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How to Properly Move Your Blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Do you want to move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

Many beginners often start with WordPress.com, but they soon realize its limitations and want to switch to the self-hosted WordPress.org platform.

In this step by step guide, we’ll show you how to properly move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

Moving WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Why Move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

WordPress.com allows anyone to start a blog by creating an account. However, beginners soon realize that there are a lot of limitations on their free WordPress.com blog like limited ability to monetize, can’t install plugins, third-party ads displayed to your users, and more.

This is why users soon switch to the more powerful and popular self-hosted WordPress.org platform.

To understand the differences between the two platforms, see our full comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

We recommend using WordPress.org because it gives you complete ownership of your website and the freedom to control all its features. To learn more about all these features, see our complete WordPress review with pros and cons.

That being said, let’s look at how to properly migrate your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

Things You Need Before You Start

To start with self-hosted WordPress.org, you’ll need a WordPress hosting account and a domain name.

We recommend using Bluehost because they are one of the largest hosting companies in the world, and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

They are also offering WPBeginner users a free domain name and a 60% discount on web hosting. Basically, you can get started for $2.75 / month (and this also includes free SSL).

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

If your WordPress site already has a custom domain name, then you’ll still need web hosting. Go ahead and signup with Bluehost and under the domain step, add your blog domain. We will show you how to keep the same domain while transferring from WordPress.com to WordPress.org without losing search rankings in the later steps.

Aside from the hosting account, you’ll also need access to your WordPress.com account, so you can easily move all of your posts, pages, images, comments, and other data over to your self-hosted WordPress site.

Bonus Free Offer: Since a lot of you asked for this, we are now offering free migration service from WordPress.com to WordPress.org as part of our free WordPress blog setup service. During this guided transfer, one of our expert team members will do the entire migration for you (100% free). This means you can switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org without any risk.

However, if you are someone who likes learning and doing things yourself, then you can follow our step by step tutorial below.

Video Tutorial

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If you’d prefer written instructions, then just keep reading.

Step 1: Exporting Data from WordPress.com

First, you need to sign in to your WordPress.com site and go to your account dashboard. From the left column, you need to click on the Tools » Export menu and then click on the ‘Export All’ button.

Export all content from WordPress.com

This allows you to export your WordPress site. Once the export file is ready, a download link will be visible. You can click to download the zip file on your computer.

WordPress.com will also email the link to your email address.

Downloading WordPress.com export file

Once you have downloaded the file to your computer, you need to unzip it. Inside it, you’ll find an XML file that has all of your posts, pages, images, comments, custom fields, categories, tags, navigation menus, and other data.

Step 2: Setting up WordPress

Now that you have exported your WordPress.com data, the next step is to set up a fresh WordPress install on your web hosting.

WordPress is very easy to install, and it only takes a few clicks. If you signed up with Bluehost like we mentioned above, then WordPress will be automatically installed for you.

Alternatively, if you choose a different hosting service, then you can follow our step-by-step tutorial on how to install WordPress within 5 minutes.

Once you have installed WordPress, it is time to import your content into your new self-hosted WordPress website.

Step 3: Importing Content into Self Hosted WordPress Site

In order to import your old WordPress.com site content to your new WordPress.org site, you will need to login to your freshly installed WordPress website’s admin area. From here you need to visit the Tools » Import page and click on the ‘Install Now’ button below WordPress.

Install WordPress importer

WordPress will now install the WordPress importer for you. Once it’s done, you need to click on the ‘Run importer’ link to continue.

Run importer

It will take you to a screen where you will be asked to upload your WordPress.com XML file that you downloaded in step 1 of this tutorial.

Upload import file

Note: if your file size is larger than 2MB, then you have two options. One is to ask your web hosting company to increase that limit temporarily, so you can get on with the process. The other option would be to split your file by using a WXR file splitter.

When you start importing, you will have the option of assigning imported content to an existing user or create a new user. You’ll also have the option to import file attachments. It is very important that you check this box, so your image files are imported properly.

Import options

Step 4: Importing Your Blogroll Links

If you had been using the Links feature on your WordPress.com blog to store blogroll or other links, then you need to follow these instructions to import them. Users who were not using this feature can skip to Step 5.

WordPress does not natively support blogroll feature. If you don’t have too many links in your blogroll, then see our guide on how to add blogroll links in WordPress without using a plugin.

However, if you have too many links, or you would like to keep the blogroll functionality, then continue reading.

Blogroll links are exported in OPML format. It is an XML format that allows you to export and import your links and link categories. Your WordPress.com links have an OPML file located at an address like this:

http://example.wordpress.com/wp-links-opml.php

Replace example with your WordPress.com blog’s subdomain. If you are using a custom domain with your WordPress.com website, then your OPML file can be accessed by visiting a URL like this:

http://www.example.com/wp-links-opml.php

Your OPML file will open in your browser window, and you need to save it to your desktop. Press CTRL+S (Command+S on Mac) to save the file on your computer.

Blogroll export file

Now that you have a backup of your WordPress.com links, the next step is to import them into WordPress. However, self-hosted WordPress does not have a link manager enabled by default.

