I’m not referring to plumbing or digestion although that might make a more interesting post.
I’m talking about good old practical, common sense, you know you should do it, but may not know how, backing up your blog posts, members, comments and trackbacks. It’s all the stuff that actually makes a blog a blog.
Backing up important files is a smart business practice and many people extend that to backing up web site files. The thing that makes backing up a blog a little trickier is that you may have your blog design or theme backed up, but the posts themselves in most of the blog software reside in a database that may only exist on your host’s server.
You need to take the extra step of exporting this data or backing up your mySql database.
WordPress uses a mySql database and most hosts have some routine that allows you to back up and download a copy of your database. Here’s a great tutorial on backing up mySql from WordPress
Hosted blog software such as TypePad also has a feature that allow you to export all of your data and store a copy. TypePad export instructions.
It may not matter, but if you invest a year of two in creating lots of great search engine friendly content it could be a real bummer to lose it all. Especially if you thought you had backed it up because you backed up your web site files.
Your database files are particularly at risk during system or software upgrades. Just go do it and do it again on a regular basis.