How to Back Up Your Blog – #Blogathon2

Welcome fellow Blogathoner’s! ūüėÄ ¬†Last I had looked we were just one person shy of 100 participants, which is just… WOW!! ¬†If you happen to gab with Kathleen at all this weekend, show her some LUV. ¬†Its inspiring how she’s been able to organize these blogging-thons each and every time, especially as they’re getting to be MUCH BIGGER events! ¬†I believe this is third bash that we’re gonna have fun with! ¬†If you’ve signed up to participate, then that means you’re here for one or all THREE of our mini challenges found on Geek with Style and you’re ready to win some PRIZES. ¬†Woohoo!

How to Back Up Your Blog

And if you have no idea what I’m talking about and want to learn more, click the image to find the Biannual Blogathon Bash’s website. ūüėÄ


Biannual Blogathon Bash


Let’s get started…

If you’re reading this, and haven’t backed up your blog or website yet today, you’ve got a lot of explaining to do Lucy! ¬†Sh!t happens, ya know? ¬†And the worst thing that could happen to all of your beautiful work is if you’ve lost it. ¬†There are many ways to lose your fabulous blogging work of art unfortunately. ¬†There could be an act of god that happened to strike all the servers around the globe so there wasn’t a smidgen of your work left online. ¬† Possible? ¬†Yes. ¬† Probable? ¬†No.

Some of the more likely scenarios though would include:

  • Being hacked – the moment you create a password is the moment someone is wanting to break in;
  • Being disabled/dropped by your host – you’ve must have heard of at least one story where a user had unwittingly broken a site’s TOS and suddenly all their stuff is gone and irretrievable; or
  • Computer error – the geniuses behind your blogging platform decided to upgrade, and oops! they upgraded your work into the great beyond, and can’t seem to bring it back. ¬†Possible? Yes. ¬†Probable? … well, yes it is.

If you build it, someone’s gonna break it at some point, it truly just depends on the severity (if they fix it soon enough and cover their tracks well enough, you might not even notice your site having gone down.)

So… have I scared you yet? ūüėČ

I host sites for a living, and I’m always antsy on whether I’m going to be the one to inadvertently break a client’s site. ¬†Like…¬†Eek. ¬†Let me tell you, I’ve found more grey hairs in the past year and a half than I’m entirely comfortable with. ¬†The possibilities of destroying someone¬†else’s¬†hard work with just one click is SO EASY to do. ¬†But, I’m not flying blind. ¬†I have all sites backed up daily just so that I can ensure that IF any of these sites go down, I can get them back up immediately.

So with this Mini Challenge, I’m going to show you the best way (in my humble opinion) to back up your site so that it’s one less thing for you to worry about.

If your site is self-hosted using WordPress…

Simply go to your Plugins page from your Dashboard and click “Add New”, then search with these keywords “WordPress Backup to Dropbox” and click install once you’ve found the right plugin in the search list. ¬†With that plugin is installed, you’ll need to sign up for if you haven’t already; then click on the new left-menu item titled, “WPB2D”. ¬†There will be easy step-by-step instructions to link your Dropbox account to your website.

Once your accounts are linked, go down to the Settings area > choose Daily from the Frequency drop-down selection > and then pick which hour you wish your site to be backed up from Day and Time (totally up to you when to back up, but best rule of thumb is to do so when your blog is the most quiet in activity.)

wpb2d settings

This program won’t back up your site until it hits your¬†chosen¬†hour. ¬†If you want it to make the first back up right away, choose the¬†next¬†closest hour for it to do so. ¬†You’ll be able to edit the time if you want to change it back to a quieter moment for future back ups.

Is it necessary to make the first back up right away though? ¬†I honestly don’t think it is. ¬†Unless you’ve had recent issues with your site, simply waiting for your chosen hour to come and go should do well enough. ¬†And you won’t have to touch a thing, your blog will automatically take care of backing up your site to DropBox without you even there.

That was painless, right? :)

If your site is on Blogger…

There are many ways to back up your blogger site. ¬†To export it all, so that you can simply re-upload your site should it have crashed (or if Blogger/Google decided to kick you out ’cause they thought you were spammy,) go into Settings > Other > and then click on “Export Blog“.

You will soon see an XML file, something like “blog-01-19-2013.xml” downloading to your computer hard drive once you’ve clicked that link. ¬†And honestly, that’s all you need to do to back up your blog (and it might take a while, if you’ve blogged a lot.) And later down the road, if you’re finding yourself needin to use your most current XML file to republish posts that went missing, all you’d have to do is click the “Import Blog” link that is found right beside the “Export Blog”.

