How to Transfer Wordpress.com to Wordpress.org

The Complete Guide To Take control of your WordPress website and move it to the self-hosted WordPress.org

Over one-third of the world’s websites use WordPress, but most people don’t understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Yes, there are two versions of WordPress, and one version is much more flexible and customizable than the other.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

WordPress.com is an excellent place to start a website or blog for free and with very little work. However, WordPress.com has a lot of limitations that can make it difficult to run a business. You have to make sure your site complies with WordPress.com rules, or they could take your site down.

The Platform

WordPress.com is an all-in-one platform with the software you need to create a website and the servers to host your site. You can sign up for an account and build your site in the same day.

Backups and Updates

When you use WordPress.com, they take care of backing up your site content. That way, you can access a recent version if your site ever has issues.

Monetization Options

If you have a brick and mortar business or sell through a separate online platform, WordPress.com can be a great place for a website. But if you want to setup an eCommerce business and sell your products through your website, you may not be able to do that on .com.

Design Choices

Another benefit of switching to WordPress.org is that you have more design options. You can use one of the dozens of WordPress.org themes packaged with the software and customize the theme with your brand colours and fonts. You can also purchase professionally crafted WordPress themes from various theme libraries and easily install them on your site.

SEO Tools

WordPress.com lets you edit the meta description for your site pages. The meta description will show up under your site when it appears in search results pages on Google and other search engines.

Storage Capacity

On WordPress.com, the free plan limits you to 3GB of storage for your site. If you need more storage on your site, you’ll need to upgrade even if you don’t need other premium features.

Pricing

One of the biggest differences between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org is the cost. WordPress.com sets a list of prices for each of its plans.

How to Transfer WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Once you decide to transfer WordPress.com to WordPress.org, you have some research to do. Moving your site doesn’t have to be intimidating, but you should understand how to do it.

Before You Start

If you haven’t already, you need to choose a host for your new self-hosted WordPress site. Many hosts offer one-click installations that make it easy to set up your new website, even if it’s an online store. But you can also download WordPress and upload it to your host manually if you prefer.

Export Data From WordPress.com

Once you know which web hosting partner and domain name you’ll use it’s time to export your content. Exporting will save your website content to your computer so that you can add it to your new site.

  1. Select Tools
  2. Click on Export
  3. Click Start Export

Set Up Your New Site

Now it’s time to set up your new WordPress site. You can log into the WP Admin panel to access your dashboard and add pages and posts. Since you already have a content export from your old site, you don’t have to create your entire site from scratch.

Import Your Site Content

Once you have your site ready to work with, you can import your XML file. Here are the steps to do that:

  1. Select Tools
  2. Click on Import
  3. Scroll to find WordPress
  4. Hit Install Now
  5. Click Run Importer
  6. Select Choose File to add your site content
  7. Click Upload file and import

Redirect Your Visitors

Before you completely shut down your old site, you need to redirect visitors. If you already use your own domain, you’ll need to use the WordPress.com Redirect service.

Update Links Within Your Site

Especially if you redirect your site for free, you’ll need to update links that lead to other pages on your site. If you have a blog or link to products from your homepage, you’ll need to make sure the links work.

Change the DNS

Before you can start using your new website, you’ll need to change the DNS for your domain. If you’re moving from a subdomain, you can skip this step. But if you have your own domain or if you buy a domain from a company other than your host, you’ll need to point the domain to your host.

How Long Does the Transfer Take?

If you’re considering moving your site to WordPress.org, it may take a bit of time. You’ll need to choose a host and set up that account. You’ll also have to export your content and import it to your new site.

Will My Site Go Down During the Transfer?

As long as your old site stays up until you finish the transfer, you shouldn’t expect your site to go down. But it may not be accessible for a short period.

What If I’m Not Tech Savvy?

Don’t let your comfort level or experience with technology keep you from switching to WordPress.org. While the steps are pretty straightforward, it’s okay if you don’t want to do it yourself. There is a Guided Tour from WordPress.com to get help with the process. Some web hosting providers will even help you move your site over as part of their standard hosting plan.

How Much Does the Transfer Cost?

The cost to transfer WordPress.com to WordPress.org depends on different factors. You could do the transfer yourself for no cost aside from your time. If you go with the Guided Tour, you can expect to pay about $130.

Should You Transfer WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

The transfer process can seem intimidating, so you might wonder if it’s worth the switch. For most small businesses, WordPress.org is the better option as it comes without limitations. You’ll have more control over how you can customize your website to run your business and what you can sell on your website. You won’t be at the mercy of WordPress.com and its policies regarding your site.

Making the Switch

Are you ready to transfer WordPress.com to WordPress.org? Switching is an exciting but daunting process. However, once you make the switch to a self-hosted WordPress site you’ll have more freedom to run your business your own way without limitations.

Parachute Design Group Inc. is a boutique Toronto web design agency specializing in beautiful hand-made website design, custom logo design and branding.

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