Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org (video tutorial)

Lots of people start blogging at WordPress.com. WordPress.com is easy to use, you can get started quickly and it's free.

Other benefits include the built-in community that exposes your blog to millions of potential readers and a technical benefit is that WordPress.com is robust and reliable.

Your blog there will probably never go down. If it goes down, there are some major problems going on and you can rest assured that someone is working on it, double-time.

But then there is WordPress.org the Open Source version. This is the WordPress that you can install on your own server or on a hosting account that you buy from a hosting provider.

Hosting your own WordPress website comes with its own list of benefits. More control, no restrictions and the ability to do pretty much whatever you want with your blog or website. This is the best choice for many people that want more control than WordPress.com allows.

Practical examples of having more control are

  • The ability to run your own ads or ad network.
  • The ability to charge for special access to restricted content. Courses, private support, product downloads or sales.
  • The ability to customize it and build any functionality you can imagine.

It's awesome to have the WordPress.org website instead of just WordPress.com -- don't get me wrong, I have several WordPress.com blogs too. I use them to support other efforts. I can talk about that later if you're interested.

So what happens if you start out in WordPress.com and then later you want to move to WordPress.org? Moving is relatively easy.

Updated for 2015. I updated the entire post with some new information and finally answered the most asked question.

What host do you recommend? I answer is at the end of the document so it doesn't get in your way of the instructions. But if you want to know right away, just scroll down until you see: Webhosting Recommendations.

If you don't have a custom domain already, you'll need to buy one. But if you already have one, you can transfer it over.

Once you have a hosting account and your new domain, then you can move over your WordPress.com blog into your new hosting account and start showing your website under your own domain.

The following video shows you how to do it.

In this video I show you the mechanics of exporting your blogposts from WordPress.com and then importing them into a brand new installation of WordPress.org in a webhosting account (there's that 50/50 link again!)

If you find the process of moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org (self-hosted), I can help you. Follow the instructions on my Free WordPress page and I will do the transfer for you.

Webhosting Recommendations:

When I decided to make my recommendations, I made sure that the webhosting companies I send you to have a great track record. I also made sure not only that they would give you the best price possible, but I also made sure they gave you a free domain or a free transfer.

I was able to get a discount for you when you buy through one of my links (see below).

You'll also need to obtain a hosting account or hosting service. I recommend one of these two companies:

Inmotion Hosting - Inmotion is awesome. They are reliable and secure and cater to the business owner that needs excellent support and choice of west-coast or east-coast data centers. They are one of my main sponsors as well throughout many of my projects, I count on them to keep my sites up and running.

Use this link for Inmotion:If you want to go with Inmotion click here.

Siteground webhosting - Siteground is also outstanding. A new favorite company for me. I have been working with them for about a year. I recently launched a project with them called Papidaddy dot com --click to visit in case you didn't see it. They have been extremely supportive. They are lightning fast too. I have had two incidents where I needed help and I sent a quick support request, both times the issue was resolved within minutes.

Use this link for Siteground: If you want to go with Siteground click here.

Randomize your choice! When you click on this link: randomize my choice and pick one for me. My blog will pick one for you and that's the one you should go with.

Both of them will give you everything you need to start your WordPress.org account.

8 Comments

  1. […] Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org (video tutorial) – Oscar González. Share […]

  2. I have sites on both systems and the basic question I always ask myself is how much time do I have to develop and maintain the site vs. what I want from it. For my BowTie365 project, I knew that I was going to maintain it for just the year so I hosted it on WordPress.com that way I can leave it up for little cost (I own the domain name). But for larger project, especially ones that include income, I like the self hosting route. But it is nice to know that I can move it if needed. Thanks Oscar.

  3. Great post Oscar! I made this transition many years ago and it was an awesome decision and as you showed WAY easier than people think!

  4. Janet Stephenson (@JanetLouise8)
    Janet Stephenson (@JanetLouise8)

    Oscar, do you know much about migrating from one hosting company to another? One day, when I’m ready, I’ll come find this post and use your coupon code. 🙂

  5. This is a very informative post, Oscar. There are so many beginning bloggers that haven’t a clue as to the difference in the WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I believe that we all began using the free WordPress.com sites as they were very easy to set up. Once I found out what features could be had with the WordPress.org site, I quickly made the move to a self-hosted site. I only gave that up recently to a webmaster as I was spending too much time learning the ins and outs of WordPress as a designer and a coder which was not in any way my expertise, and less and less time in my own profession. I decided that it was better to leave the web design and SEO to those professionals who do this sort of thing for a living. Now I have more time to blog and sell real estate 😀

  6. I am going through the process of, and at the same time writing an article about migrating from Posterous (closing down April 31) to WordPress.org. I currently plan to include your nice video in my article.

    There is an import Posterous to WordPress.com and it is advised to take this step before going to WordPress.org.

    Importing photos from Posterous is a known issue but fortunately I have access to the original photos which I will prepare one by one for WordPress in the proper manner.

    The question is, I assume it is best to quickly move through WordPress.com and get on WordPress.org and play with the photos there.

    After I do that, I need to delete the WordPress.com site right?

    Is there an easy option there, as on WordPress.org to request that search engines not index?

    Secondly, should there be anything complex in removing the WordPress.com site? Hopefully, I don’t need to redirect each post?

    • to Linda: WordPress.com allows you to redirect to a new domain. I think it is one of the premium options. It will forward your posts from say: example.wordpress.com/2011/09/01 to example.com/2011/09/01 — For purposes of SEO, you would want to have that option as it will redirect each post to their counterpart on WordPress.org. You can tweak this and adjust any discrepancies by using the Plugin “Redirection”

      As for the photos, the WordPress import seems to have issues with most photos so yes, you may have to manually fix those, I seem to have to fix at least a few issues with photos each time I do an import with a lot of photos.

  7. Thank you Oscar. I agree that the redirects are important for someone who has a WordPress.com blog. In my case, I have only created one temporarily to allow me a path to WordPress.org from Posterous.

    I was able to turn off indexing (Search Engines Discouraged) on the WordPress.com site I set up for the transfer. The URL’s that were indexed on the Posterous account have stayed the same.

    Now that the Posterous posts are safely on the WordPress.org site, for the time being I have made the WP.com site private and eventually will delete it.

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