In-depth: PostHog vs LaunchDarkly
Oct 03, 2023
On this page
- How is PostHog different?
- 1. It is an all-in-one platform
- 2. We’re transparent (in many ways)
- 3. Built for startups and engineers
- Comparing PostHog and LaunchDarkly
- Feature management
- Reporting and analytics
- Security and compliance
- Frequently asked questions
- Who is PostHog useful for?
- Who is LaunchDarkly useful for?
- How much does PostHog cost?
- How much does LaunchDarkly cost?
- Does LaunchDarkly or PostHog offer free trials?
- How long does it take to implement PostHog?
- How long does it take to implement LaunchDarkly?
But how are they different? If you remember nothing else, remember these two points:
LaunchDarkly only does feature flags and experiments.
PostHog is an all-in-one platform that does flags, experiments and a whole bunch more, including analytics, session replays, and user surveys.
In this post, we'll cover these differences in more detail, comparing features, pricing, reporting, integrations, and frequently asked questions about both.
How is PostHog different?
1. It is an all-in-one platform
PostHog includes all the tools product teams need to test, release, and measure the success of new features. Beyond the feature flag and A/B testing tools, this includes product analytics, session replays, surveys, and more.
These tools add an extra layer of analysis unavailable in LaunchDarkly. They enable you to make better decisions about features you’ve shipped and what you’re building next. They also enable you to combine data from multiple tools, such as user properties from analytics, for use in flags and experiments.
2. We’re transparent (in many ways)
We're also self-serve. No need to "talk to sales" or "schedule a demo" unless you want to – we're always happy to chat. You can sign up and try all the features PostHog offers for free.
Our pricing is also transparent. It is a two-tier usage-based model, which we make easy to predict. This is simpler than LaunchDarkly’s multi-tier combination of charging for seats, monthly context instances, and add-ons. If you worry about overages, you can set up billing limits in PostHog too.
3. Built for startups and engineers
LaunchDarkly focuses on enterprise users, managers, and DevOps. This means more focus on governance and integrations.
Comparing PostHog and LaunchDarkly
Both PostHog and LaunchDarkly built the infrastructure to use flags and experiments fast and effectively with your current app. PostHog does this more openly, both being open source and self-service. It also has a wider range of product and data tools built in.
Code publicly accessible
No need to talk to sales
All major SDKs
Reverse proxy to avoid blockers
Edit and evaluate flags with API
Faster flags by not having to rely on the server for evaluation
Flags available on frontend application load
Query flag and product data directly via SQL
Real user playback of flag session
Both PostHog and LaunchDarkly offer all the functionality you expect for feature management using feature flags.
Simple flags returning true or flag
Target percentages of a group
Target users based on user properties, custom contexts
Flags with multiple customizable values
Flags return JSON
Manage flags for dev, stage, prod
Schedule flags to turn on or off
Manage changes to flags
Display new and old flags
Trigger changes based on metrics
Unlimited targeting size
Target contexts of any size
Early access management
Manage betas, test features
LaunchDarkly’s enterprise plan unlocks advanced workflow features like scheduling, lifecycle management, triggers, and more. PostHog’s API enables you to mimic this functionality if needed, but it isn’t built into the UI.
PostHog and LaunchDarkly have relatively similar experimentation feature sets, enabling you to run A/B/n tests with custom goals and calculate if they have a statistically significant impact.
How many experiments can you run for free?
|1M requests per month||None, paid add-on|
Customize metrics that test tracks
Monitor impact on unrelated metrics
Statistical significance calculation
Calculate if changes make a statistically significant impact
Split participants into groups
Multivariate (A/B/n) testing
Test multiple variants of a change
Recommended run time
Calculate the recommended run time for your experiments
PostHog automatically calculates a recommended run time based on past data and minimally acceptable improvements. This helps you avoid the peeking problem and end your experiment at the right time.
PostHog and LaunchDarkly are priced significantly different.
|Per-request pricing||Based on MAU + seats + add-ons|
PostHog’s feature flag pricing is pay-per-request (and A/B tests use feature flags). There is a generous free tier of 1M requests per month with all features, add-ons, and integrations available.
LaunchDarkly’s pricing is more complicated. They charge by seat starting at $10/seat/month. On top of this, they charge based on "monthly context instances" (MCIs) also known as monthly active users. The pro plan only gets 1,000 frontend MCIs per month. You must upgrade to the $20/seat/month to more than 1,000 MCIs, then pay more beyond 10,000.
As mentioned earlier, many of the security, approval, and workflow features that differentiate them are only available at the opaque "Enterprise" level.
