For a while now, Posterous has been been the home for thousands of blogs – including a few of mine. They started out marketing themselves as a way to easily blog, thus likely acquiring many less-tech savvy bloggers looking for a solution to get their blog started fast. And because of that, I feel there definitely needs to be instructions as to what you do now that Posterous is going to be gone forever… tomorrow, April 30th.
Now Posterous did provide some instructions for backing up your blog, and point you into the direction for migrating it over to WordPress or SquareSpace, which was nice of them. I found it interesting, however, that they made no mention of Tumblr, their biggest rival, or even Blogger, which is still very much in the game. In this article I’ll walk you through the backup and migration process for six solid options that you have including Posthaven, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.com and WordPress.org (self-hosted). Plus, I’ll include some tips/reminders at the end as well.
Easy: Posterous To Posthaven ($5/month)
Posthaven, as you probably noticed, isn’t free. Gasp! But, Posterous was… and you saw what happened to them. I’m not going to try to convince you to try them, instead I’ll point you to their pledge, which was what intrigued me about their service. They also wrote a non-biased post featuring some of your options for migrating your Posterous blog.
Step 1: Signup
This is pretty straightforward, really. Fill out your email, password and the name of your Posthaven site (this won’t be relevant if all you’re wanting to do is migrate your Posterous blog over). Then fill out the payment options (pictured below) and you’re all set.
Step 2: Import Your Posterous Blog(s)
Once you login, you’ll be taken to the Dashboard. On the left side, there are three menu options. Click the bottom one, Import your Posterous blog, enter your Posterous login credentials and click the blue button titled Add Posterous Account.
Next you’ll choose which blogs you want to import (pictured above) and the migration process will immediately start. After the importing is completed, you’ll receive an email saying your site is ready.
Posthaven likens itself to Posterous in many ways, but they aim to keep it simple. This is reflected in their features, but shouldn’t that be what blogging is all about – writing, instead of tinkering around with the settings and trying to figure things out?
All in all, Posthaven was by far the easiest and quickest in comparison to all the other methods. There was one issue where a picture wasn’t properly imported, this was due to an issue in the Posterous API.
I emailed them telling them about my problem, and they fixed it immediately – there’s something to be said about awesome customer service, especially when a site is just run by two guys.
- Fast and seamless migration (includes site titled, description, URL, pages and links)
- Clean interface
- Autopost to Twitter & Facebook
- Custom domain option (e.g. example.com/blog instead of example.posthaven.com)
- Password protected option
- Great customer support
Easy: Posterous To Tumblr Via JustMigrate (free for 100 posts)
JustMigrate is a tool built specifically for migrating Posterous to Tumblr. On the homepage (pictured above), start by typing in your Posterous blog URL and the email you want JustMigrate to have for you (this doesn’t have to necessarily be the same email you use for Posterous). JustMigrate will then take you to Tumblr, where you’ll need to sign in and allow JustMigrate to connect to Tumblr.
Then you will get to choose which Tumblr blog you want to import Posterous into.
IMPORTANT: If you want to import Posterous into a new Tumblr blog, you will need to create that prior to connecting JustMigrate to Tumblr.
Note that JustMigrate is only free for the first 100 posts. Below is the pricing structure, which is fairly reasonable.
JustMigrate does have some limitations, partly due to Tumblr’s own restrictions.
Below is the newly migrated blog.
- Simple solution for migrating to Tumblr, the most popular microblogging site
- Free up to 100 posts
- Adheres a #JustMigrated tag to posts
- Great customer support
Easy: Posterous To Tumblr Via Import2 (free until April 30th)
Import2 is typically a service that you have to pay to use when you want to import any blog (not just Posterous) into Tumblr. However, right now they are offering that service free (for Posterous) until April 30th.
To get started, click the blue Free Sample Import button and fill out the forms on the next page.
Next, you’ll need to connect Import2 to Dropbox since Tumblr doesn’t allow automated import of media files (how JustMigrate got around this, I don’t know).
Once you’ve completed the steps, your posts will begin to migrate over. Should you have any problems during this time, contact Import2 and they will help you.
- Free until April 30th
- Seamless integration with Tumblr
- Quick and easy solution
Moderate: Posterous To WordPress.com (free)
Importing from Posterous into WordPress.com is fairly simple. WordPress actually provides a thorough tutorial on how to do this, so other than walking you through the steps here, take a look at their instructions.
I will say that this process was one of the quickest and most detailed, next to Posthaven. I was quite pleased at how everything moved over and ended up looking.
