You’ve spent ample amount of time on WordPress.com, customizing it, creating creative and interesting content for your readers but then you realize that there’s a barrier that’s limiting you.
As a beginner you don’t realize that WordPress.com doesn’t provide you with varieties as such but soon enough you realize that you need a self-hosted WordPress.org platform.
Why WordPress.org Is Better Than WordPress.com
As a beginner people don’t realize that WordPress.com is limiting them from the ability to run ads on their site, experiencing the vast variety of plugins and customization without that many restrictions and that’s when they think of migrating to WordPress.org because it has all the prior mentioned perks and much more.
Before We Begin, Be Sure to Have This
Initially you will need a hosting account coupled with a domain name. Once hosting is sorted out, you will need to secure a domain name, something that is not already taken. However, the sites name can also be used.
And lastly, you will be needing access to your WordPress account in order to migrate all the data to the self-hosted site.
The following step by step guide will make the migration uncomplicated and easy.
Step 1: Export Content from WordPress.com
Once you have logged in to WordPress.com, go to My Site tab and click on WP Admin link to access the blog’s admin area.
Once you have access to your dashboard, next you need to find Tools tab and the Export option that will be available within.
After clicking on the ‘Export tool’, you will have to choose midst two options either Free or Guided transfer. Opt for Free and then click on ‘Start Export’.
On the page you’ll be asked what content you want to export, It’s up to you about what exactly you want to export, but the purpose of this blog is to guide for full export so select ‘All content’ and press the ‘Download export file’ button on the bottom.
The contents of the whole blog will now be in one compact package in WXR format.
Step 2: Install WordPress Importer on the New Site
Once the export file is prepared, you need to have WordPress install on the web hosting. For that go into your dashboard of your self-hosted site and choose import within tools and from there select ‘Install the WordPress Importer’
A new window will now show a ‘WordPress Importer’ plugin, click install, once it’s installed click on ‘Activate Plugin and Run Importer’.
Step 3: Import Content into Self Hosted WordPress Site
Now since the WordPress Importer is activated, you need to upload your export file. Go back to the Import tab within tools and if the plugin is already installed, you will be directed to the import page.
On the other screen you’ll be asked if you want to reassign these posts to new or existing authors, you can choose to import the same username or use a new one.
Once you are done with that, tap the box below ‘Download and import file attachments’ and it will pull all the content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
However, this can be a tricky process and you need to make sure that ALL of the images migrated to the new site and for that a plugin mentioned below can be of great use.
This plugin is easy to use and it analyzes the code of the images and helps in full migration.
Step 4: Redirecting Users to the New Link
With all the major work done, now is the time to tie some loose ends of the migration.
If you move from your WordPress.com without informing your previous readers then it’s very likely that you will lose them, however, you can do one or more things to not let that happen.
Either you can make a post specifically to inform them that you’ve shifted onto a new domain so that they can follow you there or you can use WordPress site redirect service which will cost you $13 a year, to redirect all the visitors to your new domain.
If you choose the latter then all you need to do is go on ‘Sites Redirect service page’ which will further guide you. You need to select the blog you want to link to by typing the domain and clicking ‘Go’.
However in case you don’t want to redirect your all readers to the new blog, you can set your WordPress.com blog on private under the ‘Site Visibility’ section.
Step 5: Install Jetpack (optional)
By now your site is fully migrated considering the redirect issue has been taken care of, this jetpack plugin is optional to have because by now there’s a high probability of you getting accustomed to certain features at WordPress.com so it’ll help bring over just that.
If you want to install Jetpack, you need to go to the Plugins tab within the dashboard and click on ‘Add new’.
Furthermore, you can also use this plugin to migrate all your former subscribers to the new blog through integration subscription migration tool.
The following link provides a guide to the best plugins that can be used to further enhance the productivity of your WordPress site.
On the contrary, Migrating WordPress.com may use some of your time but the endless possibilities that come as a result of this migration related to customization and development can’t be entertained unless you have your own self-hosted blog which makes it all worth the effort.
Author Bio: Faiza Farooqi is an Ecommerce Manager at Codup