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

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

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

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

In this step-by-step guide, we will 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 the limited ability to monetize, can’t install plugins, third-party ads displayed to your users, and more.

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

To understand the differences between the two platforms, see our complete 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 migrate your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org properly.

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 huge discount on web hosting. You can get started for $1.99 / month (and this also includes free SSL).

You’ll still need web hosting if your WordPress site has a custom domain name. Go ahead and sign up with Bluehost, and under the domain step, add your blog domain.

In the later steps, we will show you how to keep the same domain while transferring from WordPress.com to WordPress.org without losing search rankings.

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

Bonus Free Offer: Since many of you asked for this, we are now offering a 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 like learning and doing things yourself, 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 with all 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, setting up a fresh WordPress install on your web hosting is next.

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 a Self-Hosted WordPress Site

To import your old WordPress.com site content to your new WordPress.org site, you will need to log in 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, click on the ‘Run importer’ link to continue.

Run importer

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

Click on the ‘Choose File’ button to select the file, and then click on the ‘Upload file and import’ button.

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 can assign imported content to an existing user or create a new user.

You’ll also have the option to import file attachments. You must check this box so your image files are correctly imported.

Import options

Step 4: Importing Your Blogroll Links

If you have 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 the 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 the 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 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 the ‘Run Importer’ link below the Blogroll importer.

Blogroll importer

On the Blogroll importer page, you need to upload the OPML file you saved earlier.

Click on the ‘Choose File’ button to select the file, and then click on the ‘Import OPML File’ button to continue.

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, this will be your final step.

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

Set WordPress,.com blog to Private

From here, you need to select the ‘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 by 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 place to another.

Since you don’t have access to the .htaccess file on WordPress.com, you cannot make any changes to retain search engine rankings.

However, WordPress.com offers a paid upgrade feature called ‘Site Redirect’, which provides this functionality.

Simply go to the Site Redirect page. If you have multiple sites on WordPress.com, you will be asked which one you would like to redirect.

Select blog to redirect

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, two 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, those links must be updated. You can use our article on how to update URLs when moving your WordPress site.

If you have a custom domain on WordPress.com, 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. We’ve answered a lot of them via email or in comments, so we thought it would be nice to compile the popular ones in 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 will need to contact the WordPress.com team and ask them to migrate the subscribers for you. We hope 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 sign up. 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, we recommend that you use the import external images plugin, which 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 complete 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 set up with Bluehost or any of these other WordPress hosting providers. During the signup phase, you will be asked if you have a domain or want to register a new one.

Simply select the option ‘I have a domain name’, and insert the domain you registered at WordPress.com.

The next thing you will have to do is change the nameservers to point to the hosting provider. We can assist with this as part of our free setup 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 are worried, then know that we are here to help. You are welcome to use our free setup service at any time.

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

Yes, you can easily add an online store to your self-hosted WordPress.org website without any additional costs. Since Bluehost and other popular web hosts offer free SSL certificates, 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 3 million sites).
  • WPForms – to add a smart contact form on your website (used by 6 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.
  • Duplicator – 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 the must have WordPress plugins and 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 WordPress 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 the 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 increasing 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. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

1,229 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
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  2. Sara says

    Hi,

    I’m planning on moving my website from WordPress.com to .org but the thing is that I already have a purchased domain name. Can I continue to use this on blue host even though it’s bought by another web host?

    Thank you for a brilliant post.

    Best,
    Sara

  3. Jane says

    Thank you so much for this great post! I have already begun the transition from wordpress.com to .org with your guidance! I had a question I am hoping you can assist with. I already have a domain for my blog where my readers can find me. I was wondering if paying for the Offsite Redirect function still applies? Won’t my readers still be able to get to my blog by entering my domain even though I have switched over to the .org software?

    Please let me know! Thanks again so much!
    Jane

  4. Abdulaziz Althekair says

    I just installed WordPress using Bluehost and I wan’t to know the right way to change the WordPress Address (site URL) because when I tried to change it earlier it redirected me to my .com site with no way of getting back to my .org site, which led me to reinstall WordPress again.

    the current one by default is http://69.195.124.150/~azizordc
    instead of http://azizord.com

    ps: I have neither changed DNS settings nor purchased the Site redirect feature from the store.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We feel that your domain is not properly configured to point to your WordPress install on your web host. We would suggest that you contact support and get help from your web host.

