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Save that Post

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So you've just spent hours crafting the perfect post and you click the Save button and your post is gone.  The session timed out, the page isn't responding, or some other variant of the blogging nightmare happens to you.  I've been blogging a long time and it has happened to me quite a few times.  I'll offer a couple of really easy tricks to keep those posts around -- even in the event of an emergency.

Copy/Paste

One of the easiest tricks is to simply do a select all and copy of your post every few sentences. You can get really good at it if you learn the keyboard shortcuts -- "Command + A" to select all, and "Command + C" to copy. Doing this has a really recent copy of your post in the computer's clipboard making it easy to just paste it back if the browser quits, stops responding, or otherwise craps out. That is by far my top tip.

Unpublished Draft

Several times while writing posts I do my select all and copy strategy and then save an unpublished draft. It takes a little time, but could save you lots of frustration. Saving a post as an unpublished draft is simple little feature that lots of people overlook. Essentially what it is doing is keeping a server side record of your entry. You can leave it unpublished as long as you want and only have to switch the status and save again to make it public.

Writing Outside the Blog

If you have an idea you want to work on, but don't think you'll have Internet access to write in an outside application. Do your self a favor and don't use Microsoft Word as it deposits all sorts of nasty hidden characters and formatting elements into the blog when you copy and paste it in. I use a simple text editor to write externally quite a bit -- a good tool to try is the free Evernote application.

There are other options that allow you to not only write externally, but actually publish posts without going through the copy and paste procedure. As a matter of fact you can even use Google Docs to publish into your PSU Blog. I'll write up a separate post detailing that.

Final Thoughts

I guess all I am saying is take some time to capture or save your posts several times while writing them. It'll save you time in the long run and will keep the frustration to a minimum.

2 Comments

MT 4 has an autosave feature but it doesn't seem to be turned on here. Any reason not to enable this handy feature?

Unfortunately, we never got the autosave feature to work well. It would save only fragments of posts or not provide a user any way to retrieve an autosaved post. We turned off the feature in order to avoid providing a false sense of security.

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