We are living in an information era where finding any information is a matter of a few clicks. And, social media websites or online content publishing platforms like Medium are effective channels to convey this information from one person to another. Medium is not a mere website, it’s more than that and allows its users to express or share their ideas, stories, and perspectives in the form of well-composed writeups.
What is Medium?
Medium is an online publishing platform that has gained immense popularity in a short period. The platform was launched in August 2012 and was developed by Evan Williams and is currently owned by A Medium Corporation. This platform can be used by both amateurs and professionals alike to publish personal blogs to express their views and perceptions through blog writing.
You can use Medium for free, but there is a membership option too that comes with excellent benefits like an improved bookmark section, access to the audio narration of popular stories, and exclusive content.
If you are mulling over creating a Medium-like website, then you will need to find the best website development company that can handle this kind of project. Creating a website like Medium is not easy and requires expertise in tons of technologies like you may need to hire WordPress developer to work with the CMS technology when choosing this CMS.
This Medium content publishing platform offers numerous features that make it very popular today. To create the next Medium website, you need to start by understanding how this platform works and what functionalities it offers to its users.
Must-have Features to Create a Medium-like Website
To build a website like Medium, you need to ensure that your website has all the features that the real Medium website possesses. So, here we will figure out the essential features of Medium that will give the right direction to custom website development efforts.
Medium is very easy to get started due to its beginner-friendly features. There are a lot of things that make it easy for varied users to read, share, like, and publish content on this platform. Whether you hire a web developer locally or choose an offshore development team, you will have to discuss all the required features that you want in your website to develop the right website. So, here are the key features of Medium.
User Account Creation
Although anyone can access Medium content irrespective of whether he/she has an account or not, a user will need an account to publish content and interact with other people on the platform. Medium lets a user create an account easily by clicking the “Get Started” button. The user will be prompted to sign up using Twitter, Facebook, Google, or an email account. If the user chooses to sign up through Twitter or Facebook, his/her existing connections will be automatically following him/her on the medium after account creation. You can also offer multiple sign-up options for users on your website to make the sign-up process easier and quicker.
Following Tags, People, and Publications
If you want to create a website like Medium, it should have a feature to allow users to follow different publications, people, and tags. Medium feed offers content that not only comes from the organization or people that a user follows but also the tags and publications that the user has followed. Also, whenever a user searches for something on Medium, the user can find content from different tags, people, organizations, and publications in the results. Further, a creator of medium publication can:
- Edit and submit stories from writers.
- Add writers to publication.
- Review the metrics of stories.
- The creator can appoint new editors.
After adding this feature, your users will be able to follow other users, tags, and publications like Medium as soon as they sign up to your site.
Bookmark, Recommend, and Share Content
Besides allowing users to follow different people, tags, etc, your website has to have a way to like, share, or bookmark a particular content as found on Medium. In the world of the Medium website “Recommend” is the “Like”. Just like a normal “Like” in content, “Recommend” means that a reader appreciates the content shared by someone. Also, the content that gets the most “Recommend” is featured on Medium’s “Top Stories” page. Users can share content on Facebook or Twitter as well as bookmark the desired content.
Highlighting Specific Words
One unique feature that your website should have to be like the Medium website is highlighting the texts. On Medium when some text is highlighted a pop-up appears with four options that are described below:
Once a user clicks the Highlight icon (the first option), the text selected is shown with a green background. The writer of the story will receive a notification for the highlighted text.
A user can write a response to a story by clicking the response icon (speech bubble icon). The text that is highlighted will then appear at the top of your response.
The ‘Text Shot’ is just like a screenshot. When a user clicks the Text shot icon (Twitter icon), it will generate a tweet that pulls the highlighted text as a screenshot automatically.
The fourth option which is a lock icon allows a user to send a private note to the writer when clicked.
The medium allows its users to write responses that differ from traditional blog comments, they are treated as distinct stories. It means not only these responses appear at the bottom of stories where commented, but they are also documented on profile pages and have chances of getting circulated like any common story.
Format Texts in Posts
On the Medium homepage, a user can access the story editor by clicking the “Write here…” prompt at the center or clicking the “Write a story” link on the top. The user can perform many text formatting by simply highlighting the text. You can make your website more attractive by adding rich text editing and formatting options.
Add Media and Images
Adding media like images, videos, tweets, etc is as easy as copy-pasting the corresponding link of the media content. The medium will provide formatting and alignment options to properly insert the media content. To get the best out of your website development efforts, you can allow your website users to choose and add multiple media content and enhance formatting options to be more competitive than Medium.
