Migrating, Moving Your WordPress.com to WordPress.org

It's like moving into the same house but with upgraded kitchen... I think.

Moving your WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org is actually more simple than you might believe! Sure there’s a few steps but all good things require a bit of work, right?

It doesn’t take too much and it’s not as hard as you might imagine. Here are the steps that you’ll want to take:

1. Get Your WP.com Blog Ready

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You’ll first want to login to your WordPress.com blog and do the following:

  • Clean out all ‘Pending’ and ‘Spam’ comments.
  • Clean out your blog posts as it relates to ‘Pending’ and ‘Drafts’.
  • Prune your categories a bit, if possible. You can do this later, but I counsel to do it now before export/import.
  • Prune your list of users and authors. Consolidate if you can.
  • Make note of the Theme you’re using and any other features/functionalities that you have. You can replace many of these with WordPress Plugins later.

Essentially you’ll want to do a general walkthrough of your blog settings and make sure everything is in order!

2. Export Your Content

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You’ll now want to go to “Tools” and then “Export” to save a XML file of all your blog contents. Save the file to your desktop or somewhere you know you can find it!

3. Setup Blog on Your Hosting Provider

Some would suggest that you start this process before you start #1 and #2 and that’s fine. The reason you’d want to do this is because it can take some time to “provision” the server (or in other words, get the server ready for your new site) as well as for your domain name to “propagate” through the world wide web.

If you need any help on 20+ hosting providers for WordPress I’ve got a list here as well as a walkthrough of how to install WordPress quickly on Dreamhost here.

Please note that I do walkthrough comprehensively the setup of a WordPress blog here in this series, the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog.

If you need any other resource then you can definitely check out WordPress’ own Codex here.

4. Import XML File

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Next you’ll want to login to your new self-hosted WordPress blog and then go to “Tools” and then “Import” and then “WordPress” (see screenshot) to begin the upload process.

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Find the file you created in Step #2 and then hit “Upload file and import”.

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You’ll want to correctly assign the authors as well as check the box “Download and import file attachments”.

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Depending on the number of posts, comments, pages, and attachments the above screen will probably look a lot bigger than the one I have! It may take a bit of time but it shouldn’t be too long of a wait.

If you feel like the process has been “frozen” or does not complete you can just start the process over without worrying about duplicating the content. For super large blogs it might take a few attempts.

A few of you may run into an issue with a limitation on the “Upload Size” of the file that you’re trying to import. This is an issue with the PHP.ini file and the limits set by your hosting provider. A few things you can try:

1. Trouble Ticket:

Submit trouble ticket or support ticket requesting they increase the limit from 2MB (or whatever it is) to 10MB (or higher, if you need).

2. Custom PHP.ini File

If they won’t do that you could try uploading a custom php.ini file to your webhosting root folder. You’ll want to see this line:

[cc]

; Maximum allowed size for uploaded files.
upload_max_filesize = 10M

[/cc]

3. .HTACCESS

If that doesn’t work then you can add these lines to your .htaccess file:

[cc]

#set max upload file size
php_value upload_max_filesize 10M

#set max post size
php_value post_max_size 10M

[/cc]

4. Change Hosting Providers

If none of those work and your webhosting company is being lame then you could consider getting another hosting provider.

Drop a comment below if you’re having some trouble and perhaps I can offer some assistance.

5. Configure WordPress Blog as Needed

The next step is the fun part! You’re all ready to get started on your new self-hosted WordPress blog platform! Install your preferred WordPress Theme, any plugins, and then write a blog post celebrating your move!

A few things that you won’t want to forget doing:

  • Publish a blog post on your WordPress.com blog letting people know that you’ve moved!
  • Update any RSS and/or Feedburner settings.
  • Update any other social networking profile that directs to your old blog.
  • Domain mapping and Domain Redirection is needed as well.
  • Double-check settings and attachments.

Enjoy!