You will need to install and activate the Link Manager plugin. The plugin’s page says it hasn’t been updated in many years. That’s because it didn’t need updating, and you can confidently install this plugin.

Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item in your WordPress admin bar labeled ‘Links’.

Link manager enabled in WordPress

Next, you need to install and activate the OPML Importer plugin. This plugin simply enables a new importer tool that allows you to import blogroll links.

Upon activation, you need to visit the Tools » Import page and click on ‘Run Importer’ link below the Blogroll importer.

Blogroll importer

On the Blogroll importer page, you need to upload the OPML file you saved earlier and click on the import OPML file button.

Importing blogroll

WordPress will now import your links and link categories from the OPML file. You will be able to see the progress and on completion, you will see the success message.

Successful completion of blogroll link import

Step 5: Setting your WordPress.com blog to private

Now, if you don’t want to redirect your old users to your new site, then this will be your final step.

First, visit your old blog’s WordPress.com dashboard. From the left menu, you need to click on Settings » General menu and scroll down to the ‘Privacy’ section.

Set your blog to private

From here, you need to select ‘Private’ option and then click on the ‘Save settings’ button. This will make your old WordPress.com blog private, and it will only be visible to you or other logged-in users that you approve.

Attention: If you have been writing for some time, and you have a loyal audience, then it does not make sense to leave them hanging.

Furthermore, if your blog has been out there for a while, then chances are that it is indexed in Google and other search engines.

You can keep all the search engine rankings and easily redirect your old users to your new blog by following Step 6 (highly recommended if your site is established).

Step 6: Redirecting Visitors and Preserving SEO

Redirecting users to the new location with the 301 header is a standard solution to keep search rankings while moving a site from one location to another.

Since you don’t have access to .htaccess on WordPress.com, you cannot make any changes by yourself to retain search engine rankings. However, WordPress.com offers a paid upgrade feature called, Site Redirect, which provides this functionality.

Simply go to WordPress.com blog’s dashboard and click on the Manage » Settings menu item. Under the ‘Site Address’ option, click on the ‘redirect’ link.

Site redirect link

On the next screen, you will be asked to provide the domain name where you want visitors to be redirected. Enter your new WordPress.org site’s domain name and click on the go button.

Note: Site redirect is a paid upgrade and costs $13 per year. It will add a 301 redirect which redirects your WordPress.com blog’s visitors and search engines to your new site.

Purchase site redirect from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Some of you will ask how long should I keep paying for this Offsite redirect feature? The answer is for as long as you want to. However, we think that 2 years would be enough time for your old users to memorize your new domain name.

If you are changing domains, then another thing you want to do is update all in-post URLs. If you ever inter-linked your posts, then those links have to be updated. You can use our article on how to update URLs when moving your WordPress site.

If you had a custom domain on WordPress.com, then you don’t have to worry about anything. Simply change the DNS record to your host, and you will retain all the SEO benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We wrote the first version of this article in January 2013. Since then, we’ve received tons of great questions. A lot of which we’ve answered via email or in comments, so we thought it would be nice to compile the popular ones at one place where everyone can see them.

What happens with my WordPress.com Subscribers?

Thankfully, WordPress.com allows you to migrate your subscribers with one condition. You must use their Jetpack plugin which adds the same subscriber functionality that you had at WordPress.com. Once you install and activate the Jetpack plugin, you would need to contact the WordPress.com team and ask them to migrate the subscribers for you. Our hope is that in the later versions of Jetpack, this will become easier and users will be able to do it themselves.

Can you help me transfer from WordPress.com to WordPress.org for FREE?

Absolutely. We offer migration from WordPress.com as part of our free WordPress blog setup service. If you need our assistance, then simply signup. It’s free :)

What are the costs of switching to WordPress.org?

WordPress is free. However, there are some minimal web hosting costs. We recommend that you read this article on: Why is WordPress free? What are the costs and what is the catch?

I already paid WordPress.com, can I get a refund?

Yes, you can. If you recently purchased a custom domain or a paid plan from WordPress.com, then you can ask them for a full refund.

Note: Domain registrations can be canceled within 48 hours of registration. Plans and other purchases can be canceled within 30 days of purchasing.

Will my images break?

No they will not. When you transfer using the import file, all attached images are downloaded and the link is updated. However, there is one caveat that we noticed. If your image URL starts with files.wordpress.com, then they will not be converted. If you notice that the image URL has not changed and still points to WordPress.com, then we recommend that you use import external images plugin, and it will take care of that.

I registered my domain through WordPress.com, can I still move?

Yes, you can. WordPress believes in empowering users and giving them full control of their content. If you already have a domain name through WordPress.com, then all you need is a web hosting account. We recommend that you setup with Bluehost or any of these other WordPress hosting providers. During the signup phase, you will be asked do you have a domain or want to register a new one. Simply select the option that I have a domain name, and insert the domain that you registered at WordPress.com. The next thing you would have to do is change the nameservers to point to the hosting provider. We’re able to assist with this as part of our free setups service. You can also ask your web hosting provider for support.

Will my website go down when I switch?

If you do it correctly, then NO. The method we’ve suggested above will ensure that your website never goes down. If you’re worried, then know that we are here to help. You’re welcome to use our free setups service at any time.

