Always keep a offline/offsite backup of your blog

Those of you visiting my blog here will find that it lacks a bunch of content that I’ve blogged about previously both here and from my very old blog called MSTechToday. Due to poor management practices on my part and switching from different host providers and blog services – much of that content is pretty much gone because I didn’t properly keep a good backup of my site offline.  I spent some time this week looking over years worth of backed up data and I’ve yet to find anything recoverable with regards to my old content.

Visiting my blog today you wouldn’t have guessed I’ve actually been blogging since late 2005. As I sit here thinking about it – a lot of hard work and hours of writing has gone down the drain. And it’s upsetting and of course my fault.

So here I am to provide some tips after learning my lesson here so that you don’t have to.

Always keep a offline backup of your blog (or website). Don’t rely on just your hosting provider to do backups. Do your own and keep it stored offline someplace safe (e.g. external hard drive, USB stick, etc.). For me, I keep a local backup of my blog on a second hard drive on my PC at home which is backed up every night to a Windows Home Server. So I have multiple places where my blog’s backup exists even if my PC or Windows Home Server decides to stop working.

If someone else is managing your blog (or website), double check with them if they are doing backups. I know quite a few bloggers out there who rely on someone else to manage their blog for them such as doing all the “behind-the-scenes” stuff. It is important to make sure they are doing backups of your blog. You should make sure they regularly provide you with a physical copy of the backups for your blog in some fashion. If you aren’t a technical person, it might be a good idea to get the backup and run it by someone else you know who might be technical. A second opinion is always good especially when dealing with your online content. The last thing you want is to be under the impression the person managing your site has been taking care of you only to lose everything you’ve posted.

A backup of your blog doesn’t just include backing up all the files – backup the database too. Many blogs today such as WordPress write a lot of content to a database. You NEED backups of your database to restore your blog. A theme can be reconstructed through files you backup separately but if you lose your database, much of your content could be gone. WordPress specifically offers several good database backup plugins you can use that make backing up your database super easy.

Hopefully you don’t have to make the same mistake I did to learn a lesson on backing up your blog. If you have any other tips regarding keeping your blog or website backed up, leave a comment below.

4 thoughts on “Always keep a offline/offsite backup of your blog

  1. Vanilla

    Sorry to hear you lost so many of your blog articles going years back. I have had you in IE Favorites for … I think since 2007 when I first got Vista on my old computer. I learned a lot from reading your articles. Also, will be looking for some great pictures when you take another stroll down Highway 12 to Yakima. BTW, I have the same problem with my camera … the batteries are always going dead and I have to remember to bring batteries, too. Thanks for sharing knowledge about Windows and others things you learn along the road …

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  2. Brandon LeBlanc

    Hi Vanilla, I am glad I could keep your attention all these years! I am looking forward to getting back out on Highway 12 to take a bunch of photos! I hope to do it very soon and will post them here and on my Flickr account. Did you move to Windows 7 from Vista?

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  3. Brandon LeBlanc Post author

    You should always have backups of your blog – see above post. In terms of protecting your WordPress blog – make sure your blog is updated to latest WordPress release. secure the admin account, use strong passwords, and make sure whomever you are hosting your site with is taking measures to protect your site as a customer if you are hosting your own WordPress blog.

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