How to Migrate Your WordPress Blog to Your Own Domain

Migrate Your WordPress Blog to Your Own Domain

This article will show you how to migrate your blog from wordpress.com to a self-hosted site. The process is quite straightforward and takes less than 30 minutes if you already have a domain name and hosting account set up. If you need help in setting up your domain or hosting, we've made guides for each of these tasks that explain how to complete them step-by-step.

1. Add your domain name to your WordPress.com account

Your domain name is your online identity and if you want to avoid confusion, it’s important that your domain name and the domain name for your blog are the same. If you already have a domain name, you can add it to your WordPress.com account. To do so, follow these steps: 1) Log into your WordPress.com account.2) Ensure that the Host Name and IP Address are the same, and click [Next]. 3) Once your domain has been successfully added, your users will be able to access the site through your chosen subdomain. 4) Before you start optimizing your blogging platform, it's a good idea to change some settings and clean up your CMS. A step-by-step guide for this can be found here.

How to migrate from WordPress to WordPress - Step 1

Cloudflare

Cloudflare's Domain Transfer does not require you to purchase any additional hosting; it leverages the existing platform of your choice, offering the domain transfer in a single, automated process. The primary benefit is that you get the flexibility to use any hosting that your business prefers; the other benefit is its SLA: you can cancel the contract if something happens to the Cloudflare platform, such as a migration from one platform to another.

To Google Cloudflare you’ve gone; to Google, you’ll go.

Transferring between the two platforms

If you already have a domain name and have a website on WordPress.com that you prefer to use for your blog, it’s good practice to transfer the domain to WordPress using the process below, as it’s faster than the process described in the next section. It will leave your domain at WordPress.com, but you have to transfer the CMS (content management system) to the new platform. This will have to be done by moving the.com to.org.

When exporting your CMS from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, you’ll see an HTML file with a few 'Host Name' (TLDR; a question mark) and some curtain text.

For a good overview, Cindy Krum's How to Transfer Domains Mistakes to WordPress post is a good starting point.

2. Prepare your website for migration

This is a great way to make sure that your website is ready to go when you begin the migration. You want to make sure that the new version of your website is as close to the old version as possible, so this is a great way to test out the new platform and make sure it works with your old content.

You can add all of your content from your WordPress blog into the new version of the website using a script that is part of the WordPress plugin. We've shown you how to create a script, but don't worry; this script will automatically transfer over your old text to the new version of your website. Once this process is complete, your site should work without any changes to your existing content.

You can also use a plugin such as Egghead SEO's Pro Transporter to transfer this content onto your new WordPress website. The benefit of this plugin is that it automates the import process. You don't necessarily need to have a domain and hosting account set up in order to use the plugin, but having such an account is helpful.

Before getting started with transferring all your content, you will need to ensure that the hosting for you and your migration domain is set up. This is very simple to do if you're already set up with a domain. If, however, you're not set up with a domain and hosting account, you can follow these steps to get them set up.

Download the hosting CSV file from here.

Once you have the hosting file downloaded, upload it to your hosting account. You can select which type of hosting you want to use and how much space it will take when you upload the file. If you're unsure of which hosting type you should use, you can read more about choosing an appropriate hosting account here.

Once your hosting account has been added to your settings, you will need to make sure that the appropriate dates apply.

3. Migrate your content from WordPress.com to WordPress on your own domain

It’s best to move your blog to your own domain and hosting. WordPress.com is a great place to start, and it is a fantastic resource for free, user-friendly tools to help you get started. However, the WordPress.org team has recently announced their intention to shut down the project after 2020.

In 2018, The Process came up with an easy and free migration kit that works with all popular CMS and hosts, including Squarespace. You can find the journey and toolkit in their migration guide.

Migrating your blog is relatively straightforward. You can begin by copying the content of your blog into a new document. Then follow these two steps:

Open a new page on your new site by entering your new content. Insert your header into the header of your new page. If you don’t know where to start, see our articles on header image and header image SEO for more help.

Now you have your content laid out and header image uploaded, it is time to publish. Most CMS like Wordpress.com or Drupal ask you if you want to pass on your blog to your CMS and assign a hostname to it. If you do, this is important. The hostname directly corresponds to your domain name.

WordPress.com explains this quite well on their migration documentation.

It’s probably a good idea if you had served this content through your niche market or find it handy to extend the reach there via social media. If you decide you don’t want to change the SEO of your site (or if you are not interested in migrating), you can paste the content of your blog into a text editor and move everything as follows:

This will go through the process of posting the content to social media.

The start of 2021 has been a banner year for all things media-related. This includes the feel of your website, navigation, media management, and extra content on posts and pages.

4. Migrate all of your comments from WordPress.com to WordPress on your own domain

If you’re currently a WordPress.com user, I highly recommend using the Jetpack plugin to get started with your own self-hosted blog. It’s the easiest way to migrate all of your existing WordPress.com comments and content to your own self-hosted WordPress site. You can get started for free with WordPress.com and migrate your entire site for as little as $20. If you pay the yearly plan for your domain name, which we recommend above, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars in hosting fees and set up your site as easily and quickly as possible.

Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure you can log in to your site using your normal WordPress credentials and not your domain credentials. To make sure you can log in, fire up the Dashboard and look for a link for creating or saving your username and password. If you don’t see either link, you’ll likely need to log in with another account or create a new one.

You also need to take note of your address — most sites will have a bunch of sub-domains. You’ll want to migrate to subdomain.example.com or http://subdomain.example.com as these two are the most common subdomains you’ll need to create in your migration.

You can migrate your blog from WordPress.com using another CMS such as Joomla! If you’ve been using WordPress for a number of years and your audience has grown, you might want to consider moving to a newer CMS so you can focus on your content for the more specific topic you’re writing about or growing your brand.

This option allows you to set up a standalone site instead of using WordPress.com. We’ll walk you through creating your own site from scratch, but if you’re ready to migrate to self-hosted, you can use this up as a placeholder only.

Even without Joomla! or another CMS, you can still set up your blog with Canva, a collaborative content management platform that works with WordPress.

5. Move the rest of your site over from WordPress on wordpress.com

Once your blog is up and running, it’s time to move the rest of your site over from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. It’s a pretty straightforward process, but make sure you get it right.WordPress.org is only intended for website content. Porting the whole site to it without tweaking a single file can be time-consuming. That’s why we recommend using domain registrars that offer WHMCS (WordPress Content Management System) migration services.

(If your intention is just to add a couple of posts to your site to test the migration, you may prefer to use the WordPress Shortcode plugin. This allows you to add “from wordpress.com” as a shortcode in your posts.)

Every WordPress blog needs at least a few pages, so the migration is going to take a while. A few sub-topics are addressed later on, but first, let’s spend some time on the homepage. The maintenance page of a self-hosted WordPress blog is basically a single page. It’s a good idea to have pages for each of your most important pages, including your About Us page, Your Work page, the Contact Us page, and you are About Search page. Each one should have some information on it and some contact details. (The About Us page is in the theme’s settings.) Give them a good home, and link them appropriately.

Once you have it all set up, visit “Migrations” then “WordPress CMS Migration” and follow the instructions. Then follow “Review Key Information” and give the tool a few minutes to do its magic.

After the migration is complete, visit the site you just migrated and you should see your migrated content and some tools that help you customize the site. You might also get an error message about wp-config.php not being found, but don’t worry about that. Reload your page and the error will disappear.


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