  • Jerry

    Stoked about this series, brotha.. don’t be too harsh but I
    just started blogging experimentally in the fall… and went with
    iWeb… uh huh, sad. Shut down my creativity and inspiration…
    rallying to light it back up with wordspress.ORG – thanks!

    • John Saddington

      word! .org FTW!

  • http://reflectivemusings.com Jonathan Griffiths

    Wish this had been posted a month or so back when I
    migrated! One of the other catches I found when I migrated was,
    having taken advantage of the nifty blog linking on wordpress.com,
    I had a lot of links in my posts to other posts on my blog,
    especially when I was writing a series. All of those links were to
    my wordpress.com account, not my new domain. That required me to go
    back through my posts and change the URLs – no small amount of
    work, but glad I got it done!

    • John Saddington

      doh! glad you got all that fixed!

  • http://danscottblog.com dan scott

    hey – i purchased a domain through my wordpress.com – how do i migrate that to .org? any thoughts would be helpful! Thanks, man!

  • http://tomschneller.com Tom Schneller

    I recently moved one of my blogs that was on Blogger (gasp!) to WordPress.org. The problem was that I had built the blog on Blogger to the point of getting hundreds of visits per day from Google Search and didn’t want to loose all that SEO traffic. Blogger doesn’t allow you to create Domain Redirection the same way that wordpress.com does.

    To work around, I setup a CNAME for my blogger blog (wordpress.com calls this “domain mapping”). Then I waited about 3 months for Google to re-index all my pages with my new custom domain instead of my Blogger subdomain. (You can check to see how many pages Google has indexed from your site by searching “site:yourdomainhere.com”).

    Once my new custom domain was fully indexed, I made the transition following similar steps to what John listed in his post. Glad to say that it worked and I now have all my search engine traffic going to my blog on wordpress.org.

    I hope this helps someone else who feels “stuck” on Blogger. You can do it, it just takes time and a little work!

    • John Saddington

      glad you worked it out!

      there’s a better way though… and you can actually setup a redirect on a blog on blogger! I did this for a few clients and it worked flawlessly. i’ll have to write a post about that…

      • http://tomschneller.com Tom Schneller

        John – I just read your post about converting from Blogger to WP. Great stuff, I wish I had known that last year! :)

        • John Saddington

          :) ah…. :)

  • http://laceyraewilcox@gmail.com Lacey Wilcox

    I second Dan’s comment. Dumb on my part, I know, but I hadn’t realized there was a difference.

    • John Saddington

      we all had to learn it as some point…..!

  • jeremy lee

    There are some features on the wordpress.com that I miss on wordpress.org. I realize that they are probably plugins but I can’t find them. The site states, get shortlink, email subscription features to name a few are some that I really miss. How do I find them?

  • Ryan

    First of all, great post. Very informative. Also, good call on the Evernote button! Just used it.

    • John Saddington

      sweet! where’s yoru blog?

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Just a couple of questions: I made the switch from .com to .org about three months ago. I successfully migrated all my posts and comments to my new .org blog. But the old site still shows up in Google before my new one. Now that I’ve transferred all my stuff to the .org site, should I shut down the old one? I’d rather have all my traffic driven to my new site, and not have duplicate posts out there.

    Should I just shut down the .com account? Or delete all the posts? What woul you recommend?

    FYI: old wp.com site is jeffrandleman.net new wp.org site is jeffrandleman.com. Just in case you want to take a look… ;)

    Thanks!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      i would shut down the old one if you’ve already made the jump. go for it!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Thanks! That’s kinda what I was thinking, but it’s nice to hear it from someone else too. Brings some confirmation to my mind. Thanks again!

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          sweet! you’re on your way!

