How to Back Up Your WordPress or Blogger Blog

[ 28 ] September 17, 2012 |

I’ve been blogging for a long time and I’ve written over 700 posts and have about 170 sitting in my drafts folder. That’s a lot of typing and letters. If something was to happen and my site crashed and I lost all of these, I would basically quit writing. I’d just take up the craft of rocking back and forth on my living room floor in a catatonic space for the rest of my life. Or I’ll learn to farm or something.

Well, first I’d jump off the closest first floor balcony unto soft grass and roll around for hours lamenting my life. And then I’ll take up the rocking. It’d be ugly. In fact, this would be me:

Roll on floor gif

YUP.

Anywho, I’m not trying to have that be my life story. How I guarantee that it won’t happen is by making sure I backup my blog. And if you blog, you need to do the same. Just like it’s important to back up your computer’s contents, you should have your online writing safeguarded. Because stuff happens.

But you should back up your blog at least once a week. Daily is recommended (if you update it daily) so you can always have the latest, greatest copy of your site.

So, I wanted to take you through how you back up your website/blog, no matter if you’re on WordPress or Blogspot (aka Blogger).

Backup WordPress blog

Before you start the back up process, get organized and create a folder on your computer that’s the name of your site. Then in that folder, create another folder and name it the date of the back up. You want to do this so over time, if you ever need a specific day’s files, you just go to the corresponding folder. Just a tip.

WordPress

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world. Amongst people who are doing it seriously and professionally, it’s THE platform to be on.

Backing up a WordPress.com Blog

1. Log into WordPress.com

2. Click “My Blogs” and click “Dashboard” under the name of the blog you want to back up.

3. Look on the left sidebar, you’ll see “Tools.” Hover over it and a drop down appears. Click “Export.”

4. On the page that loads, click “Export.” And voila.

Tools Export WordPress

Odds are that you don’t have a custom theme (since most who are on WordPress.com don’t) so you won’t have a need to download your template.

Backing up a self-hosted WordPress blog

Now for the people who have self-hosted blogs that are based on WordPress, the process is pretty much the same for getting your posts and comments, if that is ALL you want. However, there is one difference you’ll notice.

Wordpress logoOnce you’ve logged into your WordPress dashboard, then you go to “tools” then “export” it’ll show you a page that allows you to choose to export all your content at once (posts AND pages) or you can choose to export posts separately from pages. I do all 3. But as you download each one, rename it so you know which is which.

This just grabs your content and nothing else. It doesn’t get plugins or your template, so you have to get these separately, through the control panel of your host server’s site. Or through FTP. You’re probably saying “FT-WUT?” FTP allows you to have direct access to your website’s files. Ignore that for now.

You need to get your database, which is the most important part of your site. If your WordPress blog/site was a human, the database would be the brain. It holds ALL the information, knows what goes where, when it went there, and who said what. It’s your site’s lifeline. You need your database backup. It’s so crucial that even if you don’t have your posts and pages backed up, as long as you have your database, you can restore your site from nothing.

Here’s how you do it.

1. Log into your host’s site. Then head to the “Control Panel” aka the cPanel.

2. Look for a “Backup Wizard.” Click it and you’ll be taken to a different window. If you want JUST your database, look under “partial backups” and click the “MySQL Databases.”

3. You’ll see a list of all the databases you currently have. If you only have one site set up on that host, you’ll probably only see 1 listed. Click that one and it’ll start downloading it to your computer. If you see multiple ones and don’t know which one is the one for your blog, then download all of them to be on the safe side.

If you want to grab ALLLL the files of your website at once, I recommend you just do a full backup. It’ll take a while (up to 30mins) but let it do what it needs to.

But you’ll feel better knowing you have what you need.

A cheat to this process of backing up your database is to download the WP-db-backup plugin and have it automatically do it for you on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. And it can send it to your email or download it to your server so it’s on your host’s side.

Here’s the official WordPress guide to backing up your blog, with FAQs and all that, if you need more info.

Blogger

Blogger is still a platform that quite a few people use. I started from the bottom there, now I’m here on WordPress.

Back up posts/comments

Blogger logoIt’s much easier to back up a Blogger blog and that’s because it’s a much more elementary platform. This isn’t shade at all. It’s just a fact. Blogger uses HTML while WordPress is CSS and PHP. So backing it up is so much simpler.

1. Log into your Blogger dashboard and go to the blog you want to backup.

2. On the left sidebar, click “Settings.”

3. Under “Settings” is “Other.” Click that.

4. At the very top of the page is “Blog Tools.” Click “Export blog” and voila! You’ll have your posts and comments in an XML file format.

