You have a website on WordPress.com, and now it’s time to take your online presence to the next level. The features of WordPress.com may have been sufficient in the past. But as your needs evolve, it is time to think about migrating your site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
With a self-hosted WordPress.org site, you have full control over your site’s appearance and functionality. Including the ability to install custom themes and plugins, use affiliate links, display ads, and integrate third-party analytics.
Migrating your website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is not so easy. But with the right guidance, you can make your job done on your own.
This tutorial will take you through the step-by-step process, from backing up your content to setting up your new WordPress.org site.
So let’s get started and take the first step towards unlocking the full potential of your website!
Preparation Before You Migrate Site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
Migrating any website is a very tedious task. You have to be very careful and make sure you are fully prepared before the process. Otherwise, you may get stuck at some point where it will be impossible to return to the previous state.
Before we get to the steps of how to move site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, you need a few things to sort out. Here’s what you need to do before moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
- Purchase the Right WordPress Web Hosting
- Pick a Domain Name
- Install a Blank WordPress Site.
Let’s see them in detail-
Purchase WordPress Web Hosting
First, you need to pick a web hosting where you will host your new WordPress.org site. For that, you need to pick a web hosting that supports WordPress.
There are many WordPress web hosting companies available. But you need to pick the best one that suits your need. As you are migrating, it is smart to choose from the famous ones like,
Because they will provide you with the necessary support you need while migrating your website from WordPress.com to WordPres.org.
Pick a Domain Name
After choosing your hosting provider, you need to pick a domain name. It is very crucial to find the right domain name. Because the domain name will represent your business and people will find you using your domain name.
But if you were attached to the domain name you used in WordPress.com, you can also register that domain name. However, as you are migrating, you may be looking for a fresh start. So, register a fresh domain name.
Yes, finding a domain name is hard and it is even harder to register. But if you take your time and look carefully, it is possible to find the best domain name for your business.
Most of the hosting services provide the option to pick your domain name as well.
Install a Blank WordPress Site
Next, you need to install a blank WordPress site on your hosting provider. Most of the hosting provider we have mentioned provides one-click WordPress installation.
For example, if you are using Kinsta, here’s how you can install a WordPress site.
Log in to your Kinsta dashboard and go to the Sites tab. Then click on the Add Sites button.
Then, just add all the information you need to create your WordPress site and you are done.
See, this is how easy it is to create a WordPress site.
Now, let’s move on to the migrating site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
How to Move Site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org in 6 Easy Steps
To migrate your site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, all you need to do is follow these 6 steps very carefully and you will be able to successfully migrate your site.
The 6 steps are,
- Step 1: Export All Your Content from WordPress.com
- Step 2: Remove the Search Engine Visibility of WordPress.com
- Step 3: Configure Your WordPress.org Site’s Permalink Settings
- Step 4: Install a WordPress Theme
- Step 5: Import Your WordPress.com Content
- Step 6: Redirect Your WordPress.Com Site
Let’s see the steps in detail.
Step 1: Export All Your Content from WordPress.com
We will start exporting your content from your WordPress.com account.
Log in to your WordPress.com dashboard. Then navigate to Tools–> Export.
On the next page, select the Export all button. This will export all your content from WordPress.com in XML format.
Or you can choose specific posts, and pages as well from the drop-down box.
If you have lots of pages and posts, then it will take some time to export all. WordPress will send you the link to download the XML file. But, you can get the download link right on the page if you wait for some time.
Save the XML file on your device.
If you have lots of media files, then you can export all media files by clicking the Download button.
Step 2: Remove the Search Engine Visibility of WordPress.com
Before exporting all your content, you need to remove the search engine visibility of your WordPress.com site.
Go to Settings–> General. There disable the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” option.
Step 3: Configure Your WordPress.org Site’s Permalink Settings
Before you move all your content from WordPress.com to WorPress.org, configure the permalink settings. Having a permalink structure already set beforehand will give you an advantage in terms of search engine results.
Permalinks tell search engines what your posts and pages are about and thus improve indexing and ranking.
In order to configure the permalink, go to Settings–> Permalinks. There select the Post name. This will optimize your blogs for search engines.
Step 4: Install a WordPress Theme
Now, when you export your content from WordPress.com, all your content will be exported. But not your themes.
So, after installing a blank WordPress site, you need to install a theme on your WordPress site. If you want to stick to the same theme, then many WordPress.com is also available on WordPress.org. You just need to search and install the WordPress theme from your dashboard.
