DEV Community

loading...

Should you use Medium or dev.to?

David MM🐍 on September 20, 2019

Original Post Should you use Medium or dev.to? Should you use Medium or dev.to? Medium or dev.to, which one should you use as a blogg...
pic
Editor guide
Collapse
jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

What should note is that on dev.to you can have embedded runnable snippets.

I think they are sooo much better than just a block of code.

They are documented at dev.to/p/editor_guide

For example:

Kotlin Playground {% kotlin URL %}

To create a runnable Kotlin snippet, go to play.kotlinlang.org

And embed it like this:

{% kotlin https://pl.kotl.in/owreUFFUG?theme=darcula&from=3&to=6&readOnly=true %}

Glitch

Go to glitch.com and embed it like {% glitch vuejs %}

CodePen

Go to codepen.io/ and embed it like {% codepen https://codepen.io/twhite96/pen/XKqrJX %}

JSFiddle

Go to jsfiddle.net/ and embed it like: {% jsfiddle https://jsfiddle.net/link2twenty/v2kx9jcd %}

Others

See dev.to/p/editor_guide

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Oh, I didn't know! I'm going to update the post

Collapse
cescquintero profile image
Collapse
elseraa profile image
Sera

I've been thinking about start writing a long time ago. But just yesterday I do it. And I was making me this question all day. Where to start? I think I'll follow your advice and make it in both places and see how is it goes. Thanks!

Collapse
brentonhouse profile image
Brenton House

The big thing missing from dev.to is custom domain names. I'm sure there are a lot of developers (and others) that would quickly move their blog off of Medium if dev.to supported adding custom domain names to their product.

Collapse
sinewalker profile image
Mike Lockhart

or, just run your own static blog (served from GHPages or wherever) with a custom domain, and cross-post to DEV with a Canonical URL back to your blog post. Better than custom-domain.dev.to or custom-domain.medium.com

Collapse
brentonhouse profile image
Brenton House

I like your idea but I was was thinking about top level domains (i.e., I have brenton.house as my medium blog). I can still can (and may yet) do what you suggested though until they add support for custom domains.

Collapse
chakrit profile image
Chakrit Wichian

Second this. It is always possible, of course, to run a blog software by ourselves on our own domain but that is not the same thing as publishing on a platform or a network.

Collapse
adrienpoly profile image
Adrien Poly

Another Pros for dev.to is that its SEO is great.

My last article dev.to/adrienpoly/critical-css-wit... on critical CSS for Rails, has been in the top 5 Google results (q="Rails critical CCS") almost since day one

Collapse
mzaini30 profile image
Zen

It's right. My posts too.

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

You're right on that. Most of my posts are on the first (sometimes second) page of Google. But having my own blog I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, SEO-wise...

Collapse
alexisbenamar profile image
Alexis Benamar

Great article, it's nice to always have a choice.

But, I don't agree with your last statement about ugly code, as markdown offers syntax highlighting as a built-in feature. You just need to add the language you used in your code snippet next to the first triple backticks at the top. (You can find the right name for your language on numerous markdown help pages)

For example:

```javascript
const hello = (name) => {
    console.log(`hello, ${name}`)
}
```

will render as:

const sayHello = (name) => {
    console.log(`hello, ${name}`)
}

PS: there are many bullet points where the bold text isn't properly rendered because the closing ** sticks to a word, you might want to check it out πŸ‘

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

I didn't know. I'm going to update the OP.

Collapse
mzaini30 profile image
Zen

Markdown is amazing. I like this.

Collapse
ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Great post!

As the creator of DEV I definitely have some bias, but I'll add a few posts that sort of define the values we have on this issue, and why we make some of our choices...

We really work hard to be a value-add part of the ecosystem, rather than being an all-consuming monopoly on any of this stuff. I hope our work in supporting data portability and the open web are appreciated. 😊

And, of course, we're open source. Together with the community we'll just keep getting better and adding more value to the ecosystem that we don't entirely capture for ourselves.

Collapse
mzaini30 profile image
Zen

You're MVP πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Self-hostable static blogs is a great new feature.

