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How to move your blog from WordPress.com to a self-hosted domain

A good majority of individual bloggers choose to have their websites hosted on WordPress.com largely because it is free and easy to set up. This is a great choice for many personal bloggers, low traffic websites, and even community based websites.

However, if you're looking to build a serious business, you'll find that WordPress.com can't keep up. All premium options like custom domain, additional storage space, audio / video uploads, and ads require you to pay additional amounts. Unlike other hosting services, e-mails must be hosted externally. No affiliate links or custom plugins are allowed. WordPress.com can shut you down at any time. The need to update and find a host for your WP site will be felt as the business grows.

WordPress.com doesn't support many professional themes. Therefore the choice of topics is very limited. The underlying structure of the WordPress themes cannot be changed. There are many customization restrictions that will keep your website from growing.

So it may be time to switch to a self-hosted website. You can download and install the free WordPress software on your own server. This is what is known as a self-hosted WordPress site.

This can be a daunting task for most, but this guide will make it easy for you.

We can break the whole process down into seven steps.

Step-by-step guide on how to migrate WordPress.com to a self-hosted domain

1- domain name + web hosting

You must first register a good domain name. Next, choose a hosting service. You can take up server space with a hosting service company such as Siteground or InMotion Hosting.

Jerry, here at Web Hosting Secret Revealed, has reviewed more than 60 hosting services. Perhaps you can pick one by looking at its in-depth reviews. Also note that some web hosting service providers will be happy to assist you in exporting your site's information to their servers.

2 - Install WordPress

Most hosting services have made it easy for you to get WordPress installed on your website with just a few clicks. If you need help, you can check out the excellent, yet simple, documentation on WordPress.org. It is also advisable to install WordPress in a subdirectory B. from accidentally deleting essential WP-Core files, and reducing possible conflicts.

3 theme setup

Determine and install the design for your website. Check out 50 awesome WordPress themes available to you for free.

4 - Exporting data from WordPress.com

Log into your WordPress.com account and go to the dashboard. Find Tools in the menu and click Export. You will be asked to choose between a free tour or a guided tour. Select the Free option.

You need to specify the content that you want to export. Select all of the content and click the Download Export File button.


An XML file is automatically downloaded to your computer. This file contains all of your WordPress site content - posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags. Once you've done this, you'll have finished exporting all of your content from WordPress.com

5 - Importing content into a self-hosted WordPress site

Now you should log into your WordPress website with the new host server. In the Dashboard, under Tools, select Import. Go to Import found under Options and click WordPress.


At this point, you'll need to install the WordPress import plugin.


Activate and run the plugin after installation.


Remember that an XML file was automatically downloaded during the export process. The screen will now ask you to upload it. The file size for uploading is limited. If your file size exceeds the limit, you can ask your host to temporarily increase the limit, or you can split the file using WXR File Splitter.


You are also offered several options, such as: B. assigning content to users or importing attachments. You can select options by ticking the appropriate box.

6 - Importing Blog Role Links

This step is only required if you have saved blogrolls and other links using the link function in WordPress.com. If you have not used this function, you can skip this step and go directly to the Settings step.

The OPML format is an XML format that enables the import and export of link categories and links. Find your OPML files in WordPress.com and open them. It will open in your browser. Save the open OPML files on your computer. Next, your WordPress.com links need to be imported into your new site.

The new site may not have a link manager. So install the Link Manager plugin and enable it (even if the plugin may not have been updated). A left icon and option will appear in the menu on your new dashboard. Go to Tools> Import and click Blogroll.

Install the OPML installer.

Activate the installer. You will be redirected to the importer and upload the XML file that you have downloaded to your computer.


WordPress will now import all of your links and link categories from the OPML file. After a successful import, the message "Everything done" is displayed.

7 settings

If you want to keep visitors away from your old website, go back to the WordPress.com dashboard. Adjust the settings according to your requirements against the measured values ​​under Settings.


Under Permalinks, select Tag and Name.


Go to WordPress.com and click Stores. Select Site Redirection Upgrade (chargeable) and install it. Site Redirect offers a 301 permalink that automatically redirects from the old website. How long you want the redirect feature to last depends on how much traffic you've had on your website. A year or two can be appropriate.

When you switch domains, all URLs should be updated. From your WordPress.com website dashboard, select Upgrades Domain. Enter the URL of your new domain and click Add Domain to Blog, followed by Map Domain. Then set your new website URL as the primary address. Do not enter WWW or a trailing slash. If you want to bring your subscribers to the new site, you need to install JetPack plugin.

I hope this tutorial highlights all of the difficulties that can arise in moving websites from WordPress.com to self-hosted domains.

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About Vishnu

Vishnu is a freelance writer at night and works as a data analyst during the day.

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