Advanced: Posterous To Self-Hosted WordPress.org (“Free”)
If you have an existing self-hosted blog already, or perhaps want to create one, you might want to consider moving your Posterous blog to it. To do this, you’ll need a plugin called Posterous Importer Advanced. If you search this from within the plugins section of your WordPress Dashboard, you’ll be able to install it directly into WordPress without the hassle of downloading and uploading. Once it’s installed, simply click Activate Plugin.
On the sidebar to your left, click Tools and then Import. From the list of blog platforms, click Posterous XML.
Click the Choose File button and navigate to where you saved the Posterous file.
How do you get the Posterous file? The instructions from WordPress.com show you how.
The file will download as a ZIP file and will need to be unzipped. This is where you will find the files you need.
Follow the rest of the prompts to finish the importing, including entering you Posterous login credentials, and you’ll quickly have your old Posterous blog on your new self-hosted WordPress blog.
NOTE: ”Free” is in quotes since technically the domain name and hosting aren’t free.
Moderate To Advanced: Posterous To Blogger (Free)
Probably the best way to migrate to Blogger, is to first migrate to WordPress… unfortunately. So if you already have a WordPress.com account, you’re one step ahead. For those of you who don’t, you’ll need to create one if you want to move your Posterous blog to Blogger.
Now, like I said, that is the best way that I personally found and had success with. Some places on the Internet suggested uploading the header.xml file from the Posterous download to Blogger.
I tried this multiple times and it didn’t work. However, using the WordPress to Blogger method did. So first follow the WordPress.com instructions, then come back here for the bit on how to export WordPress.com to Blogger.
Alright, so you should now have your blog on WordPress.com. On the WordPress Dashboard, go to Tools on the left sidebar and click Export.
The next page will give you two options – pick the first, which is called Export and simply create an XML file of everything on your blog. You’ll then be able to choose whether you want to export all your content, or just your posts, or pages, or feedbacks. Choose All content and click the blue Download Export File button.
Now you’ll need to convert the WordPress file to a Blogger file format. There is a great tool to do this at http://wordpress2blogger.appspot.com.
Note that the file must be under 1MB. If you have a file greater than that, you can use a splitter. Once you convert and save the new Blogger file to your computer, you’ll need to upload it to Blogger. In Blogger, there will be a sidebar to your left. Scroll down and click Settings, then scroll down and click Options.
At the top of the Options page, under Blog tools, click Import blog.
Use the Windows Explorer Open window to navigate to where you saved the Blogger XML file(s) and upload them (again, you will only need to upload multiple files if your WordPress file was over 1MB).
Once you fill out the CAPTCHA and click the orange Import blog button, you’ll be all set and the posts will appear fairly quickly.
Tip 1: Use Multiple Migration Methods
I personally recommend using multiple techniques so that you’re whole Posterous blog isn’t relying on a single service. Plus, some options aren’t as full-featured as others. For instance, if you want to migrate to Tumblr, I found that my pages from the Posterous blog weren’t imported.
NOTE: In this process Posthaven was the only blog that imported everything correctly. All other methods had something “off” with them. Blogger had gigantic pictures, my self-hosted WordPress didn’t bring in all the text for some article, and WordPress.com didn’t import pages.
So, perhaps the title should be changed to use Posthaven in addition to anything else you want to do. Even if you only want to use it as a one time solution to capture everything on your Posterous blog and then cancel your subscription, I say the $5 would be worth it.
Tip 2: Don’t Forget About Your Links
If you linked to any other Posterous sites, including your own, they obviously will be broken. WordPress has plugins that you can use to detect broken links. You also could just manually sift through them and change them (if they can be changed).
Tip 3: Don’t Forget To Turn Off Autoposting
Autoposting is an awesome feature for blogs, but in a time like this, it can be a social network nightmare – trust me, I’ve done it. It’s not pretty and usually consists of an apology to all your followers for bogging their news feed. Sounds fun right?
Not! So don’t forget to turn this off.
Reminder: The Posterous API May Be Very Slow Today
As payback for saving this for the last day, you’ll probably run into some issues… likely resulting in the Posterous API being bombarded with hits. Although, I wouldn’t contact Posterous for support. Instead, contact the service you’re using, such as JustMigrate, Import2, Posthaven, etc. – they’ll be able to help you better or advise you as to how long it might take for the process to be completed.
Again, out of all of these methods I was most pleased with WordPress.com and Posthaven in how they handled the importing. Posterous, it was nice knowing you – you were a good friend, but now it’s time to move on.
Do you have any last-minute recommendations for migrating Posterous to another platform? If so, please feel free to share.
And if you’re new to Linux, don’t forget to check out the official MUO guide to Linux.