Wednesday 6 May 2009

Back Up Blogger Blogs

We should back up Blogger Blogs. However, the chances of the Google Blogger team deleting your blog without notice or warning is extremely unlikely even if you have done something wrong and if you have breached their terms you deserve to be deleted! The chances of Google’s servers crashing and fatally losing all the Blogger blogs would seem to be infinitesimal as there are hundreds of millions of blogs and the Google guys are too smart to screw up and lose websites permanently. Google can, however, under the terms of the contract delete blogs (terminate the service) and/or suspend the entire service, without notice or liability (it is free after all -- see Summary Google Blogger Terms and Conditions) but it would be a massive blow to the image of Google if lots of blogs were deleted accidentally or under a change of policy. Their Blogger service is fantastic and it drives a lot of their business. Think of all the Adsense on Blogger Blogs for example not to mention the publicity to Google that these blogs bring. I guess if there was a change to policy regarding Blogger blogs it would be that the service would become no longer free, which would limit usage. That said I am sure 90% of Blogger sites are very small and don’t cause Google issues of storage etc.

So why back up Blogger blogs? Peace of mind essentially. And there is a remote chance something might happen that was unforeseen. What about terrorism, for example? Google is the epitome of capitalism; an icon of the capitalist society. It does concern me a little that a terrorist group might target Google servers to attack the West. That said terrorists need Google as much as we do!

What is the best way to back up Blogger blogs, the whole caboodle? The Blogger Tips and Tricks website (enviroman) says that the best way is to do it is manually by copying the HTML of each individual post to a Notepad (txt) file. That sounds good but mighty laborious, if you have a large number of posts.

Google Blogger have a much easier system; their import and export function. You can download the entire blog to your hard drive using the export function and if required import it back to the Google servers and publish all the posts at the same time. In other words return to the status quo ante. I am not sure if this includes the comments but I would have thought that it does as the Blogger team say that this feature allows us to “create copies of your own blogs” i.e. the entire blog – update: comments are also exported and can be imported. The kind of file that is exported and imported is the same as the file type that is downloaded and uploaded when you save the template when customising it. It is an “xml” file (a Blogger export file).

These are the steps to backing up your Blogger blog:

  1. Go to what I call the “control panel”. This is the layout page. Get there by clicking on “customise” in the navbar at the top of the page or “layout” from the dashboard page. You see this:


Click on “Settings” and:

  1. Select “Export blog”
  2. A new page then shows “DOWNLOAD BLOG” – click on it
  3. I save to desktop and place the downloaded xml file into a new folder.

That is it. If, in the unlikely event, the file has to be uploaded to restore the blog, the procedure as stated by Google is:

  1. On the settings page referred to above select, this time, “Import blog”.
  2. You will be taken to your computer files.
  3. Select the stored file referred to above.
  4. Fill out the word verification beneath.
  5. Click on “IMPORT BLOG”.
  6. If you want to publish the blog at the same time click the check box just above, “IMPORT BLOG”. (See Google’s instructions)

That’s it….

From Back Up Blogger Blogs to Home Page

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