How to Archive a Ning Site

Yesterday, I went through the steps to downloading and archiving a Ning site. It’s a networking site that I have used with a handful of people on our Western Massachusetts Writing Project Technology Team and, while it has been useful, it is not worth paying for. But I didn’t want to lose everything. So I decided to try out the new Ning Archive tool. And I took some screenshots along the way.

First, you will need to have Adobe Air installed on your computer. It’s a quick process and Air is used by other programs, so you might as well have it on your machine. Platforms like Tweetdeck work off Air, by the way.

Ning Archive 1

Second, you need to go into a site you created (the archive tool only works for site creators, I think) and go into your administrator tab. Down at the bottom of the page, you should see an icon for “Archive Content.” This is what you want. Click on it.

Ning Archive 2

Third, the site will give you the option of downloading Adobe Air and then launch the Ning Archiver. The archiver will ask you for the URL of your Ning site, your email and your password. This will verify that you are the owner of the site.

Ning Archive 3

Fourth, the application will ask you where you want to create a folder with all of the files.

Ning Archive 4

Fifth, you go through a series of options on what you want to download, including member information (only the most previous 400 folks, apparently); media files;  events; discussions; groups and more. The downloading was quick for my site, but then again, it did not have a lot on there to deal with.

Ning Archive 5

The folder now on your computer has all of the files from your site.

Ning Archive 6

The archive is stores as a .json file, which I had no clue about. So of course, I googled it. A JSON file is “is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate.” I hope that means it is easy to upload into another network, if I choose.

I’m hoping my process helps you, if you decide to archive and move your Ning network somewhere else. Even if you don’t move it now, you may want to save the content for another time.

Peace (in the transfer),
PS — These are the screenshots as a slideshow, if that helps:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I have several Nings that I need to archive and document work done. I also need to investigate the changes to the Ning TOS and see whether or not I want to continue recommending it to educators.

  2. I agree. Thanks so much for sharing and for the easy to follow instructions. I have archived mine and it was extremely simple to do. Not too sure what I’ll do with the archived files now, but at least all of the work done is not lost. Thank you.

  3. I did the same thing, but discovered the archive is basically useless. You can’t view them in any useful way (just text strings) and you can’t import it again in future. According to the following advise from ning, the only use is to supply the file back to ning in case you need to do a restore. I’m currently looking at using HTTrack to save the entire site offline, but it seems to baulk at doing anything for my ning network.


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