Can I add an online store my WordPress.org website?

Yes, you can easily add an online store in WordPress.org without any additional costs. Since Bluehost and most popular web hosts offer free SSL certificate, you simply need to install a WordPress eCommerce plugin to add an online store.

What are some of the must have WordPress plugins that you recommend?

Now that you have switched to self-hosted WordPress.org, you can install as many plugins as you like.

Here’s our recommended pick:

  • AIOSEO – to improve your website’s SEO rankings (used by 2 million sites).
  • WPForms – to add a smart contact form on your website (used by 4 million sites).
  • SeedProd – to easily customize your landing pages with drag & drop builder – works with all WordPress themes.
  • MonsterInsights – to see how people find and use your website. It’s a must have for bloggers and small business owners.
  • PushEngage – to connect with visitors after they leave your website.
  • UpdraftPlus – to create daily backups of your new website in case of emergency.
  • OptinMonster – to help you get more email subscribers and succeed in your blogging journey.

Aside from these, we also recommend looking at our expert pick of must have WordPress plugins and 40 useful blogging tools to manage and grow your blog.

You can install all of these plugins from inside your WordPress dashboard. We have created a step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

I want to change my site’s WordPress theme, can I do that?

Yes, you can change your WordPress theme at any time. Another big benefit of switching to WordPress.org is that you get additional customization options and a larger collection of themes to choose from.

In your wp admin sidebar, click on the Appearance Menu dropdown and select Themes to install a theme.

We have hand-picked some of the best themes to help users avoid choice paralysis. See our guide on best free blog themes and best multi-purpose themes for WordPress.

You may also want to see our guide on how to properly change a WordPress theme.

We hope this article helped you properly move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. You may also want to see our checklist of the most important things you need to do after installing WordPress, and our ultimate guide on how to increase your blog traffic.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

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Reader Interactions

1,214 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thanks for this post!

    I have a question which I didn’t see covered (if it was, sorry for the repeat!).

    I have a blog that is currently on WordPress.com, but I registered a domain THROUGH WordPress.com. Now that my blog is growing, I want to switch to WordPress.org. But I want to keep the name “jadeandfern.com”. Since the domain was purchased through wp.com, how do I keep it when switching over?

    • Marlene,

      You would need to purchase hosting through Bluehost or another provider. During the process choose the option to use an existing domain (which would be your domain). Once setup, go to WordPress.com domain management and change the nameservers to point to the hosting provider. Alternatively, you can also transfer the domain out.

      Admin

      • Did just that, i.e. got a Bluehost account and used the ‘existing domain’ option. Where do I find the name Bluehost name servers?

        Thanks

      • Hi!

        I have done just what this person has done, I have a nameserver in my receipt, but I am not finding where I input that in the domain menu on WordPress. Help! :)

        Thanks in advance,
        Monica

        • Store > Domain (scroll to the bottom). You should see an option to create a new password along with the customer ID. Create the new password. Then use the customer ID and the new password to login to the domain panel using the link that is also on that page.

          Then you will see a Godaddy style domain manager where you would need to click on the domain, and then edit the nameservers.

  2. I’m wanting to move to self-hosted (from wordpress.com) and I’m considering the Free WP Blog Setup. I figured there would be less frustration for me.
    I’m wondering what the downtime would be for my site. Also, is there a catch?

    • There is no downtime. The way we do setup, we migrate all the data first, so when you switch the user will either see the new site or the old site (which are both identical). The only thing you have to do is stop publication for 24 hour period :)

      Admin

      • Thanks! I think it is almost done. The transfer was easy for me and it sounds like it save me a ton of headache that others have experienced. It took me a while to figure out how to change the nameserver but that is done now.

  3. I’m so excited about this! You guys have made it so simple! I’m just SO scared of accidentally erasing my blog! When I install wordpress.org, to my domain name, is it going to erase everything from my old domain? Or would I still be able to access it at example.wordpress.com just in case something goes wrong? I’m SO scared of losing all my content!

  4. Hey all,

    Thanks for your article, I think it will be very usefull.

    Before I start transfering my website, I wanted to know if the theme I am using right now, the designs, and the customizations I made will be saved and transfered too? And if not, if you know any way to do it?

    Thanks a lot.

  5. Hii. Of all the posts i have read on migration to .org, this is certainly the best by all standards.
    I have a similar challenge like Stacey. Firstly what is a nameserver?

    Secondly, i have a ….wordpress.com blog. I do not plan on changing anything. I just want to move my contents to .org. In this case, do i have to do any redirect?

    Lastly, will my new url end with “.com or .org?

    I would really appreciate it if you can help me with these 3 questions the way you have helped other readers of your awesome post.

    • A nameserver is what is used to point a domain to a hosting account. They generally come in pairs and look like this:
      ns1.example.com
      ns2.example.com

      If you have a .com blog you want to host on WordPress.org, you will need a hosting account which means you will need a domain name for hosting. It can end in whatever you wish it to end in. Whether it is whatever.com or whatever.org You have almost total freedom over what domain you register.

      The only real redirect you would need to do is to point you domain to your hosting account at the host. Most hosting companies, will do this for you if you register your domain through them.

