When it comes to your brand and business, your website is your calling card. That url where customers can reach you says so much more than the 10-30 characters you’re choosing to string together.
On today’s blog post, we’re giving you the 411 on WordPress — how to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. The difference can actually make a big impact when it comes to your business and can help streamline your branding.
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How to Move From WordPress.com to Self-Hosted WordPress?
Making the Difference
For newbie business owners and bloggers out there, many think WordPress is simply WordPress, and there’s nothing more to it. But there are actually two routes you can go with your website, WordPress.com and a self-hosted WordPress site via WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is free (gotta love the f-word!). It’s a quick and easy option for hosting.
All you need to do is sign up for an account, choose a site name that hasn’t been chosen, pick a templated design and launch your website.
This is a good option for people doing business on a very small scale or as a hobby. You don’t have to know any of the technical aspects of website hosting or design because WordPress.com takes care of all the hassle for you. But it does come with some drawbacks.
Namely, you’ll have WordPress.com as part of your website address. So in our case, our web address would be Bluchic.WordPress.com—this obviously is super clunky and not ideal.
To use our own domain without the WordPress.com tacked onto the end, you have to pay annually and your storage space is limited (so you have to watch how many photos and videos you upload).
The self-hosted option is WordPress.org. This means you’ll purchase your own domain name and hosting plan to house on your website.
With this option, you’ll have full control over your site (and there isn’t any copy you have to tack onto your website address), you’ll be able to upload custom themes to give your website a personalized look, you can upload WordPress plugins to enhance the usage and functionality, and you’re able to monetize your website by running banners and advertisements.
For a business owner, WordPress.org is the way to go all day, every day.
If you want to generate income, you’ll want the flexibility and full control over your website and functionality. It’ll also help you streamline your branding and let you make the best choices when it comes to the look and feel of the experience you’re trying to emulate.
If you’re a business owner or blogger looking to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, follow these steps:
Step 1: Purchase a Domain
In order for you to have a self-hosted website, you need to be able to call it something. But, alas, the sky is not the limit. You have to choose something that isn’t already taken.
You’ll also need to find a domain registrar (think something like GoDaddy or Namecheap). Sites like these also have checker tools so you can see if your idea is available, and if not, something similar you could use.
Next, just go through the order process on said domain registrar and verify the ownership. Easy!
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Step 2: Purchase Website Hosting
Many newbies think once you have your domain name, you can get to rocking and rolling. But you actually need a hosting service, too. Simply put, this is a company that provides the technology and services needed for your website to be viewed on the internet.
For beginners, a popular option we love is Bluehost. And for more intermediate business owners, check out A2Hosting and Flywheel. (FYI — some of these are affiliate links!)
From here, you’ll need to decide what type of hosting you want: shared hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated hosting and managed hosting. Learn about the differences between them and which one is right for you in our blog post, 8 Questions to ask When Choosing a WordPress Hosting.
Step 3: Export Your Content
This is where moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org gets a little techy. So follow these bullets to easily export the amazing content you’ve already created.
- Sign into your WordPress account.
- Go to your blog’s dashboard and click on WP Admin.
- Look for the Tools tab and click on export.
- Click on start export.
- From here, you can pick and choose which content you want to export or you can export everything. Click on what you want to export and then click Download Export File.
- This will download an XML file onto your computer filled with all your posts, pages, comments, etc.
Step 4: Install the Importer
The next step is to install the importer on your new site and then do the following:
- Go to your dashboard and click on Tools > Import.
- From there, click on Install the WordPress Importer which will import your posts, pages, etc. from your export file from Step 3.
- A new window will pop up with the WordPress Importer plugin. Click Install Now.
- When this is done, a new page pops up confirming that everything was installed properly.
- Click on Activate Plugin & Run Importer.
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Step 5: Import Your Content
Now is the time to upload your WordPress.com export file.
- You’ll be automatically redirected to the import page. From here, click on Upload file and import.
- Assign your posts to new authors or assign post to an existing author on your new site by finding them in the drop-down list.
- Check the Download and import file attachments box and click Submit.
Step 6: Test Your Site
Even if you followed all the right steps to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, there may be glitches that follow you.
You’ll want to thoroughly test your site to make sure everything is looking and functioning as it should. This means all the images should be there, all the buttons are working, the formatting looks correct, etc.
If you’re having issues while in the testing phase (especially with images not transferring), check out the WordPress plugin Import External Images.
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Step 7: Celebrate!
Once your site is functioning the way it should and you have moved everything over from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, now is the time to get creative.
Building your dream website should be affordable and stress-free.
Our WordPress themes allow you to create a beautiful and professional site that your customers will love. Check out our customized WordPress themes to make sure your site looks as good as it functions.
For serious business owners (or those who mean serious business), moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is a no-brainer. The pros are endless and it’s not as difficult as you may think. With these steps, you’ll be loving your website even more.