Review of BlogBackupOnline

by Maskil on April 11, 2008

During my initial exposure to blogging, I spent a great deal of valuable time going through the sidebars of other blogs I was reading, looking for interesting widgets I could include in my sites. (OK, I admit it, I still do this.) One of the more useful sounding services I bookmarked and then quickly implemented for my environment was BlogBackupOnline, then still in Beta. (Unfortunately I didn’t make a note of which blog I saw it on, so I can’t give a hat tip.)

So, what is BlogBackupOnline? According to their FAQ page:

BlogBackupOnline helps people backup, store, and transfer the content in their blogs.

With BlogBackupOnline, users can create a full backup of a blog, schedule automatic daily backups, restore a blog, transfer a blog to another platform, and export their backup file in RSS format.

Signing up for the service was simplicity itself, with only the bare minimum of details being asked for. The second phase in the signup process was to specify the blog or blogs to be backed up. This is done using the “Register a blog” page, and additional blogs can be added at any time. The page prompts you as follows:

To register a blog, simply enter the URL of the home page of the blog.

BlogBackupOnline will look at the HTML of this page to detect information such as the blog engine you are using and the content of the blog.

The following confirmation message was generated within seconds:

Registered successfully

Detected that the blog is using Blogger.

The following feed(s) were detected:

http://*.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default (Selected as Default)

http://*.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

http://*.blogspot.com/rss.xml

http://*.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Backups

A daily backup job was scheduled to run once a day.

You should run a backup immediately by clicking ‘Start full backup’ below.

Note that a daily backup job is scheduled automatically. An immediate initial backup is optional and completes quickly.

On adding my Tumblr blog, BlogBackupOnline was unable to detect the blog platform, but detected the RSS feed and offered to use that to perform backups from.

The BlogBackupOnline site’s functionality is fairly straightforward, consisting of the following main options:

  • Dashboard
  • My Account
  • Register Blog
  • FAQ, and
  • Help

There are also the usual pages for Blog, Buzz, Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, About Us, Partners and Techrigy.

Dashboard

The Dashboard page gives an overview of all the blogs you’ve registered, and is also where you will manage your Backups (or Restores; the Backups pretty much manage themselves).

A Manage button alongside each blog’s entry takes you to a detailed Blog Status page, showing you details such as:

  • URL
  • Title
  • Application
  • Author
  • Records archived
  • Last archive
  • Number of new blog entries
  • Space used

Here one can also set options for how/if media files are to be backed up, delete the blog (i.e. erase your backups) or linked files and add or set the default feed for the blog.

A top level menu gives you the following options for managing the backups:

  • Content (individual blog entries) It appears to keep multiple versions of entries that are changed during their lifetime.
  • Backup (manage your schedule)
  • Restore (not available for Freemium accounts)
  • Jobs (history or log)
  • Export (to download a file of your blog backup) The export file created will include all blog entries and comments output in the RSS 2.0 format.

My Account

The My Account page allow you to update basic options such as your subscription (free or paid), space used, password change and e-mail alerts (although I checked all alerts, so far I haven’t received the weekly summary of blog updates) and code for a badge. I haven’t seen a facility to change your default e-mail address.

The brief FAQ page is well worth a read for basic information regarding the service, including:

  • An overview of the functionality
  • Platforms supported
  • Which content is backed up?
  • Security
  • The need for backups
  • Account types and limitations

BlogBackupOnline initially appeared to be amazingly frugal with storage space, e.g. one of my test blogs used only 5.47 KB for 25 Entries. Lately, however, I have noticed that its appetite has grown; on another blog 112 Entries (text only) used 1.20 MB. In another example, 15 Entries used (only) 338.00 Bytes, while 31 Entries Used 53.27 KB! As my Freemium quota is only 5MB, this is cause for concern down the road. According to the FAQ page “If your average post is 1000 characters, that [5MB of storage] should be enough to store up to 5000 posts”. That’s not proving to be the case here. The only change that I’m aware of is BBO having moved out of Beta to version 1.5. Could this have caused its craving for storage to increase?

The bottom line? I sleep a whole lot better knowing that one of my greatest assets – my legacy content – is being backed up reliably and is available for recovery or migration to another blogging platform in need. All in all, this is Free Stuff you’re probably willing to pay for!

Sign up for a free account here.

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