      As far as moving the site, a good web hosting company can move the site for you for free within the first 30 or so days of the account.

  6. Hi,

    Your blog is great! Thanks indeed for your services. So, yesterday I decided to make an affiliations with amazon for my blog http://semanto.me It turned out that you cannot doing untill you’re on WP.COM ; so after looking through the web I finally found your guide. It took 5 hours to start completing successfully the shifting to WP.ORG

    -The blog was hosted on wp.com first level domain with a (.me)
    – I decided to move the blog on wp.org
    – I followed your guide
    – I changed the host-name to bluehost (using your cookie)
    – the WP.ORG site is on when I digit semanto.me
    – this morning I woke up and going to .me site but it redirected me to the old wp.com blog
    – so i thought it was about transfering, then I start to do the steps for transfering
    – I realized that my . me domain is not supported by bluehost, so I couldn’t transfer the domain to it, but just redirect it
    – but now again semanto.me now redirect me again (but slowly) to the new wp.org blog on bluehost

    QUESTION:

    1 Do I have to make the redirect 301 through wp.com, or change other settings on wp.com ? Like now it’s public, should I turn it back on private through the wp.com dashboard or do other stuff?

    2 Also, what I have to do to have a faster access to the contents? (I’ve already put supercache)

    3 If bluehost doesn’t allow the transfer of the domain .me; should I keep my domain with wp.com or should I change host ? (consider that I’ve already payed a 3 year subscription with bluehost, so I cannot move to another host again and keep all in the same place)

    4 What is the best plugin to manage Amazon affiliations (I’d like to change the link if my visitor is from EU (UK; IT; SP; FR; DE) – or in US)

    Thanks for your support!

    Best,
    Eugenio

    • The best way to do this would be to change the nameservers and point that to Bluehost. It’s upto you to leave the domain at WP.com or move to another more affordable registrar like NameCheap or Godaddy.

      Admin

      • Thanks, I’ll do it before the expiring date….

        I know it’s OT, but:

        – what I have to do to have a faster access to the contents? (I’ve already put supercache)
        – What is the best plugin to manage Amazon affiliations (I’d like to change the link if my visitor is from EU (UK; IT; SP; FR; DE) – or in US)

        Best,
        Eugenio

        • Speed optimization is a very broad subject. It has to do with the plugins, themes, and the server. All 3 can have an impact on your performance. As for amazon plugins, we can’t recommend any that changes links for each country.

  7. I have already moved my wordpress.com blog to self hosted domain. But I am unable to add plugins and other stuufs.

    Shall I move my original blog from wordpress.com to wordpress.org?

    OR what should I do?

  8. Hello!

    I just successfully moved a rather massive blog from wordpress.com to my own domain on Hostgator. It turns out that I couldn’t do it without Hostgator’s advice, through numerous emails with their Migration expert.

    The problem I encountered was that the blog is darn large, so that it didn’t get imported in one try. I tried twice and still nothing changed on the new blog, except that I did notice images getting imported. They just weren’t attached to any posts.

    Unlike your instructions, which say that the maximum file size is 2MB, when I went to import, WordPress told me my maximum file size is 64MB. Since my XML file was only 5.8 MB, I figured I was good to go.

    But when it didn’t work, I panicked and tried to get help from Hostgator. They told me the best thing to do would be to have them import the file for me. Also, unlike your instructions, they do NOT offer temporary lifting of their size restrictions on shared servers. They do that only for dedicated servers.

    When they got to my ticket and offered to import the file, they told me that they’d also have to install a fresh version of WordPress… but I had just done that! Not only that, I had already begun to modify the new theme. So that wasn’t an option. Then the expert told me something. She said, “The upload max filesize is 64MB. However this doesn’t mean that the size of the import file was not a factor when it did not import correctly. Sometimes an import needs to be attempted multiple times before all data is successfully imported. This has more to do with the PHP memory limit, which is 256MB on shared plans. When an import has succeeded, WordPress will print, “All done. Have fun!” If this output never occurs then the import needs to be re-attempted.

    I ended up doing the import myself, and I lost track of how many times I tried after 10+. It took maybe 15 attempts to reimport the whole blog. Each time, I could see that new data was being added (in this case, a massive number of images) as the importer did its thing, so I could tell that progress was being made and I just needed to persevere.

    So I think that you’d really be doing your readers a service if you addressed the issue of very large blogs. You should emphasize that it may take many multiples of attempts to import, and might have more to do with the PHP MEMORY LIMIT on shared hosting, rather than on any file size limits. You should also alert people to the fact that the message “All done. Have fun!” is output when the process is complete. Because I didn’t know these things in advance, I panicked unnecessarily. Your instructions make it sound like this is just a one-two click and you’re done process. It IS simple, but make sure people know what to expect in terms of how many times they’ll have to keep doing it, and there’s nothing wrong if they do!

    Additionally, I would suspect that more hosts than just Hostgator will refuse to temporarily lift any size restrictions on shared hosting.

    Thanks for listening!

    • Thank you for this comment Barbara!

      I followed these instructions and after I clicked import it sat for a while and then the main screen in the dashboard went blank. The toolbar remained, so I assumed it was done importing. I started clicking around and customizing things and found that only my first two months of archived posts came over to display, but all of my posts and pages were accessible through the dashboard. I reread the instructions here and then the comments. Your comment comforted my fears.

      I reran the import, and as my xml file isn’t very large (just under 2MB) it took on the second try.

      Thank you very much, you saved me a lot of hassle!

      • I’m glad at least one person was helped by my comment, Paul!

        It would be great if they changed their instructions here on this page, because obviously this is iimportant enough to include… but they haven’t done it yet, so I hope others find this. It’s a simple enough problem to solve, but if you don’t know enough to expect it, you’ll go through a ton of hassle like I did!

  9. OK… I need to know what’s going on. I have followed every instruction to the letter. I set up a new installation of WordPress on my domain, I exported from wordpress.com and imported to my new domain. I chose to export ALL CONTENT and all attachments. The XML file that was created took almost no time to download, and the file size is 5,981 KB. This is for posts that go all the way back to August 2010.

    The result of importing is that I have 339 images that are unattached, and no posts, no categories, no nothing. The importing took about 5 minutes. The dialog box I was shown said my maximum file size was 64 MB, not 2 MB.

    I don’t understand. I followed each step so carefully. Where is everything?

    • Did you get the error before that sais unable to import author? Usually this happens when the export file is corrupted in WordPress.com. Out of all the users we have helped, 3 have had this issue. For one user, we were able to import the content by importing one post type at a time. So we import only posts, then only pages, etc.

      For another user, we turned on Jetpack, and the importer magically worked fine.

      For the third user, we were unable to get it to work. We sent an email to WordPress.com, and never heard back.

      WPBeginner is an unofficial resource site, and we are not connected to WordPress.com (automattic). We hope that one of the tricks above works for you. IF not, then try getting in touch with support folks at WordPress.com

      Admin

      • Hello!

        I did not see this message prior to writing my message above, which resolved my problems. I do feel that you need to modify your instructions slightly to account for situations like mine.

        Thank you for posting these instructions!

  10. Can I have more than 1 wp.org site I have 1 wp.org website, and 1 wp.com blog can I move the blog to an additional wp.org website both have self hosted domains. I also have purchased a third address which I would like one of the sites to link to. Am I expecting too much?

  11. I am planning to learn WordPress this summer and thought it would be a good opportunity to start blogging and basically chronicle my adventure. The next step i think would be to create my portfolio with WordPress and migrate to that site instead of WordPress.com. The thought came of how i would migrate those blog postings to the new site when the time came. I went googling for answers and found your post. Thanks for the info and i shall now be adding this link to Delicious :)

  12. I recently changed from host gator to a new company which i thought was a hosting company. At hostgator i was using Joomla which i paid someone to set up for me. At this new company i got word press and it is much easier to use. The problem is that it is set up as a blogging site and i want a website with blogging facilities which is different.

    I want static pages etc but the new hosting company says it is not just a hosting company but it offers other services which i accept but in my site some of the things have been disable e.g. i cannot import plugins, export anything, background and header are removed, you cannot change or customize themes, there is no colour wheel to name a few.

    This is what i am looking for – a theme that will allow me to have widgets on some pages and not others so i can run it as a website, someone to help me transfer my website to this new theme and web hosting. i do not understand the conversation with .org or com but i was concerned in that some one of them said you were not allowed plugings- i need to be able to download plugins that i require. can you recommend something for me.

    • Hey Theresa,

      Which hosting company did you switch to? Yes, you need to have WordPress.org to get everything that you are looking for.

      You would also have to use Widget Logic or another plugin of that sort to control which widget shows up where.

      Admin

  13. quick question:
    I have a custom domain name with my wp.com account, so would I still need a re-direct method if I’m not changing it?

  14. great post! it helped me to make the desicion to finally move ;-).

    and the move went very well! Exactly as you described and so easy!!

    Thanks!

    Only thing I am not sure about is how to move my existing followers…

  15. thanks for the tutorial, but I’m looking for tutorial about How to import and make 301 redirection from one WordPress blog to another without loosing any ranking

    if you have anytutorial on that please share with me a link :(

  16. I’ve done all of the above for my blog LDNshopaholic.com – apart from the make this private – is this a must?

    I can’t figure out how being self-hosted has made a difference, my admin login just takes me to wordpress.com and logs me in as it did before I did any of this.

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks :-)

    • Hey Saima,

      While your admin panel will look similar, it is definitely different. You should be seeing a new menu like Plugins. You should also see more features under other menus as well. As for making it private, it is not necessary. However if you care about SEO, then it is. The best solution is to get offsite redirect from WP.com unless you were using the same domain. If you were using the same domain, then you are good to go.

      Admin

  17. Hi guys, thanks for the tutorials. I’m in the process too and need a little clarification.

    When I purchased a subdomain update (premium) for my blog, I got offered a free .com site. What I need is a .com site that allows me to upload and use wordpress plugins. Should I go ahead and accept this and then point this new .com site to the old one?

