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Tech Tip for Writers #127: Back up Your Blog!

Tech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.

Q: I’m paranoid of losing my writing projects and family pictures so I back them up to an external drive, a flash drive, and in the cloud. My blog, though–It’s become an important cog in my PLN. If it blew up, I’d be lost. What do I do about backing it up?

A: If you use WordPress, it’s easy, they provide a native tool for that. Here’s what you do:

  • Go to Tools>Export
  • Select the ‘Export‘ option
  • It’ll back it up as an XML file (you don’t have to understand what that is. Just know it’s the file that will save you if WordPress crashes)
  • Save that backup file somewhere safe in case you need it. Preferably where your Cloud automatic back-up will grab it (assuming you have one of those. If you use Carbonite, you do)
  • Do this once a month–or a week if you’re active

This will back up your posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags. For the entirety of the blog (like a mirror image), you’ll need an external service. One of my WordPress.org blogs is hosted by WPEngine and another by GoDaddy. Both offer a fee service to backup my blog. It’s worth it to me to pay a bit extra for that function.

If you use Blogger or another blogging platform, I’m sure they have a similar option. Any suggestions from users of those platforms?

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and Born in a Treacherous Timefirst in the Man vs. Nature collection. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Survival of the Fittest, Spring 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

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56 thoughts on “Tech Tip for Writers #127: Back up Your Blog!

  1. Great advice Jacqui. I’m with Godaddy too and thank goodness they are doing the heavy lifting backup. I also do backups a few times a week with my backupbuddy plugin. Can never have enough backups with unpredictable WP 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Jacqui – thanks for the backing up tip … I must do that with blogger … but I do write my posts on Word first and then post, then add the pics from a picture file – or few files … with 900 posts … but things can still go wrong. I need to get organised …

    Have you asked by chance … or could you ask by chance (pretty please?!?!?) about moving from Blogger to WP …? It’s what I’d like to do …

    Anyway great post – and an essential for us all – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love WordPress. One big difference is that Blogger does allow you to monetize your blog more easily than does WordPress but I suspect that’s not an issue for you? I checked my geeky YouTube channels and couldn’t find a how-to from the people I follow. But there were quite a few. Just Google “Move from Blogger to WordPress” on YouTube and you’ll get a lot of videos.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes – I need to work something out … but I noted the monetisation aspect … I do want to get something going in that direction … anyway – you’re here if I need to ask!! Cheers Hilary

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Jacqui. I think I used this tool to export my site to a new WordPress site/domain. I don’t worry about backing up my site since GoDaddy claims to have that covered. I have had to use their backup when an incompatible plugin crashed my site. I always wonder if I should be doing more, though. Completely relying on them probably isn’t the wisest thing to do. This is a good reminder. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Someone has to have your back or when you get into a gun fight, you’ll lose. I take three approaches: I copy all posts I write to a file on my local computer, periodically I take an export copy of my blog, and last I’ve set up my WP blog to cross post to a tumbler blog.

    Best to have three people watching your back …

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I do this occasionally – but manual back-ups are never reliable for me! I have the JetPack plugin for my wordpress website and subscribe to the first level so I get automatic back-ups done for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jacqui,

    Excellent tip and reminder! I try to backup my blog at least once a month but that hasn’t happened much recently, so I’m doing that now. As for Blogger goes, yes they do have a similar way to do things. My first blog was on Blogger and I still have access to it. Here’s what you need to do…

    When you back up your blog, you get an .xml file of the posts and comments:

    1. In the top left, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
    2. Click the blog to back up.
    3. In the left menu, click Settings and then Other.
    4. In the “Import & back up” section, click Back up Content and then Save to your computer.

    Backing up your computers should be even more important. If you’re able to do auto backups routinely to an external hard drive then this will give you the peace of mind that your data is safe. In recent years I created a flicker account where I can upload my digital photos. I learned a very valuable lesson years ago when our old Windows-based computer hard drive failed without warning and we were unable to retrieve the data ourselves. The only thing we could do was bite the bullet and send the hard drive to a facility to manually extract the information. It was not only expensive but it took a month or longer to have access to our precious data again.

    Liked by 2 people

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