Preserving Online Content: Notes from the Geek Bar at BlogHer '14
In preparing to lead a Geek Bar session about Preserving Your Online Content, I posted some notes on how to do this—and some background on why I felt this was an important topic for BlogHer '14— on my blog, Obi-Wan Kimberly Is Your Only Hope. I'm duplicating the technical notes here for the entire BlogHer community.
Backing Up Your Blog
If you're blogging on a free or paid service, learn about what backups they're creating and whether or not you can get access to them. If you're paying for hosting and running your own blog, add a backup subscription service or set up your own backup solution.
If you're looking for something that will (likely) outlive you, submit your site to the Internet Archive for archiving (via the "save page now" form). Make sure your web page templates or robots.txt do not include NOARCHIVE.
Better Broken Links
Nobody likes getting a 404 (page not found), and they're not good for search engines or archiving tools if you want them to get your content! Help 'em out:
Run a link checker service to find broken links.
Install a link checker plugin for WordPress.
Add the Internet Archive's 404 handler to your 404 pages to help folks find archived content.
Moving and Taking Down Content
If services go offline, you choose to switch providers or domains, or you simply choose to take content offline, you're going to want folks (and search engines) to know.
Familiarize yourself with the HTTP status codes. Here's a quick review of the most relevant ones:
200 OK: This is what you want folks to get, in addition to your content.
301 Moved Permanently: If you're moving between services/URLs, you want this to be the redirect type.
302 Found or 307 Temporary Redirect: If you're having momentary issues and want to send readers somewhere else for a short time.
404 Page Not Found: The one we don't want people to get.
410 Gone: What you want to send when you've taken something down and don't ever intend for it to come back.
If your site runs on Apache, learn about Redirect and Alias directives which you can set in your .htaccess file.
Yes, there are WordPress redirect manager plugins, too.
Solutions for All of Your Online Content
What about your Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram pics, and other content on third-party sites? You can save those, too!