A lot of people have been worrying about how to backup their WordPress.com blog. While WordPress.com has daily server backups, you might want to keep your own backup copy of your blog.
WordPress.com bloggers can now backup their WordPress.com blogs through the Export panel. Export your WordPress.com blog as an XML file for easy importing back into WordPress or another blog program. Or just save the file as your backup.
The Export will not backup your WordPress.com Theme, only the post and Page content, along with comments. If you are using the Paid Extras for customizing your WordPress.com Theme, make sure you save a copy of the CSS stylesheet file in a safe place. Same with the images you upload to your WordPress.com blog.
The WordPress Themes and program are backed up by WordPress.com and since you have no control over the tweaking factors, it isn’t “yours”. So that leaves content and images. Actually, you should have backups of your images because they were on your hard drive in order to upload them, so make sure you have backup copies of those.
For information on backing up your full version WordPress blog, see full version of WordPress backup technique.
Alternative Options to Backing Up Your WordPress.com Blog
There are alternatives. You can create a backup of your WordPress.com blog with a program known as a website copier which will copy your website (or the website of your choice) to your hard drive. I have used several of these and I like HTTrack Website Copier.
HTTrack Website Copier installs easily on your computer and acts like a web crawler. It crawls or spiders the designated website, per your custom settings, and downloads it to your computer. Instead of accessing your website via the Internet, you can view the whole site from your own computer disconnected from the net.
Website copier programs do a good job grabbing posts, pages, and graphics and downloading them onto your computer into a folder, but it can download everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Any link to external websites can also be downloaded along with your blog’s posts. Adjust the settings to limit the depth of inclusion, usually one or two levels will do the job, and do not include external sites.
I like HTTrack Website Copier because it is easily customized and allows you to do a range of site downloads. You can download the designated website or more than one at a time. You can set the depth of the links and external sites it will follow or limit it to just the set website. You can also set it up to act like a mirror, spidering through the web pages and keeping them updated. You can set it to only download specific types of files. You can set it to only monitor specific pages and not the entire website, and easily update your downloaded files to add new ones. Best of all, if your download is interrupted, it will continue later to fill in what was missed.
There are other website copier programs, but I’ve found HTTrack easy to use, I like the price (free, but pay if you like it), and it has great documentation, with screen shots to take you through the process, available on your computer so you don’t have to access the Internet to read the help files.
Once you have copied your wordpress.com blog to your hard drive, you can zip the folder and store it on a CD or DVD or another hard drive. I recommend you do this at least once a month or more depending upon how frequently you post and how important your blog is to you. It is also a good practice for any website so you have a dated original backup of your posts for cases of intellectual property and copyright infringements.
If you are running peer-2-peer file sharing or downloading a lot from the Internet, I recommend you turned these off and/or run this at night when you aren’t using the Internet to get the fastest download times.
With the full version of WordPress, you can backup the WordPress Themes, WordPress core files, and your database. To restore it, you reinstall WordPress, upload the Themes, and restore your database. With a website copy of your wordpress.com blog, restoration isn’t going to happen without some effort.
To restore your wordpress.com blog without the help of the developers and hosts, you are stuck with copy and paste. View the source code for each post in your browser and copy the title and post content and paste it into WordPress.com’s Write Post Panel, as if you were publishing it for the first time. Mark the categories and date and hit Publish when ready to restore the post. It is long and tedious, but okay in an emergency.
Hopefully the developers will add the backup feature to wordpress.com sites so the database can be backed up. Until then, if you are paranoid and want to be sure and preserve your precious writings, then this is better than nothing.
The following are some other website copiers you can try.