WordPress.com is the best place for creating a blog for the first time for free. This blogging platform is a wonderful solution for the beginners to start their blogging career.
You could get the basic ideas for starting a blog in simple steps using WordPress.com site. However, for moving to the next level of blogging to express more and to develop your business, the idea of moving from WordPress.com to the self-hosted WordPress.org is an essential activity.
This guide on how to Move a Site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is going to provide the details and steps for moving a site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org along with certain screenshots. Before going into the guide for doing so, it would be better if we know the difference between these two blogging platforms.
It is one of the perfect blogging platforms that can be utilized to learn the basics in blogging. This blogging platform is a free site which is offered by Automattic. Anyone can create and develop a blog for free. The web address of your blog that you create using WordPress.com will be like “abcd.wordpress.com”, and this blog is hosted on the WordPress server.
This platform could be the best suit for those who are looking for hosting their personal works. Though WordPress.com has all the essential things that a blog would have, it also has various limitations in managing the blog.
Limitation of WordPress.com
- You cannot use (install and use) third party plugins
- Limited collections of themes
- Cannot make money on the blog created by WordPress.com
- Cannot have total control on their site in aspects like custom plugins, custom code, FTP, and more
- You cannot use advertising networks on the blog created by it
- You cannot perform affiliate marketing on this blog site
This blogging platform is the next level that one should try after WordPress.com to upgrade to the next level. It is a wonderful solution for those who are seeking for earning money through a blog.
You can create any website and blog using WordPress.org namely business websites, online magazines, multipurpose internet sites, e-commerce sites, and much more. You can use this site for overcoming all sorts of limitations that we have seen in WordPress.com.
Some of the facts about WordPress.org
- To access this, you should have little basic technical knowledge.
- You can utilize any theme even from third parties, to install to your blog and websites for the better exhibition.
- You can add various plugins to your blog to minimize certain complicated tasks.
- You can also change certain codes according to your need if you are proficient in coding.
- You can monetize your blog using the following things namely Affiliate marketing, in-text ads, paid reviews, and AdSense.
- You can also design your custom theme.
The above are some of the interesting facts about both WordPress.com and WordPress.org blogging platforms. Now, let us go on to the step by step procedures that you have to follow for the proper execution.
Step By Step Process For Moving A Site From WordPress.Com To WordPress.Org
The initial process of moving the site has to be started from the WordPress.com site i.e. the old WordPress.com blog site. The image mentioned above is how a free WordPress.com blog’s admin dashboard would look alike.
It contains various options that you can utilise to manage and custom your blog. So the first step is you have to log-in to the WordPress.com. This activity will open the Dashboard of your site as if shown in the above image.
In the admin panel of your WordPress.com blog, you have to scroll down to see an option called “SETTINGS.” You have to navigate to this option and just clicking on it will show you a screen with options like General, Writing, Discussion, Traffic, Import, and EXPORT.
In these options, you have to navigate to the EXPORT option and just click on it. Clicking on the EXPORT tab would show you the screen as if shown in the above image.
If you want to choose out certain posts and pages specifically, you have to click on the down arrow which you can see near the EXPORT ALL option. You can sort out the posts and pages by providing things like author, status, start date, end date, and category.
For exporting the entire blog, you have to click on the EXPORT ALL button. After you click on this button, it would start exporting the files into a file of XML format. Once your export is successful, it would notify you to download.
You can download this file by clicking on the DOWNLOAD button as shown in the image. Also, the download link of the XML file will also get sent to your email ID that you are given with this blog.
Now, your job in the WordPress.com site is almost over. The next step is installing WordPress and importing the files that we have downloaded before. If you are going to move a WordPress.com site that is has a custom domain, you have to edit the host file.
This process is to ensure access the site without modifying the name servers. If you are not using a custom domain, then nothing is there to get worried. Installing WordPress is just a simple process that you have to carry out through a hosting site.
The hosting site which we are mentioning here is Bluehost. You can use this site to register a domain name and get hosting for your new WordPress.org (self-hosted) site. For domain name and hosting, various packages are provided with it. You can choose your package according to your wish and need.
Once you complete all the process in registering a domain name and purchasing hosting services, you can see the page as if shown in the above image. The above image illustrates the Dashboard of the Bluehost account after you log-in to it.
On the dashboard of Bluehost, you could see various icons for different functionalities. In those, you have to scroll down to see a tray called WEBSITE. In this tray, you can see various icons with names like Website Manager, Install WordPress, WordPress Themes, Use Weebly, and much more.
It is the place that you are going to use for installing WordPress. You have to just click on the INSTALL WORDPRESS icon in this tray. After clicking install, it would take some more simple steps for finishing the configuration.
After finishing all the installation processes of WordPress, you will get a screen as is shown in the above image. The image mentioned above illustrates the Dashboard of the WordPress site that you have created. This dashboard has to be utilized for various operations in customizing and managing your website or blog.
After opening the Dashboard, make sure you delete all the default things that present in your blog namely post and page. The next thing that you have to do is you have to scroll down to the SETTINGS option.
In the SETTINGS option, you will get a drop down list with options like General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, Media, and Permalinks. In these options, you have to navigate to Permalinks and just click on it. In the permalinks, you should just select the “Day and name” to choose it as the permalink structure. In short, follow Settings>> Permalinks>> Day and name.
