Moving to Hashnode to Share Better Content as a Technical Writer

Writing on Medium has served me well till now but its limitations has been a major hindrance for technical writing. As such, this article is all about why I chose Hashnode over Medium for my Technical Writing requirements.

Somraj Saha


Blog’s banner with these text — “Moving to Hashnode to Share Better Content as a Tech Blogger!”
Hashnode is simply a better platform for technical writing, period!

I started using Medium since early 2017! I wasn’t good at writing, had no idea about SEO & writing for an online audience. But if it wasn’t for Medium, I wouldn’t have learned those either!

Regardless, my journey on Medium has come to end. It served my needs very well & I’ve found an alternative to share better technical articles with you.

This brief article sheds light on why Medium didn’t work out for me & why Hashnode might prove more useful. If you’re in a situation where you need to choose either Medium or an alternative? This article might be of some help to you in one way or the other.

An Introduction to my Blogging Journey

Before proceeding ahead with the rest of the article, I would like to share my blogging journey & experience with you. It’ll give you an insight into why certain decisions were made. And how Hashnode might’ve the solution to some of my pain points.

So, it was early 2020 & the global pandemic just started to take its toll. Countries around the world went into a lock down & I had enough free time on my hand to redesign/rewrite my blog. During the same time I also had the opportunity to learn about writing for an online audience. And I also learned the importance of “owning” a personal blog.

With these information in mind, I experimented both with Medium & Static Site Generators (SSGs) like Gatsby, Pelican & Hugo. If you’re interested, take a look at my article — A Review of Some of the Most Popular Static Site Generators to help yourself choose an SSG.

Hugo allowed me use Markdown & choose any of the hundreds of available themes for the aesthetics of my blog. So, I chose to go with Hugo & the PaperMod theme.

The key takeaways I learned from this experiment were:

  • “Technical Writing requires an extra set of skills which differs from the skill set required for writing “generic prose”.
  • Disregarding formatting issues of code snippets is bad practice (even though Google’s SEO won’t penalise you for doing so).
  • Markdown (or editors providing similar editing features) are the de facto standard for authoring technical writing.

The points mentioned above were the bare-minimum things to keep in mind for authoring good quality technical write-ups. Disregarding any of the points above will result in an unpleasant experience for my audience. As such, any platforms which doesn’t adhere to those points is a no-no for me.

On that note, Hugo was almost the perfect solution for my problem! I would author my articles in Markdown & push them up to a remote GitHub repository. Thereafter, a GitHub Actions configured CI/CD pipeline would then take care of compiling & deploying the content to Netlify.

I wrote a detailed blog post on how I used Hugo to blog. You can read the article at — How to Create an Overpowered Blog With Hugo (As a WordPress Alternative)

So, my publishing workflow was simple, nothing complicated & it worked nicely until a bug in the upstream repository of the PaperMod theme broke it. Soon after, I reverted back to Medium for my blogging needs. The plan was to make Medium my content’s home until I recreated my blog in Next.js from scratch!

Here’s the repository — Jarmos-san/nextjs-blog, check it out if you feel interested.

Moving to Medium as the primary platform for my blogging, opened my eyes towards its flaws. Most of these flaws wouldn’t matter at all for writing prose. But the same flaws were a major deal breaker for writing technical articles due to the reasons mentioned above.

I then realised, Medium simply wasn’t built with the needs of technical writing in the first place!

I did find some hacks & tricks to make sharing technical articles on Medium more reader-friendly like sharing code snippets using GitHub Gists & Carbon. But using those tools reduced my productivity & added redundant burden on my tool set.

And on that note, the next section of the article describes the hacks & tricks I used to overcome those issues I faced with writing on Medium.

Medium’s Editor isn’t Meant for Technical Writing

Medium provides an amazing WYSIWYG editor for writers in general. But it doesn’t appeal to the needs of a Technical Writer which is kinda unfortunate.

Technical Writing involves sharing code snippets wherever needed & Medium’s editor doesn’t provide code sharing features as a first-class citizen. Sure you could embed GitHub Gists which does provide some level of syntax highlighting & other coding features! But then be prepared to maintain a huge list of unmaintainable list of gists! You can take a look at mine to get an idea of how messy it can get.

