I had a disaster yesterday. You know I was talking about moving to WordPress? Well, I was exploring how I’d do this. I had a successful backup of the Blogger site, from the day before. I wrote a post yesterday, but the backup was near enough complete.
The disaster occurred when I managed to re-import this backup file, over my existing files. I can only say that I was expecting another screen to come up, but instead it said “Importing…”.
The result? Well, I ended up with two of everything. Posts, static pages, comments…
The main problem was not, though, the stuff I could see. Lots of these pages have links to other pages in them. When you write a post, Blogger assigns it something called a perma-link, so you’ll be able to get back to that page, well, permanently. A nice straightforward:
So then began the clean-up. From the Blogger UI, I had no way of spotting the difference between my original posts, and those I’d just restored. So I was flying blind. Furthermore, when you restore pages, Blogger must recalculate these permalinks. This wouldn’t have been so bad, except for my next step. In other words:
This image starts to show the problem. Page 1 was pointing to Page 2 still, but I was unable to see any difference between Page 2 and its duplicate.
So, I started deleting (what I thought were) the duplicate posts. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure whether I was deleting Page 2 or its duplicate. The end result?
I had this in all three scenarios,
- Page 1 is a post, Page 2 is a post (there are a few of these, but scattered all over the blog)
- Page 2 is a static page, Page 2 is a post (there were only 9 static pages, for example the “About” page at the top-right of the blog, but they contained probably fifty links to posts in them
- Page 1 is a page, Page 2 is a comment. Comments must be linked, internally, to some kind of “Post ID”. If the post subsequently gets deleted, the comment is an orphan. There were eighty comments.
So, having deleted the duplicate posts, that was the rest of Sunday. As you might imagine, I sorted the static pages (absolutely fine, you’d never know the difference unless you actually looked at the hyperlink) amd the comments. That’s how I know the exact extent of the problem. With the static pages, I even took the opportunity to bring them up to date.
But post-to-post? Well, I’ve looked through recent posts and sorted them. I’ve looked through the most popular posts, and sorted them. Third, I’ve installed a custom “not found” error page, which explains to people why the links might be screwed, and invites them to contact me. I’m not sure what more I can do.