Back Up Your Blog! {Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge}

Updated March 16, 2014

back up

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.

Blogger          Blogger

 

Under the Blog Tools section, click on EXPORT BLOG.

Blogger

Click DOWNLOAD BLOG.

Blogger

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.

Blogger

Near the upper right corner, click on BACKUP / RESTORE.

Blogger

Click on DOWNLOAD FULL TEMPLATE.

Blogger

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.

WordPress

In the Site Visibility area, click the bubble next to “I would like my site to be private…” and click Save Changes.

WordPress

Now we’re going to import your posts and comments from Blogger to WordPress. Go to your WordPress Dashboard > Tools > Import.

WordPress 

If you’re on Blogger, click Blogger.

WordPress

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.

WordPress

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:

WordPress

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.

TIP: If you have more than one blog, don’t forget to back up and import each one.

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.

TIP: Don’t forget about your blog pages (e.g. About, Review Index, Contact, etc.). You’ll need to manually add these to your WordPress blog. But you’ll only need to update them when you make changes.

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!

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.

101 comments:

  1. Just so you know, you're the reason why I have my blogged backed up on WP :) #BackupFriday! And mine is now set to Private...DUH Jacinda. And I backed up today! :) Go me! VERY informative post! You can never be too careful!

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  2. FYI - it's even eaiser (IMO) on the new blogger interface. Click the little options icon that looks like a document (next to your blog name on the dashboard), click Template from the dropdown, and there's a button in top right of page that says backup / restore.

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    1. Thank you! I couldn't figure it out for the life of me when I was looking.

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  3. Thanks, I had set an account on WordPress and even created another blog just to back up the reviews and challenges that I signed up this year. But your guide really helped and now #BackupFriday is on!

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  4. Thanks for such a great post! I had heard about backing up blogs before but I never figured out how and thought it might be complexe. Backed-up my blog on WP =)

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  5. Thanks for the reminder I haven't backup my blog in a while. I always backup the pictures as well, i have two place I store them just in case one is down I can get to the other. To export the blog on the new interface you click that little wheel next to the blog and go to Options it will be at the top inbetween Import and delete, just DON'T click delete.

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  6. Backing up is my biggest downfall, I forget or I'm just plain too lazy. Thanks for inspiring me to get going on it ;)

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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  7. Thanks for the suggestion! I've downloaded the template before but never thought about actually backing up the blog itself. I'm waiting for Wordpress to import my posts and comments - I'm a little worried though because the numbers don't seem to be changing. How long does the initial import usually take?

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    1. I can take a while, depending on how many posts and comments you have. I usually let it do its thing while I go do something (off the computer). I'd give it 30 minutes or so and check back.

      *high fives*

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    2. It, not I.

      It can take a while.

      Damn typos. LOL

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  8. I never really thought about backing up. Thanks for the info it's been very helpful!

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    1. I definitely recommend backing up. Even if you only download your blog to your hard drive. That step is easy and fast.

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  9. WOW! This was amazingly helpful. I'm on WordPress, so I will backup to Blogger. Thank you!

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    1. You're welcome! And I'm glad you found it helpful :)

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  10. Ok seriously, I love the Wordpress backup part, I had no idea you could do that!!!! Ah-mazing!

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    1. I love having that extra protection. I'm ready to go anytime :)

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  11. Thanks for this ... I have finally backed up my blog! Though, if I'm on Wordpress, where can I back it up to? If I back up to, say, Blogger, am I moving the pictures over, too?

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    1. *high five*

      You could back up to Blogger. Not sure about your pictures though. That's a good question.

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  12. Thanks for the info! Now all I have to do is just make sure to back-up my blog on a regular basis! I am so forgetful sometimes...

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    1. I would forget too which is why I have it in my calendar on repeat and with alerts. LOL

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  13. thank you for this post.. i have been meaning to back up on my machine for some time and did not know we could do it on wordpress.. for some reason, when i picked from blogger directly, said 0 of 0 posts, so used my exported file to backup there.. Thanks again! phew finally done.. now need to do it regularly.

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    1. Glad you were able to do it the other way :)

      *high fives*

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  14. This post was extremely informative! I'm book marking it so I can reference it later. I never though to backup my Blogger blog to wordpress, but I'm definitely going to do that!

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  15. Sweet! Thank you for this! I keep meaning to back up my posts but figured it would take me FOREVER! So glad to see it doesn't take long at all! Thank you for all the help.

    Would be gutted if I ever lost all my posts! <3

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  16. Wow! That seemed very easy!

    Now I'm off to cross one item off my list.

    Buona fortuna!

    I'm Bloggista-ing all weekend! I love to have blogging friends stop by and say hello!

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  17. This is great!! I am uploading to wordpress right now...it seemed to fail/freeze the first time but It's going along properly now! Thank you so much!!!

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    1. I take it back ! lol It failed again...no matter how many times I reset and hit import again it can't seem to get past 100/270 posts and 120/2643 comments...any suggestions?

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    2. Hmmm, how long are you allowing it to import? Seems like when I do it, I gotta let it go for at least 10-15 mins.

