I need some help! Google and searching is not really giving me what I’m looking for, so I figured, why not turn to good, old-fashioned people?
My question: How do you back up your blog posts?
Background info: My blog started on Blogger in spring of 2020. Then I transitioned it to a self-hosted WordPress.org site at the end of 2020. However, I had impossible, ongoing issues with it never pulling posts consistently into feed readers (Feedly, Bloglovin’, etc.) that NO ONE could figure out. I had multiple paid professionals on the job and yet it was apparently an unsolvable mystery. It was very frustrating for everyone involved.
So, I finally gave up there, and moved my site to a WordPress.com site, because they have online support and they handle all the hosting and security stuff, etc. The whole thing with the .com side of WordPress is just a lot easier and more straightforward, versus a WordPress.org/ self hosted site.
For my little hobby blog, that made more sense (versus the headaches from attempting self-hosting that I was experiencing).
It has been smooth sailing since I did this, mostly, and all is well.
WordPress does some sort of backups, but I’ve been thinking lately that I should be backing my posts up separately as well, in case WordPress ever implodes. So I did the Export file option in WordPress and saved that to my external hard drive.
However, if you open this file, it’s a zipped up, compressed file full of mumbo jumbo code stuff. The intent for this backup would be to later import it to a new site, if something happened to my old site. This is good to have, and I’m planning to do a manual backup monthly from there.
But, I also would like a READABLE backed up copy of my posts. Really what I’m envisioning is like, a Microsoft Word copy of my posts. A nice, clean copy that I could open any time and look at.
Of course, I could do this manually- there’s nothing stopping me from just copying and pasting my posts into Word every day and saving it. A Google doc would be another option.
But when I tried literally just copying and pasting yesterday’s post into Google Doc or Word, it works… kind of. But no matter what I do, the formatting gets a little wonky/ all spread out, and it seems to make my pictures huge. It’s passable, but not ideal. Yes, I could sit and edit it, but I post very often, and I want this saving process to take like, 10 seconds or less.
I’d really love to have a way to just have my regular posts, in the same format as on my site, but saved on my external hard drive or Google docs (so I can go back and easily read them some day if I decide to quit blogging and close down my site!).
Can anyone help me out? Manually copying and pasting every day seems a bit tedious…. ?
25 thoughts on “Blog friends: I need advice!”
Hi friend, I will be catching up on your blog (in reverse chronological order this time LOL) and will start with a comment re: saving blog posts…
An easy way to keep “copies” (esp. on the wordpress.com platform) is to “subscribe to your own blog and save the emails that contain your blog posts. However, that will only work going forward (obviously).
I know that there is a plugin that can download all your posts as a pdf (you might have to do that frequently, e.g. once per month/year or so)… https://wordpress.org/plugins/print-my-blog/, but I don’t know if you have extra paid privileges on your .com account that lets you install plugins.
I did a bit of googling and this one might be an option, too. https://help.edublogs.org/blog-to-book/
Hope that helps!
Hi San!! Can’t wait to read about your trip back to Germany. I saw some pics online and you were all smiles. 🙂 So happy for you.
I have a paid wordpress plan, but apparently the one I have doesn’t allow the plug-ins! I basically want something that is free for backing up. I am now thinking I might just start copying and pasting into a google doc as soon as I publish a post after all. The formatting isn’t perfect but I guess it doesn’t matter- it’s certainly readable and stuff, it just seems to get spread out more for some reason with a bunch of spaces between the paragraphs.
Or the saving the emails is actually a really good idea, too!!!
I’d try the blog to book link that I mentioned – I think you can use the xml backup file that you have to convert to PDF.
I use the Print My Blog plugin that San mentions (from within my WordPress dashboard). I export my blogs once per month (but you can do it from the very beginning of your archives) and copy and paste the text into a Google Doc I store in Google Drive!
There are tons of different settings, so you can choose how big you want your pictures to appear (or if you just want text only – what I do). Lots of options and it’s very user friendly.
I backed up my blog on the server like a year ago in a compressed file, but not since. Yikes. It’s a bit sad to think about something going wrong, so I should get a full file downloaded, but for now at least I have all the text/memories in a basic Word doc…
I can’t use plug-ins with my wordpress.com plan!! It comes pre-loaded with all the Jetpack plugins as part of the service, so generally speaking I don’t need plugins…. But yeah. This limits some options! I guess I could open a chat with a WP help agent and ask them specifically about other backup options. I know they do autoback it all up also as part of my paid service, but like I said, I’m looking for a way where I can actually read the posts, not just a backup up zipped file thing.
Just checked and appears that my host backs everything up: https://wpengine.com/support/restore/
Not sure what you are using but for me that’s enough. I’m sure there’s still risk but I’ll admit – never made it to a priority list for me. Living on the edge 🙂 Josh once wanted to print out my blog. I cannot imagine how many volumes it would be . . .