    1. Will doing this change my address to mysitename.com automatically or is there more I need to do?

    2. Will I be able to use plugins with this new mysitename.com?

    Thanks in advance

  18. Hello. Great tutorial! If I sign up with Bluehost with you, you will transfer for me for FREE? Can I use a theme of my choice if I choose to have you transfer? Thanks!

  19. What about themes? Is there any way to move the theme over if I bought one that I am using on wp.com?

    • Unfortunately that is not possible. However most paid themes that are available on WordPress.com are usually available to purchase for WordPress.org as well. You would have to repurchase the theme.

      Admin

  20. Thank you – this is the most helpful tutorial I’ve read. I have one important question before I go through with it though. My current blog is hosted on WordPress.com. I understand one option is to redirect, but instead can I move my blog to WordPress.org and keep the same domain name/URL? (In other words, I have http://www.staceyalevine.com – can I keep that and move it to wordpress.org?) Thank you!

  21. Thanks for a great tutorial! I had been putting off a transfer thinking it would take a long time, but it was pretty straight forward.

    I had my own domain and just transferred the name servers over. I’m still waiting for the changes to propogate, but I had a question on my images. I had all my images hosted through wordpress.com previously. I chose to export then import into my new wordpress.org hosted site – what happens if someone was linking to my images from the wordpress site or they were indexed in google images. Would these show up as broken images. Do I need to do the redirect service so this won’t happen?

    Thanks!

  22. Help! I have my own domain name and host through blue host. Transferring my blog from wordpress.com to wordpress.org I am all set to complete the process but I do not know what to do to shut down the .com ? I am confused! Please help! Thank you!

  23. Hello, I have a couple of questions. I just purchased Bluehost account. I currently already have a WordPress blog thehealthyflavor.com. I want to change my theme and just simply transfer everything currently to the new design/theme which is a WordPress upgraded theme. Do I do this before I do the whole WordPress install transfer thing to self-hosting? Or do I do it all after I transfer?
    Also, I’m no longer going to use thehealthyflavor.com but instead TheVegan8.com which I just got today when I purchased a Bluehost account…I selected purchase a new domain.
    How do I transfer a new theme and new domain name without messing everything up…basically what order do I do this in? Thank you so much!

  24. What if you first downloaded wordpress.org and then later connected with free wordpress.com?
    do i have to go through all of the same steps to put is all back under the .org?
    Thanks for your insight.

  25. Great tutorial. Helped me immensely with my move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.

    I do have a couple of questions though – I purchased the site redirect package and now if you type in the old blog name, it redirects you to the new site, which is fine. However, I still get emails saying “XYZ subscribed to the [Old Blog Name]”. Is that normal? Shouldn’t the messages be reading as “XYZ subscribed to the [New Blog Name]?

    Also, since I have purchased the site redirect package, should I be making my wp.com blog private or even opting for search engines to not index the site?

    • The redirect upgrade takes care of everything. If you connect your new site with Jetpack, you can ask the WordPress.com staff to move your subscribers to the new site.

      Admin

  26. This is what I did:
    I signed up for Dreamhost and clicked that I already owned a domain (so I didn’t get a new domain). I have already purchased (travelworldheritage.com) from wordpress.com.
    Then I did a wordpress.org install. When it asked what domain, I picked the one I already owned. [Currently, I am still updating and working on the site through wordpress.com.]
    I got a link through my email that the installation was successful, but when I click on that link, it directs me to my old subdomained site (http://juliosworldmarvels.wordpress.com/wp-admin/install.php) website which isn’t even the one I use now since I bought a domain. It also says “oops that page cannot be found.”

    I am super confused.
    1) I can still update my site through wordpress.com. But my dreamhost account says that the site is not “fully hosted.” Which site really is hosting my site right now?
    2) Why don’t the links that dreamhost sent me work? Did I miss something?

    • You cannot work and update the site from WordPress.com. The moment you decide to switch, you have to stop all updates. Download the export file. Point the DNS of your domain to your hosting provider in this case (Dreamhost). Then install WordPress and import everything. Once done, your site is ready to use.

      From this point on, you will login to your site to manage and do updates (not WordPress.com).

      Admin

  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this! My current webhost is Namecheap. I would love to switch over to Bluehost because I keep hearing such great things about it. Is there an easy way to do that?

    Thanks again for your time!

  28. hi, thanks for your tutorial!
    i have couple questions.
    1, i ow a domain of my old wordpress.com site. how can i transfer it to my new wordpress.org site? i got the domain from godaddy.
    2. i paid $99 for that wordpress.com site. can i get it back?
    thanks for you help.

    • Hey,

      1. All you have to do is point the nameservers on your Godaddy account to your new host (Bluehost, or whichever one you decide to go with). They will be able to assist you with that.

      2. You can ask them to see if they would refund you, but we cannot make any guarantees.

      Admin

  29. So right now I have a wordpress.com site (www.lovexcess.net) & as you can see, I’ve purchased a custom domain from wordpress.com. I’m now wondering… doesn’t that make wordpress.com my host? or do I need an additional host? I’m confused. I want to transfer for more customization of my website. I want the same domain name also.

    • Yes that makes WordPress.com your host, but as a host they have restrictions. They are not like other web hosts that give you full control. If you want more customization, then you would have to find a new host. Yes, you can use the same domain on the new host like Bluehost.