The one BIG downside to this, is that its all based on manual action – you would think Google/Blogger would give you guys an easy way to keep an updated copy of your work on your computer hard drive, but that’s no where in the works right now.

You can set yourself reminders using calendars, but if you have three things to focus on all at once, chances are you’re going to let the backing up of your blog slide, and I would recommend backing up your site at least once a week. ¬†There’s a good chance that you will never need to use that file, but its better to be safe and all that.

Not to worry though, I’ve got you covered! :) ¬†Here’s a way to make it AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE for you to back up your blogger blog:

We’re going to create a button that will sit on your Bookmarks toolbar, and with a one-click action, you’ll be able to back up your blog without having to go through your account settings.

First, we need a link.  Something like:

The XXXX is your blogs ID, and it’ll look something more like: “6642317534984211121” ¬†So the link above would look like: “”

When you’re logged into your blog, you’ll find this ID# right in the URL when you’re looking at your Dashboard. For example, “”

Create a Back Up Button In Chrome

  • Open a new window and go to any website, like for instance.
  • Click on the star icon in the URL address bar, it will open a bookmarking window.
  • Click on the Edit button on the bottom left of the window.
  • Paste the archive URL from above into the URL box, give it a name that works for you, and ensure that “Bookmarks Bar” is selected (and not a folder within, ’cause you’ll want this button to sit right on the bar where you can see it.

Chrome Back Up Button

Create a Back Up Button In IE

  • If you’re logged into Blogger at this point, log out (sorry!) ¬†This won’t work otherwise.
  • Open a new window/tab, and paste your archive link into the URL address bar. ¬†Press enter.
  • Because you’re logged out, you’ll get a “The Webpage Cannot be Found”, which for once, is exactly what we want.
  • Click on the star icon in the upper right corner, it will open a bookmarking window, then click the “Add to Favourites” button.
  • A new window will pop up. ¬†Give your bookmark a name that works for you, and ensure that “Favourites Bar” is selected for the folder. ¬†Then click the Add button.
  • Log back into Blogger, and test your button out! :)

Internet Explorer Blogger Back Up Button

Create a Back Up Button In FireFox

  • If you’re logged into Blogger at this point, log out (sorry!) ¬†This won’t work otherwise.
  • Open a new window/tab, and paste your archive link into the URL address bar. ¬†Press enter.
  • Because you’re logged out, you’ll get a “Not Found. Error 404,” which for once, is exactly what we want.
  • Click on the star icon in the upper right corner (you may have to click it twice or more for the Edit window to pop up,) it will open a bookmarking window.
  • Give your bookmark a name that works for you, and ensure that “Bookmarks Toolbar” is selected for the folder. ¬†Then click the Done button.
  • Log back into Blogger, and test your button out! :)

FireFox Blogger Back Up Button

If you happen to try using this back up button while still logged out, it’ll just give you an error page, so be sure each time you want to use it, that you’re logged into your account.

Set up a weekly/bi-weekly calendar reminder on whichever ¬†task program you use, and each time that reminder pops up, just click the button you’ve created in your browser bar. ¬†Chances are that you’ll already be logged into Blogger anyway, and the file will quickly download to your Downloads folder.

You can take it even one further step and have your computer’s Download folder sit within your DropBox account, so every time you download a file, it will be automatically backed up to your cloud!

But Wait There’s More!

So what happens if you back up every Friday, and your blog crashes the following Thursday? ¬†You’re a prolific blogger with 20 new posts all shiny and commented galore since the last time you’ve backed up… what then?

Let me introduce you to IFTTT and Zapier!  Both have pros and both have cons and at least one of them will be your newest best friend.  (I would suggest trying them both out and figuring out which works best for your wants.)

While you’re backing up “hard copies” of your site every Friday, you’ll want to keep some reference of those blog posts that had missed out on the last download. ¬†I don’t suggest using this method to automatically back up your posts without also saving the XML file on a bi/weekly basis, because these posts would have to be re-uploaded manually, (and if you have to manually republish more than 20 posts, well… that’s a lot of work!)

What am I talking about?

You can use IFTTT (If This Then That) specifically to send copies of your blogger posts, the moment you publish them, to your personal cloud space. ¬† Really, anywhere you want them to go, this online app will do it for you. ¬†Maybe you’d like to create an Evernote notebook of all your blog posts (which can also act as quick reference if you ever need to quickly show off your work to friends, family, or potential clients.) ¬†Or save these files in your DropBox¬†or GoogleDrive for safe keeping.

