Despite the similarity of the names, WordPress.com and WordPress are two different platforms. WordPress.org is more appealing for our clients because they want to avoid monthly subscription fees and be flexible. It is a fair decision because businesses grow, so do our websites. And WordPress.com to host your blog or website may not be the best idea if you consider long-term growth.
In addition, we should be able to control our online assets and don’t want to face any restrictions while doing so. In this blog post, we will be explaining all the steps to move your WordPress.com website to WordPress.org:
1- Domain name & hosting
If you move to WordPress (org), you will need separate hosting. If you would like to keep your current domain name (URL), you may. To use a different domain name, we suggest you purchase it with the hosting as most hosting providers offer a free domain name for the first year.
There are various options for hosting, however, here are our top 2 picks:
Great but expensive – SiteGround: SiteGround is fast, and reliable, and they offer SSL, CDN, daily backups and professional email in their plans. Customer service is pretty good as well, so it covers pretty much everything you need. The only disadvantage is that it gets expensive after the first year.
Cheap and medium performance – IONOS: Ionos is one of the cheapest options out there, however, the performance is not great. SSL and a professional email come with all of their WordPress plans. If you’re looking for the cheapest solution, IONOS could be your go-to hosting platform.
There are also medium-range hosting providers like BlueHost and Dreamhost. You can see it all on our Tools for Entrepreneurs page.
If you decide to get a new domain name, you will be asked to choose one when you purchase your hosting. Make sure to select something memorable, and ending with .com if possible as it is the most used and valuable domain suffix.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a domain name is SEO. An SEO-optimized domain name tells people what the website is about, the products and services it offers, etc. But it’s more than just keywords. Using your brand name as your domain name comes before using keywords. For example, if you have a podcast called Advert Or Real, it may be a good idea to purchase your domain name as advertorrealpodcast(.com).
If your business is local, you may also want to consider adding the city/country to your domain name.
Just make sure that it is relevant, recognizable and easy to read.
2- Login to your WordPress (com) Dashboard
Login to your WordPress dashboard that you want to migrate. Head to Tools > Export and export all your files. They will be saved on your computer in a zip file. You can also download your media files just in case.
3- Login to your WordPress (org) Dashboard
After purchasing your web hosting, you will be able to create a free WordPress (org) account.
Now all you need to do is to log in to your new WordPress (org) dashboard and click on Tools > Import.
You will see a list of platforms there. Choose the last option: WordPress and install the WordPress Importer to import the files from your WordPress export file.
Once you install the WordPress Importer plugin, you’ll need to click on “Activate Plugin & Run Importer” for the next step.
4- Import Files to Your New WordPress
If you are not redirected to the import page, go back to the Import tab and click the Upload Files & Import button to upload your zip files.
Please note that the maximum size is 32 MB.
The next screen will ask you if you want to assign new authors to your posts. If you don’t want to change, leave it as is. Make sure to check “Download and import file attachments” if you’d like your image files to be imported as well. And hit submit.
Once this process is complete, make sure to check if all your images are uploaded. If not, you may need to use a different plugin to import all the media files you downloaded in the second step.
5- Redirect Users to Your New Domain
The next question is what will happen to your former WordPress.com site?
If you purchased a new domain name, you may want to inform your visitors that you’ve moved your website to a new domain and point them in that direction. Or you can use WordPress(.com)’s paid Site Redirect service, which will completely redirect all visitors to your new domain.
If you keep the same domain name, your old hosting company will delete your files after your plan expires. When you move your website to a new hosting company, you will need to change the nameserver information for your domain name, so that it points to the new hosting location. For this, you need to log into your hosting provider, go to DNS or domain settings and change the nameservers to point to the hosting provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
– Is WordPress(org) FREE?
WordPress org is completely free, however, you will still need to pay for your domain name and hosting.
– WordPress or Shopify?
You can start using WooCommerce immediately after creating your WordPress (org) account, and it is free. Shopify offers easy payment and shipping integrations but it is not as flexible as WordPress, and you need to pay a monthly fee as long as you want your website to be up and running.
– I already paid WordPress.com, can I get a refund?
You certainly can. If you recently purchased a custom domain or paid plan from WordPress.com, you can get a full refund.
– Can I install WordPress plugins for free with WordPress.org?
Yes! Since you now host your site on WordPress.org, you can add as many plugins as you wish.
– How do I change my site’s WordPress theme?
Just like WordPress(com), you will be able to change your WordPress theme by clicking on the Appearance > Themes