To do that, go to Appearance–> Themes. There search for your theme and install it.
Or you can download the premium themes from the likes of ThemeForest, and Studiopress if you have the budget.
Step 5: Import Your WordPress.com Content to WordPress.org
Finally, it is time to import your content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
Login to your WordPress.org dashboard. Now go to Tools–> Import.
Here you will find different types of tools. First, you need to click on the Install Now button under the WordPress section.
This will install the WordPress importer plugin.
When WordPress successfully installs the importer plugin, click on the Run Importer button.
Now, you need to upload your XML file. Unzip the XML file before uploading.
Check the size of the XML file before uploading. If it is over the limit, then ask your hosting company to increase the file size limit.
After uploading the file, you will see some options. You can import authors from WordPress.com, create a new user with a new login name, or assign an existing user.
Click on the Download and import file attachments to get all of the media files attached to your posts and pages. To finalize the WordPress importer process, click Submit.
Your WordPress.com content will be successfully uploaded to the WordPress.org site.
Note: Sometimes it may look like your export/import process has failed as the WordPress.org version of your website may fail to load. Don’t panic as this is normal.
Just go back to your admin dashboard and go to your posts page. You’ll notice that all your posts and media imported correctly from the WordPress.com site are now on your WordPress.org site. The reason the website may not load the first time could be that the page timed out.
Step 6: Redirect Your WordPress.Com Site
After completing the migration process, the last step you need to do is redirect your previous WordPress.com website.
You can use WordPress.com’s Redirect upgrade feature to set up 301 permanent redirects. Just go to Settings–> General. There click on the redirect option.
Then enter your new domain name in the box, click Go, and fill in your payment information. Note that you’ll have to pay $13 annually to maintain the redirect.
You shouldn’t delete your WordPress.com site if you are using this redirect feature. You also should not delete your old site if some of your images and other files are still hosted on WordPress.com.
This is how to move site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
Challenges You May Face After Migrating to WordPress.org from WordPress.com
So after you migrate site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, it is very normal to face some issues. Even if you have followed all the steps to the letter. After researching and migrating a site ourselves, we have seen some of the challenges a user might face.
We have listed them and also came up with a solution.
It is normal to see some broken links after a big change. For example, if you were using example.wordpress.com and then migrated to example.com, you might end up with broken URLs.
To solve them you need to use tools like Broken Link Finder to find the broken links. Then you need to manually change them one by one. It will take some time but it will eventually give you really nice boost.
If everything went well, you should see all of your images right away. However…sometimes things go wrong, and it’s possible that you might be missing some images.
If that’s the case, you can use the free Auto Upload Images plugin to import the missing images for you.
You can’t export the plugins you were using on your WordPress.com site. That means you have to manually install the plugins again on your WordPress.org site.
Also, keep in mind that the Jetpack and Akismet are part of WordPress.com. If you want to use them on your WordPress.org site, you have to pay the subscription fee.
In the case of exporting widgets, you need to install the Widget Importer & Exporter plugin to migrate WordPress.com widgets to your own site.
Make sure you have all your plugins installed first, otherwise, the importer plugin won’t be able to export the widgets and put the widgets in the correct order.
If you were using any premium plugins on your WordPress.com site that needed some configuration, then you have to do it again on the WordPress.org site.
However, if the plugins allow you to export their settings then you can breathe easily. Otherwise, you are out of your luck.
So these are the challenges you may face while migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and their probable solutions.
Can I move my WordPress site to another host?
Yes, you can. You can use a WordPress migration plugin to do this.
Can you link two WordPress sites?
Connect Multiple WordPress Sites Together Using a Plugin. Create a Subdomain to Connect WordPress Websites. Use Interlinking to Connect WordPress Websites.
Can I have 2 websites on WordPress?
WordPress Multisite is a popular feature of WordPress, which enables you to create and run multiple websites using the same WordPress installation on your server. In other words, you can manage several different WordPress websites from a single dashboard.
Migrate to WordPress.org From WordPress.com the Right Way
We believe that you have successfully learned how to move a site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
Migrating a site is never an easy job. But if you are patient and follow all the steps carefully, there is no reason why you should fail. A few bumps along the way are normal, but we have added the solutions so that you can overcome them.
Still, if you face any trouble, do let us know in the comment section. We are more than happy to help.