The REALLY COOL bit about IFTTT, is that people, like myself who’ve used their site on many¬†occasions are able to create these “recipes” that newbies can one-click to quickly copy the tasks to their own account. ¬†So once you’ve created an account, just click the image below to get your site quickly and easily set up for back up. ¬†This site is user friendly, and is all about clean graphics and ease of use, so don’t be afraid to play around to find the exact “recipe” that you’d like to work with.

IFTTT Recipes for Blogger Management

You may ask, why not just save the XML file to your DropBox or GoogleDrive, and the answer is that you can, but it can only be done so manually. ¬†Trust me, I’ve tried every trick I could think of for your XML back up file to be automatically saved using IFTTT or even Zapier, but it just doesn’t work. ¬†Blogger requires authentication of you and your access¬†privileges¬†to download the XML, and its not something that either of these sites are prepared to give.

If your site is on…

From what I understand, backing up your blog is much like backing up a Blogger blog, so please read through the instructions above and see if they would work similarly for you. ¬†I would definitely recommend creating the BackUp Button for your browser’s tool bar, and use IFTTT for extra security.


I mentioned Zapier above, though it actually doesn’t (yet) have a tool to work specifically with Blogger (though it does have an RSS feed option.) ¬†It has something just as cool that isn’t available on IFTTT, which is why I’ve included it.

Have you ever wanted to go back through your tweets for reference? ¬†If you’re a review blogger, you may want to keep track of tweets that mention the company you’ve partnered with. ¬†Regardless of your reason, I can almost guarentee that there will come a time where you’ll want to go back through your tweets to find a specific action. And as much as I love my twitter, it really does suck when it comes to searching out your own tweets. ¬†Well, just like your blog, you can back up most of your social media content with IFTTT and Zapier as well!

Here’s what to do to get the most of backing up Twitter to your Evernote account (*PLEASE* if you don’t have Evernote you, grab your account now, this app can change your organizational habits into something workable!)

First, sign up for¬†Zapier, and then second, click the image below to grab this specific “recipe”. ¬†Like IFTTT you can definitely go in and play around with the settings, but if you don’t have time, I’ve put together a Twitter to Evernote Archive recipe that I’m using for my own tweets, and you are more than welcome to use it too!

Zapier Share

One thing to keep in mind about Zapier is that while there is a free service, its limited (after the 14-day trial). So keep an eye on how much you use it, and try to earn some bonus points so that you won’t have to purchase a membership! ūüėČ

Ready for Your Challenge?

Your challenge should be simple for you really. ¬†Go back up your site. :) ¬†If you’re on Blogger, I would entirely encourage you to create the browser button as well.

Leave a comment below with your blog link and blog platform. ¬†I’m very curious to see how many WordPress vs Blogger vs Other that are participating in this season’s blogathon! ¬†And if you’ve got questions? ¬†Well, I’m here for the weekend to help out, so just ask!


Disclaimer: ¬†Please note that I get extra space/tasks by referring ya’ll to DropBox and/or Zapier, so just want to thank you if you do end up joining by visiting those sites from this post.

Tagged with: ‚ÄĘ ‚ÄĘ ‚ÄĘ ‚ÄĘ ‚ÄĘ


  1. Angela Kinder says

    I totally forgot about backing up my blog! I think the last time I did was about a year ago when I had to return my computer back to factory settings but so much can happen in a year! So I just now backed up all of my hard work and even put it on my USB flash drive!

    By the way, I use blogger for I’m nervous about trying the other programs because I don’t want to mess anything up. But I’ll definitely give it the old college try!

    • says

      Hey Angela! YAY for backing up your blog!! ūüėÄ We can never be too careful. ūüėČ The cool thing about these tips for backing up your blog is that it doesn’t affect you blog in any way. It pulls information from your blogger account, but it doesn’t try to add anything to it, so your account will be fine. :) Hope that helps! And happy blogathoning!

  2. OlderMommyStill says

    I am on self-hosted WP and have been going to Tools >.All content > Download Export File and then saving it on my computer…is that enough or should I be using WordPress Backup to Dropbox?

