Back up your blog

It’s a good idea to back up your blog. If you use Moveable Type or another server-based blogging platform you can easily backup the files yourself. For all those with hosted blogs such as Blogger or Typepad, that’s not so easy. Typepad recently deleted several blogs beginning with the letter ‘S’, so disaster can strike. You don’t want that to happen to you, your company or your client.

I use a blog posting application called ecto, which means I have a local copy of all my posts. But if my blog was deleted, I’d still lose all the graphics, formating, style sheets, comments and trackbacks.

LifeHacker recently had a great post which suggests creating a local mirror of your blog on a regular basis. Mac OSX users can use WebGrabber and PC users HTTrack, both of which are free:

Download WebGrabber and start it up. Give it your site’s address, tell it where to download it, set any other options and watch it save your web site to your computer. (Be sure to check the “Stay on specified site” box so you don’t go downloading every page you link to from your blog, too.) The nice thing about WebGrabber is once you do an initial backup, every time you back up after that you can choose “Sync up with previous download” to update your backup (versus mirroring the whole site again.)

Windows users in the same boat: to you I recommend the free HTTrack, “the web site copier,” which has similar functionality.

Each of these applications will create a fully working, interlinked local copy of your blog for browsing offline.

I’ve just given WebGrabber a whirl and it seems to work well. It sucks down your blog and stores it on your desktop. I have to confess that in the event of disaster at Typepad, I’m not sure how I would upload all the files into the correct places, but at least I’d be able to recreate the site and have easy access to the images, posts and photos. It’s not an automated backup system – but it’s a good place to start.

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