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How to Easily Move Your Blog from to

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 to

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

In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to properly move your blog from to

Moving to

Why Move From to allows anyone to start a blog by creating an account.

However, beginners soon realize that there are a lot of limitations on their free 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 platform.

To understand the differences between the two platforms, see our complete comparison of vs.

We recommend using 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 to properly.

Things You Need Before You Start

To start with self-hosted, 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 to without losing search rankings.

Aside from the hosting account, you’ll also need access to your 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 to 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 to 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

First, you need to sign in to your 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

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. will also email the link to your email address.

Downloading 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 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 site content to your new 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 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 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 links have an OPML file located at an address like this:

Replace the example with your blog’s subdomain.

If you are using a custom domain with your website, then your OPML file can be accessed by visiting a URL like this:

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 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 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 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 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, you cannot make any changes to retain search engine rankings.

However, 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, 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 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 blog’s visitors and search engines to your new site.

Purchase site redirect from to

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, 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 Subscribers?

Thankfully, 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

Once you install and activate the Jetpack plugin, you will need to contact the 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 to for FREE?

Absolutely. We offer migration from 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 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 Can I get a refund?

Yes, you can. If you recently purchased a custom domain or a paid plan from, 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, then they will not be converted. If you notice that the image URL has not changed and still points to, we recommend that you use the import external images plugin, which will take care of that.

I registered my domain through 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, 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

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 website?

Yes, you can easily add an online store to your self-hosted 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, 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 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 to 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

1,232 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
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  2. John Hebard says

    With the wordpress updates since you’ve written this article is it still as fast and easy to transfer from .com to .org? Is there any new information I would need?

  3. Ben Hendrix says

    Hi ! … im still confused, actually i started a new free wordpress plan , and i cant install plugins, so the only thing i understood that, i had to buy a domain name on Bluehost … and export+import my content to my new hosted site …does this allows me to add PLUGINS ?

  4. Ingrid Westlake says

    If I sign up for WordPress premium plan, does that transfer my blog automatically to How does it work?

  5. Nathalie says

    I’d really like to use your transfer service but I already have a custom domain bought through so I’m a bit confused how I can transfer that over if I buy one of the hosting packages you recommend. Could you give me some advices so I’m definitely doing it right please. Super happy to have found your service. Thanks!

  6. Prateek says

    Hey, I am trying to transferring my Data. But as it is showing in your screenshot that maximum file size that can be transferred is 32mb whereas, in the new software we can’t transfer a file size of more than 2mb and my blog file size is 7mb. It’s showing an error that ‘exceeds maximum file size’. Now, what to do??

  7. Sarah says

    I’ve followed all of the steps above (excluding step 4) and it has worked however only a few of my pots have transferred to my new domain. Nothing since April 2016 is showing. I asked host and they said something about SQL and PHP but I’ve had a go and have no idea what I’m doing, I don’t want to make it worse! Any idea what i might have done wrong?!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hey Sarah,

      You can run the importer again. It is smart enough not to create duplicate content so it will skip the content you already imported and will only import content skipped during previous attempt.


  8. Glen says

    I might have an issue. Bluehost has already taken over my domain before I had the opportunity to export the content from Now when I log in to the admin page it displays the bluehost wordpress and not the wordpress.

    How can I get to the export file from

  9. Mariah McKenzie says

    I currently have a site (suburbia theme) I’d like to move it to a self-hosted site and greatly appreciate these instructions, but I am unclear if the theme and thus the appearance will transfer as well, or do I have to pick a new theme? (I looked up suburbia on and could not find it.) My website is Thank you!

  10. Aaron says

    Why Bluehost If I’m already hosted with another company (that I’ve paid for) can I not just continue to use them when I migrate.

    Thanks in advance.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Aaron,

      Yes, you can continue to use your existing hosting company if you are satisfied with them and they support WordPress. It is for users who don’t have hosting and want to start quickly.


  11. vihasi shah says

    My blog is free right now on WordPress.
    I want to transfer it to a self-hosted blog.
    (my own server+own domain name)
    Will my followers on WordPress will be continued or they will leave?
    Please guide me.

  12. Carol says

    I bought a theme on When I migrate to WordPress.Org, does the theme remain intact? Would I still be able to use the theme?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Carol,

      Many WordPress themes that are available to users are also available for self hosted sites. You will have to search for your theme on themes website. Themes that are available for self-hosted websites have a notice in the right sidebar under stats and info section.