          • http://sawdustonmyboot.com Toni Moore

            Hey there, Jeff and John! I just made the switch from .com to .org, tweaking it as I type… should I also shut down my wp.com account even though my site url stayed the same? http://sawdustonmyboot.com Thanks! :D

  • http://www.bukville.com/ Buky of Bukville

    Thank you for a great post. I recently moved my blog from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. I bought my domain name thru wordpress.com

    My new self host is bluehost and so far so good, it was kind of stressful but i still have a few issues and questions

    The transfer all went thru and i only have one blog not two. But there are few problems such as noted below.

    1. My latest post is not showing on feedburner, how do i Update any RSS and/or Feedburner settings?

    2. I cant move my subcription from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. I had to ask all my susbcribers to re-subscribe again, is there no way round this?

    3. WordPress is now asking me to renew my Domain Mapping for another year? Didnt i pay for that with bluehost already? I am not too clear.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      1. sure thing! you’ll want to “nuke” your feedburner to get it to re-sync.

      2. you can change the source feed in feedburner. not a problem with losing subscribers!

      3. you’ll have to double check your settings, but it might be about renewing your xxxxxxxxxx.wordpress.com to goto ~~~~~> xxxxxxx.com now.

      • http://www.bukville.com/ Buky of Bukville

        Thanks John, I have tried to “nuke” feedburner to get it to re-sync. No luck so far!
        I guess am too “chicken” to do anything else, as i dont want to mess things up!

        Thanks for your help!

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          did you pay for the redirect? that should help… via wordpress.com?

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          you just change this:

          http://cl.ly/0M0h1D3G370X1o0H3w2n

  • http://fabsharford.com Fabs

    Hey John! Okay. I need some help. I am moving from just a wordpress blog to an actual ‘self-hosted’ blog with wordpress and your beautiful standard theme. I have never used feedburner or anything in the past, but have set up an account for my new blog (as you recommended). My question is – I have a bunch of subscribers from my old blog. How would I transition them to my new blog?? Also – is there a way to replace my old free blog with my new pretty blog so that when folks go there it just takes them to my new blog? Should I double post for a while? Thanks!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      i’d really try not to double post, that’s for sure.

  • http://fabsharford.com Fabs

    Hey John! Okay. I need some help. I am moving from just a wordpress blog to an actual ‘self-hosted’ blog with wordpress and your beautiful standard theme. I have never used feedburner or anything in the past, but have set up an account for my new blog. My quesiton is – I have a bunch of subscribers from my old blog. How would I transition them to my new blog?? Also – is there a way to replace my old free blog with my new pretty blog? Thanks!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      with wordpress.com you can forward that address to a new one.

  • http://escapetoreality.org/ Paul

    Hi John – I just discovered your very helpful blog. I’m thinking of making the switch from WP.com to self-hosted via WP.org. If I switch, will I lose my traffic stats (blog total and for specific posts)? I can’t help but conclude the clock gets reset to zero – which would be a bummer. It seems there are some nontrivial sunk costs (eg: asking email subscribers to resubscribe).

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      you should be able to move some of your stats over via wordpress stats plugin i believe. do you use google?

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      the point though…. is that if you want to grow to a place where you can monetize your blog and take it to the next level… do the migration!

      • http://escapetoreality.org/ Paul

        To answer my own question, I’ve just learned from WP.com that site stats don’t get transferred (even with the plugin and Jetpack etc.). But I believe you can get a Sitemeter counter and set it to whatever starting level you like – so no loss.

        Here’s a larger issue: why would I migrate if I have no interest in monetizing my blog? (The nature of my blog is such that I think any ads would hurt the message.) The drum being bashed on WP.com is that SEO is better there and it’s certainly less fuss. I can think of only one material reason for migrating and that’s cool Java widgets. Have I missed any other reasons? What is the “next level” if not monetization? (I appreciate this question sort of disqualifies me immediately from being a Tentblogger! Forgive me!)

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          paul,

          it’s customization from a design and dev perspective, which can increase your SEO capabilities. You’ll also rank higher for a targeted domain on your own hosted domain than wp.com, for sure.

          there are simply too many amazing plugins and things you can do on your own blog to not do it… even if you’re not interested in monetizing you’re probably interested in readership growth, right?

