Backing up your Blogger blogs

In response to a question from Hans Persson today on how to back up all of one's Blogger blog posts, I did some quick research into the topic, after recalling something I had seen about the Blogger Atom API.

Apparently, these things are not as apparent as one might hope them to be, as even Blogger themselves recommend backing up your posts by changing your templates to show all posts, republish, save the result somewhere, change back and republish again.

This is of course every bit as silly as it sounds, and far from the easiest solution, at that. Instead, I recommend doing like this:

  • Go to https://www.blogger.com/atom/ and type in your Blogger login information. This will yield you a very brief and to the point chunk of XML that at least Mozilla and Internet Explorer will render quite readably for you. It will go a little like this, with two almost identical rows for every blog you own:

      <link href="https://www.blogger.com/atom/19000527" rel="service.post" title="Some assembly required" type="application/atom+xml"/>
      <link href="https://www.blogger.com/atom/19000527" rel="service.feed" title="Some assembly required" type="application/atom+xml"/>
      <link href="https://www.blogger.com/atom/15626356" rel="service.post" title="ecmanaut" type="application/atom+xml"/>
      <link href="https://www.blogger.com/atom/15626356" rel="service.feed" title="ecmanaut" type="application/atom+xml"/>

  • Mark and copy the URL in either (they are the same) href attribute of the blog you want to back up, and paste it into your browser's address field.

  • Save the page. Done!

This will save all the last 100 (Blogger docs suggest 15, but are fortunately wrong there) posts, published and drafts alike, and all related information about creation times and other state about each post, in Blogger's slightly extended variant of the Atom format. To make a complete backup, you may also want to browse around the blog's settings pages, saving the blog template and perhaps a copy of each Settings page, so you can see how you had your date formats and whatnot setup at the time of the backup. I warmly recommend storing all of this information in separate directories by date and blog name.

The more ambitious of you may of course set up a cron job on some trusted machine that does incremental backups, picking up the latest 100 entries of the blog at regular intervals, storing them somewhere for safe-keeping. Should anyone have a better way of also picking up and storing blog configuration at large, your input is very welcome.
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