Publish Posts or Share Draft
When a user thinks that everything is fine or after finishing a write-up, the user can go to the top navigation to find two options: ‘Share’ and ‘Publish’. Choosing the ‘Share’ option lets the user generate a shareable link to the draft of his/her story that any Medium account holder can access. On the other hand, the ‘Publish’ option will allow the user to add up to 3 tags, then publish it and share the story with the world.
A user can easily track the performance of his/her story by viewing stats. From the ‘Stats’ page on Medium, the user can view the total number of responses, views, and recommendations that his/her story has gained.
So, these are the essential features of the Medium website and you can integrate these features into your website to make it like Medium. Your website development company can help you improve these features as well as give you more ideas to enhance the overall user experience. You can also do some research and find out some innovative ideas to be implemented into your Medium-like website.
What is the Technology Stack for the Medium Website?
While the Medium website looks so simple, it is quite complex behind the scene. Indeed, there are lots of technologies that work together to provide a cohesive user experience. To create a website like Medium, a custom web development company has to put several technologies into use. The following is the technology stack for creating a Medium-like website.
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
The Medium website uses Amazon’s VPC and employs Ansible for system management enabling them to keep the configuration in source control allowing for rolling out changes in a controlled manner. Also, they follow a service-oriented architecture that makes it possible to run lots of publication services smoothly.
Medium utilizes Amazon DynamoDB, a NoSQL database system, for storing and managing various data. They use this technology in conjunction with Redis cache to mitigate the hotkey issue that occurs during viral events. For some newer data, they have started utilizing Amazon Aurora which offers improved querying and filtering options than DynamoDB.
Amazon Redshift is used as the data warehouse by Medium that is also used for processing systems and rendering scalable storage. The core data set is imported from DynamoBD to Amazon Redshift.
The following miscellaneous other technologies used by the Medium website are:
These are the major technologies that Medium utilizes for varied functionality, processes, and user activities. You may require many other technologies and need to hire specialized web developers to build the website.
Factors Determining the Cost of Website Development
No matter what kind of website you want to build, there are some common factors that influence the cost of developing that website. Likewise, there are factors that determine the cost of creating an online publishing platform like Medium. Below is a quick rundown of those cost-affecting factors for building a website like Medium.
It is the user-facing part of a website that provides user interaction. This includes creating a custom website theme and developing various functionalities. Front-end development is one of the crucial steps in creating a website. You need to hire the right front-end web developer to build a unique website theme. The cost of front-end development depends on numerous elements such as responsiveness, number of web pages, level of customization, and overall complexity of the project. Hiring front-end web developers may cost you from $15 to $35/hr; that may change depending on the location and experience of the developers.
It is responsible for managing every task on the backend of a website. So, backend development deals with servers and databases. It ensures a flawless browsing experience on your website and streamlines activities thereon. The cost of back-end development depends on your requirements and the project’s complexity. The average cost of back-end development might be between $4,000 to $12,500, which may increase per your needs.
Top Technologies for Website Development
The technology you choose to develop your website also plays a crucial role in website development. There are some technologies that come without any license fees, but others require a license to be purchased. The following are the top technologies for website development.
PHP is a premier web development technology widely used for creating various websites. It is used for developing dynamic and static websites. PHP is a server-side scripting language and powers many content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop, etc. It is open source and free.
Python is popular due to its rich library, powerful syntax, and lightweight coding. It allows developers to build full-fledged web development solutions with the use of frameworks like Django and Flask. It is an open-source and free programming language.
It is a popular front-end development framework used to develop excellent user interfaces for websites. You can utilize it for front-end development in your website development project. It is open source and free.
The above technologies are widely used in developing a myriad of websites and web applications. You can utilize these techs for creating your website.
What is the Cost of Developing a Website like Medium?
Throughout this blog, we considered different aspects of the online content publishing platform Medium including its features and technology stack. When it comes to custom website development services, a basic website requires some rudimentary material like domain name, web hosting, SSL certificate, etc. But, to create an advanced website like Medium requires different expertise like front-end development service, back-end development, theme customization, and more. The cost of developing such a website depends on the level of expertise and complexity involved in website creation.
If you want to create a Medium-like website, CSSChopper can be the right partner. We are a leading custom web development company having a strong foothold in the industry with a successful track record of delivering competent web solutions for clients around the world.