Now that the one year anniversary of my blog is coming up in March, I think it is time for me to learn how to back up both of my blogs. I looked for some articles about this topic, and I came across this WordPress forum: Backup My Blogsite « WordPress.com Forums.
This forum discussion outlines four ways to back up a free WordPress blog:
- using an offline blog editor
- subscribing to your blog’s RSS feeds
- using the Export tool in your dashboard to save backup copies of your blog
- using Feedburner and Gmail
I tried the first three methods in the order they appear in this list. I did not try the fourth method because I am not very familiar with Gmail.
I was eager to try the offline blog editor method first because I discovered that Word 2007 is an offline blog editor, and I have a copy of this program. However, I went through the steps listed in this article and found it somewhat inconvenient. You have to register (provide your WordPress account information) in order for your blog post to be published. According to the article, you can add text, photos, and links to your blog post created in Word 2007. As I typed text and poked around the Word 2007 blog template, I kept thinking how much easier it would be to go directly to the WordPress dashboard and type everything in a new WordPress post. I decided to close the Word 2007 blog post without registering or saving my work. While I did not like using the offline blog editor, this method might work for someone else. In addition, there are other offline blog editors besides Word 2007. You can see a list of them in “Offline Editing”.
The next method I tried was subscribing to your blog’s RSS feeds. I found this method easier than using the offline blog editor, but it requires setting up an RSS feed if you do not have one. The theme of my blog, Pilcrow, has an RSS widget. I activated the RSS widget and added it to the sidebar of my blog. Then I subscribed to my blog using my browser. You just have to make sure you are actually subscribed to the feed of your blog in order for this method to work. You should also be aware that there may be a limit on how many posts will be saved on the feed. For example, I noticed in the “View Feed Properties” dialog box in Internet Explorer that the maximum number of posts that can be archived in a feed is 2500. This is why it is probably better to use the Export tool for long-term archives of your blog.
The Export tool (under the Tools section in your dashboard) will allow you to save all the content of your blog or portions of it (posts, pages, or feedback) as an XML file. It is easy to do and free if you can do it on your own and not select the “Guided Transfer” option, which costs $129. The only major problem I can see with using the Export tool is forgetting to use it periodically to back up your blog.
I think about how many hours I have spent on this blog and how smoothly my blogging experience has gone so far. I am pretty sure I would be shocked if one day I visited my blogs and they were gone not out of choice but for some other reason. It would be comforting to know that I had backup files of my blogs and that I did not have to start all over again from scratch. I think backing up your blogs is especially important to do if you are using your blogs for business purposes.