Steps to switch from wordpress.com to wordpress.org
by WP Creative on 2017 March | Posted in Web Development
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the recent years. With its popularity, I assume that you have heard of WordPress.com and WordPress.org frequently. Do you know their differences?
Being the users of WordPress.com, I hope you have your own site/blog. You may have spent a lot of time in blogging and making your site more informative. But, the time came when you realise that you need more functionality for your site, design the site as you expect and expand your website to monetize. And finally, you came to this conclusion to switch your WordPress website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
WOW, Guys!! Your decision is absolutely correct. And, you are at the right place. Here, I’ll guide you throughout the whole process to create your self-hosted WordPress website.
But before this, let’s discuss their differences in brief at first.
WordPress.com provides the free hosting service with the premium upgrade (paid) features. This means you don’t have to search other web host provider to set up and manage your WordPress website. You just need to sign up and select a domain name for your site and WordPress.com will automatically manage your site. Also, you don’t need to install software on your system. It’s most suitable for the beginners to practice and quick initiation to the first blog.
In general, we all know in the free service limitation exist. Hence, WordPress.com will add wordpress.com in your domain name by default and impel you to use limited themes and plugins. The hosting provider will have full control over your site.
On the other hand, WordPress.org is a self-hosted WordPress service. It means you have to pick and buy the hosting service from a third party like Hostgator, Bluehost. It is mostly recommended to those who want to own their own professional/commercial website.
Here, you have to install WordPress software on your system. And, you have full control of your site and you can manage it with great flexibility. You can install any themes and customise it. You can also edit the code as your requirement. You can add any number of plugins.
This is a quick overview of WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
I hope, you get an idea of why you have to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Now, let’s come to our niche topic.
Migrating a website from one host provider to another is not so difficult as you might think. And, using WordPress is very simple. You just need to follow these 6 simple steps and the result will be in your hand.
Step 1: Select a domain name and host provider
The primary step in the process of owning the website is to select a domain name and choosing an appropriate host provider. If you already have a domain and host provider for your site, you can skip this step.
You have to select a custom domain name that represents your brand. Let’s take an example of our site wpcreative.com.au which represent us as a WordPress developer in Australia. Also, picking the right host provider for your site is a frustrating task. You have to do some research and analyse which is the best WordPress hosting company so as to get the right one.
Step 2: Migrate your data from WordPress.com
After having your new host provider, you are now ready to migrate your data from WordPress.com. For this, you have to sign in to your WordPress.com account and enter your dashboard.
Now, click on the Export option under Tools menu.
Then, you’ll see a page that will ask you to choose between Free or Guided Transfer. I’d suggest you go with the Free option.
Next, you’ll have to choose the type of content you want to transfer. For migrating whole site (includes files, posts, pages, comments, images, navigation menus, etc.) All content will be the best option. Then, select Download Export File button. You’ll get the downloaded XML file on your system.
Step 3: Setup WordPress on your system
Now, it’s time to install WordPress on your system. Most of the host provider will provide 1-click/pre-installed WordPress on their web hosting system. So, have a look at the system.
If it’s not the option, then you have to download WordPress zip file from WordPress.org and install WordPress on your system.
Step 4: Import the content to WordPress.org
Now, to start the import task, you have to log in, your self-hosted WordPress Dashboard.
Then, go to the Import option under Tools menu.
Next, select WordPress and install the WordPress Importer Plugin to enable the import feature in WordPress. After install, activate and run the plugin.
On the next screen, you have to choose an XML file which is included in the export file of step 2. And click on Upload file and Import.
Next, select Download and import file attachments and click on Submit button to import an XML file.
Depending on the size of your file, it’ll take a few minutes to fully migrate.
Bravo! You have successfully migrated your file to self-hosted WordPress.
Step 5: Import the Blogroll Links (Optional)
This step is applicable only if you have used the Links feature on your WordPress.com site to store hyperlink. Because you need to export them also. Before exporting, you need to make sure no broken links exist on your site. Blogroll links are exported in OPML format which you need to save on your system.
Next, you should download a Link Manager plugin on your self-hosted site and activate it.
Then you’ll see the Links option on your side menu.
Now, go to Tools> Import and click on the Blogroll to import an OPML file.
On the next screen, you have to choose the OPML file to upload and click on the import OPML file button.
On the full completion, you’ll get the success message and you’re done with your import task.
Step 6: Set your blog as a Private and Preserve SEO
This is the final step if you don’t want your old users to discover your new site.
Go to Settings> Reading. Select the option- I would like my blog to be private, visible only to users I choose.
Another important point is to preserve your SEO by redirecting users to your new location. WordPress.com offers Site Redirect functionality if you’re ready to pay few pennies per year.
You can also check if blogroll links on your site are updated or not.
Congratulation. All your hard work made your site free. Now, it’s your time to get ready to maintain your site as you wish. You can use either free or premium theme to customise your site. And talking about plugins, if you have no idea which one is the best, then you can refer our article best WordPress plugins that you should be using.
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