Posterous load times

This blog is powered by Posterous, a lovely free blog service that is incredibly simple to use so you can focus on content instead of technical details. Just send an email to and you have created a blog! Attach photos, video and music and they are published with a nice gallery or a media player. It can’t be much easier.


But the pages on a Posterous site load way too slow. This is mostly caused by a chain of redirects that happens at every page load. No less than three redirects happen each time via… before the real page is loaded, and with a latency of about 0.5 seconds for each redirect the visitor spends 1.5 seconds waiting before anything useful happens. Add another 1-1.5 seconds latency for the actual page load and we’re up to almost 3 seconds wait before we get to the action and the page starts showing.

See the page load timing chart below.


The redirects only to affect blogs with custom domains such as this one. Blogs with URLs ending with aren’t affected so they enjoy much faster load times. Apparently the redirects are to verify Posterous users across different domains, as a single sign-on system (hence ”sso” in the redirect URL).

To be fair, Posterous suffered serious problems with a DoS attack during the last week so pages may have loaded unusually slow or not at all lately, but this doesn’t take away the fact that there are three time consuming redirects at each page load.

This needs to be fixed, Posterous! There must be other less obtrusive ways to handle single sign-on. And once a user is identified and verified (or found to be non-identified), he shouldn’t need to be verified again at each page load.


By the way, for Swedish site owners that are interested in optimizing page load times (everyone should, especially since Google has become more interested in response times as a factor to rank a page), Swedish consulting firm Fleecelabs offer a site trimming service called Trimlabb. If you want to do it yourself Yahoo has published Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site which is a must read for web developers.


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