    • says

      Yes, I did forget to mention the manual export tool. To be honest, it really depends on your level of comfort. I would suggest the WordPress Backup to Dropbox, because you can backup your blog on a daily basis, without ever having to think about it, ’cause it would be done automatically. That means if something should happen while you’re working on WordPress (knock on wood, but even today there is a new WordPress update to 3.5.1), you can easily restore without too much (or any) loss. if you blog only once a week and backup once a week manually, then you’ll be fine. This issue starts if you blog daily and backup only once a week, or once in a while, you have a chance of losing a lot of your work. Hope that helps in your decision! :)

    • says

      Ooh, awesome! Some hosting companies even charge extra for that type of service, so am glad you’ve know got a way to do so without getting your hosting service involved, YAY! :)

  3. Brandy Myers says

    Thank you for hosting this challenge. I am on self-hosted WordPress and use Backup Buddy to back-up my blog daily. Last summer my server shut me down because I was going over my usage and instead of letting me know they just shut me down. I lost 8 months of posting!! I worked with a designer/expert and she was able to get some of them back but most were gone for good. I back up avidly with the plug-in she installed now. A loss of one days worth of posts is livable and can mostly be re-wrote, 8 months of posts is a loss :( I can be found at at least for the next couple of weeks before I make a blog move.

    • says

      Thank you Brandy for sharing your story as to why we should always take care to backup our blogs. Hosting servers can be very finicky and just downright scary at times. Am SO sorry you had to go through that! :( And good luck with your blog move! Farmer’s Wife Rambles sounds fabulous!! :)

    • OlderMommyStill says

      Love the idea of a Blogger Tutorials page on Pinterest (those that I want to save are now scattered willy nilly over my computer)…hope you don’t mind if I steal your idea!!

  4. Jen @ A Cup Full of Faith says

    I have the plugin installed, but when I went to set up Dropbox, AVG won’t let me. It throws up a big red virus alert, and won’t let me run the installer. Any ideas?

    • says

      Hmm…. sorry Jen! :/ I’ve google Dropbox/AVG and haven’t seen any similar issues… AVG does have an “allow program” setting, I don’t use AVG so I couldn’t give you instructions on how to get there, but hopefully these instructions will work: Only other thing I can think of is uninstall Dropbox, remove the Dropbox folder from your AppData folder as well, restart your computer and reinstall. If neither steps work, I *think* you can use Dropbox for your WordPress backup without installing dropbox on your computer if your virus program is giving you issue. Am pretty sure the issue is that Dropbox downloads and uploads files on the fly with the desktop app (unless you change preference settings), so the fact that dropbox wants this type of control may be sending false-positives to your AVG program. The kicker is that AVG has their own competitive to Dropbox program called LiveKive. I don’t think they would purposely make it harder for competitor programs to work, but AVG should already be accustomed to what Dropbox is wanting to do. Sorry I can’t be more help!

      • Jen @ A Cup Full of Faith says

        I think I’m going to try it on our other computer. I believe we use a different anti-virus on it, so maybe it will work on the second one. Thanks!

  5. miki says

    Thank you a lot for this post, it’s really helpful
    i’m on blogger and i tried to make the button but in my toolbar i get a page not the B of blogger as the button is it normal?

    • says

      I initially had a page image instead of a blogger image at first, it switched over time as my browser realised the destination site was blogger. In any case, there shouldn’t be an issue as long as the link works! :)

      Fabulous on getting started with ifttt – I would just recommend keeping an eye on the transfers initially to ensure that you’re getting all the info you’re needing from blogger to G Drive.

      Have a happy blogathon!

      • miki says

        i did a post to check and it seems to be working and since you seemed happy with boxdrop i’ve added that too ( ion case google close everything i will have that back up ready)
        Oh just a detail: it make a back up of the blogpost but not of the new page i create is it normal?

        really thank you

        • says

          I’m 98% sure that the only thing ifttt will backup is blog posts, not pages. But backing up your blogger with the browser button will do so of course. If you want to back up pages to Google Drive as well, it will have to be done manually – though it should be easy enough with the Drive’s built in text editor, (I haven’t tried this out before sorry!) Yay for 3 backups! ūüėÄ You have a good point about Google possibly shutting down all accounts – I’m not sure what it would take for them to do that, but better safe than sorry, right? ūüėÄ

  6. OlderMommyStill says

    I did it, thank you for your great instructions! I have a couple questions – I installed the WP Backup to Dropbox and set it for daily at 01:00. There is a check box that asks “Store backup in a subfolder of the wpb2d app folder’, I’m not sure if I should check it. Also, should I excude and files or directories and finally, this is Plug-In # 12…do you think that will cause a problem with WP, I know it doesn’t support an unlimited number of plugins. Thanks again for this great post! { }

    • says

      Woohoo! Am glad the instructions work. ūüėÄ I sometimes have a hard time figuring out if I get too technical or what, lol. I have yet to see a need for using a subfolder, to me, it just means one more folder to get to for getting to your files. Unless its an extra security measure, and if that’s the case, just type in a LONG string of random letters (both Upper and lower case) and numbers.

