The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Medium.com Discontinues Custom Domains
Medium.com has been praised for its beautiful interface and easy interaction along with its great SEO-qualities. Medium.com remains fast software and I personally have yet to see articles load slowly at all. Medium.com is a phenomenon in itself with a mix of great reviews and bad reviews along with a love-hate relationship amongst its readers and publishers. People who use it love it but often find themselves leaving it, sometimes later returning, sometimes not. It became an alternative to WordPress, Typepad, and Ghost, among many other platforms.
Several years ago, around 2015–2016, Medium.com offered publishers the choice to move use custom domains on Medium.com. In other words, you could now point your website to Medium.com, but it would show up as your website, a beautiful feature that kept the qualities of Medium.com, while being the software that hosted your website. Some people adopted it quickly and kept it, others adopted it and left, and others just ignored it completely, not really seeing any value to “moving their content on to Medium.com”.
This was a free service they offered for a time but then began charging $75 per domain and people still didn’t mind paying it, but not so many others were quick to adopt it. I made a decision that I was going to move my own website over to Medium.com, but when I attempted to do it for the first time, I was met with a message that Medium.com would no longer be offering the service to anyone.
Well, this really sucked. I hadn’t noticed how great the Medium platform was until it was too late. Sure, my website, Confessions of the Professions, now looks something like Medium, of sorts, but it sits on WordPress, which is great in itself, but I was looking for a change, just something else I could use, and I had taken a liking to Medium.com. But I was too late.
I had probably been one of the first people who emailed Medium.com to ask about it, even offered to pay them any price they wanted. Here were our emails back and forth:
We got your message!
We will reply as soon as possible. To add additional comments to your ticket, just reply to this email.
Be sure to check out our help center:
Medium.com responded within 48 hours:
Berik Dossayev (Medium Support)
Dec 15, 6:58 AM PST
We stopped offering custom domains indefinitely. I am sorry.
Yeah, this was definitely not something I wanted to do. Way to give up all hope on SEO and search engine indexing for my own domain. I responded:
This is a follow-up to your previous request #162450 “Any idea when you will be b…”
I’m not sure what led to the decision to just stop indefinitely, but honestly, I’m tired of WordPress, and would love to migrate over to Medium.com and even more willing to pay for a membership just to have a custom domain at medium.com. I’m sure there is no negotiations or price bargaining with Medium.com as I know that is their final decision, but definitely hope you guys consider in the future offering some type of alternative options.
And the final reply:
It is not the same but should work.
User happiness, eh? Not really. So that was it. Final say. No bartering. No negotations. Nothing. At the time and still, there’s very few articles on why Medium.com discontinued support for their custom domain service. Even when I offered to pay for a subscription and for them to host the domain, they rejected my offer, not at all interested.
I realize I would probably be more involved in the community of Medium.com if I were doing more with my website’s DNS records pointing to Medium.com, but my interest only goes as far as being an author for a few publications that I occasionally write for on their own sites, which some are actually using Medium.com with their own custom domains.
It would make sense that Medium.com could or would start offering this service again, even for a small fee, with a paid subscription to bring in additional money for their service, yet they seem to have no interest at all. I can host my website at WordPress.com and use a custom domain. I can go to Ghost.org and use their service for a custom domain as well. Even PostHaven.com has the ability to add your custom domain. But Medium.com seems to no longer care about offering this service at all.
Medium.com has yet to officially release any statements at all regarding why they discontinued the service and no one seems to really give too much of an explanation. No appeals can be made or interest expressed. Where are the petitions to get Medium.com to at least consider custom domains again?
It could be that Medium.com wants more SEO and permalinks going towards their own website. I completely get that Medium.com is the source, but allowing custom domains still helped them with branding. It could be that offering custom domains comes at a high cost to them or they may have maxed out the amount their allotted by whoever their using. Whatever the case, it seems there is nothing we can do about it and nothing Medium.com will do about it.
I do hope that writing this and getting enough attention will express to Medium.com the amount of interest people still have for it and are willing to use and pay for their custom domain service. We are interested! We want this service back! You have a great platform! Please allow me to use it with my domain!
As I wrote this article a while ago and published it on Medium along with a series of other publications I wrote that were initially published to Hackernoon.com, I had really loved the idea of Medium.com. Unfortunately, Medium.com changed their policies to the point where anything in which I was linking outside to an external website was considered against their policy, and as a result, they suspended my Medium account.
Following the Hackernoon story, in which Hackernoon and many other companies were offered a buyout, and then killed off, or comply completely with Medium’s new terms of ABSOLUTELY NO ADVERTISING, Confessions of the Professions would likely not have survived. Thus, while I still love the initial concept of Medium, and our design template from 2016-2017 was designed like Medium, I am quite happy that I never moved to Medium.com as a full publication service, as I would not be able to do half of the things that makes Confessions of the Professions what it is.
While I still strongly feel that Medium.com should have left its custom domains practices in place, Medium.com is no longer the publishing platform it once was, and after being suspended multiple times, including clearing up my violations, my account continues to be suspended, and thus, I do not trust, read, associate, or recommend Medium.com.