How to Migrate From WordPress.com to WordPress.org

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No doubt WordPress.com is a great WordPress hosting service (after all, they are the founders of WordPress.org software). But, when your site will grow and demand will increase for more customization, you will quickly realize that WordPress.com has many limitations in site customization. For complete control over your WordPress site, you need to go for self-hosted WordPress installation.

In this guide, I will show you how to migrate your WordPress.com site to a self-hosted WordPress.org installation. Also, I will tell you some common mistakes which one should never do while migrating.

Why Should I Move Away From WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

Before I explain the question mentioned in the heading, let’s talk a little bit about WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a freemium WordPress hosting service. The free plan will get you around 2GB storage space and your website address will be websitename.wordpress.com. Also, WordPress.com will run ads on your site to cover up the free hosting cost. Also, there are many limitations on themes and plugins.

You can also register a domain for your site (but beware that they are not the cheapest domain registrar out there).

WordPress.com Homepage

On the other hand, WordPress.org is the blogging software used by WordPress.com. WordPress.org is a free, open-sourced blogging platform that is used by over 39% of all the websites on the internet.

If you decide to go with the self-hosted version, then you have to purchase a domain, a hosting plan, and install WordPress on the hosting server. To make the installation processes easier, many hosting providers provide some sort of app installer which helps to install WordPress quickly and easily. Also, you won’t be restricted in terms of plugin installation, theme installation, customization, etc. as on a self-hosted WordPress installation, you have control control on your site.

WordPress.org Homepage

In short, self-hosted WordPress provides complete control over your site. WordPress.com doesn’t support some plugins and themes and in the lower plans (Premium and Personal) no custom theme (other from their repository) and no plugin is supported.

How to Get Started With the Migration?

In order to migrate out of WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress installation, you need 3 things:

  • Domain Name
  • Hosting Plan
  • WordPress Software (Although, many hosting providers give you an easy way to install WordPress)

In this post, I will be taking the example of Hostinger (because I migrated this site from WordPress.com to Hostinger).

1) Export Site Content From WordPress.com

WordPress.com Export Content

Select the export all option from the WordPress.com exporter. A zip file will be downloaded into your computer.

If you also have media, click on download in the export media library page.

Export Media Library

2) Install WordPress on your New Host

Your new host will have a control panel (cPanel is used by most of the hosting companies). Many other hosts will also have their own custom panel (Example – Hostinger and SiteGround).

Here, I will show you how to install WordPress on both Hostinger panel and cPanel.

Installing WordPress on Hostinger using Auto Installer

Hostinger’s control panel (conveniently named as hPanel) makes it really easy to install WordPress.

  1. Open hPanel and click on Auto Installer
hPanel Auto Installer
  1. Select WordPress from the list to continue
Select WordPress
  1. Now fill up the details as per your requirements
WordPress Details

This concludes the process of installing WordPress on hPanel.

ALSO READ – How to Install WordPress on Hostinger Easily

Installing WordPress on cPanel

cPanel is one of the most popular control panel provided by web hosting companies. It’s also really easy to install WordPress on cPanel.

  1. Login to cPanel and click on Softaculous Apps Installer to open it
Softaculous Apps Installer
  1. Click on WordPress to open the WordPress details page and click on Install Now
Softaculous Apps Installer WordPress Details
  1. Enter the details as per requirement and click on Install to start the installation of WordPress
Softaculous Apps Installer WordPress Installation

This concludes the process of installing WordPress on cPanel.

3) Importing Content to the New WordPress Installation

Now, we need to import our content. To do so, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Import from Dashboard > Tools > Import and install the WordPress importer plugin.
Install WordPress Importer
  1. Click on Run Importer at the top
Run Importer
  1. Click on Choose File and then click on Upload file and import and then click on Submit
Choose Import File

After that, wait a few minutes. Your posts and pages will be imported.

To import the media, go to Dashboard > Media > Add New and upload all the images that you exported from WordPress.com.

4) Change your WordPress.com Site Visibility to Private

To make sure your WordPress.com site doesn’t get indexed, make sure to change the site visibility to private.

Site Visibility Private

Conclusion

By moving your site from WordPress.com to a self-hosted installation, you will have control control over your website. You will no longer have restrictions on theme and plugin installations.

Here is the whole process in brief:

  1. Export content from WordPress.com
  2. Set up your WordPress site at your new hosting
  3. Import your content to the new site
  4. Change WordPress.com visibility to private

I hope this tutorial has helped you to migrate from WordPress.com to a self-hosted installation of WordPress. If you have any queries or suggestions, then please let me know in the comments down below.

ALSO READ – What is WordPress? For Beginners

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I am the founder of WPSteam. I am currently doing my B.Tech in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering from KIIT University, Bhubaneshwar, India

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