For beginners to start their first website or blog, they often choose WordPress. There are two options: WordPress.com and WordPress.org out there, but for most of them, they have no idea about the difference between the two options. If you are one of them and create your first blog with WordPress.com, then you may be soon face a problem that once your blog grows bigger, you will realize that WordPress.com cannot support your blog growing further very well. So, WordPress.com is not the right choice for you to continue to work with.
Even if you may be not in the situation, there is no doubt that WordPress.com cannot provide you the same features like the self-hosting. For instance, you can run ads on your self-hosted WordPress blog, install any type of plugins for different needs, and freely experiment with various WordPress themes free. So, if you are still hosting site on WordPress.com, switching to a self-hosting plan is the best choice for long-term development.
In the tutorial, we are to talk about how to move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org step by step. With this guide, you can make the job done in just few hours.
Before Moving Your Blog
Once you make the final decision of moving your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, you have several things to be prepared for the process.
Firstly, you will need a proper WordPress hosting. For this part, you can check out our best WordPress hosting list that came out after we carefully reviewed hundreds of web hosting providers, or cheap Bisend Managed WordPress Hosting Review to see if the managed WordPress hosting is suitable. We believe there is always one that you will like to host your blog within your hosting budget.
Secondly, aside from WordPress hosting, you will need a proper domain. You can use your blog name as your domain name, or search for some unconventional and hot domains. Just remember your domain need to be unique, simple, and relevant.
Thirdly, before starting the moving process, you will need to install WordPress on your web hosting. Nowadays, WordPress installing has become very simple via 1-click installer which all good WordPress hosting providers offer in hosting packages. So, don’t worry about this.
Now, after completing the three things above, you can step to blog moving process.
1. Export Your Blog Content from WordPress.com
The step needs your WordPress.com blog is mostly like the following one, which is full of real content other than those placeholders.
Now, you need firstly login your WordPress account, come to “My Site” tab, find WP Admin and click on it.
You are in WordPress Dashboard now. On the left sidebar, find “Tools” and under the tab, there are several options and “Export” is one of them. Press the option.
Inside of the “Export”, there are 2 options which are for two different export types. One is regular and the other is a guided transfer process. Regardless the second one, and now just press “Start Export” button.
On the “Export” page, you will need to choose which part of content you’d like to export now. In this tutorial, we are to showing the process of moving your blog to a new host, so we choose to perform a full export, meaning to choose “All content” that will include all pages, custom fields, posts, comments, terms, custom posts, testimonial, media, and navigation menus. You can also choose partial export according to your needs. Then, process to press “Download Export File” to start exporting your files.
Afterwards, your XML file will be the first plave WordPress.com elves like to start to work on. The XML file will be in the form of eXtended RSS (WXR), which will include all content of your blog site in a compact package.
There is one thing you need to notice: because there is a limit on the importing file size in your new WordPress install, so if your export files are over the 32mb threshold, you will encounter some troubles in the following steps. In that case, a WXR file splitter will be need. You can use it to split your export files into those pieces more manageable. We mentioned this, just in case.
2. Install WordPress Importer on Your New Website
You have made your export file ready, and then you need to install WordPress importer on your new website. For this, you will need to go to your WordPress Dashboard inside of your self-hosted WordPress install, and find “Tools” again. Here you need to click on “Import”.
Now, you will see some options available. Select the last one “WordPress” to install the WordPress importer so as to import pages, comments, posts, custom fields, tags as well as categories from your WordPress export file.
Once you choose the last option under “Import”, there will be a new wind showing you the WordPress importer plugin which can process your XML file that is created lastly and make all your content be migrated. Press “Install Now” to process it.
Then, there will be a new page which confirms the importer plugin has been downloaded, unpacked as well as properly installed on your new website. Just click on the button of “Activate Plugin & Run Importer” to move on.
3. Import Your WordPress.com Content
You have made the WordPress importer plugin ready now. On the WordPress importer page, you can click on “Upload file and import” to upload your export file and import them on the new site. (Please remember there is a limit of import file size of 32MB)
When import files, you will be asked to assign authors for your posts. You can choose to create new usernames for your posts or just import the same author.
Besides, you can assign them to the existing users on your new website by selecting them from a drop-down list behind this option. It’s all up to you.
After that, you can choose to import attachments by checking the box ahead the option of “Download and Import file attachments”. The process is to transfer all images as well as other attachments from the old WordPress.com blog to your new WordPress.org site. Finally, click on “Submit” to wrap things up.
Note: When transferring images, it is always important to bout check whether all your images are imported in place and everything is working well.
Importing files with images is the part where most errors are likely to occur. Therefore, if you are just running a WordPress.com blog with s lot of images, then you may face that there are some images are not migrated properly, or even you need to upload things manually. In case of that, we are to introduce you a plugin to help you. Import External Images can analyze your posts’ codes, pull those accompanying images linking to the sources outside of your new site, and then upload these images to your new site. Now, you are fully migrated.
4. Redirect Your Users to New Website
To some degree, you have done the migration process after importing and uploading everything on your new website. And you will receive a screen showing “All done. Have fun!” in front of you.
However, to make the migration perfect without losing any readers or users, we’d like to talk a little more. If you move your blog without telling your users, then you probably will lose them. To tackle it, the most common and easiest way is to write a post specifically to tell them you have move your blog to a new website, meanwhile you should point them to your new site.
Besides, you can choose to take advantage of a paid service named Site Redirect Service which charges from $13/yr, quite cheap. The paid service will completely redirect your audience to your new domain. If you want to take this method, you just need to go to Site Redirect service page directly that will redirect you to your WordPress.com account automatically. When using it, you can simply choose your blog, enter your new domain, and finally press “Go” to process it.
Employ Someone to Help You
If you think these will waste your time, or have something else to focus, you can simple employ someone to do this all for you. Even better, Bluehost and many other WordPress hosting providers offer free website migration service, and you can make full use of it to save a lot of time. Also, WordPress.com provides a Guided Transfer which is $129 one time for one blog, but it only transfers blog to Bluehost web hosting.
Of course, if you are confident to your skills, you can have a try to handle this.
To transfer a blog or website is always a time-consuming task, but to have unlimited possibilities in customization and development for your WordPress website, so it is a worthwhile. If you have any things about transfer your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org you are confused, or you have ever made this process well and have tips, you are welcome to put it forward in in comments section.