Response To: ‘The State of Blogging Sucks’

Craig Burton had a post yesterday titled ‘The State of Blogging Sucks‘, mostly complaining about the backup situation for blogs. I was going to leave a comment about how to do this in WordPress (since he indicated there was no way to do, which is wrong), but in order to leave comments on his blog I had to register for an account. Not something I’m a fan of, so I’ll just reply here on my own blog.

The 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.

I’m not sure why he cites the site, since it only provides the software, not hosting services. Perhaps he meant WordPress.COM instead, which is a hosted blog service run by Automattic (my employer). You can make a backup of your WordPress.COM blog at any time in the admin panel by going to Tools -> Export. You’ll then get an export file that can be used to restore your blog to another install of WordPress. Since this includes the open source software that you can get from and use any where, you’re pretty safe.

The same holds true for people running their own copy of WordPress, which has the same exact export feature.

If you are doing regular backups/export of your WordPress blog there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be able to restore a WordPress blog in just a few minutes. To make sure you keep the same look you’ll need to have a copy of your site’s theme as well, which is pretty easy to do since most of them are distributed as a single zip file. Same holds true for any plugins that you are using.

If you use the site. You are vulnerable.

I don’t believe this is the case. I suspect Craig just didn’t know about the export feature.

11 replies on “Response To: ‘The State of Blogging Sucks’”

Thanks Joseph. I do know about the export feature. While this is an ok solution if you are a wordpress user and plan to stay that way. It only helps a little to the blogger that wants to move somewhere else.

Further, the export only exports data and links. What about media?

The export includes information on the media files that you’ve uploaded. This gives the exact URL for the file, making it easy to loop through each one and download it to make a backup.

I’ve complained about the registration thing on Craig’s blog as well. Craig, if you need a “log in” type feature, can I suggest Disqus or Intense Debate? I’m getting tired of leaving comments on others’ blogs for you. 🙂

Also, Craig, regarding media, there are a couple Amazon S3 plugins that will store your images on Amazon S3 instead of directly on the blog itself. As for backup, I host myself on EC2, providing scalability if I need it (so far haven’t ever needed it, even being TechCrunch’d, TechMeme’d, GuyKawasaki’d, and more), and I send all my backups regularly to S3 in the cloud via s3sync.

There are other services that provide (downloadable) installs, and provide backup service on top of it all. Or you can always just syndicate your blog to another platform and do it that way. There are a ton of solutions out there. I’m confused as to what type of solution you’re looking for.

Good point, by serving your uploaded media from S3 you’ve essentially made it Amazon’s problem to keep the files available. I’d still recommend having at least one other copy of those files around, just in case.

If you stop paying Typepad they stop serving your media.

If you stop paying, your media is still available. It’s also hotlink-able.

Finally the core WXR importer actually handles media. It’ll fetch remote images and add them to your local media store.

It’s funny I knew about the export feature in blogs but when I moved to self hosted wordpress I forgot about it. Instead i’ve been manually backing up my databases. Thanks for reminding me of a simpler way to do it 🙂

One of my biggest pet peeves is a required log-in. We all fight spam on a daily basis, but I am not ever going to make anybody go to the hassle of creating an account with some impossible to remember wordpress generated password and having to click activation links just to write a comment!

I agree Chelle. As I pointed out, I am still recovering from moving my blog from Manilla. I don’t have all of the kinks out. I just added disqus a few minutes ago so you don’t have to login to make a comment.

Whilst it is true that for simple blogging, having an export file and your theme will cater for the majority of your backups, it will not extend to more complex uses of WordPress.

However once you start using more complex plugins (e.g. capsman), they need their own export/import/revert features (which it does, happily).

It would be nice if there were hooks into the import/export page for plugins to use.

(or have I just missed them?)

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