So, you’ve been blogging for quite some time now on a free platform, you’ve noticed the limitations of wordpress.com and you want to move your blog to a self-hosted WordPress blog?
I have noticed that some bloggers experience difficulties in moving their blogs from the free platform to a self-hosted WordPress blog, and so in this post, I am offering a fail-proof step-by-step way of moving your blog without any fuss.
You won’t lose your content, comments or likes and your site never goes down. Trust me, I have done this several times for myself and some clients.
Before you Begin:
Note that you are only moving the images, comments, likes, and contents on your blog and not the design. Export your blog (I will show you how in the next paragraph) and save it on your computer. So that if something goes wrong (if you are in Nigeria, it’s mostly going to be network or electricity going off) you know you are safe.
Get a Domain Name and Hosting:
Your domain name is your website/blog address while your hosting is where your website/blog and its content is stored (not a technical definition, but I hope it serves its purpose). You were previously blogging at yourblog.wordpress.com and now you want to move to yourblog.com right?
You need a hosting provider to host your blog on. Most host will offer you a free domain name, others you might need to pay. There are lots of web host out there but I recommend these 3.
HostGator: This is the host I am currently using for my blog because I love to try new things. I wouldn’t particularly say it’s best out there because I have experienced a couple of downtimes which can be a little annoying. But it is good. And their customer service is pretty good too for a company with such large customer base. I am recommending this because I currently host my blog with them and top blogs like wpbeginner.com and wpzoom.com are being hosted on Hostgator. Click on the image below to host your blog on Hostgator. If you purchase with the link, you get a 60% discount on the original price.
InMotion Hosting: I have used this service for 2years and it is by far the best hosting service I have used. Their customer service is top notch. And for the 2years I hosted my blog with them, I never experienced any downtime. Inmotion is the less commonly talked about WordPress hosting among bloggers, but from experience, I’d say you give them a try because they are reliable. Click on the image below to host your blog on InMotion Hosting. If you purchase with the link, you get up to 57% exclusive discount on the original price.
Bluehost: This is the most talked about hosting service among bloggers and I think it’s totally worth it. While I haven’t personally used this service, but from the testimonies I read from other bloggers, I can say you give them a shot. Click on the image below to host your blog on Bluehost,
My advice: Buy a one year or two-year plan. This way you spend less and don’t have to worry about your hosting expiring soon, this way you get to focus on actually blogging and making the most of your blog.
1. Export Your Content from the WordPress.com blog
Log into your wordpress.com dashboard by going through http://yourblog.wordpress.com/admin.
On the right menu, go to Tools then Export.
Select ”all content” (like in the image below) and click Export. This action will download your blog to your desktop.
2. Import Your Content to you Self-hosted WordPress blog
After you have installed WordPress on your new hosting, it’s time to import your downloaded content and get going.
To do this, log into your WordPress dashboard (http://yourblog.com/admin), go to Tools, then Import. Scroll down to where you have WordPress. You will be required to install a plugin called: WordPress importer.
After installing the plugin, click on ‘run importer.’ or ‘Install Now’ (as shown in the image above)
Upload the export file you previously downloaded.
When you start importing, you will have the option of assigning your old content to a current user or create a new user. You’ll also have the option of importing your old attachments (you want to make sure that you check this box to ensure that your images are imported).
And that’s is that. You now have your posts, comments, images etc on your new blog.
But don’t stop there;
3. Set up a Redirect
Since your visitors and followers won’t know that you have moved to a self-hosted blog, they’ll still be visiting the old one for a time, so you’ll need to have them automatically redirected to the new domain. The easiest way to do this is to use the Site Redirect service from wordpress.com, which costs $13 per year.
Open the “Store” menu item in your old wordpress.com administrator dashboard and search for “Site Redirect”.
Click “Buy Now,” and click “Buy Now” again to confirm. Enter the address of your self-hosted wordpress.org blog, and click “Redirect to this URL”.
Confirm the purchase, and enter your payment details to complete the process.
With the redirect set up, you will be able to manage your site redirects from the “Store > My Domains” menu item in the wordpress.com administrator dashboard.
In order for the redirect to work correctly, the permalinks on your new site will have to match those used on your wordpress.com blog.
You can change the redirect at any time you want, and for best results, you’ll probably want to use the service for a year or two until your visitors come to memorize your new domain and it takes precedence in the search results.
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.
WordPress.com allows you to migrate your subscribers with one condition. You must use Jetpack plugin which adds the same subscribe functionality that you had at WordPress.com. Once you install and activate the Jetpack plugin, you will find an option in your followers page to migrate your followers.
Okay, That’s it friends. It’s easy.
But if you find that you are still not up to it, I am offering to a free blog setup for my readers (this is a completely free service and may go away soon).