      Admin

  5. Emily says

    Hi! I transferred my wordpress.com to wordpress.org in November. I am still having likes and comments on my wordpress.com site. I tried making wordpress.com private but then nobody can read my previous posts. Any ideas?? Here is my site in case it helps:

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Emily you can purchase Offsite Redirects upgrade from WordPress.com and they will set up to redirect visitors to your self hosted WordPress site. Then you can make your posts private. They will set up 302 redirects so search engines will soon start showing your new site in search results instead of old one. You can also contact WordPress.com support to get help transferring your WordPress.com followers.

      Admin

  6. Deb says

    Thanks for this post. It was VERY helpful when I moved from wp.com to wp.org.

    I was wondering though, what are the implications of just leaving the wp.com content public and adding a post to say the website has moved?
    Do you think the wp.org will be penalised under Panda for duplicate content?
    Is there a way to know?

    Many thanks.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Deb, there is no certain way to know if a website is penalized for duplicate content. However, search engines, particularly Google is very smart about finding out the original source of the publication. So there will be a chance that the old article from wp.com will maintain its search engine rankings and this will obviously affect your SEO rankings on the new site and the over all SEO performance of your website. On the other hand if you had a 301 redirect in place then this will help search engines know that the old article has moved to this new location.

      Admin

  7. Jen says

    Can I keep the same domain name? If my domain is exampledomain.net, would it be exampledomain.net at wordpress.org? I purchased my domain through WordPress.

  8. Steven J Fromm says

    I am currently using the wordpress.com version. I would love to move over to the wordpress.org platform but I feel trapped. I started out using the free version knowing nothing about this whole blogging thing. This initial mistake is hard to undue for me as my blog has gained traction and ranking. My understanding is that if I change my blog name I lose all my links and standing or have a large job in trying to recreate these links, etc; it is like starting over.
    According to Alexa (which I know people think is worthless) I have a 240,000 ranking and 414 links. Regardless of what anyone thinks about Alexa, a migration away from my current blog name would be hard to overcome as far as I know. Do you agree or what are your thoughts here?
    Should I just stay where I am at or do you have a magical and easy workaround?
    Or should I just stay put?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Steve, we understand your concerns and they are perfectly reasonable. However, search engines are really smart these days, they usually pick up quickly when you move your site. If you follow the instructions mentioned above you will steadily recover from migration phase and back to your pre-migration traffic in no time. You should consider the benefits of the migration which far outweigh any concerns you have about losing your existing traffic.

      Admin

  9. Sebastian says

    Hi, to start with I would like to thank you for a great article, I have a question. I am about to migrate my .com blog to .org. The thing is that I already had my own domain which I bought from One.com. On my .com blog I have been using the adress that wordpress gave me http://logicaecologica.wordpress.com/ and now when I migrate the blog to .org with the domain name http://www.logicaecologica.es, do I need to do something before migrating not to lose all my URLs or some other info from my .com blog.

    Thanks Sebastian

  10. Nacho Goberna says

    Great Post. Thanks a lot!… this is my situation:

    I have a wordpress.com site with a custom domain.

    I want to test wordpress.org to consider the definitive change.

    I get a bluehost hosting with a new domain name.

    I import everything from wordpress.com.

    I close the access to the version of the site in wordpress.org in order to prepare it to the change. Then i begin to adjust the site with a new theme, adjust images, etc.

    Once i will finished with the adecuation of the content in the wordpress.org version of the site… then:

    can i redirect my wordpress.com domain to point to the new wordpress.org site without loosing social counters or google ranks?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

  11. Traci Meredith says

    Love your site…very informative and love your screenshots!

    Here’s a question for you – I have a self-hosted blog that I manage through wp.ORG and I use the Genesis framework. For some reason, my site is listed in my wp.COM profile (which I don’t use anymore). I think the way it got there was I once attempted to activate Askimet on my self-hosted blog – and it asked for my wp.COM name, of which I input for the task. My self-hosted site was never registered inside wp.COM. So, do you know…can I delete the site from WP.com profile…or will that delete the entire site? Or, if I leave it, can my self-hosted site be affected by the fact that it’s in my wp.COM profile?

