Migrating sites from WordPress.com could get more flexibility and control over the websites. However, some people may hang back for the lack of WordPress knowledge or technical skills. In fact, it’s not very difficult to make the whole process. This tutorial introduces the preparatory work, specific operations, and key tips in detail. You could be very easy to finish the migrating process by following these tips.
Preparatory Work Before Migrating
Before you migrating your website from WordPress.com to a self hosted WordPress, you need to do the following work at first:
- Registering a domain name.
- Purchasing a web hosting.
- Installing WordPress application already.
If you haven’t had an account yet, we recommend you going with BlueHost. BlueHost offers a specific WordPress hosting plan with a free domain name included, which allows you to install WordPress by a few clicks.
After you finishing the preparatory work, you could start to migrate the website with the following steps:
Step 1: Export your content from WordPress.com
Login to your WordPress.com account, go to Tools, and click the Export.
Then, you could see the following content, click the bottom Download Export File button. There is a prompt box to select the file type to save. Save as a XML or WXR file to start downloading. In general, this step takes several minutes, but the detailed time depends on the size of the database.
Step 2: Import the content to the self hosted WordPress site
Now, you could import the backup of the old site content to your self hosted WordPress site.
Login to the WordPress website, go to Tools, and click Import.
Then, you could see the following chart, click WordPress.
Upload the backup file. Then it prompts you to map the authors of the posts between the old and new sites. Remember to mark the checkbox “Download and import file attachments”, click submit at last.
At present, the content of the WordPress.com website has been migrated.
Step 3: Redirect from WordPress.com to self hosted WordPress site
There are 2 ways to redirect the readers to the new site.
The first way is to find a WordPress plugin to create a mapping between all the old and new pages, and redirect the requests to the pages at WordPress.com to the according page at the new site. E.G. Redirection is the right choice. Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors without requiring knowledge of Apache .htaccess files.
Secondly, if you are not a technician, you can also pay $9.97/yr to WordPress.com for the redirection service. You could find the detailed instruction at the WordPress.com support site, or you could follow the following steps:
- Change the name server of your domain to point to the WordPress.com server
- Add your domain name to your WordPress.com site in the Settings -> Domains section (This cost you $9.97 per year).
- Change the name server of your domain back to its original setting.
With that, any readers arriving at your WordPress.com site are redirected to your self hosted WordPress site.
Now you have the site migrated to the new host from WordPress.com without losing any readers as well as the search engine ranking.
Recommended WordPress Web Host
If you still don’t have a web host, we recommend you going with BlueHost. BlueHost is a reputed web host founded in 1996, and now is serving for over 2.5 millions of customers. The BlueHost WordPress hosting plan is starting at $6.95/mo regularly, but it’s offering a 44% discount for the readers going through this promotional link. The plan includes a free domain name, a bunch of premium WordPress plugins and themes, and supports 1-Click to install a WordPress site in a few minutes by leveraging the powerful automatic application installer SimpleScripts.