I used to have self-hosted with Hostinger, but I switched to a WP.com site last year. So they host it on their servers as part of the paid plan. They do include a backup- probably similar to what you have- but I guess I’m still a little leery, and I can’t actually see the backup posts with the zipped back up thing they do. I believe their backup “should” work though if I needed to like totally reload my site to a new one or something. So maybe I’m worrying about nothing….. that’d be a first for me! LOL.
I write all my posts in Word and then put them into WordPress when I’m ready to post them. The documents are… enormous and unwieldy and while I try to date them, they are not always accurate or in order. The two benefits are 1) I can keep a running document of post ideas and half-drafted posts and 2) I have all of my posts saved just in case. At one point, I tried to create a new Word doc each calendar year, but I got lazy. My current document is titled Blog 2022 and has 347 pages and 203,000 words. Yikes.
Oh wow! I don’t think I could do it in Word because I tend to include so many photos. But that’s convenient to work as a back up then, too! You’ve written a nice, big novel!! 😉 I don’t want to know how long mine would be, either. Wordy women unite! 😉
Well I am no help here as I do NOT back up my blog posts! It’s not something I’ve ever really thought about! Tech-related things are so overwhelming to me that I generally just avoid them… which I know is not the answer! I would love to switch to wordpress for a variety of reasons but it seems so overwhelming to me after blogging at blogger for, um 15 years now!
Hahaha, I HEAR THAT! I also get sooooo overwhelmed with the tech stuff. That’s partly why I switched to the .com site versus a self hosted WP site, because the .com site has support, they handle the hosting, etc.
I have no advice but I’ve never backed up my blog or thought about how to do it and now I’m going to have nightmares about the last twenty years of my life disappearing if Blogger ever crashes. Thanks for this new worry!
Bahahaha!! LOL!! Sorry!!! 😅😅
I never back it up. So if you find a way that works please share
I’d hire a high school student to copy, paste, and nicely format it. And then you can keep it up going forward.
Not a bad idea!! Fortunately, my blog really is not that old. So while copying and pasting past posts would be tedious, it’s really just a couple years’ worth. I imagine this would be an especially complicated question for someone with a 15-20 year old blog!
I have always had my blog sent to myself via email, but for me that means that if blogger fails, I would have it on….gmail and since they are both google products, likely they would both be in trouble!
It looks for WP you may have to have a plugin, but you can also print the page as a pdf instead of copy and pasting to word, that way it will keep the original formatting. But that would still entail doing it one by one.
There are also services that will do it for you; it may be worth it! Here is one I found but know nothing about…https://www.blog2print.com/
Ha, good point about Blogger and Google!! Since my blog is WordPress, maybe I’d be okay if Google went down and vice versa. But I think I’d be pretty screwed in other ways if Google went down! I have quite a lot of stuff now in my Google drive, Gmail, etc!
This is a constant worry. I do have it electronically backed up, but I do want paper copies I can keep and distribute. I started to manually do it into nice photobooks, but my blog is over 20 years old and I tried for a few old entries and it’s slow going. It is tedious and makes me unhappy to be spending my time doing that. I’ve tried hiring a high school student, but no luck so far. I’ll look into the WordPress plugin.
Wow, 20 years!! That is so impressive.
I used a site last year called Into Real Pages https://intorealpages.com/ to print my vacation posts into a book. I haven’t explored that as an option for printing ALL my posts, but I don’t think I care to have them all printed out…. I just wanted my vacation posts printed. But you could look into it and see if it could work for you! I know they advertise that they print entire volumes of blog posts. For me and my backing up, I really don’t want to spend any money on it though- I just am looking for a digital backup that’s still readable.
Chrome extension – Go Full Page
This will copy the full page as is. One option is to download as a PDF (can also do as jpeg image). The initial file name is dumb (uses day of creation) but easy to change.
I’m a freelance writer and this is how I get samples of my work. There’s no guarantee the client will leave it online forever so I save my own version.
Thanks for the comment! I’ll check into that. I actually saw that I could save them as pdfs just from Print to PDF in the normal page, but I wasn’t sure if PDFs take up more space??? I thought so, for some reason, versus like a regular word doc. But I don’t actually know that for sure. I just figured with so many posts and photos, I want whatever option is the most “compressed” space wise… but I’m no tech wizard, so I don’t know the answer to that. Ha!
I thought I was the only one so scared to lose my posts, I have them saved everywhere possible😅 But this tip with Blog to Book it’s just amazing! Thank you for sharing it with us, San!
Nope, you’re definitely not alone!! It’s a sad thought to think about never being able to look back on my posts. Such a big part of why I blog is to just document random things about my life!
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I am really emotionally attached to my posts. I write interviews with beautiful and talented kids from all over the globe, and articles to raise awareness about environmental issues, or to bring joy, beauty, and hope. My heart is my website 4tinyhands.com! I work on my articles in my little free time, without having a financial compensation, other the emotional joy that I can bring some value into the world.