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  18. Just backed-up, am already on wordpress so didn't bother with the back-up blog but maybe I could back-up to blogger.

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    1. *high fives*

      Yup, you could certainly back up to Blogger. Reason I suggest Blogger bloggers take the extra step to import to WP is because Goog*le was on a suspension rampage not too long ago. I have yet to hear of a WP blogger being suspended/shut down.

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  19. Wow that was easier than I thought. I backed up my blog and also imported it on Wordpress. Thank so much for all the great information!

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  20. Thankfully, my webhost (my husband) has an automatic program that backs up my blog any time a change is made. He checks it every now and then to make sure it's working. I've had to restore some of those backups trying to do crazy things to my blog. Backups are SO important!!!

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    1. That's awesome that yours backs up automatically :)

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  21. thank you! this was definitely useful.. backed up, created a WP backup too and now feel so much better! thanks again for the detailed steps..
    @LadyInReadVT

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  22. One day I went on to my blog (Blogger) only to discover that I was blocked! I emailed Google and they gave it back after a day or so, but they never did give me a reason as to why they blocked me from it. It seriously irked me off.

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    1. THIS! This is what I'm talking about! It's scary that it can happen. I wish Goog*le would give a specific reason. Did you have to give them your cell phone number to get your stuff back? A few bloggers I know had to. Makes me believe that Goog*le's doing this to get cell numbers. Which then makes me wonder what they plan on doing with all the cell numbers they've been collecting.

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  23. I backed up both the blog and my posts separately :)

    Dee, Bloggiesta-ing from e-Volving Books

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  24. I did it! I can't believe how painless this was and how silly I was for not doing it in the past. Thanks so much for the reminder, and I will be following your twitter waiting to remind me to do it once a week. :)

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  25. Thank you! I backed up my blog no problem :)

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  26. I've always downloaded and backed up posts/images/comments, but I never thought to actually create a ready-to-go blog on WP should Blogger start shenanigans.

    Thanks for the post!

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    1. I have a question for you - do we need to back up our pictures separately?

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  27. I'm not on Blogger, but on Wordpress.com so I just created another blog that's private as my backup. Great idea and great post! Thanks for the virtual high-five!

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  28. I tried this but my wordpress is evil. It won't let me import the blogs. It can't find my posts half of the time and it just doesn't import. I have no clue what to do about it. I have refreshed and reset several times but it just won't work. Too bad, it looked so easy and it would have been great to have my blog backed up.

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  29. Thank you for the great tip and simple instructions Brianna! I've downloaded my Blogger template but now thanks to your tip I created a WP blog as well. Will keep my eyes on your reminder tweets and also put a reminder in my calendar. Thanks a bunch!! :-D

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  30. ps. Brianna I have a question regarding your commenting system: is it plain old Blogger commenting or something else? Because I only have Intense Discussion because I wanted to have the individual reply option, but it seems yours also have it, so maybe I should switch back.. Thanks!

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    1. I'm using Blogger's commenting system. They recently add 'threaded comments'. This was one of the things Blogger was lacking (that WP has) so I was over the moon thrilled when we got this.

      I would just make sure that you wouldn't lose any comments if you revert back to Blogger's commenting system ;)

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    2. That's awesome that Blogger finally upgraded! Any idea how I could revert back to Blogger commenting and not lose the comments made in the past year or so?

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    3. Unfortunately, I do not. I've never used anything other than Blogger's very own commenting system. I would check around the blogosphere and see if anyone has reverted back successfully. Good luck :)

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  31. ps2: As I said I'm using Intense Discussion and just wanted to let you know that it imported all my comments as well to the WP blog :-D Thank you!

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  32. I backed dat ass up, girl! Thanks for the reminder.

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  33. Great challenge and great reminder. I am on wrodpress so uber easy! Thanks :)

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  34. Thanks for this awesome post! I backed it up haha. I'll try to do mine once every two weeks. Once every week will be too long for me.

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

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  35. This is the most fantastic #bloggiesta challenge ever! I'm so glad I clicked over to this one. I've always had a WordPress account just in case, but I never knew how to make it import the blogger account! Thanks so much for the challenge! & I'm following you on Twitter now so that I can be reminded to back up on Fridays :)

    - Jessica

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  36. This is probably the most helpful think I've ever found since starting my blog. Right now I'm importing the blog and I'm not as worried as I was, so thank you for that. I would love to move to WP and have my own domain and all that but it's too expensive, in the meantime is good to know that I've got a backup! Just the idea of loosing all this hard work gives me nightmares.

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    1. *high fives*

      Self hosting on WP would be the ideal way to go, as far as blog freedom is concerned, but I do not have the skill or know-how to self host. I'd probably mess things up. LOL I envy those who have the ability to self-host.

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  37. Thanks for this! I just imported my Blogger blog onto WordPress!

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  38. I was on vacay and missed Bloggiesta, but THIS POST ROCKS. I didn't even know this was possible! I'm pretty happy with Blogger, and I *love* my site design, so I don't envision moving to WP. I don't want to test my luck, though, since it's notoriously lousy, and this back-up method just makes me feel better. Thanks so much!