To give you an idea of what pricing looks like in reality, here are some example situations and their estimated costs for both PostHog and LaunchDarkly.
|Seats||MAUs||Requests||Request location||PostHog cost||LaunchDarkly cost|
|10||15,000||1,000,000||Frontend||$0||$200 + cost of 5000 MAUs|
- Using backend local evaluation in PostHog lowers the amount of flag usage to depend on the polling duration and active number of servers. If you use flags with one server polling every 30 seconds, this amount is under 1M requests (meaning free).
- PostHog has volume discounts on flags over 2 million requests per month.
Reporting and analytics
Although LaunchDarkly has basic reporting features, PostHog has a more expansive analytics suite. Visualizations, funnels, retention, SQL querying, and session replays are all integrated with flags and A/B testing data. This enables you to do deeper analysis of their impact and combine them with other product and usage data.
Capture usage and calls related to flags
Graphs of flag usage
Analyze impact of flags on funnels
User retention related to flags
Breakdown analytics by properties
Multiple customizable insights for a flag
Combine flag data with other product data
Both PostHog and LaunchDarkly have a range of integrations that enable them to import, export, enhance, and make use of data.
Use integrations on the free plan
Export data to other sources
Import data from source
Alerts for Slack
Alerts for Microsoft Teams
Trigger Zapier automations
Connect to Sentry data
Use edge networks
LaunchDarkly has more pre-built integrations, but some are only available on higher paid plans, and others replicate functionality built-in to PostHog as standard. These include environments as a service, observability tools, workflow management, and more.
PostHog’s event-based structure enables you to import data from anywhere for use with flags and experiments. The free API enables you to connect, edit, and capture from anywhere too.
PostHog’s data warehouse is in private beta and will soon make outside data available for use in PostHog.
Security and compliance
Both PostHog and LaunchDarkly enable companies to remain secure and compliant with privacy regulations. Companies can customize the levels of user privacy related to these platforms to their needs.
User privacy options
Anonymize users, drop personal data
History, audit logs
Manage and view flag edits and related users
Can be compliant with GDPR
SOC 2 security certification
Enforce login with two-factor authentication
Use SAML or single sign-on authentication
|Enterprise||$10/seat/month or Enterprise|
Require approvals to change flags
Control who can edit and modify flags
Many of LaunchDarkly’s advanced compliance tools are only available on their enterprise plans. PostHog also features SSO and SAML in its enterprise edition.
Frequently asked questions
Who is PostHog useful for?
PostHog is built for startups and their engineers. It provides all the tools startups need to build successful products. The people who find PostHog most useful are founders, product engineers, and growth engineers.
Who is LaunchDarkly useful for?
LaunchDarkly is built for enterprises wanting to follow software development best practices. This means managing features, de-risking releases, experimenting with changes, and coordinating deploys. The people who find LaunchDarkly most useful are engineering managers, site reliability engineers, and product managers.
Companies that use LaunchDarkly include IBM, Atlassian, Bayer, and HP.
How much does PostHog cost?
Feature flags and experiments are free for up to 1M requests per month. Beyond that, it costs $0.0001/request (or $1 per 10,000 requests). There are discounts for high-volume users, non-profits, and startups.
Other products, like product analytics and session replay, have separate but similarly structured pricing.
How much does LaunchDarkly cost?
LaunchDarkly starts at $10 per seat per month. This includes unlimited flags, server-side monthly active users, and 1,000 client-side monthly active users. More client-side monthly active users, also known as monthly context instances, cost more.
Their pro plan doubles the cost to $20 per seat per month. It adds API, unlimited projects, and more integrations. Above that, their enterprise plan requires talking to sales. It includes custom roles, SSO, scheduling, workflows, and more.
Does LaunchDarkly or PostHog offer free trials?
LaunchDarkly offers a 14-day free trial, but beyond that, all access and features are paid.
PostHog lets you use all its features for free. Once you upgrade to paid, you get 1M flag requests, 1M events, and 15,000 recordings for free each month. This means if you stay below this, PostHog remains free.
How long does it take to implement PostHog?
The process requires signing up for PostHog, installing the snippet or SDK in your app, creating the flag in PostHog, and implementing the flag evaluation and relevant logic in your app. In many of the SDKs, we handle important aspects like local evaluation and event capture for you.
Much of the PostHog implementation, like user identification, is reused across products. Because PostHog is an all-in-one platform, analytics capture for targeting and A/B testing doesn’t need set up or connection either.
How long does it take to implement LaunchDarkly?
Installing LaunchDarkly is relatively simple, depending on your needs and compliance requirements. The most basic form is starting your LaunchDarkly trial, installing their SDK, setting up a client or provider, identifying users or contexts, calling flags, and capturing events.
The differences with PostHog are needing to import user context data, set up context identification, capture the flag or A/B test usage, and import analytics into the platform.
Ready to find out more?