March 22, 2008

Blogger Posts: Backup, Restore and Even Import from Other Platforms!

Backing up your Blogger hosted blog is certainly reassuring! Unlike other blogging platforms, Blogger does not feature a backup facility though. Luckily I've discovered three highly useful and workable solutions which you could use to backup and restore your Blogger posts. One of these even allows you to import posts from Wordpress or Typepad powered blogs!

Create Backups using your XML Feed

Google Operating System has written an extensive post describing how to backup your Blogger posts, comments and images using your blog's XML feed.

This method would allow you to import these posts to a database, or simply copy and paste the content if you ever need to restore your Blogger posts.

Read more about backing up using your XML feeds.

Blogger Backup Utility

Blogger Backup is a free utility you can download which will create a backup of all your Blogger posts and save these to a location on your computer. This program uses the GData C# Library, and saves each post to a local Atom/XML file.

Once you have created a full backup of your posts, you can then use this program to restore your posts, or import to another Blogger powered blog.

You can also make a backup of any comments though there is currently not the facility to restore comments automatically (you would need to restore them manually instead).

You can download the most recent release of Blogger Backup here.

Blog2Blog Backup, Restore and Import Utility

Of these three methods, Blog2Blog is my absolute favorite (and for very good reasons!).

Paul Cooley of LinuxLore created this free utility which allows you to:

  • Backup and restore your Blogger posts
  • Import from Wordpress and export to Blogger
  • Import from Blogger and export to Wordpress
  • Import from LiveJournal and export to Blogger/Wordpress
  • Publish to Microsoft Live Spaces

I've tested this on Blogger and Wordpress blogs (both and self-hosted Wordpress) with great success.

I was very impressed by the range of features Paul has included in this utility, which includes a simple read-only viewer of downloaded entries and delete all entries for your destination journal.

Blog2Blog is a .NET 2.0 application and is available for free download. Backups are saved on your own computer and this is a breeze to install and operate (though of course, if you have a large number of posts it may take some time to import them!).

Read more about Blog2Blog and download this free utility.

Important Notes

If you use either Blogger Backup or Blog2Blog to restore your Blogger posts, you will be limited to 50 posts per day. This limit is imposed by Blogger to prevent spamming, and ensure the smooth-running of the API.

If you do have a great deal of posts to import to your Blogger blog, you may be able to ask permission for temporary lifting of this limit. A good place to ask about this would be the Blogger Developer forum (you're unlikely to receive a response elsewhere).

Why you should backup your Blogger posts?

Blogger powered blogs do not expire, and will not be deleted from the system if they are abandoned. But if you accidentally delete your blog or for some reason your blog becomes inaccessible, it would certainly be reassuring to know that you have a local backup of all your posts and can restore this if required.

Always backup your Blogger template!

It is also a good idea to backup your Blogger template (especially before attempting any template customizations). Download a copy of your template to your computer, which you can access in the future if you need to restore your theme (or your entire blog).

For Blogger XML based templates (Layouts):

Go to Layout>Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard, then click on the link near the top of the page which says "Download Full Template". This will save a copy of your full template as an XML file to your computer.

For Classic Blogger Templates:

Go to Template>Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard. Highlight all of the code in the box, copy this and paste into a simple text file. Then save this .TXT file to your computer.

If you have discovered any other useful backup/restore facilities for use with Blogger blogs, please let us know about these by leaving your comments below.

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