TUESDAY TIPS: Migrating from Posterous
If you haven't heard yet, Posterous is shutting down on April 30th.
I loved Posterous. Almost as much as I love Evernote. It was the best service available for sharing content just about anywhere. You could send one email, and Posterous would create a blog post, do whatever was necessary to make any attachments look awesome, and notify any/all social media networks you specified. All at once. It was so simple, even people who said they didn't have time to blog started blogging. Then Twitter bought Posterous. I have nothing against Twitter by itself. I even tweet on occasion (@danhedrick if you'd like to follow.) But I didn't trust them with Posterous. So I decided to jump ship early, rather than continue to pour content into my Posterous blogs. I had a feeling Twitter was going to just absorb Posterous--I never thought they'd flat out shut it down. How do you take the best of something and just kill it? I know they bought Posterous for the talent, not the product, but still--it was an incredibly good product. Even though my stuff has been moved off of Posterous, it still makes me a little sad to see it go.
Sorry about that rant.
There are plenty of options if you need to move your blog off Posterous. I tried several over the course of a month or two, and settled on a self-hosted WordPress blog. It offered me the most flexibility, and I was already paying for hosting, so it didn't make sense for me to pay an additional cost somewhere else.
A few other options I checked out:
Excluding Movable Type, the one thing all these options have in common is that they are hosted solutions. You don't have to procure your own hosting account somewhere to use them. And, with the exception of Squarespace, all have free options.
Love me some WordPress. The free account was almost perfect, but I wanted to have the option of throwing my own ads up, and needed more space for photos. I actually had the site running on WordPress.com for awhile before I went to the self-hosted option. WordPress has been around forever, so there are plenty of themes and plugins available. You can use your own domain name for a small fee, if I remember correctly. You can also host multiple blogs, and see the stats for all of them.
There is a mobile app for iOS and Android.
I actually really like Tumblr, too. Let me be more specific: I like publishing to Tumblr. I do enjoy a few peoples' Tumblr blogs, but for the most part it seems to be somewhat difficult to find original content. It's also becoming increasingly difficult to avoid porn. You can use your own domain name for free. I read somewhere that Tumblr isn't search engine friendly, so if you're moving a business blog, it might not be the best option. If all you have is a personal blog, the exposure your posts will get on Tumblr seems to be better than the others. You can host multiple blogs. Just remember--if you reblog too much, you'll go blind.
Another one with an iOS and Android mobile app.
Just Migrate promises to be able to move your Posterous site over to Tumblr.
Google made the interface really slick. It's clean, simple, and straightforward. Multiple blogs are possible. If you already have a Google account, you won't need to create a new account to start blogging.
Blogger has a mobile app for iOS and Android.
I was unable to find a simple way to migrate a Posterous blog to Tumblr. If you've been emailing all your posts to Posterous, you could always go through your sent folder and re-send them to your custom Blogger email address.
I really wanted to love Squarespace. There's a 14-day trial that is definitely worth checking out. You'll fall in love with the interface and the simplicity of updating your pages and blog posts. My only issue is that for almost the same price I pay for hosting, I only get one Squarespace site, and it's limited to 8 pages. (Blogs count as one page.) I could probably get away with 8 pages, but for me, the value just wasn't quite there. It's still an awesome service, and you should take a look at it. A friend of mine just moved from Posterous to Squarespace, and the importer worked really well. I had some issues with the WordPress to Squarespace importer.
The mobile app lets you manage your blog posts and comments. It is available for iOS and Android.
Squarespace has it's own import mechanism that supports various platforms.
I don't know a whole lot about this one anymore. When I first started blogging back in the early 2000s, I used Movable Type. No need for server-side scripting, because the software created HTML pages via CGI scripts. It was pretty slick. Six Apart (the company who runs Movable Type,) also runs Typepad and LiveJournal. I know nothing about these two platforms.
I couldn't find a native Movable Type mobile app, but there are several third-party apps that will publish to the platform.
I was unable to find anything useful about migrating from Posterous to Movable Type…
WordPress Self Hosted
This just made sense for me. I already had hosting through Dreamhost, and had several other sites on that account. Self-hosting gives me the greatest flexibility with design and functionality, and with the Jetpack plugin, I get a lot of the same features offered by the hosted version at wordpress.com.
The same mobile apps that work for the hosted WordPress solution will also work for self-hosted blogs.
If you're going to go this route, and need hosting, Dreamhost has been good to me. You can use the code DHCFRIENDS to get a discount and free domain registration when signing up.
So there you have it. Options. Moving an entire blog is a pain in the a**, but it can be done fairly easily. Most of the importers I tried had a glitch here and there, so you'll want to check your posts once you've moved. I definitely recommend trying out a few different options before settling on one. Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions!