[How To] Migrate A Blog From WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Today, we’ll show you how to migrate from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

It's a relatively painless process that anyone, with any level of skill can do.

We'll be with you every step of the way and will guide you through everything.

By the end of this post, you'll have successfully moved your blog from the hosted WordPress.com to your own web host using WordPress.org!


Wordpress hosting - migrate to your own hosting server

We've already discussed in full detail the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. 

Briefly, WordPress.com is like Blogger. A hosted service you can create a blog on with no administration whatsoever.

WordPress.org is where you'll find WordPress the content management system. You'll need your own web host and some setup, but gives you full control over your blog, your design, your posts and your data.

Migrate WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Migration sounds serious, and it is. But it's also very straightforward.

Follow us through the process to successfully move your blog from one service to the other.

1. Get a hosting account and install WordPress

If you didn’t set a custom domain on WordPress.com, as a first step of the migration, you’ll need to get a hosting account and install WordPress for your new site.

We always recommend InMotion as a hosting platform: see why we love InMotion hosting here.

If you want to keep WordPress.com blog name, you'll need to install WordPress on a temporary URL on your host and change the DNS settings after the complete migration.

As setting a temporary URL differs for each host, you will need to look for your hosting company’s tutorial for this.

Most people will start with a new name as your old one will include WordPress.com, which we no longer want.

We won't tell you what to do here, but we would recommend starting from scratch with a brand new name.

Think of it as a fresh start.

dns zone editor

Most web hosts will automatically install WordPress on your plan for you.

If yours doesn't, log into your hosting plan, open cPanel or equivalent and follow the instructions to install WordPress.

Most hosts have automated systems such as Softaculous that will install the software and set everything up for you. All you'll need to do is choose a name for your blog and set up a username and password.

Keep that username and password safe as you'll need it to log into WordPress once it has been installed!

2. Export content from WordPress.com

To migrate content, we need to make a copy of data in one place and import it into another.

In this case, we're exporting from your old WordPress.com account.

This process will create an XML file that contains your posts and other blog data. We will then import it into your new WordPress blog to recreate those old posts.

Sign in to your WordPress.com account. Under the Tools menu, click Export.

This will take you to a page where you’ll be asked to choose between free transfer or guided transfer.

As you are doing it yourself, choose free.

export content

Then select all content and click the Download Export File button.

Once downloaded, you should see a zip file with your XML file inside.

That file will include all your published posts, pages, images, comments and anything else you used in your blog.

3. Import content into your self-hosted WordPress site

Once WordPress has been set up on your hosting account, log in following the instructions in your welcome email.

It's usually https://www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin - Switch 'yourname.com' for whatever domain name you chose.

To import the export file into your new host, go to your WordPress dashboard.

Under the Tools menu click Import > WordPress.

You’ll be asked to install the WordPress Importer plugin. After installing it, activate the plugin and run it.

Then, choose the file you downloaded from WordPress.com and upload it.

import wordpress

You will have the option of assigning your imported content to your admin account or create a new user. Choose whichever works best.

You will also have the option of importing file attachments, make sure this box is checked to make sure everything is imported.

In order to make the permalinks identical, make sure you choose Day and name in Settings >> Permalinks in the WordPress dashboard.

permalink settings

Day and name isn't optimal for SEO but it should help make sure the import goes smoothly.

You can always change it to Postname later if you like, which is the optimal setting.

4. Set your WordPress.com blog to private

Once the content is migrated to your new host, set your WordPress.com blog to private by going to Settings > General and find Privacy.

Select the Private option and select the Save Settings button to make sure it works.

5. Redirect visitors to your new WordPress site

Unlike Blogger.com, you can’t redirect your blog visitors to your new site for free. You’ll need to pay for the redirection ($13/year).

It's up to you whether you do this or not, much depends on how busy your blog is.

If you have only a few visitors, save your money. If you have created a loyal following, it may be worth the investment.

$13 a year isn't that much and means you can redirect your current audience to your new WordPress blog.

If you want to redirect, do this:

Go to WordPress.com blog’s dashboard. Under the Manage menu item, choose Settings.

Find the Site Address section and select the 'redirect' link on the page.

Add your new URL in the box, select the domain, pay the price and your redirect will be made live.

That's the last task you need to take care of when migrating a blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

You can now explore WordPress, experiment with themes and plugins and start buiding your new place on the internet!

Wrapping Up

As you can see it's fairly easy to migrate WordPress.com to WordPress.org, in just a few steps.

Most steps are very straightforward and web hosts tend to provide clear instructions. However, now you have read our instructions, you should be able to easily migrate from WordPress.com to WordPress.org without losing data.

Now your blogging journey really begins!

About the Author
Shahzad Saeed
Shahzaad Saaed has been featured in a large number of authority websites, as a WordPress expert. He specializes in content marketing to help business grow their traffic.

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