And yes, you can tell by the number of comments and its type, that this is geared more towards developers.

Collapse
lpellis profile image
Loftie Ellis

What I'm doing is publish to my own site, then distribute it to Dev.to from there, and link to dev.to for the conversation. That way I get to maintain full control but still engage with the dev.to community.
Example: loftie.com/post/programming-music/

I used to also publish to medium but I'm getting quite literally zero views from them so I stopped, its a bad user experience anyway to get hit with that massive banner.

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Linking the comments to dev.to is super clever.

Collapse
alara_joel profile image
Alara Oluwatoyin Joel

I see what you did there, and I definitely like it. SMART
Will go for dev.to for now, then work on having mine later.
What do you think? Something from scratch in GitHub blog, or this whole Wordpress thing.
Thanks

Collapse
maxkatz profile image
Max Katz

I published an article about this exact topic: dev.to/maxkatz/where-to-publish-co.... My opinion - developers should publish on their own blog and then syndicate. This way no matter what happens with Medium, Dev.to or any future web site - your content is always on your site.

Collapse
patrixr profile image
Patrick R

I feel Medium is more for proper "articles" and "publications", not so much for discussions.

Dev.to kinda mixes things up a bit, which is good, but I often click on what I think is an article, only to find a one-liner asking a question to the community.

I'd love for that difference to exist in a more meaningful way.

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

That's what the #help is for (or it should be).

I always check how long is a post before clicking on it.

Collapse
patrixr profile image
Patrick R

True, I don't have the habit of looking for those.

That either says something about the UX, or about me :)

Collapse
dorshinar profile image
Dor Shinar

I have a few posts published on both platforms, and I feel like it's nearly impossible to gain traction in Medium without being behind the paywall (which I disagree with entirely), so I still post my articles there, but Dev is my first option.

Collapse
pavelloz profile image
PaweΕ‚ Kowalski

Why do you post there if you dont agree with their hostility towards users?

Collapse
dorshinar profile image
Dor Shinar

Good question. I don't have a clear answer, but it doesn't cost me anything so I guess why not?

Thread Thread
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Good Backlinks and views to my own blog are the only reason I see on posting at Medium. If I didn't had one, I wouldn't be there.

Thread Thread
dorshinar profile image
Dor Shinar

I didn't mention it, but I do have a blog of my own, so yeah you pretty much summed it up better than I was able to.

Collapse
tomavelev profile image
Toma

My answer is on all of them, not just medium and dev.to - also LinkedIn, Steemit.com, Facebook (probably better in some dev group/page), audio version in sound cloud, anchor.co, video version - on youtube, dailymotion, vimeo, wherever is free. The core process of programming is code and run - to develop something. For the content is the same idea - test, change, test, test, test. The top spot should be the one you control (self-host), not some platform that you have account on (in User Mode). This is the Internet Game of - who would acquire the most attention (and content generation). That is what makes all big companies valuable (content, user base, attention).

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

I didn't know about Steemit.com. I might give it a try.

Collapse
tomavelev profile image
Toma

I barely have any reach there, because, it is flooded with content, like most others, but, I'm republishing my stuff there also. It doesn't take too much time. Who knows, from which hat the rabbit will appear.

Collapse
michi profile image
Michael Z

Writing markdown was one of the main reasons I started using dev.to.

I have yet to see a fully functional wysiwyg editor that doesn't bug out after writing 2 sentences with different styling.

If I want a live preview, I usually just write the article in vs code.

Collapse
patrickalphac profile image
Patrick Collins

Agreed. I actually love writing in markdown. I don't know why it's not the default for everything.

Collapse
tam360 profile image
Mirza

If you find writing markup really annoying, consider using Remarkable . It's a markup editor which gives renders your marktup to actual text in a parallel window. It's really helpful when it comes to writing posts for dev.to or editing MD type documents in general.

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Thanks for the tip! I'm going to try it as soon as I can.

