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Dev, Medium, and Hashnode: Choosing Your Digital Stage

· 4 min read
Bekah Hawrot Weigel
Developer Experience Lead

Today is day 19 of my 29 Days of Open Source Alternatives series, where I'll be exploring open source alternatives to proprietary software in the categories of Game Development and Multimedia, Development Tools and Platforms, Productivity and Collaboration Tools, and more. If you'd like to see the list of the open source alternatives I'll be covering this month, head over to my 29 Days of Open Source Alts Page or if you're interested in some of the top OSS projects of last year, check out this list. This is the first post in the Content Management and Publishing category.

I started blogging when I was learning how to code. Back then, I had only heard of Medium, and I didn’t think it would be a good fit for me. Fast forward to a couple of years later, I was following The Practical Dev on the platform formerly known as Twitter, and I appreciated the audience it was building both there and here. I posted my first Dev blog in April of 2020, A Letter to My Past Self, and I’ve posted regularly since then. Sure, Dev isn’t the only platform out there, but it’s built with the open source software, Forem, and one of the most reputable open source alternatives for blogging. (or just DEV) is hosted by Forem. It is a community of software developers who write articles, take part in discussions, and build their professional profiles. We value supportive and constructive dialogue in the pursuit of great code and career growth for all members. The ecosystem spans from beginner to advanced developers, and all are welcome to find their place within our community. ❤️

Let’s take a look behind the scenes and see how Dev, as powered by Forem, compares to other proprietary platforms.


  • Customizable Community Spaces: Tailor the look and feel to match the community's identity, like we have on our OpenSauced Page.
  • Content Creation and Management: Collaborative tools for writing, editing, and organizing content with your team. Admins are able to edit and schedule content and add and remove writers, and writers can choose whether to write on their own account or within an organization they’re a part of.
  • Social Networking Features: Connect with others, follow topics, and join discussions.
  • Options for Curating Your Feed: Includes filters for relevant, latest, and top.
  • Additional features: Guides, Shop, Media Uploads, and community engagement activities.

Forem Dashboard on OpenSauced

Forem v. Hashnode and Medium

Let's do a feature comparison to better understand what you're contributing to when you post and what options you have.

CostFreeFreemium (limited)Freemium (limited)
Ownership & ControlOwn content & dataYou retain your rights to any content you submit, post or display on or through the Services.Own content & data
MonetizationWeb monetization (beta)Partnerships, tips, memberships (platform takes share)Limited (direct sponsorships, affiliate links)
Community & SupportActive forumLarge community, limited support (FAQs, guides)Smaller, focused community, good support (team, users)

Open Source Support & Popularity

Forem has definitely had a strong showing of contributors and support over the years, as evidenced by their numbers.

  • ⭐ 21.4k
  • 👀 357
    • Forks: 4k
  • License: AGPL-3.0 commits: 13k+ contributors: 701

Star History Chart

We see the star chart starting to flatten out here, and I think the contributor community reflects that reality as well.


There's a thriving community of writers on Dev, as well as moderators. But if we take a look behind the scenes, we only see 14 contributors in the last thirty days.

Contributor Graph

The top contributor (at the time of this writing) to the Forem repo is @ben.

ben halpern card

It's interesting to note that many are contributing to a variety of other open source projects as well, including tailwindlabs, rubytoolbox, avo-hq and more.

forem contributors


Dev offers something other platforms don't: the transparency of being an open source product. There are currently over 500 issues open, so there's no shortage of work for maintainers, triagers, and contributors. Here's my pitch: If you use this platform and you'd like to see it thrive as a successful open source project, take a look at their contributing guide and see how you can get involved.

If you'd like to see the full list of the open source alternatives I'll be covering this month, head over to my 29 Days of Open Source Alts Page.