    Thank you sooooo much for any insight…this question’s been on my back burner for some time now.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Traci, if your self-hosted WordPress site’s link is appearing in your WordPress.com profile, then first make sure that it is only visible to you and not to the public. If the link to your WordPress.org blog is only appearing on your WordPress.com dashboard then it is probably not an issue since you are the only person who can view it.

      Admin

  12. London says

    This article has been so useful for my transfer from wordpress.com to bluehost wordpress.org with same domain name. I have just updated my nameservers to direct to bluehost and am waiting for that to take effect. The one thing I cannot figure out is:
    Since my domain name is the same as before, do I need to (and if so, how?) use the wordpress.com site redirect upgrade to redirect to the site with the new host? For example, I have pinned several posts on Pinterest that I want to be able to keep the links and redirect to the newly hosted site. Do I need to configure something to do this, or will they automatically redirect since the domain is the same?
    Thanks so much for your help!

  13. Shani says

    This is such a great post, and I really intend to use it. However, I’m still stuck on the part where I’m importing the XML file from my WordPress.com blog. I’ve done everything that everyone has told me to. My original file was under 3mb. My host had a limit of 8mb, so it wasn’t too large. Still, I would import it, assign it to the right user, check the box, and then it would start to work and then switch me to a blank screen. Someone on the support forums called this timing out. When I checked to see if it had worked, I saw that it imported photos and a text file, but no posts.

    So I reached out to the WordPress forum, and they told me to split my file. I did split it. I tried again. Again, it timed out, leaving photos in my media folder but no posts. My brother who is a programmer worked on it all night and wasn’t able to move it over, either. I am literally stumped and cannot figure out how to make this work. I’ve been trying for 3 days.

    If I would have known it would be this hard, I would have paid the extra for a host so that I could have done the guided transfer or used your service. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Shani there are a few more things you can try. first increase php memory, then increase the maximum upload size. Once you have done that, check WordPress file permissions. Ideally all your directories should have 744 set as file permission and all your files should have 644. However, if this is not working try setting all your directories to 755 or 777 but once you have imported your xml file don’t forget to change it back to 744.

      Admin

  14. Cherry says

    After I have successfully migrated from .com to .org, do I need to go back and close anything out of my wordpress.com site?

    Also, it seems I have only 2 theme choices available on my new self-hosted wordpress.org site. Will I have to buy premium or be able to access some of the old free themes?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Cherry once you have migrated your blog you can set it to private. Please take a look at the step 4 of the guide.

      As for themes, by default WordPress comes with two default themes pre-installed. You can install from thousands of theme available for WordPress in the official WordPress theme directory as well as many other WordPress Premimum Theme providers such as StudioPress.

      Admin

      • Cherry says

        I understood I should not set it to private if I wanted to bring my established readers with me?
        And there is a “store” where I can access other themes?

  15. mustafa ahmed says

    I did these all steps but my theme is not working to my real hosting now what can i do ??? Please suggest me how to transfer my theme from wordpress.com blog to another hosting ?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      @mustafa ahmed: some of the WordPress.com themes are available to be used on WordPress.org sites, and some of them are not. Search for your theme on WordPress.com and on the theme details page you will be able to see a “Download ThemeName for your self-hosted WordPress site” link at the bottom in right sidebar.

      Admin

  16. Lindsay says

    Thanks for this helpful info. I signed up yesterday for a WordPress.com account before I realized that what I need is a WordPress.org account. I believe I’ve done everything I need to do to make the switch. I downloaded and installed WordPress via HostGator. Then I changed my DNS to point to my HostGator server. But, I’m not even able to access my WordPress.org (full website) version of my site. I can only access the WordPress.com (blog) version.

    I’m thinking either
    1) I need to wait a few days for the change to take effect
    2) I need to transfer my domain name from WordPress to HostGator
    3) I’ve really messed up and need to start from scratch

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  17. Myra says

    Hi! Great article. I’m looking at switching form .com to .org and I have a question about the Reader. Is that the same for .org? I follow a number of blogs and have followers, does all that transfer over? Is there a Reader Newsfeed page with recent blog posts that .com has so I can still keep up with the blogs I follow?
    Thanks!
    Myra

  18. rani says

    ive just switched my site from wordpress.com to a self-hosted site. but, I lost all my social media counts. do you know how to restore these on my self-hosted site?

    with many thanks!

