5 tips on future proofing your Medium posts

So, you’ve decided you want to blog or write on Medium – where all the cool kids hang out. Great. Remember there are other similar platforms to write and blog and at some point Medium (like everything else on the Internet) might lose its appeal or even, god forbid, shutdown.Dont break da internetz

When that happens, what will happen to your posts? How can you and the rest of the internet reach it?

There were numerous occasions in the past (the most recent one was Posterous) where the platform simply died and all the links pointing to it and all of their SEO goodness went to shaite.

You can always run your own server, but not everyone has the time, power or know-how to do so.

Here are few tips to help you be forward compatible with most platforms in the future:

  1. Choose a platform that supports a custom domain. If you can’t blog under your own domain you will never truly own your content.
  2. Make sure to blog under your own domain (or subdomain such as blog.mycooldomain.com). If you don’t own a domain – get one. It’s very cheap as it costs anywhere between ~$3-$10/year depending on the type .com, .net, .co and domain registrar (I like namecheap.com). Medium added support for that on March 2015 so you have no excuse.
  3. Make sure you have some sort of backup for your posts. I usually like to write my posts without formatting on Google Docs or Simplenote so I get an immediate backup. Before publishing I copy the content to the publishing platform I use. Doing so will make sure that even if your platform goes down you can always restore your posts using your domain and back up of the posts. Another benefit is that you don’t need to rely on an export feature that your dying platform may or may not provide.If you are slightly more technically advanced I suggest writing the posts in Markdown. There are various tools to generate better looking HTML that you can later paste into your current cool blogging site.
  4. Make backups of attached/uploaded resources. If your posts contain images or other resources that you have uploaded to your chosen platform, make sure to have copies of these files so that you can always restore it with the post text in other platforms if needed.
  5. Save all of your posts’ URLs. Make a document or spreadsheet of all your posts’ URLs. For example, if a blog post URL is http://mycooldomain.com/2015/12/31/something-cool make sure to copy and save it. If your chosen blogging platform goes down you can always add a redirect rule from the old URL (as it appeared in the old platform) to how it will appear in the new one, thus not breaking da internetz!

These rule don’t apply just to Medium, they apply to most platforms such as WordPress (wordpress.com or self hosted one), any static site generator, Ghost, Svbtle, Squarespace, Weebly, etc.

In my opinion, the best choice nowadays for people who don’t want to mess around with server is to use a static site generator such as Jekyll. While it involves running a few commands in your shell (that black screen with running white text) you can easily build a site, generate it and host it on platforms such as Surge or Netlify.

4 thoughts on “5 tips on future proofing your Medium posts”

  1. Well, posts are pretty much perishables, no one will read your post (or everybody else’s posts) more than a year after you wrote it. You want to post it where the cool kids at to get more exposure. I think the rest is just digital hoarding :)

  2. Oded, I don’t agree. I have plenty of posts in this blogs and other (usually more technical) blogs that still get traffic and people are still finding useful.

    Posts sometimes resurface when referenced from other newer posts or just get re-shared and gain traction again after a long long time (you have more than ample examples on Facebook).

    If you care for the things you write, write not just under your own name, but under your own control.

    If you care about exposure in certain places, cross post it (make sure to have a link).

    Besides, if you really think that, why do you have http://blog.startafire.com/ ? :-)

  3. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in content. For a brand it’s usually a good idea to post under it’s own domain with cross references from, let’s say, Medium. Point being is that the decay factor for content is high.

  4. When you say decay, you mean traffic decay. Not necessarily relevance. Depending on the content itself, some of it (say a blog post about fixing or handling some problem) will always get a certain amount of traffic and references and in time will only just grow stronger in search engine.

    As a developer I feel it all the time when I come across posts that are a year or more old yet are still relevant.

    Same goes for old code that you throw at github. I have projects that I put up and forgot about but somehow even 3 years later people are still thinking its relevant and are sending pull requests.

    The indirect value is much much bigger and, looking at the big picture, worth it.

Leave a Reply