      Admin

  30. Hello, great tutorial. Very clear. Thank you.

    Question: I was confused about one thing. Do I have to use the Offsite redirect feature if I am transferring the exact domain name like http://www.blogsite.com from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Also, would I still need to set my site on wordpress.com to private if I am using the same domain?

    I haven’t even started my blog yet, I’m just doing all my research first. Deciding on wordpress.com or wordpress.org.

    Thank you!

    • Hello
      Tks a lot for the tutorial. I have transfer my blog to .org and everything seems to be ok, unless the “likes” and “twitts” i had on every post (the number of them) had all gone :( And i had posts with more than a 100 likes. Is it possible to transfer also this to .org?

      • Hey Lucila,

        If you were using the subdomain and have switched to your own domain now, then yes you will lose the tweets. If you are on the same domain, then you shouldn’t lose them. As for Likes, you would need to use the Jetpack plugin, and contact the WordPress.com staff to see if they would be able to move all your subscribers and likes from the .com account to .org account that is using Jetpack.

        Admin

  31. Hello,
    Thank you for the post.
    There is something I’m not sure I understand though:
    If I want a custom design (editing CSS or changing theme to a theme that isn’t on the WordPress.com site) I will have to pay anyway ?

    I mean, if I stay on wp.com, I’ll have to pay for tweaking my code.
    Besides, if I go to wp.org, I’ll have to pay for a hosting.

    So basically I’ll have to pay any way.

    Sorry this is confusing I’m still young and english is not my native language so I may have done some mistakes :P

    • Hey Daisy,

      With WordPress.com, you are limited to the themes that they have made available. With WordPress.org, you can get many other free themes. If you get commercial themes, then yes you have to pay. However, you don’t have to pay anything to modify an existing theme. You can also modify much more than just CSS.

      Just to modify an existing theme’s CSS, you have to pay WordPress.com for that upgrade.

      Yes, you will have to pay for hosting. But for most small sites, a simple $3.95 / month plan of Bluehost would work. Let’s say you use WordPress.com, buy their custom domain ($17 per year), pay for ad-free option ($29.97 per year), and get custom design upgrade ($30 per year). That total is $76.97, and you are still not in full control.

      For WordPress.org, you can use Bluehost (officially recommended by WordPress) which costs $3.95 per month so $47.4 per year, and it includes a free domain name.

      You are also free to place all type of advertisement on your site and earn money.

      Admin

      • But what if you bought your domain name for the 18 or $26 a year? Do you still have to pay that after transferring to wordpress.org?? Or do you only have to pay the Bluehost fee? I just don’t understand the domain transfer, how do I do it with Bluehost?? Thanks!! -Amy

      • Okay thanks. I may wait and pay for the guided transfer. While I was waiting on your reply, I found under the WP Guided Transfer FAQ that the stats do transfer. I also asked BlueHost if the stats transfer and they indicated that they do. I wonder what’s the difference between the stats transferring and not transferring …… maybe it’s if you take the export route.

  32. Hi guys,

    Just wondering if you do the transfer to wpengine – because I can’t find that option in the drop down menu when selecting the web host? Cheers

  33. I have a question about the sign up process with BlueHost.com. I’ve got a domain name for my website, but i haven’t purchased it yet. I’m on the page where you pay for the service, and it has the line that shows the $3.95 charge for the monthly fee, plus 4 other, what i would call options, that you can pay for. It works out to about $85-90 a year, which isn’t that much, considering all they offer. I’m nervous about signing up for something like this that i’m not too sure about.

    OK, my question is: do i absolutely need all those other things to make my website active online, or can i go without them and get them later?

  34. Great tutorial. I think I did it right. The question I have right now (and there may be more), will the WordPress.com blog “go away?” Right now, when I try to go to my new WordPress.org site, it just takes me to the old .com one. Did I do something wrong, or do I just need to wait a while for everything to get into place. I just did the transfer, using BlueHost, half an hour ago.

    Thank you,
    Sandy

      • No, I kept the same custom domain name that I had (purchased a few months ago) at WordPress.com. Maybe I should give it a day or two?

        Thanks for your reply,
        Sandy

      • Okay, I knew I should have let you all do the moving of my blog from WP.com to WP.org. I think I’ve really messed it up.

        It still takes me to the old .com blog when I type in the URL (somewhereinthesand.com), and it’s now a day later. Also, the posts do not show on the Home page of the new site (they did yesterday), and some of the other things I did yesterday are not showing.

        I would really appreciate any help I can get. I’m sorry to be such a pain.

        Thank you so much,
        Sandy

  35. Hi, I am fairly new to all this, but confused about one point. I currently have a blog running on wordpress.com http://serenephotographyblog.wordpress.com I never know of the differences between .com and .org until a few days ago. I managed to download wampserver and wordpress.org and have it all set up, with a new database but not sure if it is live online or even the http.
    I get the export thing from .com to .org but you mentioned hosting.
    I am not sure about this and would really need a bit of help.
    1 I dont know if my wordpress.com site already has a custom domain name. All i did was sign up with log in details, I have not bought anything from .com
    2 is wampserver a hosting company, for I have it installed on localhost (hope im making sense here, sorry) and database set up for new wordpress.org, but it is different files from my .com

    Basically I have installed wordpress through wampserver looking to transfer my .com to .org but not sure if i have a custom domain name or if I have a hosting company?

