In news that must have surprised no-one, Posterous has announced that it will be turning off the lights in a few months.
On April 30th, we will turn off posterous.com and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.
Now two of the original co-founders of Posterous — Garry Tan and Brett Gibson — are soon going to launch a new blogging platform called Posthaven that pledges never to be acquired and to be a home for your blog that will last forever.
It’s been a week since I switched this blog from Posterous to WordPress.com. I’m very happy with the change, but it is clear to me that Posterous offer very compelling features for a free service.
What follows isn’t a complete comparison of the two services, it just highlights what I consider the most important differences between the two services for a typical blogger.
||Big library of free themes (100+). Premium themes. No custom themes.
||Decent library of free themes (46). No premium themes. Custom themes.
|Custom domain mapping ($12 per year).
||Free custom domain mapping.
|Regular users may see ads on your blog. Signed in WordPress.com users won’t. ($29.97 to remove.)
||No on-site advertising.
|No direct HTML editing. CSS access paid upgrade ($30 per year).
||Full free access to HTML and CSS.
|Image-heavy posts are a pain to manage.
||Excellent, intuitive image galleries.
|Excellent, but expensive HD video support (VideoPress: $60 per year).
||Free video uploads (100MB per video limit).
|A basic stats tool in the dashboard. No export functionality. No Google Analytics support.
||Support for Google Analytics.
||No threaded comments.
|Fantastic commenting and comment moderation features.
||Comments can be a bit buggy for users. Poor moderation features.
|Both services offer great customer support and have good iPhone and Android apps.
Note that I stopped using Posterous just before it transformed into Posterous Spaces. Their blogging service remains basically unchanged, so these points are still valid, but there is now a whole social aspect you may want to consider.
Curiously, I seem to be getting much more traffic now I’m hosting this blog on WordPress.com. I used to get 100-200 visits per day on Posterous, but now I’m seeing 200-300.
It could be a simple reporting difference, but I know from personal experience that Posterous could be slow to the point where the page never finished loading. I wonder if it regularly prevented the Google Analytics script at the end of the page from getting loaded?
Posterous places nonremovable canonical URL tags on its posts. That tells the search engine to assign all the “link juice” to the Posterous-hosted page no matter where else the content may exist.
I do not want the Posterous version of the document to be the official URL for much of my content.
(via Why I’m dropping Posterous this weekend – forums.posterous.com)
I hadn’t spotted this, but I’m glad I know now.
This could be a problem for you if you duplicate your own content on a Posterous blog, but you don’t want Posterous to be the main home for that content. It is very likely that your Posterous blog will rank higher than the other place, whether you want it to or not.
In truth, it’s probably not an issue for most users. Better to know and not care than to care and not know.
Further reading: Learn about the Canonical Link Element in 5 minutes – mattcutts.com
The Royal Pingdom blog has been measuring the downtime of five different blogging services. They are very sympathetic towards Tumblr’s position on this list, and the result will be of no surprise to anyone who uses the service. I hope they sort their problems out too.
The other standout on the list was Blogger, with no downtime over the two month testing period recorded at all!