      If you have room on your dropbox account, I wouldn’t exclude anything. In theory, its much easier to run a restore if you have all the files. I don’t think there’s much issue if you do exclude, because if there was then dropbox wouldn’t offer it as an option. Again, unless you have limited storage, I wouldn’t bother. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful with that question.

      WordPress only being able to support a limited amount of plugins is a myth. :) What this issue is referring to is the idea that sometimes plugins don’t interact well with each other, and can cause loading issues for your webpages. The great thing is that WordPress developers are striving very hard to ensure this doesn’t happen, and there are “watch dogs” that inform developers when their plugin needs a fix. I currently have 35 plugins running, and know that they’re all working well together, because none of them are calling on the same code and confusing the browser. But if you’re still concerned, Dropbox doesn’t actually interact at all with your other plugins, nor your site as a whole, except to make a copy of it for safe keeping, so no this should not cause any issues. If you DO get an issue (anything is possible), there are ways to figure out which two plugins do not like working at the same time and can be fixed so they do so.

  7. says

    I didn’t comment yesterday?! This was the first mini challenge I did. Something I have been waiting to do for awhile but thought it was so much harder. Thank you for making it so easy!

  8. Stacey @ Newlywed Survival says

    So happy you wrote this challenge! I have been wanting to backup my blog and wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. To top it off, I just signed up for a Dropbox account a few months ago…woo hoo!

    This was so easy!

  9. says

    Woo hoo! That was SO much easier than I thought it would be :) I’ve had my site hacked now TWICE – once, I lost access to it for almost two weeks while people were trying to fix the malware. Ugh. So I have been so wanting a way to back things up better.

    What a relief to finally have this done – and without a huge bunch of stress trying to do it :) You rock!

  10. Caroline says

    Thanks for the reminder. Hadn’t backed up my blog in ages.
    Also, some hosting packages allow you to backup your blog/site through cPanel (or simial dashboard software). This does a complete backup of all files & your blog database :)

  11. diane says

    done on one blog. Need to wait to get backupbuddy installed on the other one before I can back that one up. SOON….it worries me to not have it backed up!

  12. Kimberley Tobin says

    Done! Just set up Dropbox on my blog which is self hosted on WordPress. Thanks for the help!

  13. Kathleen says

    Help! I am a blogger. When I went to settings, then other, and clicked on Export blog it says “Safari could not update this feed because the source file is no longer available.” What does that mean???

  14. Create WIth Joy says

    I thought I left a comment the other day but since I don’t see it, maybe it didn’t go through!

    Thank you for this challenge – this was the first one that I did! I am at Create WIth Joy, self-hosted, at and my blog is now being backed up daily at 2 am. What a relief that is!

  15. says

    This mini challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. My other backup plugin just stopped working so I needed a replacement. This was so easy! My backup is scheduled for the middle of the night, so hopefully it goes smoothly!

    • says

      Hi Janis, are you wanting to connect it to a WordPress self-host site? If so, you’ll need to install the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin (will show up in your menu as WPB2D once installed.) and you would choose your settings in the plugin. Does that help? Not sure if I understood your question correctly.

      • says

        Oh I did install the backup just didn’t see that in the left sidebar – I kept looking under settings in both dropbox and in WordPress. DUH.. Sorry. YES YES you helped tremendously.

        I think I need to reinstall and am very very nervous to do that. I had upgraded to 3.5 and lost the ability to see pictures in insert media. All I see is little dots. And my scheduled posts don’t word. I updated to 3.5.1 but that didn’t help.

        Have you ever seen that?

        • says

          I haven’t seen that yet, but let me look around a bit to see if I can find an answer for you. There’s a chance that you can have that fixed without reinstalling a complete fresh wordpress.

          • says

            Can I send you a picture of what it looks like? Through email? I have capture on my MAC. And I did set the timer for one hour so it should have backed up by now. I really don’t want to reinstall but…

  16. says

    I have backed up my Back Porchervations blog and added the button to my toolbar. Also pinned the post, a tip which I snagged from Angie, another one of your readers, so I can come back and refer to this post as needed, especially for ifttt and zapler

  17. says

    I have to say that the idea of starting a blog is VERY scary and the learning curve is VERY steep. Where and hows, are many. It is not just about writing your posts. All the information in your post are so informative and helpful. Thanks, sometimes things like backing it up doesn’t even occur to the non techie ones like me.

  18. says

    I am always worried about drop box being hacked and people having back end information to my site. Love the tutorial though as I have always had trouble backing up my stuff. Thanks :)

  19. says

    I use blogger … I just finished backing my blog up, but I did NOT know about the one touch back up on the tool bar option. Got that all set up now. Woot!

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