  13. Divina Fallarcuna says

    Hi! I have a new blog in I signed up for a free plan so basically i dont own my domain yet. After reading lots of blogs I dont want to sign up on any plan with them. I want to buy my domain on Name cheap and then choose a web host. I wonder if i can still use that domain in my wordpress after i bought it somewhere and since im on a free plan. And i want to transfer to as well.. im very confused! :(

  14. Lydia says

    Hi pls I want to move my website from .com to .org on WordPress to be self-hosted via Bluehost. I wanted to know if the free transfer was still going on plus how I would qualify for the service. Lastly, if I will be able to transfer my email subscribers too
    pls reply
    Thank you

  15. David says

    How can i do a redirect to each entry?

    im loosing many visits beacuse with the Site Redirect it send everybody to the home and people doenst reach the entry they where looking for.

    there is any way to do it?

    I want the people who enter on the entre mydomain. , redirect to the entry

    is it possible?

  16. Laura says

    I followed the above steps and now all my permalinks are broken. They all have single quotes

    which can’t be found. at the same time, if i manually remove the single quotes it goes into a redirect loop. Can you please help? Luckily I only have 4 posts so far (just starting out) so it’s not a huge deal but would like this fixed.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Laura,

      Login to the admin area of your WordPress site and go to Settings » Permalinks page. See if you have quotes in the custom structure field. If you do, then remove them and click on save changes button. Hope this helps


  17. jacqueline says

    Problem I am having is I setup my domain with The host is wild wild west will is not a host where I can log into. So how do I get my domain from WP and get a hosting for this domain so I can change to .org?

  18. LaShae says

    I just signed up for last week. I do have a domain name and chose the premium package. I realized that would be better for what I am trying to do. Am I able to cancel my .com subscription and get .org and still be able to have my bought domain name?

  19. Tom Cross says

    Hi, I have followed these instructions, and, as with another comment below, can still only access my account. The account details – login/password I received through bluehost/mojomarketplace aren’t being accepted, and at this point it’s as if I haven’t done anything, aside from pay Bluehost :(

    Any advice on what I’m potentially doing wrong would be much appreciated!


      • Bren says

        I am having the same problem. I transferred my domain from wordpress.COM to my new hosting. I then installed WordPress within my hosting service to that domain. When I try to log in, it still takes me to the old wordpress.COM dashboard. How do i disconnect my domain from the

  20. Joe Morgan says

    Have moved my site from .COM to .ORG with Bluehost as the hosting site. The problem is that when I click ADMIN Login on the Bluehost MyInstalls tab the path still takes me to the .COM Admin site. How can I thus ensure Bluehost directs me to the new WordPress Admin dashboard at .ORG???


  21. Lydia says

    Hi I am thinking of using your services to help migrate my .com WordPress to .org & to get it hosted on Bluehost
    I wondering if you still offered this free transfer service. And if you will be able to transfer my email subscribers too.
    Also,how do I become eligible for the free transfer?

  22. malcolm i says

    CANT EXPORT .ORG site to new host
    my site hosting finished. the export function wont work from the account access as it says jetpack needs updated but obviously i cant access plugins? can anyone help?

  23. Nick Snedden says

    I have downloaded wordpress on bluehost and redirected my servers from my wordpress. com site. However when i go to look at my site or dashboard is says that my connection is not private and I can’t access it.

  24. Pradeep says


    This page was helpful and I followed the steps and imported. My site is not ready yet so there were no links and I was not worried about SEO.

    After importing I received an email from WordPress presented below:
    Your WordPress import was successful.

    Happy Blogging!

    — the team

    However, I still do not get the option of adding new plug-in still. Can you please help?

  25. Femi says

    Hi! I used this tutorial to migrate my site from to and followed all the steps, but about half of the posts from my .com account are missing and the area where I listed my Instagram and Pinterest account are gone. Additionally there’s a new “Sample Page” link at the top that I can’t figure out how to remove and wasn’t on the .com website. Please help!


  26. Eleanor says

    Hi! Thank you for the great tutorial. I’m encountering an issue though. When I exported the .xml file from, it split it into 9 files. The total space is 22 MB. The hosting service I’ve purchased allows a file size maximum of 64 MB so space isn’t an issue, but they need 1 .xml file to upload for the import. I’m not well-versed in .xml but I was wondering how one converts those 9 into 1 so I can upload it to the hosting service. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  27. Jolien says


    Thanks for the clear instructions. I did all the steps. I exported everything from my old site and imported this into my site. But I can´t find my messages, media etc. Not all the media is begin transferred, and none of my messages. Maybe I did something wrong, but i followed all the steps as noted above, i can´t seem to find the problem..


  28. Aditya Bharadwaj says

    I have a Website hosted on GoDaddy and uses WordPress. And I also have a site and I would like to migrate the site to my selfhosted site as a page. Can I follow the same process? Or are there any more steps I need to take?

  29. V Rodriguez says

    If I paid for the plan over 30 days ago, will I still be able to get a refund if I switch to

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Rodriguez, plans and other purchases can be canceled with in 30 days of the purchase. You can still contact support for more information.


