have that, but they do that. They do engage. And I think if you want we're in it for the long haul writing long form content is a win.
If you're in it for like short term notoriety, then you can get away with just quick stuff. But you'll be forgotten pretty soon. Yeah. Yeah, I think, you know, I think for clients, it's, it's quite a big thing. The more I, you know, when I first wanted to do some kind of content and put it out there, I just really struggled to come up with ideas.
And as, as I get into one sort of topic, I realized there was so much that I look for that isn't out there on the web. And I think it takes a long time for a client to realize how to look for the missing gaps. And, and if they do that, They can, you know, have some success even without, you [00:40:00] know, the most ingenious old, long form content, they can just buy, find a seat.
People are searching for right. That isn't there. Right. But I think it's too much for clients to do it and effectively what you're giving them. If you say, go into blogging, you're saying. You've now got to try and appease Google and search engines. Yes. It's a really big thing to do compared to just make a market in one of those kind of social areas, you know, it's kind of more contained completely, right?
There is no right answer to this. It just in my personal experience, the only people I know who've done, like categorically. Certifiably empirically well, in trying to get something off the ground of just hunkered down, unwritten atomic content, and done really well with all that, that, so that's just personal experience.
But then again, you know, look at all these, like I said, look at all these people, who've got millions of followers on YouTube and they haven't really hunkered down except for 15 seconds at a time, five times a day, you know, but [00:41:00] it works. It's just different. But anyway, I'm sticking with WordPress. You're not tearing me away from it, David.
I'm sorry. And I wouldn't want to either. Yeah, we love it. But then it was good discussion. This, it went in ways that I didn't expect it to, Oh, I fully thought there was no argument in your direction, but it turns out there is there's lots of different arguments and, yeah, I think secretly, if I had a client that came to me tomorrow who just wanted to write and just wanted an immediate audience, I'm Mike Todd to go to medium.
Okay. Well we're done. Yeah, let's knock it on the head. Thanks for that. Yeah. Well, I hope that you enjoyed that. Always very enjoyable chatting to David Walmsley about these subjects. I feel that he had the thin end of the wedge of this week and I had the rather easier journey shall we say, but it does throw up some interesting concepts, perhaps.
There are times when you should. Be suggesting other platforms to your clients who knows. Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed it. The WP builder podcast [00:42:00] was brought to you today by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests in record time? The new AB split test plugin for WordPress? We'll have you up and running in a couple of minutes.
Use your existing page, test anything against anything else, buttons, images, headers, rows, anything, and the best part it works with element or BeaverBuilder on the WordPress block editor. You can check it [email protected]. Okay, we'll be back here next week for a, another podcast episode. Most likely it'll be an interview.
We'll also be back on Monday, twice, once for the live news at 2:00 PM, UK time, and once for the curator news, which I throw out at 7:00 AM. So hopefully we'll see you at some point during the week, please join in our Facebook group. WP Builds.com forward slash Facebook. Join in the conversation over there and.
Bye bye for now. I'm about to feed him some cheesy [00:43:00] music.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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