  19. leslie says

    I bought a domain name through wordpress.com and then realized that I need wordpress.org. I got on bluehost and downloaded wordpress.org. My domain name is charlottesfashionweb.com. I was able to move content by import/export over to the .org site but still when I type in the URL http://www.charlottesfashionweb.com it sends me to my old .com site. How do I move the domain to the .org site?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Leslie, you need to update your domain name servers. Currently they are pointing to WordPress.com name servers. You need to change them to

      ns1.BlueHost.com
      ns2.BlueHost.com

      Check out this WordPress.com support article to see how to update your domain name server.

      Admin

  20. Ade says

    Thanks for the enlightening tutorial, however, I still have some questions, I would like your help to answer.

    I already have a domain name bought from GoDaddy, but I intend to build a website using joomla and intend to have a blog page on my site.

    Can I run/ combine my Joomla built website with my WordPress based blog?

    Would moving my blog to my website constitute a problem? I know my blog url will change once I move it to my website, but I would like to retain all, if not most of all my current functionality of my WordPress blog.

    Is it possible to combine a Joomla built website with a WordPress blog? How would you advise I do this, while still retaining the functions I enjoy on wordpress.com?

    Will I still be connected to the Reader? Will my new content show up in my followers Reader?

    My fear is not wanting to lose all current content/functionality on my blog when I transfer it to my website. Is this possible?

    Thanks for your help.

    Ade

    • Steven Edholm says

      Outstanding article and website you have here. I have a similar question to Ade’s. I Already have a domain and website and would like to migrate my blog, which already exists on wordpress.org to the site, while retaining functionality of my already up and running website. So I guess that’s two different sites built on different platforms running on the same server. Is that possible? Thanks!

  21. Lena says

    Hi, I’m about to move my .com content to .org. I got a bit confused with all these hosting services and own domain names.
    When I started in April 2013 on .com I bought the wordpress.com bundle with an own domain name, which lasts for 1 year. But I do not want to wait any longer. I want to switch to .org asap. I will use blue host like you suggested.
    2 points I have to ask:
    1. When I register with blue host I will type in my current own domain name when they ask me to and this will stay then my own domain name after I have .org? Can I change it later on again?
    2. What if I already have the own domain name, but don’t like it and want to change it when moving to .org? When and where do I have to indicate that? And in case I do that, how will my readers know that, besides me telling them?
    Thanks a lot
    Lena

    • WPBeginner Support says

      1. When registering with Bluehost you will be asked if you would like to choose a domain name now or you have your own domain name. Select I have my own domain name.

      2. If you already have a domain name which you don’t like and want to choose a new domain name for your site you can do so when registering with Bluehost. However changing domain name would mean that you could possibly loose traffic and search rankings on your older domain. If you are not worried about losing traffic and seo rankings then go ahead. But if you want to retain your traffic and SEO rankings then check out our guide on how to move WordPress to a new domain name without losing SEO.

      Admin

      • Lena says

        Hi, thanks a lot.

        My main concerns are, from doing a bit of research online, that .org will take up more of my time due to having to host it, and the problems that may arise from this. Also one article said you should back up your posts/ work with .org?! (.com does it all for you). Is this something the host can do? If not how easy is it / how much extra time does it take?

        Thanks a lot
        Lena

  22. Charlotte says

    Hey WPB team,

    I have a domain with godaddy and am blogging off of the wordpress.com platform. I’m interested in switching over to wordpress.org . I see that you offer a free service if we purchase hosting from Blue Host, however when I go to the Blue Host site it’s asking me for my domain name. I want to keep my domain with godaddy and simply host with bluehost. If that can be done, which option should I select on the Blue Host site in order to do that?
    Thanks

    • WPBeginner Support says

      When you go to the sign up page BlueHost will show you two options. I Need a Domain Name and I Have a Domain Name choose the second option and enter you GoDaddy domain there.

      Admin

  23. Lisa says

    Hi I want to transfer my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org but I bought Anthem theme (79 euro) on WordPress.com so my question is… Can I have my Athem theme on WordPress.org as well??? I hope to be able to do this transfer!!!! :) But, if I am not able to do this…. Could you really do it for me for free??? thanks a lot!!!!
    Lisa

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Lisa premium themes are not available for you to download when you move your WordPress.com site. However, you can purchase the theme from theme developer’s website. In your case it would be theme foundry, you can contact them for details.

