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Weebly Backups

At present all your work is stored on Weebly's systems.  If anything should go wrong with their systems - or if they were to go out of business at some future time - what would happen? Now is the time to start taking precautions:

Make a Safety Copy

Open Weebly and open your website for editing.

Click on the Settings tab. This brings up a page of choices.

Note in passing that here is where you can change the website name - when the club changes its name, for example. No, I don't know why we see the code "<br />" here either!

What's in the Weebly Zip File?

The file will have a weird name like 19544559724d07aa08dfa32.zip which you can rename as you like. We suggest something descriptive such as anytown-moviemakers-January-2011.zip

If you open the file in WinZip or similar you will find an amazing number of files and some folders.

Screen grab of the Weebly site settings choices.

Go down to the last option and click Archive/Un-publish ...

They will include files such as:
main_style.css a cascading style sheet - its purpose is to tell a web browser how to display the pages, which fonts and sizes to use, which background colours to use and so on.
about-us.html the basic form of the web page with that title. There will be many of these.
1256560.jpg image files - numbered ones are usually the small versions of pictures you uploaded which visitors see on the website. There will be many of these.
published_data.txt text files - there will be a few of these - most appear incomprehensible they describe elements of your website.

Restoring the website elsewhere

If you upload all those folders and files to another web host, your site re-appears in the new setting exactly as it was. We checked the copyright position ... and Weebly replied: "There is no problem with you uploading your Weebly site to another host."

Screen grab of the Weebly archive and unpublish settings.

Click Archive and Weebly will let you download a zip file of the website.

For reference: the Un-Publish option is a way of removing your website from Weebly's public website displays. It will still be available for you to edit on Weebly and you can publish it again from there. You might want to use this if you are undertaking a major overhaul of the website and do not want people to see the partly completed work.

Re-Creating the Website elsewhere

You could also use many of these files as the basis of a new website on another host.

The files whose file extension is ".htm" or ".html" contain the text of your Weebly site and some additional elements such as embedded videos.

One of the folders full of files with ".jpg" extensions will hold the pictures you uploaded to the site.

With those basic ingredients to hand building a fresh website should be much simpler.

There are nine pages in this series of detailed Weebly tips:

They support general articles on web design for film-making and AV club websites which begin here.

[Weebly frequently update and improve their system. These pages are based on tests in November 2010.]

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Page updated on 23 April 2011
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