Friday, 21 April 2017

How I Back Up My Blog Posts & Why You Absolutely Should Too...

Hi Honeys
Do you blog? If so, do you back up your blog?  How do you make sure you keep a safe copy of all of your posts, you know, just in case something happens and they disappear?

First, a true story.  I recently went looking for a particular post in order to pin it to one of my boards on Pinterest. Having found it I was horrified to find that a good deal of the post just wasn't there!

How and why you need to back up your blog

The post started fine, then around a third of the way through... it just stopped, literally mid-sentence. Everything after that cut off point was missing.  All of the images as well as the text.

I refreshed the page.. still the same.  I went to my posts page on Blogger and clicked on the edit option on the post to see what it looked like there.  It was the same!  

What had happened to my post?  How long had it been sitting like this?  Had people been clicking through from links on Pinterest, Twitter etc and finding an incomplete post and leaving angry?

Luckily honeys, because of a system I've used for as long as I've been blogging, a little over 3 years now, it took me less than 3 minutes to fix the post and have it looking good as newly published again.

Truth be told dear ones, when I first started blogging I didn't know what "backing up" was but I trained as a paralegal, a legal secretary, many (many) years ago so it's pretty much part of my DNA to keep a copy of everything 😊  Why not also my blog posts?

Of course I later found out that everyone recommends backing up our blogs but by then I had my little system in place and it was working really well.  I'm happy to say it still does, as is shown by this recent "the internet ate my blog post" moment 👍

Each time I write a blog post I do the same thing immediately after publishing.  I file it.  The text, the images, everything that makes up that post. I file it.  Twice.  So you could say my back up has a back up.  Best part is that backing up twice takes just minutes.

Let's have a look at my back up system then shall we honeys?

It really is very simple.

Start With A Folder...


On my laptop, which is where I write all of my posts, I have a folder on the "desk top" simply named "Rosie." Inside this folder, as you can see below, there are 4 folders...

Contents of my Rosie folder

These folders are:

1. Blog posts in progress - we'll come back to this in a minute 😊

2. Jade - yep, a folder with photos of our much loved furbaby so I'm never far from smiles, she's also on my phone and on my tablet too 😊 Told you, she's the centre of our world💗 If you glance to your right, you'll see her smiling at you....

3. Thank you - this is where I store all of my thank you images to send hugs to lovely people who like & retweet my posts on twitter. I make these myself from photos I've taken, which I hope makes them more personal.  Here's an example...

Rosies thank you card with apple blossom

4. Title cards - my final folder is where I store my title cards.  I made these to title my blog posts and you'll have already seen one of them at the top of this post.  I made lots of them in different colours so that I can match them to the subject matter of my posts.  For gardening posts or where I post images of our much loved roses, I use green etc ...

Title card for blog posts

In addition to these four folders, you'll have noticed there are five individual files.  These are "watermarks" which I add to my photographs when I publish them in order to identify them as my work and that they originate from my blog.

Now Make A Folder Within Your Folder...


Let's go back to that first folder named "blog posts in progress" shall we?  

This folder is where each post begins.  Inside, you guessed it, another folder.  This folder will be numbered.  The number followed by a name.  Not always the title of the post, just something I will connect with that post.  Tuna pasta recipe for example.  

I have now published, to date, 440 posts.  This will be post number 441 and inside my blog posts in progress is a folder named 441 backing up blog posts.  Sitting inside this folder currently, while I'm writing this, are the images which make up this post.  The edited, finished versions of them, as they appear here.  

Later when I finish writing and publish this post they will be joined by a copy of the text of the post too but I'm getting ahead of myself.

These individual, numbered and titled folders coral all of the pieces of each potential blog post until they are completed and then filed away.  Twice.   

Let's skip ahead a little honeys.  I've edited all of my images, written my post and hit the publish button.  I then immediately go back to my desktop, to the blogs in progress folder, and click on the folder for the post I've just published. 

Inside this post's folder there are copies of each image used in your post.  I number them, in the order in which they appear in the post.  In addition there will be a copy of the text of the completed post saved in Microsoft Word format.

Having checked all of the elements of the post are there, I simply move this folder to my blog post library where it's filed with all of my other blog posts... 

Creating A Blog Post Library..


In the card slot on my laptop I have a 16GB memory card permanently sited. On this memory card I have a designated folder simply named "blogging."  This folder is itself part of a larger folder named "Rosie Writing" where I store, as the name suggests, pieces I've written, whether completed or works in progress themselves. 

Back to the blog post library folder then.  This is where a completed post folder is moved to immediately after it's published.  This is also why I number them as well as title them, so that they remain in the order I published them.

My blog post library, or at least the beginning of it since there are now 440 posts living there, looks like this...

Developing a blog post library

Each of these post folders, as I said, contains all of the elements of that particular post.  The images and text.

Let's take a look inside the folder of a recent post where I shared how our precious peony roses were thriving in the Scottish Spring rain...

A folder containing all of the images used in a recent blog post and the text of the completed blog post itself in Microsoft Word format makes it easy to repair a blog post in case anything goes wrong.

As you can see we have the images used in the post, all with their "watermark" but I have also kept copies of the images, all edited but without a watermark.

I've been doing this for quite some time now in case I ever want to, in the future, self host my blog.  I would then have clean, edited copies of the images used in each post to add a new, updated, watermark to. In effect, I'm future-proofing each blog post.

So, rounding up then, each blog post has it's own folder.  This folder is filed into another large folder which acts as a blog post library.  I did say to you though that I filed them twice, that my back up copies have a back up.  They do indeed.

Backing Up The Back Up Copies... 


The entire "Rosie's writing" folder is copied completely onto a stand alone 1TB external hard drive.  It was a birthday gift from Hubby a couple of birthdays ago (thank you sweetheart, still loving it.)

So, each blog post folder is saved into the blog post library which is situated on the 16GB SD card on my laptop and is then also copied over onto the same folder which lives on the external hard drive. The blog post folders have then been filed, twice.  In different locations.

How do I keep track of the posts though you ask?  What if I'm looking for a certain post.  Do I have to look through over 440 posts to find it?  Simple answer is no.  I keep a notebook with each post named, it's subject (such as recipe) and it's folder/post number and use different coloured highlighters for recipe, home organization post, Ikea visit etc.

This really is the simplest system honeys. It's ridiculously simple and I swear it takes minutes to file each folder and jot it into a notebook.

I have no idea what happened to cause the recent loss of a good portion of one of my blog posts, but I was so, so thankful to be able to open the posts folder and be able to fix it in literally minutes instead of having to remove it or have to re-write it.

It really has taken far longer to explain my back up system in this post than it actually takes to do the steps required, honestly.  Is there an easier system? I'll bet there is.  The one constant in my life is that I do tend to make things difficult for myself but I really don't think this system is difficult at all.

Also I enjoy the peace of mind that I have a back up of my back up copies and as for the notebook index? That's just me I'm afraid.  I'm a born administrator 😊 and it also gives me an excuse... er... a reason to use (yet another) pretty note book 😊  After all, who can resist the notebook section of any shop?

Over to you honeys, how do you back up your blog?  I'd love to know, does anyone else use the folder system?

Well, I have to go get ready for work. Whatever you're doing this weekend dear ones, have fun and stay warm, they actually mentioned the possibility of frost on the weather report this morning!

Till next time, smile lots and hug even more honeys, huggles always xx
Huggles Always Honeys xx

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