      Admin

  24. Donna Florack says

    I have hesitated to move my blog to wordpress.org even though I have my domain registered with GoDaddy.com because I was afraid of losing the wordpress.com community. If I self-host it on GoDaddy, will my postings still show on the wordpress.com Reader, or do I lose that? I am 1 class away from my AAS degree in Interactive Media Design so I would really like to be able to customize the site more than I can on wordpress.com. I have all this training and haven’t used it much. I just don’t want to lose the daily social piece.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Donna The community features of WordPress.com will surely affect you in the short run. However, if you move your site properly then you would be able to retain all your email subscribers, and since your domain will be the same your followers would be easily able to find you. If you have an email list, you can inform your users about the move, you can ask them to follow you on Facebook on Twitter as well. Most people who move from WordPress.com to self hosted WordPress.org site, usually regain their traffic and network in a very short period of time.

      Admin

  25. Angeles D. says

    Hi! Thank you so much for this post, it really helped me out. I have a few (probably silly) questions, how do I transfer my subscribers from wordpress.com to .org? (I have bluehost) and is there a way to also transfer the blogroll? Than you!

  26. Mike says

    Hi
    I really found your guide useful.

    Can you tell me how long the import process will take (including attachments) and when will I know it’s complete?

    I import and I get this screen, https://www.evernote.com/shard/s259/sh/60c0510b-e63b-49db-9176-8cc4b09a1567/e6d7c1e29da3e5cefd33b94666efd08f (note this is after a second attempt so it says some files already exists) but it doesn’t appear like anything is happening There is nothing to indicate there is any uploading happening.

    Given I’ve got over 700MB should I leave this page for a few hours?

    Thanks for any assistance.

    Mike

  27. Mlelanie says

    Great article, usefull question/answers! My question is about space Upgrade. I have to move a blog but the owner purchased a space upgrade for 1 year. This means that he used all the free space of 3 GB with pictures. My big concern is to transfering all those pictures without loosing them. Should I user a plug so I don’t go any risk of loosing stuff! And what about the space upgrade. I belive is lost after the transfer right?

  28. Tessa Shull says

    I have 2 questions:
    1. If I purchase my domain name from WordPress, do I still need a web hosting company?

    2.I’m currently at wordpress.com as “homemadeexperience.wordpress.com”. I’m wanting to purchase my own domain, so it’s just “homemadeexperience.com” and I’m also wanting to self-host. How do you suggest I do that or do I have to purchase my domain first then switch to .org, is it possible to stay at .com?

  29. Flavia says

    Hi! I found this guide very useful and it had cleared a lot of my doubts. I have a rather silly question but I don’t want to make any mistakes. I just purchased my own domain through wordpress.com, I do not have written one single post or customized anything. So basically all I need to do is transfer my domain name? Are these the correct steps ?:
    1. Transfer to WordPress.org
    2. Get a hosting company
    3. Install Genesis Framework and Child theme (this is my personal choice)

    Am I on the right track ?
    Lots of thanks!

    Flavia

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Yes, you are on the right track. Just a little correction, you do not need to transfer anything to WordPress.org. You will be transferring your domain name from WordPress.com to your new web hosting service provider.

      Admin

      • Flavia Andrews says

        Thank you! I appreciate it. Will be using your link to sign up with BlueHost.

        Best regards,

        Flavia

  30. Mike Gandy says

    Great article, thanks! What if I have already started a new WordPress.org site on my GoDaddy server, with a different URL, theme, new posts, etc? If I export from my old WordPress.com site and import to my new WordPress.org site, will it overwrite my new site in any way? Like by changing the theme to the old one or deleting my new posts?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you are only exporting your posts and comments from WordPress.com to your Self Hosted WordPress site. Then it should work. However, make sure that you backup your WordPress.org site before importing WordPress.com xml file.

      Admin

  31. Arzoo says

    Hi, I got my domain name from godaddy and planning to get the hosting from it, I want to know, what should I opt for between linux and windows hosting and what option in godaddy can help me transfer my site to wordpress.org.

  32. Soraya says

    It might be a silly question, but the (free) theme I use on my wordpress.com…will I be able to use it on the wordpress.org version?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It depends on what theme you are using. Many free themes available to WordPress.com users are also available for self hosted WordPress.org sites. Locate your theme on http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/sort/free/ click on your theme’s name. If your theme is available for self hosted WordPress.org sites you will see a link ‘Download this theme for your self-hosted WordPress.org site’ in the sidebar.

