Saturday, March 21, 2009

How to back up your blogger blog

I love using web-based tools, keeping my data in the cloud, it's the hip Web 2.0 thing to do. But even Google (praise the name!) might screw up and lose my data. So I back up my blog once a week.

Here's the best tool I've found so far for this: the Blogger Backup Utility. It's super easy to use, and that's mostly why I stick with it. Its big drawback is it doesn't back up the images. You get the text of each post in a simple xml format, so you can imagine transforming that back into something else later. In raw form, though, it's only good for restoring to blogger. It's simple enough xml that you can read it in a text editor, though. Your words are safe, is the point.

That's a blogger-specific approach. Another approach would be to use some tool that spiders and downloads a website, to get every page and image on your site. That'd probably be smarter and more complete, but that approach has drawbacks too: it takes up lots more disk space, it takes more time, and it stores the data as plain HTML.

I tried some tools -- a command-line tool -- for backing up the whole site, and ran into some issues, and never got very far. The BBU approach works like this:

  1. Launch the Blogger Backup Utility; you get a GUI.
  2. Configure it to point to your blog. You can use it to back up several different blogs.
  3. Select a blog, hit the backup button. It downloads posts. You can use it to back up just the last few posts, or all the posts.

Because it's so simple, I back up pretty consistently, and that's the important thing.

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