  • http://nathancreitz.net Nathan Creitz

    Do you happen to know if I bought a premium wordpress.com theme that is also offered as a .org theme will I have to repurchase the theme? How would I find that out. I currently use the minimum wordpress.com premium theme which is built on the Genesis Framework.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      not sure the rules on that…

  • http://tomjamieson.com Tom Jamieson

    John! Thanks for this awesome post! I just migrated my personal blog over to http://tomjamieson.com and everything looks great. Thanks for doing so much to help those of us who are still rookies! You rock!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      AWESOME! well done sir!

  • Mo Malakoff

    Great info! I was following your steps for converting from wp.com to self-hosted wp.org. Now, I get the new welcome screen but no content? Any thoughts?

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      hmm. show me a screenshot.

  • http://mostlymommyhood.com/ Krista Swan

    Hi John!
    I followed all the steps above, but none of my files are appearing. So I repeated the steps and re-imported my wordpress.com xml file, but I get a long list of errors, saying all of those files already exist.
    If they exist, then where are they?
    I’ve already changed my DNS (doh!) so my url now points to an empty “hello world” blog with no content.
    How do I get those imported files to actually show up on the new blog?
    Thank you!!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      did you get it fixed?

  • http://www.whiteeagleaerospace.com/blog Angela

    Hi John! I recently migrated from wp.com to wp.org.. One bizarre issue I cannot seem to resolve: when viewing posts via monthly archives, there’s a redundant listing of “2 Replies” and “2 Comments” in the footer of each post. Do you have any idea why this is happening and what the resolution might be? Thank you so much!!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      hmm…. i have no idea. it would most likely be something in the database that needs cleaning.

      • http://www.whiteeagleaerospace.com/blog Angela

        Okay, I’ll take a look.. Thank you, John!!

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          sure thing angela! lmk if you need anything else!

  • http://www.bigb94.info Brandon

    I do this just 2 week ago… Swichhed my sit over, and it wasn’t that hard.

  • http://www.misionesqtransforman.com Fernando

    Hi John. I followed the steps but I am registering a lot of 404 errors with the redirection. I believe it has to do with the wordpress.com permlinks. It looks like all posts have the format http://blog.wordpress.com/date/posttitle – where’s in the new blog I just have the domain.com/posttitle format for the permlinks. Thus when the redirect from wordpress.com sends the traffic to my new wordpress.org adress, it hits the 404 error. Do you have any ideas on how I could solve this problem?

    Thanks for all the resources you have made available.

    • http://tomjamieson.com Tom Jamieson

      Fernando, I ran into the same problem at first as well. The permalinks on your self-hosted blog have to match the format from your wp.com blog or else the redirect won’t work.

  • http://underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com Jan Cox

    HI,
    I have set up my new .org website. I want to have my two blogs be imported as pages on my website. Do you know how to do this?
    I don’t want to import the whole blog to my website. I want a website with the two blogs as pages that I will post to.
    Jan

  • STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION)

    Hey John: Great post. I am considering going from frommtaxes.wordpress.com to just frommtaxes.com. It seems doing it myself has a lot of problems as discussed above. WordPress offers a way to do it through them for a fee. Is this a good way to go?
    Finally and most importantly, I am ranking high on google search engines and if I make this change how will this impact my search engine ranking?
    Thanks for your article.

  • http://suzielind.wordpress.com Suzie Lind

    Hi John, I migrated my blog from wordpress.com to wordpress.org but when I go to login, it takes me to what I think is still my wordpress.com dashboard. I don’t see anything for “plug-ins” or “theme installation” to make me think it is different. Any ideas?

  • http://esponential.com Divij Prakash

    What if I want the

  • http://esponential.com Divij Prakash

    Well , I want to retain my domain name and my views when I make the shift. How do I go about that ?

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