How to make WordPress look like Medium.com or Facebook Notes

This tutorial helps you minimize your WordPress installation to look and feel like a social blogging site.

I really love the blogging experience with Medium.com. The GUI is so intuitive that I often forget about the mundane “technical” aspects of blogging and I’m able to focus on creating great content.

At the same time, I still love WordPress. I like having control over my content and I like the added flexibility of WordPress, particularly in areas such as E-commerce.

So this got me thinking. How difficult would it be to transform my WordPress blog into a Medium-like site? It turns out that it’s very easy, particularly if you’re starting a new blog.

You need two things: the Integer Theme and the Gutenberg plugin. Both are free and easy to use. You can watch the video above for a step-by-step tutorial on how to set both of these up.

Gutenberg has received quite a bit of criticism from the WordPress community since its release, particularly from developers having a hard time adapting the plugin to existing client websites.

It seems the best option at the moment for anyone seriously considering using Gutenberg full-time, is to run a minimal installation of WordPress using just a few essential plugins such as Akismet, WP Cache and Yoast as well as a simple theme like Integer. This combination worked very well in my tests.

Gutenberg is obviously an attempt by WordPress to enter the Medium.com arena. Over major sites are making similar moves to paired-down, content first approach.Facebook’s recent addition of “Notes” is an obvious example.

 

Gutenberg takes the standard WordPress composition screen and makes it look and function like Medium’s “block” system with intuitive text editing and media import capabilities.

So if you’re looking for a simple and low cost solution to transform WordPress into a minimal blogging platform, why not give the Integer and Gutenberg combo a try? Let me know what you think.

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  1. Thanks for your comment. Have you been following the discussion over at WordPress HQ about the Gutenberg plugin? It has caused a lot of fuss since its release, largely from theme developers and web designers, who are not sold on the fact that they need to adjust their coding/dev practices if and when Gutenberg becomes part of the WP core. For me, this has been a long time coming. The last few years have been about how to make WP much more user friendly, particularly from a mobile perspective.

    Gutenberg is in a sense the outcome of all those discussions. It’s early days, but I could well imagine a future in which Gutenberg becomes the successor to WordPress. Personally, anything that reduces helps reduce clutter and speed up the platform is welcome.

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