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How to Back Up Your Blog

One day I mentioned to my graphic designer friend Alta Peterson that I had never backed up my blog. This was her response:

OMG you have never backed up??? This is bad…

But of the 5 quatrillion (quatrillion isn’t a real number but it sounds HUGE, doesn’t it?) blog posts I’ve read about blogging, not ONE mentioned backing up my blog. So I didn’t. I mean, my blog is hosted by GoDaddy. It’s their job to back it up, right?


The same way you use DropBox or Carbonite or Google Drive to back up your documents, you need a backup system for your blog, and if you don’t have one, you need to get one ASAP. Why? Well, as Awesomely Luvvie puts it: “If something was to happen and my site crashed and I lost all of these, I would basically quit writing. I’d just take up the craft of rocking back and forth on my living room floor in a catatonic space for the rest of my life.” There’s no need for you to end up catatonic. There are simple solutions for backing up your blog, which you should do at least ONCE A WEEK. Start by createing a folder labeled Name of Blog Backup and inside that folder create another with today’s date. Then choose one of the following options:

1. Manually Back Up Your site

To manually back up your site, go to your WordPress dashboard, click on Tools in the lefthand column, then Export, then choose the FREE Export option. On the next page, under What to Export, select “All Content” and click “Download Export File.” Once the file has downloaded to your Downloads folder, transfer it to your new backup folder with today’s date and voilá—fini!



2. Manually Back Up Your Site

You can back up your site manually or with a plugin. The problem with doing it manually is that you need to do it EVERY WEEK, which can be a real time suck. But here’s how to do it: First, download your content the same way you did for your site (#1 above). Then, to back up your database, log in to your hosting account. Mine’s GoDaddy, so I start by going to, clicking “Sign In” and typing my customer number and password. Then I click on “Web Hosting” in the list that comes up, then “Launch” next to the name of the site I want to back up. Now, at the top where it says “Hosting” and “Databases,” I select “My SQL” and again choose the site I want to back up. Then I click “Backup.” This will back up the Database. Some hosts may have a Backup Wizard that you can access from your control panel. *To backup a customized template, select that template from the left sidebar in your dashboard (eg. Mine reads “Atahualpa Theme Options.” Then choose Export/Import options and click on “Export and Download (your template) Settings File,” which you can then add to your new backup folder with today’s date on it. 


3. Manually Back Up Your Blogger Blog

To back up a Blogger blog, log in to your dashboard, click on Settings in the left sidebar, then choose Other and under “Blog Tools” select “Export Blog.” Your files will download to your computer’s Download folder, where you can then transfer it to a backup file with the date on it.


4. Backup Buddy WordPress Plugin

There are many WordPress plugins for backing up your blog. According to Crazy House Media’s list of 10 best WordPress plugins for 2014, the “Backup Buddy is the absolute best backup plugin out there today.” The downside is the price: $80 for two sites. Painful, but not as painful as losing your blog.


5. Other WordPress Backup Plugins

Although $80 may seem like a lot to back up your blog, it’s better than paying a monthly fee of $9-$15, which is what many premium third-party backup apps charge. Still, if you want to save both some dough and some hassle, here’s a list of FREE WordPress backup plugins. Just be sure to read the fine print to make sure they’ll back up both your files and your database and allow you to back up your customized theme if you have one.


6. Tumblr Backup Plugins

I don’t use Tumblr, but one third-party app is the Tumble Log Backup Jammy. Tumblr also has its own backup app for Mac users.


What about you? Do you back up your blog on a regular basis? Do you do it manually or with a plugin? Which plugins do you like best?



27 comments to How to Back Up Your Blog

  • Great post, sadly so many bloggers and business owners don't back up their sites and are just asking for disaster!

  • Alta Peterson

    That cat photo is actually exactly what I looked like when I found out you were not backing up your blog.

    • Meghan Ward

      Ha! I did back it up the other day … I think. I hope I followed my own directions correctly! I should get a WordPress plugin just in case.

  • annerallen

    OMG. I had no idea you could do this. The Blogger directions look easy. I guess that's what I do today! Thanks a million!

  • tapintohach

    Thanks Meghan. I've been a bad boy about this! To be completely honest, I never thought about backing up my blog. I'm so careful about all my other backups that this was completely off my radar.

  • I only just learned how to back up my website and I've had it for over a year! (I got a plugin.) Like you, I'm amazed that there's so little discussion about it. Great post. 🙂

    • Meghan Ward


      I've had mine for over FOUR years and just backed it up for the first time!! But I did it manually, and think I'll get a plugin to avoid having to do it manually every week.

  • historysleuth1

    I've backed up my templates but never thought about backing up my blogs. 🙁 That should be my Sunday to do list thing. Thanks for the tip!

  • […] -From Writerland, How to Back Up Your Blog […]

  • […] good friend, illustrious power-blogger Meghan Ward, recently confessed to me that she had NEVER backed up her site! :O […]

  • Splendid post.This is very good help for you that we have Back it up, in a way crosswords solution.Now we have also Dance like Miley; following crossword puzzle clue.Thanks.

  • I would add that backing up also depends on how often you blog. If you blog very frequently, then backing up more often makes sense. A good rule of thumb is, back up as often as you have material.

    And your webhost provider also plays a part, too. I use Bluehost and they actually back up weekly or bi-weekly, can't remember which. You should definitely check with your host to make sure of what they do.

  • Thank you so much for this information, Meghan!!

  • I had never thought of doing this! I just started my blog, and I'm really glad that I heard about this during its inception. Thanks for the heads up!

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  • Thanks a lot for this information. Now I understand the importance of backing up and how to do it. Thanks again.

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