Friday, November 21, 2008

How To Back Up Your Blog

*Note: The following post was written while Blogger's backup feature was still in Beta Testing. Blogger's backup feature is now out of testing and can be accessed through your blog's regular sign-in page. You NO LONGER NEED to sign in through "Blogger In Draft" to backup your Blogger blog. Everything else below should still apply.

Blogger In Draft is an alternate "door" that you can use to sign into your blog. When you sign in through Blogger In Draft, you can edit and publish posts to your blog exactly the same way as when you sign in the regular way, but you'll also have access to additional features that Blogger is still testing. One of those features is a backup feature.

To back up your blog:
  1. Go to:
  2. Sign in to your blog (or sign in first and then go to Blogger In Draft.)
  3. You'll know you're signed in through "Blogger In Draft" if the blue background at the top of the page has a kind of grid texture on it. If it's a solid blue background, you're signed in through the "regular" way and the following won't work (-Yet. Someday it will when this feature comes out of testing.)
  4. If you're in "Blogger In Draft" click on your "Settings" tab.
  5. Click on the "Basics" tab.
  6. Towards the top of the page, in the very first line after all the tabs, you should see an "Export Blog" link. Likewise, you'll also see an "Import Blog" link.
  7. Click on the "Export Blog" link and Blogger will start to download your blog to an .xml file on your computer.
The .xml file is the backup of your blog. Rename it if you'd like, and save it somewhere on your computer. You can use this file to create a new blog that is identical to your old one complete with posts and reader comments. The exported .xml file is compatible with Blogger and should be compatible with some other blog services as well -though I haven't researched which ones. Export your blog this way from time to time to make sure you have a current copy of your most recent posts and comments. I suggest doing this at least once a month but you can do it more frequently if you'd like.

If you'd like to make a duplicate of your blog in Blogger:
  1. Create a new blog.
  2. Follow steps 1-5 above (in the "Export" directions.)
  3. This time click the "Import Blog" link.
  4. Navigate to the .xml file that was saved to your computer (from the previous Export) and upload it.
  5. If you get an error message (I always do) check the new blog address and see if everything came through anyway. If it did, you're done. If it didn't, re-fresh the page, and repeat this entire step until all your posts and comments come through.
When the above is done, you should have a duplicate of your blog, complete with reader comments. You may need to re-add your widgets and template, but all your posts and comments should be there. (Note: If you receive emails every time someone leaves a comment at your blog, you will get three million emails when you do this -One for each comment you just imported into the new blog! You will also be prompted with a word verification before you post anything new to that blog for about 24 hours.)

If you ever need to update this duplicate blog with the latest posts and comments from your original blog, repeat the entire export and import process again. When you import the more recent .xml file, Blogger should only import the newest posts and comments and you should not get duplicates.

Alternatively, you can do what I did before Blogger started experimenting with this feature. Create a new blog at Wordpress, import your Blogger blog into there, and save a backup copy of that (Wordpress has had a backup feature for a while now.) -Going through Wordpress is a bit more complicated but it was the only way to do this until a short time ago.

If my blogger blog ever disappears, you can join me at my backed up blog at Wordpress:

(Same address as my blogspot blog, but swap "wordpress" in for "blogspot".)

*Note: Please don't leave comments at that blog (yet!). I may not see them. Please continue to leave comments here unless we're forced over there!



storyteller said...

Thank you ... thank you ... thank you! I've read through the instructions three times and made myself a printed copy to work from. Methinks I'll tackle this today or tomorrow ... just in case. I appreciate you sharing so generously of your time and knowledge.

I know you have other things on your mind right now, but when time permits … I’ve left awards on both my blogs (today at Small Reflections and yesterday at Sacred Ruminations) and I’d like you to have BOTH (plus any of the other awards I’ve shared previously … just click the ‘award’ label under these posts’ to find the rest.
Hugs and blessings,

storyteller said...

After creating backups at Blogger, I decided to experiment with WordPress ... just because I'm curious. I've learned some interesting things by trial & error ... yet for some reason, I don't seem to be able to get anything in the sidebar of my 'home' page at the WordPress version of Small Reflections.

Instead it says:
"By happilyretired | Posted in NaBloPoMo, humor | Edit | Comments (4) "

I'm assuming this must be some of the coding for this format, but I don't see where it might be altered. Might you have any suggestions for where I might look and/or how I might remedy this?

I notice no one else has commented and that you've not published anything for a while. I'm wondering how you're doing ...

If there's anything we can do to help, I hope you'll let us know.
Hugs and blessings,

Mac and Cheese said...

You rock! Thanks for the info!

Melissa said...

Storyteller: You're welcome. Printing the instructions is a good idea -you know... in case my blog goes "Poof!" ;)

Thank you so much for the awards! I'm not able to read other blogs right now but I've made a note to myself and I will pick up them up when I'm able. -Thank you! :) :)

Re: Wordpress: Are you still having trouble with your sidebar? It sounds like, from what you wrote, it was listing the name of your last post? There's probably some more settings you could tweak in there. If you're still having trouble, check out MP or Abbie's blogs. They're both over at Wordpress and they might be able to tell you how to fix your sidebar.

Re: Me: I know I haven't been publishing or commenting much. I wrote a little (very little) about this back in the middle of July. Thank you for your thoughts and your offer to help. You've always had a really big heart :)

Mac: Thank you, and you're welcome! :)