      Admin

  33. Matej says

    I’m going to transfer my wordpress.com blog to my wordpress.org hosting on networksolutions webpage.
    But I’ve already changed DNS servers to NS1.WORDPRESS.COM and NS2.WORDPRESS.COM.
    I transfer my old domain from wordpress.com to my new paid domain (via paid plugin) but that’s why I cannot able to work under the worpdress.org.
    Now is my old blog transferring to my new paid domain but when I sign up to my account I’m switched to wordpress.com… Can you help me to solve this problem?
    Thank you! Matej

  34. Lauren says

    I am in the process of transferring my wordpress.com blog (with an upgraded domain name) to a self-hosted wordpress.org blog, using netfirms.

    I am a beginner when it comes to this stuff.

    I was able to change the name serve to point to the netfirms one without any issues, but then my wordpress.com site when down completely and was showing an empty page because it was pointing to the wordpress.org one.

    When I tried to upload my exported XML file from wordpress.com it would not allow me to do so – it kept coming up with error messages and then the posts would not appear nor would the pages. In case the file was too big, I then tried to exports posts, comments and pages separately, which worked to get my content into the .org backend, however, no pictures would display. Next I uploaded the full XML export (with posts, pages, pictures, comments, etc – which is about 3875KB)and my pictures appeared in media. Despite all the content seeming as though it was uploaded properly, I was unable to see any of the posts with the pictures. I did download and active the import external images plugin to ensure that the links wouldn’t break as recommended by an article I read online.

    Could anyone help me to fix these issues so I can fully move my wordpress.com site to a wordpress.org – at this point I had to go back and change the name servers to the wordpress.com so my content would still be available.

    Also – I cannot log into the wordpress.org account until I change the name servers, but as soon as I do that my website becomes a blank page.

    Thank you so much for the assistance in advance.
    Lauren

    • Shani says

      Hi Lauren,

      I’ve been having the same exact problem. I’ve been trying to import my .com blog for 3 days. I even had someone who is a programmer try and help me out, and I still can’t get it up and working.

      Did you ever find a way to get it done? I’m getting no support from the WordPress forums. I would take advantage of WPBeginner’s transfer service, except I didn’t pick a host on their list. (If I would have know all the hassle I’d have, I would have paid the extra money.)

      Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

      Shani

  35. Hampus Frage says

    I am currently trying to move my wordpress.com site with a custom domian over to wordpress.org using Simplescripts. To continue i needed to make a account on another site called “MOJO Marketplace. On the MOJO site i said it needed my FTP information to start downloading wordpress. I filled in all the information except for the “FTP Root Directory”. Where do i find that?
    I tried using Filezilla using the ftp host name and everything, but all i get back is:
    “ECONNREFUSED – Connection refused by server”
    What am i suppose to do at this point?
    (Spelling)

  36. WPBeginner Support says

    if by stats you mean traffic stats then there are some ways to keep them intact. For example if you are on a custom domain and using Google Analytics then your Google Analytics data will be safe when you move your domain to a new host. If you are using WordPress.com Stats then those stats will be available using jetpack plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites.

    Admin

  37. Jonathan Wylie says

    What about URLs for posts on .com blogs. Will they be the same when you move to a .org blog, or will these posts take on a brand new naming convention? I have been using a custom domain name on my .com blog, so wondering if the URLs of previous posts will still be valid if I move to .org. Thanks. Great post.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      As we mentioned in the tutorial above that you can import your posts, and retain your URL structure. In order to redirect users from wordpress.com posts to self-hosted wordpress you will need to purchase Offsite Redirect upgrade from wordpress.com

      Admin

  38. Jessica says

    I just signed up with wordpress.com a few days ago! I signed up for the premium package which includes my new domain name. I can still get a refund for my purchase which is the good news and I pretty much have three empty pages because besides picking a theme the site is basically empty. In this I don’t need to import/export content because I have nothing. Once I get a new host and change the nameservers what do I need to do to shut down the wordpress.com site or do they do this automatically when I get my refund?

  39. Jane says

    This is a dumb question, but when I switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, can my website name still end in .com? Or does it necessarily have to end in .org when I move to WordPress.org?

    Thank you.

