Do you wish to move from a free hosting which is WordPress.com to paid hosting of WordPress.Org without losing organic traffic?
As newbies on WordPress, you might start building your WordPress site on a free hosting which is WordPress.com then wish to move to WordPress.org which is paid hosting due to lots of advantages it has. You can read the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org for more understanding
we’ll show you how to properly move your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
What is WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a platform for self-publishing that is popular for blogging and other works. It is owned and operated by Automattic, Inc. It is run on a modified version of WordPress. It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that you will have to switch to a paid plan for more space. (Personal plan $48 /year gives you 6GB, Premium plan $96/year gives you 13GB storage, or Business plan for $300/year for 200 GB storage).
What is WordPress.org
WordPress.org, often called self-hosted WordPress, is the free, open-source WordPress software that you can install on your own web host to create a website that’s 100% your own. WordPress.com is a for-profit, paid service that is powered by the WordPress.org software. You can customize your website design as needed. You can add any free or premium WordPress theme that you want. You can also create completely custom designs or modify anything even use all the themes on WordPress.com, that you want on WordPress.org.
Reason Why you need to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
WordPress.com allows anyone to start a blog by creating an account. However, beginners soon realize that there are a lot of limitations on their free WordPress.com blog like limited ability to monetize, can’t install plugins, third-party ads displayed to your users, and more.
This is why users soon switch to the more powerful and popular self-hosted WordPress.org platform.
It also gives the full ownership of your website and also the power to install any plugins you wish to have.
How to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
Just like moving from blogger to WordPress without losing traffic, same as from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
By a domain name and register for a web hosting account
If you are moving or getting started on WordPress, you need to buy a domain name and where you are hosting your website, that is why at wpressbeginner, we recommend Namecheap as the best hosting website you can think of as a beginner. They are one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and officially recommended WordPress hosting provider for beginners. If your WordPress.com site has its own domain name, then you don’t need to buy domain name but some time you might want to transfer that domain to your new web host as well.
Install WordPress on Your Hosting
After signing up on your hosting account, you need to install WordPress on your website hosting account, namecheap makes it easier to install WordPress without stress. Most other top WordPress hosting companies also allow you to install WordPress with a single click from your hosting dashboard. After you have installed WordPress, you’ll be able to login to your WordPress admin dashboard.
Exporting Data from WordPress.com
First, you need to sign in to your WordPress.com site and go to your account dashboard. From the left column, you need to click on the Tools » Export menu and then click on the ‘Export All’ button.
Importing Content into Self Hosted WordPress Site
In order to import your old WordPress.com site content to your new WordPress.org site, you will need to login to your freshly installed WordPress website’s admin area. From here you need to visit the Tools » Import page and click on the ‘Install Now’ button below WordPress.
WordPress will now install the WordPress importer for you. Once it’s done, you need to click on the ‘Run importer’ link to continue.
It will take you to a screen where you will be asked to upload your WordPress.com XML file that you downloaded.
Importing Your Blogroll Links
If you had been using the Links feature on your WordPress.com blog to store blogroll or other links, then you need to follow these instructions to import them. Users who were not using this feature.
WordPress does not natively support blogroll feature. If you don’t have too many links in your blogroll, then see our guide on how to add blogroll links in WordPress without using a plugin.
Blogroll links are exported in OPML format. It is an XML format that allows you to export and import your links and link categories. Your WordPress.com links have an OPML file located at an address like this:
Replace example with your WordPress.com blog’s subdomain. If you are using a custom domain with your WordPress.com website, then your OPML file can be accessed by visiting a URL like this:
Your OPML file will open in your browser window, and you need to save it to your desktop. Press CTRL+S (Command+S on Mac) to save the file on your computer.
The next step is to import them into WordPress. However, self-hosted WordPress does not have a link manager enabled by default.
You will need to install and activate the Link Manager plugin. The plugin’s page says that it hasn’t been updated in many years. That’s because it didn’t need updating, and you can confidently install this plugin.
Upon activation, the plugin will add a new menu item in your WordPress admin bar labeled ‘Links’.
Next, you need to install and activate the OPML Importer plugin. This plugin simply enables a new importer tool that allows you to import blogroll links.
Upon activation, you need to visit the Tools » Import page and click on ‘Run Importer’ link below the Blogroll importer.
On the Blogroll importer page, you need to upload the OPML file you saved earlier and click on the import OPML file button.
WordPress will now import your links and link categories from the OPML file. You will be able to see the progress and on completion, you will see the success message.
Setting your WordPress.com blog to private
Now if you don’t want to redirect your old users to your new site, then this will be your final step.
First, visit your old blog’s WordPress.com dashboard. From the left menu, you need to click on Manage » Settings menu and scroll down to the ‘Privacy’ section.
You need to select ‘Private’ option and then click on the ‘Save settings’ button. This will make your old WordPress.com blog private, and it will only be visible to you or other logged in users that you approve.
Redirecting Visitors and Preserving SEO
Redirecting users to the new location with the 301 header is a standard solution to keep search rankings while moving a site from one location to another.
Since you don’t have access to .htaccess on WordPress.com, you cannot make any changes by yourself to retain search engine rankings. However, WordPress.com offers a paid upgrade feature called, Site Redirect, which provides this functionality.
Simply go to WordPress.com blog’s dashboard and click on the Manage » Settings menu item. Under the ‘Site Address’ option, click on the ‘redirect’ link.
On the next screen, you will be asked to provide the domain name where you want visitors to be redirected. Enter your new WordPress.org site’s domain name and click on the go button.
we recommend pick of must have WordPress plugins to manage and grow your blog.
You can install all of these plugins from inside your WordPress dashboard. We have created a step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
You can also add an online store in WordPress.org without any additional costs. Since Namecheap and most popular web hosts offer free SSL certificate, you simply need to install a WordPress eCommerce plugin to add an online store.
Finally, when you transfer using the import file, all attached images are downloaded and the link is updated. However there is one caveat that we noticed. If your image URL starts with files.wordpress.com, then they will not be converted. If you notice that the image URL has not changed and still points to WordPress.com, then we recommend that you use import external images plugin, and it will take care of that.
If everything goes well, you will be now ready to customize your new website and take advantage of the enormous flexibility of WordPress. You can also read our guide on how to move your weebly content to WordPress without losing rankings.
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