Running this site, amid all the delays and procrastination in making content, is something that keeps me from giving up on life itself. The extent with which I’ve made it manifest is such that I have to somehow post something at least once or twice per month since I actually pay money every month to keep it up. However, this time around, I’m at a crossroads as I may have to give up on that due to money being tight and having less time to deal with the web development. Should I switch to Medium?
Time and money are always in short supply, but it has been even shorter these days due to all the things I’ve gotten myself into. Therefore, I have to become ultra frugal with both. What I have going for me is my upbringing, having been raised by one hell of a miser. On the other hand, it also means I have to compromise on some things I had been proud of standing for.
The Case for Web Hosting
The reason I went for a separate website over being hosted in WordPress or Blogspot is my desire to learn web development. When I first put this website up back in 2011, I was still in school and had a web design course. Upon finally unlocking the power of HTML/CSS after years of being ignorant of it, I went wild and continued this foolish quest. I would then continue to improve this website until reaching its current state as of this posting.
However, since after 2014, those improvements have slowed and the website is still stuck in pixel-perfect HTML4-based design. The things I’ve tried to fix or add here lately are still not figured out, like a thinner and longer navigation bar on the top replacing a banner and the problem with images in the mobile version. While I know I can figure it out if I give it time and effort, I’ve been quite short on that first thing.
My inability to continue learning web development is the reason why I’m thinking of giving up on maintaining this site under my own power. The fact that I have to pay ever-increasing costs each year for hosting, not to mention having to jump from one hosting service to another every now and then, makes the case for leaving this to a service like Medium instead. But with that decision, I’m giving up a whole lot of control.
Not only am I able to implement my own design, but also back up the files and the database that contains all the posts. As long as I have those, I can bring the site back to life whenever I wish. Having that degree of control and freedom with it is why I have used separate web hosting all this time.
However, what tipped the scale that has made me consider going to an online publishing platform is next year’s subscription fee. I’m already having enough problems with money.
The Case for Medium
If I switch to just using Medium, migration should be easy enough and I’ll just need to pay for the domain. I won’t be able to back up the database and all the other files, especially the images that may be subject to Medium’s specific way of handling them. I won’t be able to make it look exactly the way I want it to look. Overall, I’ll be giving up a lot of control by transitioning to that platform.
In return, I won’t have to worry about hosting fees and shit breaking due to updates. As much as I like WordPress, I’m quite into the readability and simplicity of Medium. There are less stakes involved with Medium, letting me concentrate on just the writing and not much else. However, it also takes away from branding, which is more or less everything in the website.
I’m also not entirely sure about how it handles embedded videos, which are a major part of the content here. From what I’ve seen thus far, Medium seems to handle them well enough, but I may have be able to have one on the homepage to promote the YouTube channel a bit better.
The Medium ecosystem also holds promise. I wanted to have this blog on Tumblr at first, but the way Tumblr handles content wasn’t good for my type of content, which is another reason why I settled for web hosting. Medium uses some more traditional elements to handle content like a normal-ass homepage with normal-ass navigation to get around—something Tumblr got rid of to simplify blogging.
Another good thing with that ecosystem is the content may be promoted to regular Medium readers. That can then bring in more readers who may somehow like the schlock I tend to post and that’ll help me grow and give me more motivation to make content.
That’s something I’ve always had trouble with, especially with a website separate from the rest of the Internet. With my super-weak social media game, it’s not going anywhere.
The temptation to switch is great. I’ve had enough dealing with web hosting, especially since EIG has been scooping up many of the formerly good hosting services out there like Bluehost and Site5. With Siteground’s CPU cycle problem (which made me have to pay more to upgrade) and the $162 annual subscription fee it recently slapped me with, I may have to bid bye bye to having my own hosted website.
However, what really makes me hesitate going on Medium is not being able to change my publication’s overall appearance. I want to keep the white text on dark background as I think it’s a big part of the Avoiderdragon brand. I know it may sound preposterous to many, but it’s that inner edgelord in me that keeps the whole thing going in the first place.
Of course, I can go on WordPress, Blogspot, or some other platform instead, but those don’t have the ecosystems Tumblr and Medium have, so those options are out. If I can find a way to get a much darker background on my Medium publication, I’ll jump ship.
Otherwise, I’ll just transfer this website to another hosting service, most likely A2 Hosting.
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