Why should I move my WordPress.com blog to WordPress.org?
Like most other people, you started your first blog on WordPress.com because the service was free, you didn’t require any designer skills and there were plenty of themes, widgets, etc. to help you customize the blog just the way you want it.
Other than Google ads and themes, a big reason why you may want to move from wordpress.com to a personal web domain is branding. A web address like www.yoursitename.com (hosted on WordPress.org) looks far more professional than www.yoursitename.wordpress.com which uses the free WordPress.com platform unless you pay extra to have your own domain mapped to that .com account.
How to Move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
This guide describes how you can easily move a blog from WordPress.com to a personal web domain using a self-hosted version of WordPress blogging software (wordpress.org).
Step 1: Get a domain name and rent some server space
To move your blog from WordPress.com to your own domain, you first need to buy a web domain and some server space where you can host that blog. Hosting services that you might consider for your WordPress blog include Dreamhost, Rackspace, Blue Host and KnowHost. Am attractive offer is that when you purchase web hosting through BlueHost, you also get a free domain. It just costs around $6.95 per month.
Step 2: Transfer posts from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
Now that you have the basic infrastructure in place, we shall set up a WordPress blog. Most web hosting companies offer 1-click WordPress installation so this shouldn’t be tricky. After acquiring the hosting account, go to the C-Panel of your account and look within the available applications. You will see the WordPress icon, clicking which will take you through a 1 minute install process. Install WordPress in the root directory: www.yourdomain.com, not in the sub-directory: www.yourdomain.com/subdrectory name.
Now go back to your old WordPress.com blog and access its admin dashboard. Navigate to Tools –> Export. An XML file would be generated which you need to save on your computer. But before exporting you should make sure that you clean up your old blog by getting rid of spam comments and such. Now, back in your new site’s WordPress admin panel, click Tools – > Import and then choose WordPress. Select that file you previously downloaded. Be sure you check the option to bring in all attachments. Everything from your old WordPress.com blog, including images and other attachments, will now be imported automatically into your new WordPress.org blog.
Step 3: Redirect visitors and search engines to your new blog
Your new self-hosted blog might be mirror of your old WordPress.com site, but visitors and search engines alike, will still land on your old site as their is no way to inform them about the new one. Therefore we should place something to redirect traffic coming to your old addresse into your new blog. This won’t not that difficult either.
First, login to your domain registrar account (the company with whom you registered the domain). Then change your domain’s DNS settings so that your domain points to WordPress.com servers. Make certain that you write down the existing nameserver configuration as you will need them later on. Once you have made a note of that information, you can safely change the DNS name server records to ns1.wordpress.com, ns2.wordpress.com and ns3.wordpress.com. The domain registrar, in some cases, may request you confirm the change in name-servers.
Domain mapping is a premium service and will cost you $10 per year. You can pay with either PayPal or a credit card of your choice. To perform this, just go to your WordPress.com blog’s dashboard, select Upgrades -> Domains. Enter the URL of your new domain, and click “Add Domain to blog.” Then click “Map Domain” when asked to confirm that you wish to add this address to the blog. You cannot have www in the URLs and also don’t put the trailing slash.
Once this is completed, you need to set your personal domain (abc.com) as the primary address for the WordPress.com blog. In your WordPress.com admin dashboard, navigate back to Upgrades -> Domain and then select the checkbox for that domain you had just added. Now click to Update Primary Domain.
Step 4: Reverse the Nameserver changes for DNS
Change your domain’s nameservers back to the original settings which you had noted down earlier. Click to save the changes, wait for a while and then both your new domain (myblog.com) and your old WordPress blog (myblog.wordpress.com) will point to your new blog location.
Alternative method: If all these steps sounded a bit too technical, there’s an easy way as well. Automattic is now offering a premium service called Guided Transfers, in which one of their own engineers would personally help you move your WordPress.com site to WordPress.org for a fee of $99. But on a condition that your new site must be hosted on any one of WordPress’ partner companies. The list includes big names like GoDaddy, Dreamhost and Blue Host. But if you rely on another company for your hosting needs, say HostGator or Rackspace, the option A is still the best for you. Or get our WpBuddy team to migrate your blogs at very affordable fees.
That’s it! Once the migration is complete, the switch will be invisible to your existing blog subscribers and search traffic. All your older blog links will continue to work and visitors will be redirected to the new site. However, you will have to keep renewing the upgrades every year, for using the domain mapping services from WordPress.com, if you want your WordPress.com address to redirect to your new site.
But we aren’t finished yet! What to do with your old site? Google doesn’t like duplicate content sitting around the Internet. So here is the plan to employ: If your site hasn’t been up long and you haven’t been serious about it then just delete the original .com blog. But if you have lots of search engine traction and links and so forth then there it is better to keep all of your links redirecting to the new site.