The next phase of this process is shown in the above image. On the Dashboard of your WordPress.org site, you have to click on the TOOLS option. In that, you have to click on the IMPORT option. Choosing this option will show you the screen as is shown in the above image.
In this screen, you have to click on the WordPress option as mentioned in the image with the label number #2.
Once you click on the WordPress option as mentioned in the previous step, it would prompt you to install a plugin called WordPress Importer plugin.
The above is how it would prompt you to install showing the description, installation, change log and more details regarding the plugin. In this, you have to click on the Install now option which is indicated using an arrow mark in the image above.
After the installation, you can upload the XML file that you have previously downloaded from the old website of WordPress.com. To upload the XML file, you can choose the file from the desired location and can upload the file and import it.
Before you upload the XML file, check the maximum size limit that you can upload. If your XML file is bigger than the limit, you can either ask your hosting company to increase the size of the limit or can use XML splitter and can upload it in multiple times. You can also increase the limit of upload by editing the php.ini file.
After you upload and import the XML file as mentioned in the previous step, the next step would prompt you to assign the author for the import file. To import the attachments namely media files like image and videos, you can use the import attachments options.
For this, you have to check the option called “Download and import file attachments.” Sometimes, if the attachments are much to download, it would fail to import entirely. In such case, you have to try this process again and again till all the imports get finished.
If you find such failures even after multiple tries, you can also make use of plugins specifically made for importing images from WordPress.com sites.
If you could not import all the images, you can take advantage of a plugin like IMPORT EXTERNAL IMAGES. It is one of the perfect plugins that you can use for importing all the external images to your hosting account blog.
Search for this plugin in the WordPress.org plugins directory and install & activate this plugin on your WordPress. After that, you have to navigate to the media tab and just click on it.
Once you click on this tab, you will get a drop down list with options like Library, Add New, and Import images. In these options, you have to click on the Import Images option.
This activity will open a screen with an IMPORT IMAGES NOW button. You have to click on the IMPORT IMAGES NOW button. This process is what the above image illustrates. That’s it!
The steps mentioned above are to be followed for moving a site from the WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
Now, let us look at things like redirecting to the official site if the viewers open the old website of WordPress.com. For this, you can use the official site redirect add-on. You can perform this if and only if you did not use a custom domain name on the old website.
For redirecting the users to your new website, you need to add the WordPress.com blog or site address and have to find a way to redirect them to the new site. Doing this kind of works would not let losing of regular organic traffic.
The best add-on for redirecting purpose which is offered by WordPress is Site Redirect. Though it is a paid add-on, it is worth it. It costs around $13 per year. This add-on provides you with the service of 301 permanent redirects. This redirect is found to be search engine friendly. Hence, you may not lose your regular traffic even after migration.
Redirecting to the new site
For this purpose, you have to go the WordPress.com Admin’s Dashboard. In that, you have to go to the STORE option and just click on to open it. In the store, you have to search for SITE REDIRECT add-on.
Once you get that add-on, you have to buy it and enter the details like domain name of the new website. That is it!
This add-on will make further redirects to the new website with 301 redirections i.e. SEO friendly redirections. The above image shows you the Site Redirect add-on in the WordPress.com store.
Dos and Don’ts after migration from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
- You should not delete your WordPress.com website or blog if you are availing the redirecting feature using the Add-on which we mentioned before (Site Redirect). And also, you should not delete your old site if some of your files like images are found to get hosted on WordPress.com after migration.
- You have to remove the search engine visibility of the WordPress.com site. So that, the search engines could not index this site hence after. For changing the search engine visibility settings, you have to open the settings option on the dashboard. In that, open the READING option and remove the “SEARCH ENGINE VISIBILITY” check box. Removing the search engine visibility will not affect the current blog in either way.
- For transferring the subscribers in the WordPress.com site to your new site, you can make use of the plugin called Jetpack.
- If you paid for upgrade plans in WordPress.com, you could request a full refund in the case of migration. One thing that you have to keep it in mind is you can cancel the purchase on plans and others within 30 days from the day of purchase. And for the purchase of domain registration have to be cancelled within 48 hours from the time of registration.
Some awesome facts about WordPress
- Websites like Forbes, TechCrunch, CNN, and much more are powered by the WordPress VIP.
- It is found that around twenty-seven percent of the websites all over the world are created using WordPress.
- You can also do migrate a blog from blogger.com to a WordPress.org blog (self-hosted).
- By installing WordPress to the local server, you can learn, develop, and test anything on WordPress. WordPress can be installed locally on both Windows and Mac systems.
- It is one of the finest websites and blogging platforms to create a whole marketplace for both individuals and organisations in making money.
- WordPress can be utilized for making any kind of websites like affiliate systems, portfolio websites, directory websites, ticketing systems, online markets, and much more.
- There are various kinds of plugins available on WordPress which makes it suitable for any kind of websites and blogs.
- WordPress Mobile application is also available which can be availed for the popular mobile platforms like Android, iOS, and Blackberry.
I hope the tutorial was easy for you to understand and implement. By now, you would have got a clear cut idea about transferring a site from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org site.
In spite of its ease of doing so, certain things have to be done carefully for a full-fledged output. It includes things like importing large XML files, importing too many attachments and more.
So, carefully follow each and every step for error free output. For more doubts feel free to question us.