Updated March 16, 2014
Jackie at Farm Lane Books Blog did a Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge on this very topic a couple years ago. It’s a great and informative post that explains how to export your blog (whether you’re on Blogger or WordPress) and save it on your hard drive. I’m going to elaborate on it a bit and update it since Blogger has a new interface.
I’m also going to take you one step further. Make that two steps further. In addition to backing up your blog, we’re going to back up your template and create a back up blog on another platform.
Imagine waking up and finding out that your Blogger blog has been suspended. *gasp* After you recover (somewhat) from the tragedy, you jump through hoops, offer up your first-born, and beg and plead to the powers at be to let you have your blog back. Sure, you’ll most likely be able to get it back but when or at what cost? (When I say ‘at what cost’, I mean at what length will you have to go to get your blog back? How much time will you have to waste on getting it back? Time is money people. Your time is your most valuable asset, is it not?)
That example may seem a bit extreme but it’s not. It’s reality, my friends. And it has happened to several bloggers just recently. Why? you ask. Well, according to the bloggers I spoke with, they weren’t given a clear cut reason. Just that their blog, in some manner, violated the blogging platform’s Terms of Service (ToS). And if you violate the ToS, your blog can be shut down without notice.
I’m not going to lie; I freaked out when I heard about this happening. That’s when I decided to be proactive instead of reactive. You with me?
Back Up Your Blog
First, we’re going to back up your blog content (your posts and comments). From your Blogger Dashboard, click on SETTINGS located on the left side. Then click on OTHER.
Under the Blog Tools section, click on EXPORT BLOG.
Click DOWNLOAD BLOG.
Once it’s downloaded, you’ll find the file on your hard drive. If you’re like me, you have a special place on your hard drive for your blog things so that everything is all in one place and easy to find. I move this file there.
Back Up Your Template
Now let’s back up that pretty little template of yours. From your Blogger Dashboard, click on TEMPLATE located on the left side.
Near the upper right corner, click on BACKUP / RESTORE.
Click on DOWNLOAD FULL TEMPLATE.
Again, once it’s downloaded, you’ll find the file on your hard drive. Move it to your special blog folder.
Make a Back Up Blog
Remember how your blog can be shut down on a whim? (I should mention that this can happen to WordPress blogs as well as Blogger blogs.) Well, down time is not good in this case so we need reinforcements. This is what I do every Friday. (If you follow me on Twitter, then you’ve seen my #BackUpFriday tweets.)
Create a WordPress account. It’s easy and it’s free. I recommend trying to keep the same name. Mine’s at thebookvixen.wordpress.com. Be sure to create the free blog.
Since this back up blog is not my main blog and I don’t want people following it, I make it private. To do this, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Reading.
In the Site Visibility area, click the bubble next to “I would like my site to be private…” and click Save Changes.
Now we’re going to import your posts and comments from Blogger to WordPress. Go to your WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Import.
If you’re on Blogger, click Blogger.
Note: WordPress used to offer two different ways to import your blog: (a) import straight from Blogger or (b) import by uploading an .xml file. WordPress no longer has option (a). You will need to import your Blogger blog by uploading the .xml file. But here’s the kicker – it says that the maximum size the file can be is 15 MB. If you have a lot of posts and/or comments, your file may be larger than 15 MB. My file was more than twice that size at 36 MB. You could split up the .xml file into multiple files (which, if you know how to do please let me know because I have tried researching how to do this to no avail). But when I tried uploading my big file, IT WORKED. I was surprised.
After you select your .xml file and click the Upload file and import button, it will start uploading. When it’s done uploading, you’ll see this message:
And then it will begin importing. The only thing I don’t like about the importing process is that I never get a ‘You’re all done’ notice. So I give it some time and check my blog (in a new browser tab) to see if the import done. I’ll know it’s done when I see the latest post on there.
Your blog is now on WordPress and ready to go at any time, should your blog ever get shut down. The only thing you need to remember is to import on a regular basis, which you do by repeating this process.
How often you back up and import your blog is up to you. If you have posts going up every day, several times throughout the day, then you’ll want to back up and import more often. Personally, I back up once a week and import to my back up Wordpress blog once a month. I have a reminder set up so I know when I need to do these tasks. I also do a #BackUpFriday tweet every Friday to remind others as well.
In the event that your Blogger blog does get shut down (or you just want to switch over to WordPress), you’ll be ready to go. If you’re like me and you already have a custom domain name (i.e. thebookvixen.com instead of thebookvixen.blogspot.com) all that’s left to do is switch your domain name over from Blogger to WordPress. Then be sure to go to your Privacy Settings and change your WordPress blog from private to public.
Got any questions or tips for backing up your blog? Did I leave out anything? Let me know in the comments. And if you back up your blog and/or create a back up blog on WordPress for this Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge, let me know so I can give you a virtual high five!