This is the fifth post in the A Gay Girl’s Guide To Blogging series – and it gives information on how to move from a free WordPress.com blog over to the WordPress.org platform – taking all of your old posts with you! Before you take this step, you should already know why self-Hosting your blog has a huge range of benefits and you should have bought your own domain and web-hosting. Once you’ve installed WordPress.org onto your new domain, you’re now ready to move your old blog (complete with posts, comments and images!) to it’s new home. This post will guide you through the process.
One quick thing to note – this post describes how to move a WordPress.com blog to a new domain. These instructions will not be useful for any of you currently using Blogger or Blogspot. Please be patient, as I hope to have a guide to moving from a Blogger blog to a self-hosted domain ready for you all next week!
1. Export your old WordPress.com blog
If you already have a WordPress.com blog, you need to log into that right now. Once you’ve logged in to your Dashboard, go to the Tools menu in the sidebar and click ‘Export’. Next, ignore the ($129!!) offer from WordPress to move your blog for you, and click the Export button on the top left. This will download all of the information from your blog – your posts, links, pictures, media, plugins etc – and allow you to re-upload it to another blog, such as the one at your brand new domain! The only thing that you can’t carry across is your theme – and unless you’re using WordPress.com themes Twenty Ten or Twenty Eleven, you’ll need to download a new theme to your new WordPress.org blog. However, there are loads of theme options, so don’t worry too much – you can find free WordPress.org themes in your new blog.
Select the ‘All Content’ option and then just hit the Download Export File button – once the download is complete, you know have a file filled with all of your current blog!
2. Upload your content to your new blog
Next, go to your new blog and once again, hover over the Tools menu in the sidebar. This time, you want to click the ‘Import’ button. If you haven’t used this before, a popu-up will appear and ask you to download the WordPress import plugin – quickly allow this before clicking on the Tools menu again. Click the WordPress option in the table (it’s the last option), and on the next page, select the file you just downloaded. If your old blog had multiple authors, select all authors you’d like to transfer across to the new blog, and then click submit! Once uploaded, your old blog will be settled in its new home!
3. Choose a theme
There are loads of free themes for WordPress.org, and they can be found in just the same way as on WordPress.com. Simply go to Appearance in the sidebar and select Themes, before clicking on the Install Themes tab. Choose a theme you like the look of and click Install Now. Have a play around with theme options, plugins and menus – or wait for my post on the best WordPress Plugins for a Successful Blog!
4. Letting people know
Once you’ve uploaded all your content, added a new theme to your blog and checked that you’re happy with what it all looks like, you can start telling your followers that you’ve moved! Remember, at the moment your original blog will still be in the same place, so you’ll need to decide what to do with it. Two of the options include paying WordPress.com to redirect your old blog to your new one (it costs around $19) which means that all of your old followers will automatically be redirected to your new blog home, or you can take the whole blog down completely so that it no longer exists. However, I believe that the best thing to do is to unpublish all of the content at your original blog, and then put up a post at original blog telling people that you have moved and can now be found at your new home – remember to include the new URL! This is what Stacey and I decided to do with our original WordPress.com blog, as you can see here – http://asummerfullofpeaches.wordpress.com/.
Once you’ve done this, spread the word to your followers and encourage them to update their blog readers!
That’s it! If you follow the above steps, you shouldn’t have too many problems moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org – and you’re now ready to start enjoying all of the cool features that WordPress.org offers!
I hope that this guide is comprehensive enough for you to move your blog easily. However, if you’re a personal blogger I’m more than happy to answer questions or give advice if you do run into any problems – simply drop me a message using this contact form.