It all started from a twitter converstation. (Like so many things these days)
Rob Paterson posted a note that after yesterday’s google fiasco, that he is worried about his blog. He tweeted to see if anyone knew a good service for backing up his blog. He then went on to say that he uses typepad for his main blog and that he really likes typepad.
I did some quick research, typepad has some fundamental problems. Here are some experts of the typepad support page:
Exporting your weblog content does not backup any of the templates associated with your account or files inserted into your posts. There is not a way to backup Basic templates currently, but users with Advanced Templates may want to copy and paste their existing templates into new text files.
Backing Up Your TypeLists
As with posts, you can also export your TypeList content to an OPML file. You are able to export notes from Links, People, Albums and Books TypeLists. The exception in this case is Notes TypeLists. There is not a way to export your items at this time but it may be helpful to copy and paste all notes into a text file for future reference. You can find more information under Exporting TypeList Content.
Backing Up Your Photo Albums
Currently there is not a way to easily backup your Photo Albums. To work around this, view each page in your browser and from the browser menu go to File > Save As > Web Page Complete to save copies of each page to your computer. The best option right now is to keep copies on your computer of photos you upload so that you can upload them again if need be.
You cannot create an archive from which to rebuild your site without A LOT of work, if at all. What the support page doesn’t tell you is that you don’t have a backup of the database that Typepad uses for your blog. Typepad “renders” a page from its database everytime a page is requested. You can only back up that text from renders. This sucks.
In my opinion, this makes typepad unusable.
The wordpress.org site says they make backups. I assume they do. But you have no access to those backups and cannot make off-line backups of the data found in your blog.
If you want to make sure that your wordpress blog is archived, you need to put your blog on a hosted service provider that will backup your database and let you do an off-line backup. I use Dreamhost. Here is the backup screen from their dashboard. I consider this an adequate approach. But you must stay on top of this. You could loose up to thirty days of data.
To do a bit more on this excersize, I checked out blogger.com. Here is what the support page says.
How do I create a backup of my entire blog?
Blogger does not have an export or download function. However, you can use the following instructions to create a single file with all your posts which you may publish and then copy to your own computer for use as desired.
In other words, blogger.com does not let you create an archive of your blog either. Just the data. Recreating your blogger.com blog should something happen would be difficult if not impossible.
I strongly recommend you find out if your blog is in jeopordy. I am still reeling from the transition to wordpress. I lost years of data, links, discussions. No thanks to Dave Winer. Dave, I love you, but I think you left a ton of us locked into your silo with no way out.
I don’t want this to happen again.
If you use the wordpress.org site. You are vulnerable. If you use the typepad.com or vox.com blogging services, you are vulnerable. If you use blogger.com, you are very vulnerable.
The best solution I have seen so far is to find a service provider that will host your wordpress blog and archive the database for you. You must also do an off-line backup and store backups of the database—not just the posts and pages—of your blog.
Recreating a wordpress blog would still take work, but at least you can do it.
PS. I scared myself writing this post. The state of blogging really sucks.