So you have your website currently on WordPress.com and you have decided to make the smart move to a self hosted WordPress.org site….
You suddenly feel overwhelmed and scared of the prospect of doing it.
Don’t worry, it’s not as a scary as you think, but there are a few important elements you need to take care of to ensure you don’t lose any content.
Before you move….
The first think you need to do is purchase hosting. I’d suggest using Siteground ( I am using my affiliate link here – I always like to be honest)
You will also need to install WordPress on your new hosting & your chosen domain.
Step 1 – Export your existing WordPress.com content
Moving your content from your existing WordPress.com site is super simple.
You just need to use the export function. So let’s show you how.
First sign into your WP Admin over on your WordPress.com site.
Click on tools & then export
Click on ‘start export’
On the next page you want to choose the all content then click download export file
The download will download to your computer and will be one file with the .xml extension.
This will contain all of your posts, pages, menus, media and comments etc.
Step 2 – Importing your old content into your new WordPress site
Remember, to complete this bit, you’ll need to ensure that you have WordPress installed on your new host.
Then you will need to log into your new website WP Admin. You will have already set up a username and password fo your new site.
You can log in by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin (replacing the yourdomain with your actual website address)
Once you are logged in, head to tools and then import
One the next page, you need to install the import plugin for WordPress. You can see this by scrolling to the bottom of the page, and click install now.
Once you have installed that, you will want to select run importer, and find the export file you created previously.
Once you have selected the .xml file you will need to click upload file and import.
WordPress will now start importing your content. Before it does import your posts and pages it will ask you to create or assign a new author. So you can either import your old profile from your WordPress.com site, assign all the new content to a new author or to an existing author.
Once you have decided which way to go, then you just make sure the ‘download and import file attachments box is selected, and this will bring over your images and other media.
Then click submit.
Step 3 – Checking for errors
All being well, your site should look exactly the same as before, but it’s a good idea to check over the site anyway to make sure all the content and images have successfully imported. Larger sites can sometimes miss some content so best double check just in case.
Step 4 – Re-direct your WordPress.com site to your WordPress.org site
Once you are happy with your new site and you are confident that your content has all been migrated over, you should re-direct your old WordPress.com site to your new WordPress.org site.
This is REALLY important as it makes sure you don’t lose any SEO (search engine optimisation) rankings, and that any old links are sent to your new website and not kick up any errors.
I’m sorry to say but this bit isn’t free. WordPress does charge a fee albeit small.
To do that, you need to head here ‘Redirect page’ and enter your new domain name in the box. Click GO and then payment.
And you’re good to go!