A lot of people blogging through wordpress.com are asking me what a self-hosted blog is and how they can transfer their current blogs to a new hosting site. If you want to make more money with your blog, it is essential to have the full control on it. You can do it through migrating your wordpress.com blog to a new hosting.
In this post, we will discuss the things you need in order to transfer all your content to your blog’s new home server. We will walk you through the step by step process that are needed in order to properly migrate from wordpress.com to self hosted wordpress.org site.
If you’re ready, let’s start!
Things You Need To Start
You need a Domain Name and a Hosting Provider that supports WordPress. I highly recommend Bluehost to people who want to get started in blogging. I also recommend it with my web development clients. Bluehost is also an officially recommended hosting company of WordPress.
1. Export Data from your WordPress.com Blog
Log-in to your WordPress.com account and enter your blog’s Dashboard. Go to Tools > Export.
You will be redirected to a page where you will be asked to choose between Guided or Free Transfer.
We don’t want to spend much for a simple transfer. We can transfer things for free by clicking Start Export. You will be asked which data you want to export. Select All Content and download export file.
You’ll get an XML that includes all pages, posts, images, comments, custom fields, and all other information you have in your current WordPress Blog.
2. Setup Your Self-Hosted WordPress Site
Once you have the exported XML file from your WordPress.com blog, you need to setup a self hosted site where you will import all the information. WordPress is actually easy to install. It only takes couple of minutes of clicking and entering information then voila! I wrote a guide you can follow how to setup a wordpress site using Bluehost.
Once you have installed WordPress using the one-click installation in bluehost, you can now transfer the files to it’s new home.
3. Migrating Contents to Self-Hosted WordPress Site
To transfer your files from your old WordPress blog to your new hosting, enter your new site’s Dashboard and click on Tools > Import. You will be asked to install the wordpress installer plugin.
After you successfully installed the WordPress installer, run and install the XML file you previously created.
Click Choose File and locate the generated XML file. Once successfully uploaded, you can now hit Upload file and import.
Take Note: If your file size is larger than 2 MB and you cannot upload your file, ask your hosting provider for assistance to increase your limit temporarily so you can proceed with your transfer.
During the process of importing, you have option to either assign your content to the current user OR create a new user. You also need to make sure that if you want your images to be uploaded, you need to check the option for importing old attachments.
4. Redirecting Your Regular Visitors and Search Engine Traffic
To keep your audience updated about your new home, you need to point them to your new location through 301 redirects. But because you cannot access the file called .htaccess on WordPress.com, you cannot manually make any changes. You need to avail their Site Redirect as an upgrade to be able to do the redirect.
Go to your WordPress.com blog and login, go to this link and choose the blog you want to setup the redirect. It’s a pretty straight forward process which is reasonably priced at P715.00 as of this writing.
It is up to you if you want to keep paying for this functionality from WordPress.com. However, 2 years should be long enough for your readers and users to get used with your new domain, your new hosting, your new home.
5. Updating internal links
Every time you move a site from one domain to another, it is a must for you to change the WordPress Address and Site Address. To do this, head on to your new site’s WordPress Settings page.
Next, you need to change the links in your posts and pages. All internal linking and URL of images in your website must be changed according to your new domain name.
Before anything else, make sure to backup your site so you can easily revert everything back in case something goes wrong while updating URLs.
Changing URLs manually can be very tedious specially if you already have a big blog to migrate. There is also a big chance to miss some URLs.
To update your URLs automatically and smoothly, you can install the Velvet Blues Update URLs plugin. Once you activated the plugin, just follow the instruction under the Installation Tab on the plugin page.
These are the things you need to do and consider whenever migrating a WordPress.com blog to a new domain and hosting. If you find this article helpful, you can share it with your WordPress blogger friends.
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