EASY PEASY!

Back up template

If you have a template you want to back up, you can also do it easily.

1. In the dashboard of your site, look on the left sidebar and click “template.”

2. On the upper right hand corner of the page is a button that says “Backup/restore.” Click that and then “Download full template.”

DONE.

Here’s the Blogger guide to backing up your blog. Check it out if you need more details.

I would have had a “Tumblr” section in this post because there’s an app called “Tumblr Backup” that I’ve used in the past. However, it’s no longer available for download, and if you already had it, it doesn’t work. I’m still looking for other alternatives though, and if I find, I’ll write a separate post on how to back up your Tumblr.

In the meantime, go back up your blog(s). Not now but RIGHT NOW. If your site crashes and I asked you if you have your back up copy and you tell me “No” I will fight your face. Like a spider monkey. Or:

face slap gif

You don’t want that. So go do it. And have copies of your backups elsewhere besides your computer. In the cloud (think DropBox) or on USB drives or other external drives. Better safe than sorry.

Was this simple enough? When’s the last time you backed up your site? I hope you feel confident enough to back up your site(s) now.

Check out a couple of my other “Blogging” posts that may be of help to you:

* Blogging 101: So You Think You Wanna Blog
* How to Protect Your Blog Content: Know Your Rights

Also, I have a Tumblr blog where I drop these types of tips daily. It’s BlogLuv.tumblr.com. Getchu a piece.

BTW, the DropBox link is an affiliate link. If you sign up, they give me more free space! But of course, you don’t have to. But I use it because it’s awesome.

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Category: Social Media

Comments (28)

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  1. Boomie Bol says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this…off to do it now :).

  2. Yolanda says:

    Thanks for this. I so need to do it.

  3. Sou11stress says:

    Thank you, Fairy Blog Mother. Thank You.

  4. Jasmine says:

    thank you! I have a blog with over 530 posts, I’ve never done a backup……so yea I’m going to do one right now. thank you again!

  5. Thank you SO much for this post. It had never dawned on me to actually backup my blogging work… better yet, I need to put it on a usb drive just in case my computer kicks rocks lol

  6. Talie C says:

    I can not explain the epic devastation that would be my life if I lost my blog posts, my art of rocking back and forth would be done in the fetal position. *sprints over to back up my site*

  7. Ayanna Harris says:

    Thank you very much for this! I’ve just recently been introduced to your site and love it. I noticed you hosted a Social Media workshop this summer. Do you have plans to host another before the end of the year?

  8. Lindsey says:

    Okay so I am slow to technology, but what do I do once I get the XML file and I want to open the file. I have a family blog on blogger and I want to eventually print it all out in a book.

  9. caroline says:

    Thank you! I’m making the switch to WordPress and this was very helpful. :)

  10. Aimee says:

    Wow, I cannot say thank you enough for writing such a clear step-by-step on how to back-up a wordpress.org blog. I am a total novice but even I could follow your directions and get started! Didn’t even know I needed to do a back-up until advised from plug-in. I learn something new every day! Happy New Year!

  11. Anna says:

    Thank you so very much for this info!

  12. You’re my hero this morning!!! Thank you!!

  13. Rory Cooney says:

    Are you quite sure about this? Looking at the downloaded code, it looks like just that day’s blog is backed up using your technique. Is there another step at the beginning at which you are at some early posting or archive file before you start the backup as you describe? Just wondering. Take a look at the file you create with a text editor, and you’ll see what i mean.

  14. thanks :) says:

    great advice– thank you! Easy to follow directions. I appreciate it.

  15. Keri Kight says:

    You are a lifesaver! I’m been talking and thinking, and then talking some more about backing up my WordPress blog. I don’t have as much content as you do, but I’m pretty sure I would be in the same position as you if anything happened to my blog – rocking back and forth or rolling around on the floor. I seriously didn’t know it was that easy. I guess I’m oblivious. Thanks so much! :)

  16. THANK YOU! I am a new blogger and this was by far the best, and easiest, step by step answer that I found. Just think if we all work together how awesome the world would be. Thank you for your help!

  17. Tia says:

    Very energetic blog, I liked that a lot. Will there be
    a part 2?

    Feel free to surf to my blog; Tia

  18. Michael says:

    Thanks for the funny, super easy how-to!

  19. Natasha says:

    God bless you! Your instructions were clear and easy to follow.

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