Want to migrate your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org? You are in the right place.
The following is the step-by-step guide on moving your blog to the self-hosted WordPress.org. It features everything you need to know with simple and easy-to-follow instructions.
Let’s get started.
How to start a blog on WordPress.org
First thing first. You need to start a self-hosted WordPress.org blog to where you can migrate all your current content.
What does it mean to be self-hosted? It means that you need to find a web hosting company where you can register a domain name for your blog and where you can host your content and your files in order for them to be accessible for people online.
Here’s my guide. Please note that my blog is supported by readers. If you use the link below to start your WordPress.org blog, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I truly believe will be valuable to you in your blogging journey.Here are the easy steps you should take to start a blog:
- Visit Bluehost and click “Get started now“.
- Select the “Basic” plan at $2.95 per month. It’s recommended for beginner bloggers.
- On the “sign up now” page, type in your chosen new domain name and click on “Next“.
- On the “Create your account” page, fill in your personal information.
- Further down the page, select your account plan. All the “extra” packages such as site security and SEO help are unnecessary, so I recommend you deselect them all.
- Next up add your payment details. If you’d like to pay with PayPal you can click on “more payment options”. Then tick the “I have read and agree to Bluehost’s terms of service…” and click on “Submit“
- Your account is now open. You will shortly receive a couple of confirmation emails. The “WHOIS verification” email needs your attention. You need to click on the “Verify your email” button to confirm.
- Click on the “Log in” button. Bluehost displays several design themes on the “Pick a theme that inspires you” screen. You can do this later, so I recommend you click on the “Skip this step” button at the bottom of the screen.
- Your WordPress blog is being set up now. It may take a couple of moments so do hold tight until you see the “All done!” message. You’ll get an email with the subject line “New WordPress Site” too. Now click on the “Start building” button.
- On the “Welcome to WordPress” page, click on “I don’t need help” button. On the following screen click on the “Launch” button to launch your site.
- Congratulations! You now officially own a domain name and your blog is live. Anyone can access it by going to yourdomain.com. You can enter your WordPress admin dashboard by going to yourdomain.com/login.
What is the WordPress Importer plugin?
WordPress Importer plugin is the plugin created by the WordPress team to help you move your WordPress.com blog and content to the self-hosted WordPress.org.
It makes it simple and easy for anyone to make the migration. You do not need any specific skills or technical know-how. You simply follow the easy step-by-step instructions which I will explain in this guide.
Is there a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
Here’s a nice infographic that can help you understand the differences between the two WordPress solutions. Read more on my WordPress.com vs WordPress.org comparison.
Why should I move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
The main reason people move is that they outgrow the WordPress.com product and want something more.
This could be to save money. Or to have more flexibility and control in terms of how they present their content or how they monetize their blogs. Or simply to be able to create a unique designed website that does not look like anything else.
WordPress.org is the solution that firmly and fully puts you in the control of the complete experience.
How to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
If you started your blog on WordPress.com and are now thinking about making a move over to the self-hosted version you are in luck.
The process of moving a blog and all the content from .com to .org version is pretty simple and can be done in few minutes thanks to the WordPress Importer plugin. The plugin has been used by millions of bloggers already.
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Here is my step-by-step guide on how to move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Thanks to the blog redirection feature you will still keep your visitors, your subscribers and your search engine rankings.
- Go to the Export section of your WordPress.com blog
Sign in to your WordPress.com account. In the navigation go into“Tools” and click on “Export”. Choose the free option.
- Download your content as an XML file
Here you will be able to download an XML file of all your existing content. Choose “All Content” as that will save all your posts, your pages, comments, navigational menus and such. Click on “Download Export File” to save the XML file on your computer.
- Go to the Import section of your WordPress.org blog
Log into the admin area of your new WordPress.org hosted blog. In the navigation menu go into “Tools” and select “Import”. In the list of different import opportunities select WordPress.
- Install and activate the WordPress Importer plugin
Click “Install Now” on the WordPress Importer pop-up window.
After the plugin has been installed click on “Activate Plugin & Run Importer”.
- Upload the XML file you got from WordPress.com
This is where you need the XML file that you have downloaded from your WordPress.com. Click “Browse”, select the file from your computer and click on “Upload file and import”
- Assign content authors
After the file has been uploaded you will have the opportunity to assign authors to the content. You can either assign the content to a new user you can create on that page, you can assign content to an existing user or you can even import the existing author from your WordPress.com.
- Make sure to select to import file attachments too
Last but not least click on “Download and import file attachments” under the “Import Attachments” heading and click on Submit.
Import of your WordPress.com content into WordPress.org has now been done. All your old content now lives and is accessible on your new blog.
How to redirect your WordPress.com blog to the new domain name
In order to retain your traffic, subscribers and search engine visitors you should redirect your old WordPress.com blog to your new WordPress.org blog domain name.
In the spirit of WordPress.com not even that is free. You need to go into the “Store” in your WordPress.com admin.
- You need to buy the “Site Redirect” add-on for $13 per year to forward all the traffic to your new blog. Click on “Buy-Now”.
- Click on “Buy-Now” in the Site Redirect pop-up window.
- Here you will get the site redirect option. Type in your new domain name and click on “Redirect To This URL”.
- Do confirm that the new domain name is correct and click on “Yes, redirect it”.
- Type in your credit card or PayPal details and click on “Purchase Site Redirect For $13.00 USD” to finalize the purchase. Note that your order will be renewed automatically one year from your purchase but that you can disable automatic renewals at anytime in your settings.
And that is it. You have now created a self-hosted WordPress.org blog and have moved your existing WordPress.com content to it. Your visitors will be automatically redirected to your new blog too.
You are now ready to explore the world of WordPress.org and take your blog to the new heights. Good luck!