Besides, the following embedding is an example GitHub Gist:

Example GitHub Gist Showcasing Random JavaScript Code

Another alternative to GitHub Gists is “Carbon” which allows you to write a code snippet & export it in either PNG/SVG formats. Following is an example, I exported from the platform:

Example code snippet picked up from

NOTE: While Carbon allows you to export images in both PNG & SVG formats, Medium only allows you to embed PNG images.

On face value, Carbon might appear to be better than GitHub Gists, but then it adds an additional tool in my toolbox. Using the tool also reduces my productivity by taking up more time to fix & setup the code snippets. I could use this wasted time elsewhere to write more blogs instead!

Technical Articles Shouldn’t be Behind a Paywall

As mentioned earlier, Medium wasn’t built with the needs of a Technical Writer in mind. This is more apparent when put in context to locking articles behind a paywall. Granted its optional & authors needn’t have to lock up their articles. But I would also like to be compensated for the effort I put into publishing my content (if my readers deems it necessary).

On Medium, I’m either earning or not earning a dime at all (not that I’ve an option either since the Medium Partner Program isn’t available in my country). On Hashnode, I can decide to monetise my content without barring non-paying readers in my audience!

Besides, personal gain, technical content are seldom locked behind a paywall unless there’s some proprietary stuff to deal with. But generally speaking, its not uncommon for Technical Writers to share their content for free. This is done in hopes, the content proves helpful to other individuals (who’re usually software devs or fellow writers).

If that still doesn’t make sense, think about it this way; users on Stack Overflow often go to great lengths to share their knowledge. These users are participating in some form of technical writing knowingly or unknowingly! Chances are some of those answers are helping thousands of developers across the globe while you read this article!

Imagine what would the world be like if Stack Overflow were to lock its threads behind a paywall! 🙃

I give you my personal guaranteed, a significant portion of the technological advancements in the 21st can be attributed to publicly available information! And we should be thankful to those selfless individuals who continuously share their knowledge on public platforms for free!

On that note, Medium’s paywall is in no-way incentivizing more people to share their knowledge for others to have access without shelling out cash. Sure getting compensated for the effort put into sharing those info is great but at what cost?

Hashnode played the monetisation game for technical writing the right way. Authors can choose to monetise their content & their audience are free to tip or not to. Both parties has complete freedom to choose either to monetise or not to and/or to tip or not to. There’s no obligation & the decision is YOURS to make!

Besides the monetisation feature Hashnode also provides a suite of other subtle helpful features as well. And the next section of the article sheds more light on those features.

How Hashnode is TRULY “Built by Developers & for Developers

Here’s what Hashnode’s slogan is: “Built by Developers & for Developers”.

And the meaning of their slogan is more apparent after checking out the subtle hidden features of their platform! Besides providing a Markdown editor, their platform integrates well with GitHub. And you can use a GitHub remote repository to backup your content. If that doesn’t attract a Technical Writer’s attention, I don’t know what else will.

Backing up my content to a remote repository on GitHub also means, I can pretty easily import/export my content whenever necessary. So, if there’s ever a better platform to blog other than on Hashnode, it wouldn’t take me too long to export my content to this other new platform.

All in all Medium is a nice platform for generic writers with limited requirements, but it simply isn’t cut out for technical writing. Even though it provides hacky tools & tricks to do so, Hashnode does it better.

Overall, if I had to do a “Medium vs Hashnode” comparison in context to “technical writing”, then Hashnode is a clear winner for me!

There’re other platforms like & I’ve tried them all out! But none of them has perfected the UI/UX as Medium (or Hashnode for technical writing). I find it unfortunate to leave behind a thriving community (and huge one at that). But what needs to be done, has to be done sooner or later!

So, find me on Hashnode to read my upcoming articles there! Do note though, I’m still setting up the profile & exporting all my content there. So, in case you come across a mistake or two, feel free to reach out to me!

I’ll also not be publishing on Medium any time soon (unless there’s a strong reason). And I hope Hashnode will be a pleasant experience as well.

You can find me on Twitter (to share ideas & queries for me to write a topic on), LinkedIn (to connect with me & stay updated) & GitHub (to participate on FOSS projects with me) as well!



Somraj Saha

I taught myself to code, so I teach others now. Find more personalized content I share on Twitter and my newsletter —