This week, I moved my wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted wordpress.org website.
There are a few reasons for doing this. For me, it was wanting more control over the design and features. You can have a lot of input on the layout and style in wordpress.com using CSS, but I wanted more and each time I tried, it seemed on wordpress.org there was a plug-in that would do it more easily.
I’m pretty good with all the website creating malarkey, so wasn’t worried about making the move myself. However, when searching how to do it, there was a lot of daunting information about moving. I ended up with lots of tabs open for each part of the move and feeling a bit confused and overwhelmed by it.
It’s actually much easier than you think once starting so I thought I’d put together a quick tutorial for anyone like me. While I’m no pro, I always find it helpful to get information from someone who has recently done something and has it fresh in their mind. Also, sometimes the pros can skip something that doesn’t seem all that important.
WordPress will do a guided transfer and help you, but it will cost about £90, plus you would still need a hosting site and have to pay fees for that.
So here’s what you do!
The first thing you’ll need to do is to sign up to a hosting site.
I used SiteGround, as it was cheapest for the monthly fees (can be paid annually) and the website was easy to get around. The customer service team were also brilliant and really helpful each step of the way.
This cost almost £40 for the year and they set up the new site for you too!
You also need a domain name. Your domain name gets rid of the wordpress part of your web address, as you will no longer have a wordpress blog, but a self-hosted one.
I already had one, so I set it up to point to my new website once ready. If you need one, you can also get this with SiteGround or your chosen hosting site.
If you want to transfer your old blog and keep everything, you can export the entire blog (posts, pages, images, and so on). You might lose your WordPress theme, but there are lots of free themes to choose from on wordpress.org.
You will also be able to access your old blog after the transfer so don’t worry about anything being lost.
To export, go to your wordpress.com admin (My Site > WP Admin)
Find Tools and click Export.
You’ll be taken to an options page with the choice of Basic (free) or Guided Transfer (with a fee).
Choose the free one by clicking Start Export.
You’ll be met with this screen. Choose All Content. You will either see a file, or a message saying that you will receive an email when the file is ready.
You need to set up a wordpress.org blog with SiteGround. They will help set this bit up (as will any host you choose).
SiteGround will also do this bit for you, but I’ll tell you just in case…
When the file is ready, follow steps as above, but instead choose Import.
Choose to import from WordPress and upload the file you received when exporting.
That’s it, you have transferred your blog!
You can then log into your new site – which you log into at www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
Siteground also did this bit for me, but on the left in your admin panel, you will see an option for Plug-ins. Choose Add New > Jetpack and you can import all of your followers and comments, plus other wordpress.com features from your original blog. This is great as it removes the fear of moving and losing everything.
Another useful plug-in to get straight away is Yoast, which will help with your SEO.
Let me know if this was helpful. If you have any questions or think I have missed anything, please let me know in the comments and I will try my best to help.
I’d like to thank Rachel from rachelxblog.com who has recently moved too, and gave me some pointers as to what to do.