    Sorry if this all sounds foolish, but its genuine confusion on my part.

    Many thanks
    Mark

    • Hey Mark,

      First of all no question is a stupid one. All of your concerns are fairly common and others have them too.

      1. No, you do not have a custom domain name. A custom domain name looks like wpbeginner.com. What you have is called a subdomain which looks like xyz.wordpress.com

      2. Yes, you will need a web hosting company. WAMP is a local server (i.e not connected to the internet). So only you can see your site. With web hosting, anyone in the world with internet access can see your site. Developers use WAMP or other local servers for testing and development purposes.

      https://www.wpbeginner.com/wordpress-hosting/ << Here is an article that will explain more about hosting. https://www.wpbeginner.com/how-to-install-wordpress/ << Here is an article on how to easily install WordPress

      Admin

      • Hi Guys, many thanks for you reply. That has clarified a lot for me. Have signed up with bluehost and got domain, so the fun probably begins here!!

        Take care and your site is amazing, thank you again

  36. Hi, I read that if you currently have private domain registration and you plan to transfer your blog and domain to wordpress.org, then you need to take your registration off private before you transfer your blog/domain?

  37. Thankyou for this article. I have a custom domain from wordpress.com, so just to double-check… does your free setup service from wordpress.com to wordpress.org transfer this domain to the new wordpress.org site? I also want to keep my SEO and search ranking so do I need to purchase the site redirect or is that part of the setup service as well? Cheers

  38. Thank you for the useful article. I have 2 beginner questions concerning themes. If I have a free wordpress.com site that I move to self hosted site with wordpress.org, would the wordpress.com ad still be displayed at the bottom of the page?

    Also, if I am using a wordpress.com theme, won’t that theme still have its customization limitations that are imposed by wordpress.com’s free service? Or would I have to pick a new theme altogether? It doesn’t appear that the library of available themes is the same with wp.com and wp.org.

    • Hey Zane,

      1. When you switch, the WordPress.com ads will no longer be there. You would be free to add your own ads if you choose to.

      2. If that theme is available on .org, then you would be able to use/customize it in any way you want. If it is not available for .org, then you would have to find another theme.

      Admin

  39. One other thing bothering when moving from WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress is replacing the old URLs in the post content to the new URL domain.

    Here’s some tricks to overcome that:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Move-a-Wordpress-Blog-From-One-Domain-and-Host-to-Another
    http://gabrielharper.com/blog/2012/10/replace-changed-url-in-wordpress-posts/

    Or these plugins also could be useful:
    – Search & Replace
    – Velvet Blues Update URLs

    *Hope this won’t end in spam since I’ve posted some links :mrgreen:

  40. Thank you so much for this post!

    I’m a newbie yet I did it all perfectly because of your tutorial!

  41. I’m confused. I successfully made this whole switch thing so I could (eventually) monetize my site. But I didn’t go from wordless.com to wordpress.org

    i went from

    talespinsbooks.wordpress.com to talespinsbooks.com (The latter has a web

    Is this the same thing? Thanks!

  42. Once you transfer your wordpress.com blog to your wordpress.org blog is the wordpress.com posts automatically published or can you pick and choose what to put up?

    • All of your posts will be transferred over as they were on WordPress.com. So if they were published, then they will be transferred over as a published post (with the right published on date, comments, images, and everything).

      Admin

  43. Thanks for this post. As you advised, if the Offsite Redirect is terminated after 2 years, the site viewers should have noted the new URL. But what happens to the pagerank?

  44. I have allso moved a wordpress this way. Only thing you have to remember is, that images dont allways gets exported.

    • Hmmm… Moderator, can you comment on this please? Under what circumstances would images not get exported? Thank you!

      • All images gets imported from what we see unless you are linking to external images (i.e flickr image) because those external images stay on their respective sites.

        Admin

  45. Excellent tutorial. Good deal on the bluehost service too…they were the first hosting company I chose years ago and still prefer them over others because of their support staff.

  46. Moving WordPress site is a difficult business. I always relied on manual handling rather than on plugins. But to move a site with everything and preserve its functionality looks to me like a hit and miss thing.
    I think would be very interesting to have a series of articles about moving WordPress blof form local server to a live server, moving WordPress from one server to another server preserving the domain and moving to another domain and another server, etc.
    What I find tricky is the part with the database: renaming database and stuff and disabling and enabling cache plugins.

    • Moving from WordPress.com to self-hosted is not that hard. The tutorial above shows you exactly how to do it. The sites you are talking about are not simple like WP.com sites which is why it can be tricky.

      Admin

  47. I have had problems in the past with importing large amounts of images. On several different hosts, and with upload limits changed accordingly, the import would hang aftef a few hundred images. I solved this by installing a local wordpress installation and iimporting my images to it.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience because it will be handy for those who run into that issue. From our experience when we have migrated blogs from WordPress.com, we simply ask the host to temporarily increase the upload limit. This takes care of most problems.

      Admin

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