How to Move From WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Updated on July 17, 2017
melbel profile image

Melanie is a social media hyper-user and has been blogging since 2007. She is an expert on things related to internet culture.

WordPress.com is an amazing place to get started in blogging. You can get a blog up and running at no cost and get your message out onto the Internet. However, it's easy to outgrow a WordPress.com blog. When this happens, it's time to move to WordPress.org.

Why WordPress.org is The Bees Knees

WordPress.org blogs are self-hosted (that is, WordPress.com doesn't take care of the hosting for you), but you have considerably more control over your blog. With WordPress.org you can show ads, have full control over your theme, and upload plug-ins to completely customize your blog.

If you want to move up the ladder from WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress.org, you probably want to know the best way to go about it. Hey, you're in the right place. Here's how to git r done.

Set up a Self-hosted WordPress Blog

There are a couple of things you'll need to do regardless of whether you're starting completely fresh (folks without blogs) on WordPress.org or making the switch from .com to .org:
If you don't already have a domain name, you'll need one of those. You'll also need to get hosting, configure your nameservers, and install WordPress.

Installing a Theme

The move to WordPress.org gives you an opportunity to use an enormously awesome variety of plug-ins and themes. However, when you're first making the move, all these can be a little bit like culture shock.

I recommend installing the same (or similar) theme you had before making the switch, just to get nicely moved in. Then, of course, you can move from there. You can search in the repertoire of WordPress themes or purchase a theme from a 3rd party theme developer.

Installation of themes in WordPress.org is a little different from .com. Unfortunately, you can't just hit an "activate theme" button to get the job done. Instead, you have to install themes before activating (although a few default themes come pre-packaged with WordPress. They're pretty boring unless you do some super customization, but will do the trick in a bind.)

Appearance then Themes
Appearance then Themes
Installing a theme via the WordPress Theme Directory
Installing a theme via the WordPress Theme Directory

To install a new theme, go to Appearance, then Themes.
This will take you to your Themes panel. Once there, click "Add New" at the top of the page.

You can either upload themes you've downloaded from a 3rd party or search for themes in the WordPress theme directory and hit the install button on any theme(s) you like.

As with a Wordpress.com blog, you need to activate your theme before it goes live on your blog. You can hit the "activate" button on the screen that pops up after installation or by browsing your installed themes on your Themes panel.

Settings then Permalinks
Settings then Permalinks

Setting Up Permalinks

You'll want to set up your permalinks in your .org installation before you migrate your blog. In order to do this, click "Settings" then "Permalinks."

If you've had your own personalized domain name attached to your blog for some time now, you'll want select "Day & Name" as your setting to (likely) avoid having to set up 301 redirects.

Personally, I like "Month & Name", it's ever-so-slightly less obnoxious than "Day & Name", but is still descriptive about your content. Don't select "default" or "numeric" because they're not great for SEO, because they're just numbers... it doesn't give you URLs that describe your content. Do NOT use "Post Name." It can cause some pretty serious structural issues and, of course, this.

Tools then Export
Tools then Export

Data Migration: Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Yay, it's moving day! More importantly, you've made it to the exciting part where you'll breathe life into your new blog!

The first thing you'll need to do is export your old blog. To do this, click "Tools", then "Export." Once there, you'll see two options: Guided Transfer and Export. You can do a Guided Transfer which is essentially means that the folks at WordPress (they call them Happiness Engineers) will move your blog for you or you can engineer your own happiness and export it yourself.

Click "Export."

You'll be asked what you want to export. I recommend selecting "All Content." If later you decide that you don't want your old pages on your new blog, you can just delete them.

Click "Download Export File" and an XML file will be saved to your computer. You'll be using this in the next step, but it's a really good idea to keep it forever (or at least until you're happy with everything in your new blog) in case something happens.

Exporting "all content" will make you have everything you need.
Exporting "all content" will make you have everything you need.

Now you're ready to move everything in. Head over to your new blog and click "Tools", then "Import." You'll be taken to a list of various importers. Select "WordPress" to install the WordPress Importer plug-in. Click "Install now" on the window that pops up. Once it's installed, click "Activate Plugin and Run Importer."

Here you'll select a file (that XML file you downloaded earlier) and click "Upload file and Import." On the next page, you'll be asked to select an import author. Essentially this is asking what name you would like listed as the author for all the posts you're importing. For example, I choose "melanie" for mine.

Select the author for your imported content.
Select the author for your imported content.

You'll want to select "Download and important file attachments" before hitting submit. This imports all your attachments (such as photos.)

Tying Up The Loose Ends

Voilà! You've imported your blog. But unfortunately, that's not the end of it. There are a few bits and pieces you'll have to put together before your new blog is oh-so-very you.

You'll need to get plug-ins to make your blog fancy and if your URLs aren't the same as before, you'll want to install a plug-in that will handle your 301 redirects. This isn't a requirement, but it will make sure all the SEO link juice you've collected passes through to your new blog.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Melanie Palen

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://turbofuture.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)