Disaster Planning: Backups for Bloggers

Updated March 18, 2010

help signThere’s nothing more frustrating than discovering that all the time and energy you put into blogging a post or a page was for nothing. Suppose you clicked the “save” or “publish” button and the post went sailing into cyberspace but was not captured in the database. It’s forever gone and you must re-construct it. But  if  you do have a post or page that appears to have sailed off into cyberspace and you are a wordpress blogger you may get lucky.

What to do when you’ve lost a post or page?

Look in your Admin section to see if it was saved as a Draft or as a Private Post or Page (check both).

If you don’t find the post or page then it could be in your trashProvided you did not permanently delete it restoration is possible.

At WordPress.com there is an autosave feature that saves every 2 minutes.  Each time you click Save Draft or Update Post (or Page) a revision is saved. You can look the last autosave for Posts » Post Revisions or for Pages »Page Revisions

If the post or page has been published long enough for Google to index it you may be able to search and locate a cached version.

Backup Methods for Bloggers

1. The Safe Backup Bet – Use an Offline Blog Editor

The time to backup your posts is while you are writing them. The best method of doing so is to use an offline blog editor to compose your posts in and to publish the posts directly into your blog.

Using an off-line blog editor, rather than posting directly into the editor on any blogging platform provides many advantages. There are many free offline editors available and other that you must purchase and you will find the download links for them in Offline Blog Editors Review.

2. Raincoaster’s Copy/Paste Work Around

If you are not using an offline blog editor and instead you are composing your post on the wordpress editor (Tiny MCE) then you can take this precaution as you write.

  • Highlight all of the post (Control A on windows) and copy it to the clipboard (Control C) and, while everything was still highlighted, click “Publish”.
  • Even if you lose the post, you’ll still have it on the clipboard and it’s the work of a moment to do another.

3. Subscribe to Your Blog’s RSS Feeds

By subscribing to the rss feeds to your blog and setting them on “full” feed you will have a back-up of every post you publish and every comment posted. If you also wish to backup the images in posts there are different rss feed reader services to consider as only some include them.

4. Periodically Export Backup Copies and Save them to Disc

You can export the posts, comments, categories and pages out of one wordpress.com blog and import them into another wordpress.com blog with ease. This does include any images or other uploads – you have to do that manually. And the links must be exported and imported separately.

There is an import and export function in your wordpress dashboard

-> Dashboard -> Tools -> Export

5. How to backup your blog using Feedburner and Gmail

“Subscribe to my Feedburner email subscription with a Gmail address that includes a label that will be automatically filtered to my archives when it comes in. Using your Feedburner email subscription, any new posts you publish will automatically be sent to your subscribers. Add yourself in with your normal Gmail address plus a label, i.e. Aseem1234+blogbackup@gmail.com and have it filtered to your archives! Viola! Now your entire posts will be emailed to you and saved in your Google account whenever you publish.” -> Read more here

6. Ignis backup tool for Linux

Ignis is a special backup program for the SOHO sector. It implements a full-backup strategy, a mix between the backup schemes of GFS and Tower of Hanoi. It is meant for backing up onto DVDs or simular media. Normally, it is called via cron to perform the backups and checks. Reports are sent via mail. The ignis project is licensed under the GPL (v2 or later).

28 thoughts on “Disaster Planning: Backups for Bloggers

  1. Pingback: How to Prevent and React to a WordPress Hack Attack | one cool site

  2. I save my posts using the copy/paste method. I’ll just paste it into textedit if it doesn’t publish. Then I’ll wait until I can access the post and keep on working.

  3. Pingback: Pack your bags baby – we’re moving! | Christy Tomes.com

  4. @twoblogger
    IMO this is not the best course of action to take re: backups. Please be sure that your RSS feeds are set to “full” if that’s your backup plan and also remove any “more” tags in your posts as well.

  5. Thank you SOOO much. I have spent hours today, making all of my links match on 3 of my sites. I still have 3 more to do, and this will save me so much time. This is the hardest topic to find on the WordPress Forums. I have searched for this many times, and just lucked out today to find a link to your site. Keep up the good work!

  6. Provided that your RSS feed it set to provide the whole posts then backing up by subscribing to your own RSS feeds is a good way to go. However, if your posts are set to “summary” to prevent blog scrapers from stealing them then you will not have complete copies, only excerpts. Moreover, RSS feed back-up does not provide back-ups of the comments, your custom fields or your blogroll. So at best it’s only a partial back-up.

  7. OoOh this article was published since a year ago. But the back up tips still valid in this time. What I’ve done is submit my own rss feed, that the easy way.
    Btw, Thanks for the tips

  8. I discovered a Memopal (www.memopal.com) “cutting edge solution for online
    backup”

    They merged online backup, online storage and file sharing services into one product.

  9. There is an import and export function for this purpose in your dashboard
    -> dashboard -> manage -> export -> wordpress

    (1) You can export the contents of your blog (posts, comments, categories) in the form of an xml file to your desktop and then import the xml file into the other blog site.

    (2) The blogroll links must be separately exported and re-categorized. That means you will have to re-assign them to each link but it’s better than copying and pasting those links yet again. :)

    “Quick note about the blogroll. The OPML format doesn’t support categories even though they’ll be there when you do the export. Best bet would be to assign the major category for them when you go to import them as you’re going to have to reassign them afterwards anyway.” (drmike on the wordpress.com forum)

    Blogroll- If you had links, you can export them out at
    http://mydomain.com/wp-links-opml.php (You must change “my domain” to your own url, of course.)

    Open that exported blogroll (links) xml file in a plain text editor like NotePad and save as a *.txt file. Be sure you are using a plain ext editor and then import the *.txt file you saved into your new blog at dashboard -> blogroll -> import Links.

    Important Note: The blogroll (links) xml file needs to be saved as a *.txt doc in a plain text editor like Notepad. This is because if you were to save it as a text rich text document using for example Microsoft Wordpad or Word (horrors!) those programs would add in all kinds of garbage like fonts and unusual html formatting code that mess will it up for what we’re doing here.

  10. How can I move it to other hosting. Currently are my content are in wordpress, while I want to moving my data to my new hosting site with fantastico enabled. Anyone could help? I’m a total noob.

  11. So if I sub to my own RSS feeds, then will it also back up what’s already there? Your info is always amazing~thanks sooo very much for sharing your wisdom with those of us who just.don’t.have.it when it comes to computers…. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  12. OK-I get the Exporting of the Posts, Comments, Categories, and Custom Fields (according to the Export tab). But where can I export my Blogroll? All I see in the WP.com Dashboard is the ability to Import an OPML file, which I did a million years ago from my Blogrolling account. (And I assume that Pages are not included in the Export XML file..?)

  13. Hi Richard,
    Thus far 62 people have hit on that post and some seem to be clicking through using the download links. Hopefully, the majority hitting on the post will start using an offline editor. If so then we don’t have to hear the same people, who were negatively affected last time crying the blues on the forum again, the next time this happens.

  14. I really hope people read this and take it to heart. I’m pretty consistent about backing things up, and it has saved me more times than I can remember. Now if you will excuse me, I’m on my way to back up my .org blog which I haven’t backed up since installing it on the 12th. [embarrassed grin]

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