Collapse
joppedc profile image
JoppeDC

You should change the title for the Dev.to pro's and cons (its currently Medium pros and cons)

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
Collapse
joppedc profile image
JoppeDC

Sweet! Great post, just finished reading. Always loved Medium because of how clean it looks. And i've always loved dev.to because of the audience and content. This post sums it up pretty accurate!

Collapse
smalluban profile image
Dominik LubaΕ„ski

**Ugly code. **While you can use your code in, it is an ugly black background chunk with the text in white. it works but it is hard to read it. Still better than the one in Medium.

Dev.to supports marking language type of the code snippet, so you can get very nice highlighting :)

The only what you have to do is to add language name after opening quotes like javascript. For example:

console.log("I'm highlighted");
Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Thanks. I edited the OP and add the code highlighting as a (another) pro for dev.to.

Collapse
justchapman profile image
Chapman

Support the open web - host your own blog and distribute content as you wish. Don't silo your own work into something you have zero control over. Being dependent on a single vendor is just a bad idea, imho.

Collapse
yellow1912 profile image
yellow1912

Medium asks you to pay if you go above the number of posts you can read (3 per week or something like that?). While I think that's fair when the money goes directly to the writer to support the time and effort, if you plan to share your knowledge for free the. . medium is NOT a good place. I think that there are just so many free options out there such as dev.to for you to choose from. That said, you can always sync to multiple news portals.

Collapse
matthias profile image
Matthias πŸ€–

When you create a user you automatically follow 50 people. Not that it is super bad, but I get like 150 followers daily and I don't know which one is real and which one automatically assigned.

Is that true?

Collapse
s_aitchison profile image
Suzanne Aitchison (she/her)

When I joined (fairly recently) I definitely wasn't assigned people to follow... Or at least definitely not 50 πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Unless I get 1 follower for every 3 views because I'm secretly a future media mogul...yes.

6,054
Total Post Views

FOLLOWERS (1762)

Collapse
matthias profile image
Matthias πŸ€–

@ben - can you help us here?

Collapse
anshsaini profile image
Ansh Saini

Lol! I am one of your "fake" followers you can say xD
I was automatically following you when i created the account. But hey, now I'm a real follower.
cheers.

Collapse
sinewalker profile image
Mike Lockhart

I have noticed that I'm getting a lot of followers who signed up the same day I'm notified. And I have, like, ONE post, and a few comments. So now I understand: something's adding me automatically.

I guess it's incentive for me to get off my butt and WRITE A POST more :-)

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Thanks for keeping it real :)

Collapse
fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

All these articles intended to compare two things and whose authors say "It depends" in the end... I believe it should be considered as a crime... separate boiler in the hell is booked for them, definitely...

Be bold! Express your opinion!!!

Collapse
highcenburg profile image
Vicente G. Reyes

I also had this comparison back in June. DEV definitely has more audience than medium. I even gained 6k followers in 2 months because of that one post. Check it here on my blog icenreyes.xyz/posts/a-post-statist...

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Hm, the audience is tricky.

With Medium, like you, I had between 1-4, until (I don't know why) I was spotted by somebody on a Vue publication. The articles on the publication hit +1000 views easy, as they publish every week a curated list of articles.

But yeah, by myself my posts have like 6-7 views now. On dev.to you get more reads and, more important, feedback in comments.

The followers' thing, as I said, is not real. When I started here I was automatically following 50 people (because the tags I selected).

For example, on my first day, with less than 100 views, I had 152 followers by the end of the day, almost everyone registered the same day.

Today it is my 17th day here and I have 3165 followers, that roughly makes 1 follower by every 2 views...

Collapse
highcenburg profile image
Vicente G. Reyes

You gain more followers with more posts. I checked your profile and see that you are a consistent writer. Congratulations on that!

Collapse
sg_inclusive profile image
Inclusive.sg

Use Medium.com if you're writing general topics, not programming related. The audience there do not read programming much. I get hundreds of views for articles on linguistics, basic programming tutorials, etc; zero views for ... oh, wait, I seem to be getting lots of views for all topics.

