How To Move Your Blog From WordPress.com to a Self Hosted WordPress.org Site

So you have a a blog all set up and maybe you have even been blogging for a while now, but you are starting to feel the pains of having a wordpress.com hosted site. You want to customize your themes and install plugins so you can monetize your blog and be in full control. Well, you have come to the right place! (For more information on the differences between the two, click here)

Before you get started with this tutorial, we would like to let you know that we can migrate your site for FREE as part of our Free WordPress Setup Service

In this article, we will go over the proper way to make the transfer from a WordPress.com site to a WordPress.org site without loss of content (including images) or search engine ranking.

Setup a domain name and hosting account

We have a tutorial on how to do this called How To Start A Stylish Blog. Click on that link and follow the instructions before moving to the next step.

If your WordPress.com site already has a custom domain name, don’t worry as we will explain how to transfer that over as well.

Once you have your hosting set up, continue to the next section.

Exporting data from WordPress.com

Let’s get your content off of their servers!

  1. Sign in to your WordPress.com site and go to the Dashboard.
  2. Go to Tools -> Export

tools-export

This will take you to a page that offers a FREE or Guided Transfer. Choose the FREE option by clicking the “Export” link as seen below.

manual-or-guided

When it asks you what to export, choose “All content” and click the “Download Export File” button. This will download a file to your computer that contains all of the information needed to move your site to a self hosted option.

Importing into your self hosted WordPress site

  1. Sign in to your new self hosted WordPress site and go to the Dashboard
  2. Go to Tools -> Import
  3. Select WordPress

If this is your first time doing this, you will be presented an option to install the WordPress Importer. This is necessary to complete the migration, so click “Install Now”

install-importer

Click “Activate Plugin & Run Importer”

activate

Click “Choose File” and select the .xml file that you downloaded during the export step, and “Upload file and import”

xml

Note: if your file is larger than 2mb, you may not be able to import the content this way. If this is the case, you can use WXR file splitter to split the file into an appropriate size

When uploading, you will have the choice of assigning the content to a user or creating a new user based on the content. This is a personal preference, but what is really important is that you check the box that will import your attachments. That will ensure that your images are moved over to your new server.

Redirecting Visitors

Because you do not have direct access to the wordpress.com servers, in order to send your old visitors to the right place, you can use their redirect service. Information on this can be found here. If you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of traffic, this may be unnecessary and you can just make a final post saying. “I have moved” etc.

We hope this tutorial has been useful. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the form below and we will try to answer them as soon as possible. Happy Blogging!