Let’s just lay out there right now: You need to backup your blog. No ifs or buts about it. Back that blog up, yo.
We all know we need to backup our computers but we never really think about backing up our blogs. We’re all “It’s in the internet and the internet is forever”. Yes. And no. Whether you’re on Blogger or WordPress, your blog can disappear rather easily.
If you’re on Blogger, Google can actually just delete your entire blog with no notice or completely block your access to your blog. Say what, now? Yup. This post from a fellow blog designer talks a little bit about it, it’s specific to book bloggers but there’s a lot of good info on there. WordPress is better about it (as in you’re in complete control of your content) but WordPress is also more prone to hacker attacks and they could very easily delete your entire blog. So what did we learn? Backup your blog.
You’re probably like, yeah Fran but HOW? Let’s go through it! It’s actually really easy to backup your blog on both Blogger and WordPress. I’ll go over WordPress options first, and then Blogger. So if you’re on Blogger, go ahead and skip ahead.
How to Backup a WordPress Blog
Some hosts will do routine backups of your sites on a semi-regular basis. However, it’s important YOU backup your own blog – you never know when your hosts servers and database could get targeted and you’d have nothing to fall back on. As with almost anything on WordPress, backing up your blog is as easy as installing a plugin. There’s various options – some paid, some free. I personally use WordPress Backup to Dropbox but I’ve listed a few options below.
Generally, I’d recommend something that backups your blog to somewhere other than your own host or database – say, Dropbox or the Cloud – that way, if you host goes down, you’ll still have this to fall back on.
How to Backup a Blogger Blog
Backing up Blogger is a little more involved than backing up a WordPress blog, as in it doesn’t happen automatically, but it’s still super easy. I recommend you do this AT LEAST once a month, but if you blog a lot, you might want to do it more often.
1) Go to your Blogger Dashboard, then Settings -> Other.
2) At the top of the screen, you’ll see the section “Blog Tools” with three links – Import Blog, Export Blog, Delete Blog. Click “Export Blog”
3) A window will pop-up, click the big ol’ orange button that says “Download Blog”. An .XML file will be downloaded to your computer. Make sure to store this in a save place, make backups of your backups, etc, etc.
Now, this will only backup your posts + pages and not your blog design but that’s also super easy to backup – this you should do every time you make changes to your template and not necessarily every month.
4) From your Blogger Dashboard go to Template. On the right-top of the screen there’ll be a button that says “Restore/Backup”. Click that.
5) A window will pop-up, click the big ol’ orange button that says “Download Full Template”. A second .XML file will be downloaded to your computer. Make sure to store this in a save place, make backups of your backups, etc, etc.
If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to tell these files apart, the names make it easy to. The one for your posts + pages, will be named blog-[date-of-backup].XML, while the one for your template will be named template-[random-numbers].XML.
I know setting all of this up and going through the process – specially on Blogger, where it’s not automatic – can seem like a big ol’ pain in the rear but you never when something could go horribly wrong with your blog and then you’d lose months, maybe even years, of hard work and nobody would want that, now would we? So make sure to backup your blog!