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How To Set Up A Self-Hosted WordPress.org Blog

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!

transfer blog wordpress.com to wordpress.org

 

 

HOSTING

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!

DOMAIN NAME

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.

EXPORT BLOG

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)

1

Find Tools and click Export.

2

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.

3

 

 

IMPORT BLOG

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.

Tina x

I’d like to thank Rachel from rachelxblog.com who has recently moved too, and gave me some pointers as to what to do.

 

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19 Comments

  • Reply komoberi

    Does moving to a self-hosted blog making it easier to monetize from your blog? I don’t think I will start trying to monetize just yet but it’s handy to know. 🙂

    23 June 2016 at 11:12
    • Reply Tina

      Yes, you have control over adverts etc. When it’s free any ads shown go to WordPress rather than you. It’s something I would have to look into more, but I’ve read it’s a lot easier when self hosted X

      23 June 2016 at 11:15
      • Reply komoberi

        Ah brilliant, thank you! This post was really useful, it’s something I’ve been think about for a while but didn’t have the foggiest of how to go about it so thank you for writing this – I’ve even bookmarked it for future reference! X

        23 June 2016 at 11:17
        • Reply Tina

          Oh brilliant! Thank you! I was the same, thought about it for a while but it all seemed a bit daunting. The info I found was difficult to understand so had to share how I did it x

          23 June 2016 at 11:18
  • Reply This, tatt and the other

    Ooh, that’s mega helpful. A friend of mind offered to host mine on his server, but he’s mega busy and I’m getting restless! Plus I kind of feel safe in WordPress, if that makes sense?

    Do you still get the WordPress reader options and suggested sites?

    23 June 2016 at 11:38
    • Reply Tina

      It does make sense, I’m the same. Yeah, that’s another thing, I thought I’d lose the reader but you can still go on WordPress.com and follow people like before so it makes no difference. And you can add the like button on posts so people can still like things xx

      23 June 2016 at 13:42
      • Reply Tina

        Also, SiteGround were so good about it, it was done in less than 24 hours. I should have mentioned that in the post!

        23 June 2016 at 13:43
  • Reply Allison

    T

    23 June 2016 at 13:48
    • Reply Allison

      Oops. Anyway, this is so helpful Tina!!! My friend moved to the org a couple months ago and kept trying to talk me into it, but I’m definitely afraid of the unknown. You made this sound so easy! Definitely keeping this one for reference 🙂

      23 June 2016 at 13:50
      • Reply Tina

        Haha. Thanks! I felt the same, but it’s honestly so much easier than it seems. I was so surprised! X

        23 June 2016 at 13:51
  • Reply Jemma

    Wish I’d read this before I changed my blog over. You’ve explained it so well.
    Definitely a good choice in my eyes, self hosted wordpress is great for more advanced blogging
    xx
    adrugstoreaddiction.com

    27 June 2016 at 10:12
    • Reply Tina

      Thank you! It’s good to hear that from someone who’s been through it as well. It really does seem much better so far! xx

      27 June 2016 at 11:51
  • Reply Zenita Jemella

    Have you encountered any issues with stats and google analytics? I brought my blog over from blogger to wordpress.org through godaddy but my stats arent as accurate anymore.

    26 July 2016 at 13:21
    • Reply Tina

      I have actually. I have been using Google Analytics, but also Jetpack from my wordpress.com site so still get the stats from there. I think it’s likely that Blogger allows spam pageviews whereas Google does not, as mine used to and used to be higher.

      I would suggest getting a few plug-ins and comparing to see which ones match up a bit.

      26 July 2016 at 16:10
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  • Reply Jasmine Buckley

    Good to know for the 🔮 I’m looking at migrating mine from blogger to WordPress and I’m useless at Web design so will probably use Pipdig xx

    5 September 2016 at 20:43
    • Reply Tina

      Glad I could help. I find WordPress really easy to use. Pipdig have such great templates! I’ve never used one actually, but love the look of them. At the moment, Siteground are doing switches for cheaper if you are already self-hosted. Until the 8th I think. I wrote a post about it. But if you’re not self-hosted, it’s not as daunting as it seems xx

      6 September 2016 at 09:31
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