I’ll be the first to admit that remembering to do back ups of my files is one of those writing chores that often fails to make it to my to-do list. But, being slightly paranoid about losing years of work and having my many I’ll-get-to-them-one-day manuscripts vanishing from my computer, I do back up my files on occasion.
Still, backing up my blog? Never crossed my mind until I got into a discussion group in which someone was asking which blogging platform people prefer.
There’s Always One…
You’d think that would be an innocuous question. Some people like Blogger, some like Blogspot, and others like me have found a wonderfully cozy home at WordPress. When I put in my two cents about how happy I was with WordPress, well let’s just say a certain air circulating object got splattered with fecal matter.
Of course, as is often the case when discussion groups go bad, it was one person ranting about how horrible WordPress was, how the site always crashed, how WordPress lost all his data, and plenty of other fecal matter to ensure the fan was good and coated.
Now, I’ve been using WordPress for about four years. I haven’t had a single problem (except I do wish the WordPress.com sites could have shopping carts) and have found it incredibly easy to use and when it hasn’t been easy to use, customer service has always been spot on with their assistance.
Still, that paranoia about losing several years’ worth of work crept in. What if they did crash? What if the WordPress gods decide to forsake me (or retire)? I needed to get the info that is scattered across my many blogs backed up.
A Miserable Chore?
Rather than stopping to think there might be an easier way, I started copying everything on my website. Okay, this was no 13th-century-monk copying by hand in a poorly lit abbey with no heating, but it was still a tedious task of copying and pasting every single page, every single post into a Word document.
I had much better things to do with my time.
My Well-Duh Moment
By the time I got to the third page of posts on my main blog and about halfway done with copying all the pages on my website, I figured there had to be a more “modern” way to do this task.
There was. WordPress – and I’m sure most other blog hosting sites – has a handy dandy feature called Export (it’s under Tools in your Dashboard). Click Export, click Export again and voila! your entire blog and website (including comments and other goodies) are tucked into a tidy little file.
Okay, not so little. The file size is actually pretty small since it is a text file, but this file is filled with HTML language. If you need to recover your blog posts or web pages, you’ll find them by dragging your scroll bar to about the midway point of the on-screen file. Using Export I was able to back up all my blogs within about ten minutes.
A Good Habit to Get Into
While I like WordPress and I’m not terribly paranoid about them losing all my data, backing up your files, including your blog posts, is a good habit to get into along with doing regular Web Checks. It may add another chore to your already busy writing schedule, but like any 13th century monk will tell you, a back up takes far less time than writing all those thousands of words again.