I have wanted to transfer my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org for awhile now. The more I read, the more I knew I had to do it. I just didn’t know if I could do it on my own. Well last night, I took the plunge and officially clicked the “live” button on my new, self hosted site. I am rather proud of myself for doing this on my own. I am no expert, but if I can do it, you can too.
I’ve successfully transferred all of my old posts and managed to migrate all of my subscribers from WordPress.com. After a few tweeks, I have redirected traffic from my old blog url to the new one as well as fixed some broken links. This is especially important to me because I thought I would have to redo all of my posts on my social media accounts. But no! If anyone clicks on an old link, it actually directs it to the proper post on the new blog! Total score!
Firstly, let me list some of my reasons for wanting to transfer my blog.
- Stories of blogs being shut down on .com
- Plugins and more control over blog appearance
- Better analytics, SEO and data
I researched a few options for hosting and decided on bluehost. Not only did I get an awesome price, my new domain name was included. Setting up the hosting was extremely easy. WordPress is a one click install on the bluehost dashboard and you can also choose a fully guided set-up. That is what I did. Basically, I followed the highlights and entered the information needed. You can click on more information at any time. If you are looking into self-hosting your blog, please check out the following link.
***Bluehost is a good option for an entry level, least expensive hosting provider. However, if you intend on hosting a store on your site or have larger pageviews, I strongly urge you to choose LiquidWeb. I myself switched to them early in 2016 from Bluehost. LiquidWeb have a super duper help desk that is always there for you and are very quick to resolve issues. You can even opt for them to do the migration for you. Check out all the tools and resources I use on My Resources Page.
Once you have your domain name registered and have chosen your hosting package, you are ready to pick a theme for your new blog. For now, I have chosen a free one from WordPress. I am looking into purchasing a new theme. I wanted to successfully transfer my old posts from my WordPress.com blog first.
Once you have chosen a theme, you should see at the top of your new WordPress dashboard, that you are in draft mode and that your blog is not live. Do not activate your new blog till you make sure that everything has transferred, the links are working and the theme looks like you want it to.
If you click on view site, you should be looking at your new blog with one sample post in it.
Time to migrate
I am now going to take you through the steps I did.
- On your old blog’s dashboard>Tools>Export
- You will then be asked if you would like to transfer your blog for free or paid guided transfer. This is always an option for you if you do not feel comfortable doing the transfer of your blog yourself, but honestly, its really easy, so don’t be nervous, click on the free option.
- It will now ask you what you would like to export. I chose all content. This means that all of my posts, categories, tags, media and menus would be saved to an XML file on my computer. I suggest you write this file name down once downloaded.
- Now go to your new blog’s dashboard in wordpress.org.
- You will now be asked to install the WordPress Importer plug-in. Click install, activate, then run.
- Next you will have to choose the file from your computer. Find the file from above step and click open.
- A screen will appear asking if you wish to assign the old posts to a new author. You can choose to leave the author as imported or select a new name. Make sure to check the box that imports all attachments. These are your media files(pictures).
Once complete, click on view site and all of your old posts should now appear on your new blog. You can now set up your menus and widgets the way you like.
When your new blog is looking the way you like, there are 4 more things you will want to do before you click on activate.
1. Set old blog to private
- On dashboard of old blog>Settings>Reading>I would like my site to be private>Save changes
2. Redirect traffic
- On dashboard of old blog>Store>Search for Site Redirect.
This is a paid feature and it was $17/year at the time of this post. It is well worth not only redirecting your traffic but also preserving your ranking. When my year is up, I will look at the amount of traffic being transfered from my old blog and if it is low to nil, I won’t renew the redirect***.
***Site re-direct may no longer be offered.
3. Make sure all old links on social media will redirect properly
- Go to old dashboard>Posts>All Posts>Click on Edit for the top post. Underneath the title, you will see its permalink. Make a note of the format the permalink is in. Mine was http://www.livingwithbatman.com/2015/05/17/transfer-blog-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/ name
- Go to new dashboard>Settings>Permalink
- Make sure the common settings are set the same as above. I clicked on Date and Name.
This step will direct all old links on social media to the proper post on your new blog.
4. Import subscribers from wordpress.com
- Make sure you have Jet Pack downloaded and activated on your new .org self hosted blog.
- Use the signed in screen to select your new blog from the list. Do not use the WP admin dashboard, as the following will not be found there.
Screen should look like this:
- Click>Settings>migrate followers
It will then ask you which site to transfer subscribers from and if you are sure. Click OK.
A message will appear saying that they have put you in a queue for migration. You will get an email when they begin and when migration is complete. Mine was complete in 5 minutes. If you now go to your site stats on the new blog, it should have your old subscriber count. If you go to your old blog, the count will be zero.
You are now ready to go live on your new, self hosted blog. Don’t be afraid to transfer your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. I did it and you can too. If you are really unsure of yourself, you can pay someone to do the transfer. It all depends on your comfort level.
The next few weeks I will be choosing a new theme and getting to know the plug-ins. I will be updating you with my progress. Subscribe by email to my blog if you don’t want to miss any of my posts packed with blogging tips and reviews.
Are you thinking about doing a transfer of your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that I may earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I only recommend products & services that I use and love myself.
Check out all the plug-ins, tools and resources I use on My Resources Page.