So you were running your blog on WordPress.com. As most of us do, once we think to start a blog we create a free blog on WordPress.com. Once it starts getting some visitors we go the premium plan of WordPress.com. Everything seems to be falling in place till we start thinking about design customization and additional features on our website. Also working out monetization options also become challenging with limited options on WordPress.com. Now we start thinking about a website on our own separate hosting with full control of every aspect of the website. Instead of taking to some unfamiliar platform, it is always good to take it to a similar platform with more freedom. Thus comes WordPress.org. WordPress.org can be installed on your own hosting and there is an almost infinite supply of themes and plugins for WordPress.org. The major challenge to accomplish this transition is to transfer the data you have on WordPress.com.
Why Should You Move Your Blog From WordPress.com to WordPress.org :
- Cost of Operation: There was a time when hostings were costly but not anymore. You can buy your own hosting at a very good price which will be far lower than the WordPress.com subscription. So it is financial more reasonable to move to WordPress.org with your own hosting.
- Hosted vs Self-Hosted – As we discussed in the earlier point that it is more financially viable to come to self-host WordPress with wordpress.org, it is also better than the hosted solution from WordPress.com as you can operate more independently with a self-hosted system.
- Customizability – With wordpress.com you have limited options to customize your website as you can only use the themes available there. But with WordPress.org you have unlimited options for customizations. The number of themes available for wordpress.org is way higher than the themes available in wordpress.com. Even if the themes are not enough you can make any type of customization in wordpress.org as it is open source.
- Functionality – The functionalities available in wordpress.com are limited while it is unlimited when it comes to wordpress.org. There are plenty of plugins available for wordpress.org as well as you can add any functional customization also on your website.
- Control Options – If you compare the admin panel of wordpress.org with that of worpdress.com, it has way more options in it. It gives you more control over your website.
- Freedom to Monetize – In wordpress.com you have limited options for monetizing while on wordpress.org you are free to monetize it any way you wish to.
What is the preparation needed before you start the transition?
Before you start with the migration you will need to consider the following :
- You should have access to change the DNS of the domain or Authorisation code to transfer the domain to another host. It is being seen that WordPress.com may create issues while you try to change the DNS, as has also been a case with me earlier. Its always better to get the domain transferred to the hosting service provider company itself for easy support.
- High performance hosting – As the performance of a website on WordPress.com is really very good. You need to find an equally good performing hosting service provider. There are several options available like Godaddy, Bigrock, WP Engine, Hostgator, Bluehost, AWS, Google Cloud etc.
- WordPress.org installation files.
As we consider that you have bought the new hosting and also have pointed the domain to this hosting :
First Take the Back of Content from WordPress.com :
Use the Export tool in WordPress.com admin panel and take a backup of full content from the old website.
Now You should install WordPress on the new hosting :
If you are working on a cPanel based hosting, it is really easy to install WordPress by using the Softaculous tool. In case your hosting is not cPanel based or it doesn’t provide a Softaculous tool by default. Then you need to follow the following steps :
- Download the latest version of WordPress Installation files from WordPress.org. It would be in zip format.
- Upload this zip file to the server via file manager or FTP account access.
- Create a database in this hosting. Keep the Database name, DB username, and password safe.
- Now run the WordPress installation by typing the URL and follow the instructions. It is quite straightforward.
Then Setup themes and Plugins as per your requirement, or I should say Design your New Website –
Now once WordPress is installed, access the admin panel and set up the theme and plugins as per your requirements. Make the basic settings done.
Finally, transfer the content backup you took from old Website –
Now use the import tool on in the admin panel of the new website and import the backup file you created. It shouldn’t give you any trouble if the backup file size is not very large and in the limit of server restriction. If not you can ask your hosting service provider to extend the limit temporarily. You can also try bifurcating the backup file in multiple parts and then upload them.
Though it is quite a simple process if everything goes as per the books. But things might go difficult if something fails. As I have done it several times and faced and resolved a new issue every time. Please write in comments if you face any issue. I can help you out with the issue.
The process of transferring your website is very straightforward and doesn’t need much technical expertise if all goes well. But if you face any unpredictable issue, it might sweat you a lot to find a solution. You can check out some common issues their solution in our General WordPress Issues section. Also, you can write down in comments about the issues you faced. I will try my best to help you out. If you found a solution also please share the problem and solution both.
In case you are changing the domain also don’t forget to place permanent 301 redirects from the old links to new to preserve the SEO of your WordPress blog. You may use Yoast SEO plugin to handle this redirection process.