Ok, I take all that back. I think Medium.com audience is quite varied. In fact, with all due respect, it seems to me that Medium.com audience are almost all working professionals. In contrast, Dev.to audience has a huge majority of "folks learning to program". (I even met quite a few scammers here. Well, not really scammers, but probably just folks who thought they REALLY can program.)

I also don't like to publish to Publications (because I can't choose between the many who pester me to join them). Also, I can't be bothered to submit drafts to Publications who might not even be subject matter experts for what I write; I just publish right away myself.

I get hundreds of views for articles NOT on Publications. You just need to be really good at writing (clear, concise, has good flow). Take a look at my articles, and observe the language and flow. jhannwong.medium.com/true-love-app...

(Note that my topics are for highly literate readers, not clickbaits or predatory hooks that attract "just about anybody". Medium.com does have clickbaits: topics on "how to write better" and "how to earn money writing".)

Or jhannwong.medium.com/learning-chin...

Note also that you shouldn't bother with claps or followers on Medium.com. I get hundreds of views (and reads), but no claps or followers at all. I actually am earning money on Medium.com! (I only intended to use Medium.com as a repository to house my knowledge base, notes-to-self, etc.)

In short, Dev.to seems to house a lot of chatters whereas Medium.com has lots of actual readers. (You'll also notice the few that follow me are rather... high-power working professionals. I don't bother sending out notification emails whenever I publish new articles, so the followers don't get anything special from me anyway.)

When I get to writing in-depth programming articles, I'll write on Dev.to probably. Or just install my own Ghost. I still hope to house all my writing on Medium.com, in one place, though.

I don't bother with SEO since I didn't intend to get an audience or get any marketing done. Yet, some of my Medium.com articles are ranked top 10 after a few days on Google search. Anyway, you won't get any good advice from me on SEO.

My advice: Just write to teach yourself, and you'll find your articles attract a lot of attention. Study, research, make your articles informative. But make sure your English is silk smooth, or you'll look terribly amateur on Medium.com. There be powerful communicators on Medium.com.

Collapse
sinewalker profile image
Mike Lockhart

What is this vague "polish" word that reviewers throw about?

Seriously.

Why does Medium get the "polished" comment and DEV.to not?

I mean, I'm not a front-end person, and I don't do design. I really cannot see what is "unpolished" about DEV?

It annoys me. Linux reviews are (or were) the same "this is great but it's not polished like Windows" -- Um. Windows crashes all the time and Linux doesn't so why is it "polished"?

Also, Markdown is a serious Pro for DEV, not a Con. It fails back to HTML which is a huge win. Medium clearly gets in your way, like WordPress, Drupal and 95% other CMSes.

Collapse
flrnd profile image
Florian Rand

For me, the best DEV.to selling points are:

  • Ruled by an indi company (with pretty cool staff).
  • Really good community.
  • It gives everyone fair chances of visibility.

Great article!

Collapse
jcastaneyra profile image
Jose Castaneyra

Wow, thanks, long time ago I had a blog but wasn't updated for about eight years, now I want to start again to write and your great post helped me to make a decision.

Collapse
davidmm1707 profile image
David MM🐍 Author

Happy to see that my post helped someone :)

Collapse
cescquintero profile image
Francisco Quintero πŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

All Dev.to pros outweigh Medium ones.

Besides, Dev.to community is so welcome and kind. Something you won't get in Medium.

Collapse
mzaini30 profile image
Zen

I have shared this post with my friend who will join in Dev. He was amazed at the speed of this website; switch pages almost without loading.

Collapse
jwp profile image
John Peters

I cannot stand Medium personally. It's a platform for disgruntled woe is me posts.

Dev.to is a programming haven.

Collapse
steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

I would go for Dev.to the last thing you want is be in a paid wall that is not specifically for the target audience you are writing it for

Collapse
devlorenzo profile image
DevLorenzo

"I get like 150 followers daily"
Can I just ask you, how many followers do you have in total?

Collapse
risingtail profile image
Rising Tail

Thank you for this post. It was very helpful to me in deciding which platform to go for.