It seems like every year around this time, Google (the owners of Blogspot) go on a pruning spree. They start suspending and terminating Blogspot blogs for “violating the terms and conditions”. Despite the fact that many of these bloggers have done no such thing.
In fact, I last wrote about this in July 2013 (though it has happened again since then). One of the victims I previously wrote about was a book blog, Word Spelunking.
As most of you know, Blogger has been a pain in my booty the last couple of weeks, with deleting my blog (giving me a huge panic attack in the process), then restoring my blog, to only lock it a few days later, deeming it “SPAM”. Now, obviously, my blog isn’t spam and Blogger finally unlocked it and now it is available to view by anyone (Whew!). Word Spelunking
Luckily she was able to get her site restored!
Deleting sites with no warning
This most recently happened to an artist called Dennis Cooper. On June 27th, his 14-year-old blog was shut down for supposedly violating the terms of service agreement, but Cooper doesn’t believe he has and despite his numerous attempts to contact Google, he hasn’t received a shred of evidence or an explanation. It’s been over two weeks with no news.
This is the problem with using a free blogging platform.
- The company can shut your site down whenever they want.
- They have no incentive to double/triple check their information, since they’re not getting anything from you in return (no money).
- Even if you have a backup, it may be difficult to then migrate your site to a new platform while your site is still suspended/terminated.
At least if you were a paying customer, they would have some motivation to be damn well sure their information is correct. No one wants to drive away a paying customer unless they’ve done something seriously wrong on their site (illegal).
That leads me to my next point…
Technically this can happen on “self hosted” platforms too
A lot of people incorrectly say, “That’s why you should move to self-hosted WordPress, where this can’t happen.” It absolutely CAN happen. It’s just less likely and easier to deal with.
Web hosts have terms of service too. If you violate those terms, then they’re fully within their rights to suspend or terminate your account. HOWEVER, as I said, it’s less likely and easier to deal with.
- Since you’re a paying customer, the host will want to keep you. It’s in their best interest. They’re more likely to send you warnings first, or at least triple check their information.
- If your account does get cancelled, then all you have to do is take your backup to another hosting company and you can be back up and running in just a few minutes. You don’t have to deal with a painful platform migration.
What are you willing to lose?
Even if you don’t run out and move to self-hosted WordPress, ask yourself if you’re prepared for the worst.
Do you have a backup?
If anything, Cooper’s unfortunate situation should be a reminder of the importance of backups. If he had one, at least he could salvage his content and migrate to WordPress using his backup file. Since he didn’t have any backups, his site is now gone for good unless Google chooses to restore it.
How to back up your Blogger site
- Login to Blogger.
- Click “Settings”.
- Click “Other”.
- Click “Back up Content”.
- Click “Save to your computer”.
It’s also a good idea to save this to your computer AND somewhere else (like a backup hard drive or cloud storage).