Backup Your WordPress Blog

Backup Your WordPress Blog post image

It seems YouTube has been compromised. A script that is inserted into YouTube comments redirects the user (any user that views either the video or comments pages) to another website where a disgusting video plays. The exact nature of the website is unknown however it has been suggested that it can steal session cookies. Obviously there is also a potential risk for account theft, and infection by viruses and malware. I would strongly advise you avoid the website completely until this issue has been rectified.

Clearly things can go wrong online, so it pays to be aware and prepared. Recently Cindy had to undertake a ‘spontaneous blog vacation’ (as she put it) after her WordPress installation was compromised. The problem here seems to be that WordPress wasn’t updated when new versions were made available. This is a problem I’ve experienced with one of my websites in the past. Fortunately starting a new WordPress installation is fairly straight forward however if you haven’t backed up your blog you will lose all your content. You wouldn’t leave your only copy of your manuscript outside on a windy day so why risk your blogging content?

How To Export Your Blog

While logged into the WordPress dashboard, locate the Tools: Export option.

Exporting In WordPress: Dashboard Menu

You will be then presented with the export screen. Here you have the option to restrict your export to specific blog authors (assuming your blog has multiple authors). This might be desirable if you had a communal blog but now want to set up separate sites for each author. For the most part however you’ll just want to leave it as ‘All Authors.’

Exporting In WordPress: Export Options

Click on ‘Download Export File.’ A dialogue like this one will show up, however note that the look of this window will vary slightly from browser to browser. Make sure you select the option to ‘Save File.’ Give the XML file a meaningful username – especially if you have multiple blogs – but leave the date stamp intact. This will help you determine which backup is most recent at a glance if you have multiple backup files for the same blog.

Exporting In WordPress: Save XML File

Remember to back up often. If you couldn’t tolerate the thought of losing all the work you’ve done between now and your last back up take this as an instruction to back up right now.

Make multiple copies of your back up XML files. If your only backup is on your computer and something happens to your computer, then it’s all been for nothing. Consider keeping copies of your backup files. Put them on a CD or an External hard disk or a USB stick. Email copies of your XML files to your ‘cloud’ email account. Better yet why not save them to your Dropbox and have your essential files synced between all your computers? The 2GB option is free.

Realise your contribution to the Internet is important enough to take seriously and protect. Happy blogging and happy backing up!

2 comments… add one
  • Good info, John. I back up my files, but not as often as I should. What I am waiting for is an invention that would turn my blog into a hardcover book that I could read through, first post to last without me doing anything but sending a check and the URL. Now that’s something I’d buy.

  • Well Cindy there is a service that will do. Though I haven’t used it myself…

Leave a Comment