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    1. I'm happy with Blogger too. Actually, I should say that I'm comfortable with Blogger. WP scares me. LOL

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  39. My blog disappeared once for just half an hour, but it stress me out SO much. I keep making back ups on my computer. I've now created a Wordpress account. Thank you so much for explaining it so easy :) It feels good to have an extra back up :)

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  40. Thanks for the instructions. They were so easy to follow. I didn't know how to do it under the new blogger "dashboard". Yay for bloggiesta and for posting this link.

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  41. Since I am self hosted and have an awesome hosting company. They back me up daily both on site and off site. I am super happy for this but I also backed up a copy of my own.

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  42. Thank you :) Now I won't have to worry so much!

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  43. Brianna, I think I need some help.. I just followed your super easy instructions for downloading my blog ... and it didn't save a file on my hard drive. Instead, it created a feed on my browser with all my content.. comments, posts, etc. So strange. Any ideas what went wrong?

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  44. Brianna, just wanted to let you know that I was able to back up both my blog and my template in Firefox without any problems. So weird that I couldn't get it to generate an .xml file during the back up on Safari. Just that feed of my blog archive--posts and comments even though I couldn't scroll through all 9266 items.

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  45. I know Bloggiesta is over, but I'm trying to go back and look at all the things I really needed to learn. I've been blogging 3 years and this is the first time I backed up my blog and template! I know, it's insane and I have no excuse since it turns out to be ridiculously easy! Thank you so much for hosting this challenge, I am totally doing this every Friday!

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  46. Can't thank you enough for posting this! I don't think I've exported since the new interface came out, so I definitely needed to back things up! Thanks for the help with Wordpress, too... I thought I had imported everything over there once before, but when I went over, there wasn't anything there! Now I'm taken care of again!

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  47. Thanks for posting this. I'm backing my content up now. Only thing is I can't seem to find the privacy option. I figured it may appear after I import the content but it hasn't. There's option privacy in the settings category. Everything else is but that! Help please?

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    1. WP Blog Admin/Dashboard > Settings > Reading. Under the 'Site Visibility' section, select I would like my site to be private, visible only to users I choose.

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  48. I tried doing this but wordpress deactivated the blog while I was importing everything O.o

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    1. What the what?!! WP deactivated the blog? Any idea why?

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    2. Not sure they it just said something about my blog not complying with their TOS.

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  49. Hi Brianna, with help from my boyfriend, and your extraordinary blogpost, I finally managed to back up my blog and my template, and I even created a back up free Wordpress blog. Thank you!

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  50. I just wanted to stop by and thank you for this great tutorial. I just backed up my blog on to a Wordpress account and your instructions made it super easy!

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  51. I consider myself pretty tech savvy but I didn't know you can use Wordpress like this to backup your blog on Blogger. Thank you so much for this tutorial. Your instructions and screenshots were very helpful. I'm backing up mine right now.

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  52. I exported all my content into an xml file using the wordpress tool. Done! I hope that's all I need to do. I also have automatic backups through my webhost so it was mostly for more peace of mind :)

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    1. You may want to import your blog backup to WP on a frequent basis ;)

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  53. Ahh! This is so helpful. I kept seeing people tweeting to back up your blog and I just wanted to yell in frustration "where?!" but this basically answered all my questions. I'm late to the Bloggiesta but I figured I could still participate unofficially. =) Thank you SO much.

    Jenn @ Books and Swoons

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  54. Thanks for the help! I needed the hand holding on this one. For some reason it just seems oh so scary. I did it thanks to you! Thank you!!!

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  55. Thanks for the great post. I *think* I downloaded my blog, but now I can't find it. (After I downloaded, the page came up as a kind of "reader" version - is that correct?) I sent you a tweet as well.

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  56. Thank you! I kept reading about others backing up their blog, but had no idea how to do it! It is set up on WordPress now. I just have 2 questions for you.

    1. Am I supposed to do anything with the template back-up? Is there an easy way to get the header and background into the Wordpress blog?

    2. If I do this monthly, can I just import the newest back-up? Does it overwrite the old back-up or do I have to delete something first!

    Thanks again!

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    1. 1. You don't need to do anything with the template back up until you need it. Unfortunately you have to manually add your header and background to WP.

      2. Good question! I had to import again right now to find out because I had never thought to check and see if older posts duplicated or not. After doing an import right now, I am not seeing any duplicate posts. I do see that newer comments were added. I also noticed that posts DO NOT get updated. For instance, I had updated my previous 3 Bloggiesta mini-challenges about a week ago and the import I just did on WP did not update those posts. So I deleted the posts from WP (and emptied them from the trash) and redid the import. Now they are updated. So that's a good thing to keep in mind - if you update a post, you'll want to delete that specific post from WP then do your import. But generally speaking, and to answer your question, no, you do not need to delete any posts before doing the import. You would only delete a post prior to importing if you made a change to a post.

      Hope that makes sense and answers your questions :)

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    2. Thanks! That is good to know.

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