      • Jane says

        Hello. I think I did something wrong. I tried to follow your instructions for switching from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, but I think I created a new blog with a different domain name. I had a custom domain name (oddlyappropriategreetings.com), but it seems not to have remained the same. Is there anything I can do to get that name back? Thanks.

  40. Rashunda says

    How do you switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org if your domain was initially registered through GoDaddy?

  41. mahmoud says

    Hi
    “This upgrade provides 301 redirect which allows your site’s visitors and search engines to be automatically redirected to your ”
    What about pages and posts ? If i want to search for some posts or pages and visit this posts from google search .. what i will see post or homepage?
    I appreciate your help

  42. Jake Boughtwood says

    Hi, I’m looking to move my blog over to wordpress.org.. I Purchased the custom design package on wordpress.com and I’m really happy with the design that i have, Will i loose the custom design on my site or it will it transfer over to my new self hosted blog? Also do you have a guide on howto set up a complety new blog using wordpress.org, Looking to create a self hosted travel blog with some ad’s to hopefully make a few extra bucks when i go backpacking next year, any tips are greatly appreciated, thanks Jake

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Jake, it is possible to port your custom design to self hosted WordPress site. First, you need to find out what theme you are using. Some themes available to WordPress.com users are also available as premium or free themes for self hosted WordPress sites. Once you have the theme, you need to copy your customizations. You can do that manually, usually its just colors and fonts. Your theme may come with a theme customizer of its own which you can use to change colors and fonts. Or you can create a child theme and use those colors and fonts in your child theme’s stylesheet.

      Yes we do have a guide, in fact we have a complete step by step WordPress installation tutorial. We also have a guide on How to Properly Move Your Blog From WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

      Admin

  43. Chiara Costa says

    Hello and thank you so much for posting this. I read your entire tutorial but there are a few differences in my case. I was hoping you can help. I have a WordPress.com blog that I created just for fun. I have familiarized myself with its dashboard. Then I decided to create a WordPress site for a business idea I had. I did not know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I started watching tutorials on youtube and realized I was going to need WordPress.org software, so I could use plugins and other functionalities. However, unfortunately I had just purchased a domain name (yesterday, Aug. 27) for the new site and started writing some content for the homepage of it. I figured out how to install WordPress software on my mac (which was not easy) and canceled the premium upgrade I purchased for the new site. I kept the domain bundle with WordPress.com because I don’t want to loose it or have it blocked for 60 days. Therefore, I am not really concerned with transferring content or re-directing traffic from the WordPress.com because I have nearly none yet. I just want to know how I can still use the domain I purchased through WordPress.com on my new site. Please help if you can!! Thanks, Chiara.

  44. Kate says

    Hi! I’m *this* close to migrating my blog from .com to .org (kinda kicking myself for not going with .org from the beginning, but hindsight is 20-20) … I had gone through WP.com to secure a custom domain name. Is this going to create any challenges for me? I haven’t been able to find any clear cut answers to this question and I really want to keep the domain name. Do I continue renewing the domain name through WP.com? Thank you for the assist!

  45. Jessica says

    Hi, quick question: do the replies of people on your posts (on a wordpress.com blog) come along to your new wordpress.org website??

  46. Danielle says

    I just want to make sure I am reading / understanding the Free WordPress Blog set up correctly – if I sign up with one of the suggested providers through the link on the page you will migrate my current wordpress.com blog over to wordpress.org free of charge?

    I’d love to be able to make the switch to use plugins, google analytics, etc!

    Thanks,
    Danielle

  47. Jeny says

    Hi..I would like to ask a few doubts. Since I am not a Technically person, these might look silly, yet would appreciate the right response. I currently have a blog at WordPress with the free wordpress.com domain. I would like to change it and run advts on my blog. On searching over the net and from a few information that I received, they say to buy a domain from sites like GoDaddy and then apply for ads. But I guess, WordPress does not support that….I am a bit confused reading so many articles across the web. Could you please explain as to what should be my first step and how I should go about it, what are the approximate charges and where should I be paying..as I do not want to take a hurry step, but go one by one an do not want to loose all that I have build up so far…..also will I loose my followers on changing the outlook of my blog…..Please Advice.

  48. Camille Willemain says

    I have been using my own custom domain but with wordpress.com for almost a year and I’m pretty worried that if I move it I will break all of my image files as they have my domain with the .wordpress.com attached. Does anyone know if this is a problem?

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