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:


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



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


#set max upload file size
php_value upload_max_filesize 10M

#set max post size
php_value post_max_size 10M


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.