  30. Claire Lyons says

    Hi there, I want to move to .org from my .com so I can do more on my site. However, I’m also ready to put the content I have on .com into a new domain I have bought.. should I move the content and then add the domain in .org – or do the domain in .com and then move it to .org?? Does that make sense? I’m a bit lost!

  31. Lucas says

    The article is great and goes into a high level of detail! Thanks!

    I’m having trouble with the WordPress importer though. For starters, it isn’t compatible with the most recent version of WP yet (4.7). And when I installed a previous version of WordPress instead (4.6), the importer plugin still is broken, it throws an error when it’s installing. Are there any other options for getting my content into my new Selfhosted WordPress site?

  32. Samantha Lucas says

    I recently set up a wordpress blog and made it “.com” However, after reading the blog I realized that I would like to switch over to “.org” I do not have a domain name or a host yet. Is it possible to switch over first and then sign up for a Bluehost subscription?

  33. Lydia says

    Hi I would like to transfer my wordpress blog to be hosted on Bluehost. I already have a domain name. I am worried about transferring my email subscribers. How much would jetpack cost to transfer them. Is this something you can help with? if I use your free transfer service.

  34. Shoma Abhyankar says

    I have a custom domain at
    My blog is . When you suggest to help me migrate to free then do you shift my all images even the ones with URL? Am I supposed to take full backup before you help in migration? Do you take a back up ofonly the SQL thing or full backup?
    I am really worried about loosing anything of my site. I am planning to choose FastComet as you help in migrating to a site hosted by fast comet?

  35. Jess says


    I just switched over from to and am trying to import my files via Bluehost/WP tools. My domain name was purchased on, so that is already set BUT I cannot find the “tools” panel to add the “WordPress Importer” plugin. Do you know why the tools panel is gone?


  36. mark aurelio says


    i have a new blog in i have registered a domain name, and purchased a hosting plan. i am studying the manual procedure for migrating the blog to

    can i skip the following:

    step 4 – i don’t have a blogroll
    step 5- i don’t want to keep my blog private
    step 6 – this is a new site, i have no ranking to preserve

    where is the part that requires pointing the site to the DNS servers of my host?

    thank you so much for your kind help.


    • Zikrullah says

      Hi ,
      I have both domain and host on . Therefore, how can i move to and ı dont know how to reach my host and domain information :(

  37. Elijah says

    I did all of the things in the video and the import was successful, I installed WordPress on cpanel and did everything, yet, when I go to my site dashboard and nothing changed. Am I doing something wrong? Please help.

      • Yusra says

        I’m facing the same issue. I followed all the steps, but when I click on the new credential details that lead me to admin, Its still on Help!

      • Moni Love says

        Hello! Seems as though I am experiencing the same problems as far as getting web host and installing WordPress but confused as to how to point to new host or how to not see WordPress .com and see WordPress .org I feel as though did I download the wrong version?? I tried contacting customer service and I have not been able to reach anyone so its a bit frustrating I really hope I didn’t do any thing wrong its like the is back behind my domain again..Im all confused!!

  38. Sheryl says

    Hi! Please enlighten. I just upgraded my plan on because I wanted to have a self-hosted blog. From FREE to PREMIUM. What happened was, I was given another site and all of my content from the previous site was nowhere to be seen on the new site. I wanted to keep all content and just have a new domain. What should I do?

  39. Jaida says

    I set up a self-hosted blog (or so I thought!) on by accident, earlier this year. I bought a domain name and hosting through Bluehost, paid the $13 mapping fee, etc. I just realized today that I am on and need to be on, so how do I fix this? I started the redirect from my old blog (on blogger) and while trying to install a plugin to finish, found out I was on the wrong wordpress. Help!

  40. Lis says

    Hi I just followed all the steps from above to switch to wordpress self-hosting, but my theme isn’t working. I can’t find mine purchased theme. How can I fix this?

  41. Vickie says

    I have a self-hosted WordPress site via GoDaddy. I just purchased the Genesis Framework and a child theme that can only be used with a self-hosted website. Someone else set my site up for me and I wasn’t sure if it was through or How do I know which I have? If it’s self-hosted, does that automatically mean it is through Thanks for your help.

  42. Gail says

    Hi imported my blog from to localhost. It seems that the onlyt blog imported are my first blog and I cant see the other post.

    • Savita Hiremath says

      Dear WP team,

      I am planning to migrate from my to a self-hosted site. Will all the Facebook likes and shares still show up as earlier or will the counts reset to zero after migration?

      Would appreciate a prompt reply.

  43. Abbie N says

    I want to move my site to so I can have more freedom with plugins etc.. I paid for my own domain name already, will I be able to keep this? Also, would it transfer my stats across like my views so far?

  44. JOY says

    Iam using blogger with adsense and custom domain . i want to switch wordpress self hosting. if i move to wordpress is my adsense effected or not. I dont wan to loose adsesne

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