One big problem with Google Blogger is that it doesn’t have a mechanism to back up your blog. So if something happens to Blogger and you lose your data, you do not have a backup. Or for a more likely scenario, if you want to move some or all of your posts to another Blogger blog, you can’t do it.
When I reviewed the various blog engines, I noted this problem and came up with a “hack” to backup your data. You can create a blog on WordPress.com and use it to create a backup of your posts and comments. In WordPress, you can go to “manage” and then “import” and it will let you import your blog posts, comments and users (but not categories) from Blogger (or LiveJournal, MovableType/Typepad or a saved WordPress file). Then you can choose “export” and export your blog to a file that you can store on your hard drive or where you want to save it.
That works and works pretty easily and well but requires 2 blogs and may not be right for you. Well, there is also another option that isn’t quite as full-featured yet, but is easy and does a good job of backing up posts (and comments, but doesn’t have the ability to restore the comments to the post they belong to yet, they restore as a separate post).
It is Blogger Backup on CodePlex.
*PLEASE NOTE: The Blogger Backup utility uses (and has always used) your Public Feed to backup your posts.
If your feeds are off, then nothing can be backed up.
If your feeds are set to Summary, then only those Summary feeds will be backed up.
Additionally, if you have your feed redirected, like to feedburner (look in your settings/site feed to check), you need to turn off the redirect while you are backing up your blog. You can also look here to make sure you have your “Allow Blog Feed” set to “Full”.
Blogger Backup is easy to install and easy to use. It uses windows installer to install and is pretty self-explanatory to use. It doesn’t have great help and it doesn’t have a readme.txt but there is information on CodePlex and forums where you can post issues and questions.
After you have installed it, you should go to Microsoft Windows Updates and verify that you have the latest version and patches for .NET framework. If you select the “custom” button, it will scan your computer for updates and then give you a list of updates. Then click on Software (optional) on the left and look for Microsoft .NET framework. If you find anything, install it.
One note about the Windows Updates site, you have to be in Internet Explorer to use it. If you (like me) use another browser, you’ll have to go to IE to run the updates.
Then open the Blogger Backup and it asks you for your blog, or easier, you can give it your Blogger name/id and password and it will search for all your Blogger blogs for you.
To run a backup, you can choose to create 1 file with all your posts, or to create separate files for each post and comment, which lets you pick which posts to restore. You can choose whether or not to back up comments (this is unchecked so be sure to check it if you want your comments) and you can pick all posts or a number of posts to save or only new posts since a certain date. Here is what it looks like after you have run a backup (backing up each post individually). Click on the picture for a bigger view.
It puts these in My Documents\Blogger Backup\”your blog name”. Here is what the list of post backup files looks like in that directory.
When you click on Restore, you see a screen that looks like this one below. It is blank until you add some posts (as I have). It shows you the window above so you can pick the post(s) you want to restore.
In the larger view (click on pic) you will notice that the second line in my list of posts to restore looks different. It is actually a comment. But it thinks it is a post. I’m sure they are planning to fix that so it will restore comments correctly instead of as a post.
Note that only 50 blog posts can be restored each day due to a limit in Blogger.
When you click on OK, it restores the selected posts.
NOTE: you can backup posts from one blog and restore it to another. I have 2 blogger blogs. I backed up both blogs. Then I did a restore on one of the blogs but chose the subdirectory containing the posts from my other blog. They restored fine to the new blog.
This is a handy little tool and will become handier as it is developed. It is considered to be beta, so they are still working on it and adding features and functionality.
It doesn’t backup/restore comments properly yet and it doesn’t backup/restore any videos or pictures or other unusual items in a post. It doesn’t backup/restore tags and I doubt that it restores links either. And you have to have your full feeds turned on. I’m not sure if this would work if you didn’t have them turned on before. It may only restore back to when the feed was turned on, although I am not sure.
But it is easy to use and allows selective restores and backups of your blog. If you use Google Blogger and don’t backup your blog, this is a good way to get a basic backup. If you ever want to move blogs or lose posts, you will be glad you used it.
UPDATE: Greg (the author of Blogger Backup) is currently working on many new enhancements. It is a labor of love for him and he is doing a great job.
In response to a comment I posted on CodePlex, he says: “I plan on adding both a “comment only” (restoring comments to an existing post and Post & Comment (the post and its commnets) restore capability in the future. And the feed redirect issue is fixed in the version I’m currently working on… 🙂 ”
and I asked about possibly enhancing the help and he replied that it is changing so fast that it is hard to keep any help files up-to-date but said “What I’ll do is add a couple simple pages to this site, one for requirements & installation notes and one for basic usage. That will be pretty easy and a good starting point… I’ll hack those out this weekend or so (depends on work… I’m currently stuck in a work cycle from hell and haven’t had much “spare time” to work on “my” stuff)”
Thanks, Greg, you are doing great work and are really helping a lot of people with your program.
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