Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

globe, boxes, computer mouse The most common reason for moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is the desire to make money from advertizing and/or affiliate sales. In reality if your WordPress.com blog does not currently attract 1,000 – 1,500 unique visitors every day, and your traffic stats do not demonstrate a growth trend, then it’s unlikely that you will earn much more than what’s required to cover web hosting costs.  Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means you will have added responsibilities so don’t hurry into self hosting thinking you will be handsomely paid for the effort.

WordPress.com bloggers frequently ask:  “What’s involved in moving to WordPress.org and self hosting?” That’s a good question.

If you are moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org you will have to purchase a domain name (if you do not already have one),   hire a web host , install and configure the WordPress.org software, export your blog content out of your WordPress.com site,   and then import it into the  WordPress.org software install.

Your domain name should be short, memorable, and easy to spell. Wherever possible your domain name and blog title should be the same.  For SEO include keywords in the URL and tagline that reflect your “brand”.  Your domain name is your own, it’s portable, and you can have an email address and blog on the same domain. Having your own domain means provides increased opportunities to: build your own unique brand, online presence, and reputation; and to assist your followers (readers, clients and customers) to recall and locate your site very easily.

Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means you will have additional responsibilities and if something goes wrong, you have to figure it out  and fix it.  Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means you will be responsible for all installations, all WordPress.org software upgrades, all backups and all troubleshooting. Current backups are critically important. They must be done frequently and the database must likewise be backed up frequently. If you have recent backup and something goes wrong, you can reasonably easily restore your site and not lose much data.

Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means your new site will be starting all over again when it comes to earning authority and Page Rank.  The Google Page Rank and Technorati authority and rank for your content belong to the root blog ie. the original WordPress.com URL for the blog.

Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org means  purchasing domain mapping  or an offsite redirect, so readers will  seamlessly transferred between the URLs.   Because when  you purchase a domain name and move your content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org  a new URL all the old links will be broken and visitors will experience a 404 (page not found) if you don’t.

If you are moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org then WordPress.com offers a guided transfer service where they set up your new site and move everything over for you. If you prefer a do it yourself move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org  you can use this comprehensive  Setting up a self-hosted WordPress.org install guide and  Moving Your Blog from WordPress.Com to WordPress.Org: Resources and Tips

  1. Purchase a domain and hire a web hosting provider
  2. Register a wordpress.org account and locate resources
  3. Download a FTP Client
  4. Upload the most recent  self hosting version of wordpress.ORG software into your new site
  5. Select and upload a theme
  6. Select and upload plugins
  7. Export/Import your WordPress.com content into your new site
  8. Import your Links (blogroll) into your new site
  9. Change the visibility of your WordPress.com blog to private
Related posts found in this blog:

82 thoughts on “Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

  1. Hi
    I’ve exported the xml file of all posts, pages tags, categories etc from .com and reimported it to .org as per WordPress guidance. Although the user, the tags and categories have uploaded none of the posts have been imported. What am I missing? Thanks

  2. I’m in the process of switching to .org. I’m happy and almost there. The only hang up I’m having is migrating my email subscribers. I’ve tried a couple CSV plug ins but they aren’t doing what I’d hoped. Any thought??? Thx

  3. This is a great post! I have read many posts that tell bloggers to lose the .com if they want to be seen as “professionals”– and last year, I actually purchased a domain and had my blog flipped to .org.

    I found that most of my traffic dried up, and I absolutely hated the fact that my PR was completely gone. I do not write this blog to make money, so I know that I should not let that affect me so much– but it did. I felt like all my hard work for the past several years was just gone. Additionally, there are lots more offers from guest bloggers with the higher page rank– and in my niche, (freelance writing) it is great to have lots of different voices or articles covering something I have not yet.

    Long story short– I switched my blog BACK and now it is doing great. You may have addressed this in all of the comments above, but I did not see it. If I purchase the domain name and leave my blog on wordpress.com, simply redirecting, will it retain the current PR?

    • Hi Denise,
      I have made the same move of my personal blog to WordPress.org and then back again to WordPress.com. I also experienced exactly what you have expressed in your comment.

      If I purchase the domain name and leave my blog on wordpress.com, simply redirecting, will it retain the current PR?

      As you already have a domain name I’m assuming you purchased it through wordpress.com http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/ and then moved the content to a wordpress.org install.
      http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/domain-management/

      Provided that the case and that your domain mapping upgrade is still in effect you can simply point the nameservers back. The nameservers control where traffic for the domain goes using DNS. If you are moving from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, you can enter the nameservers provided by your web hosting company to switch your domain to their hosting service. If you are moving back then you point them back here.

  4. Hi,

    I made a xyz.wordpress.com blog.
    They offered me xyz.com domain for 17$ per year.
    I purchased it. But this do not have all[.com (with wp installed on it) features like plugin and upload theme option etc.
    I really want to upload some nice theme and some plugins-What I should do?
    Please help mee!

    • Did you not read what was stated in support documentation? You get exactly what is stated and nothing more and nothing less than what is stated.

      There is no FTP access to free hosted WordPress.COM blogs and we cannot install individual plugins or third party themes into them. Those found on the internet are for WordPress.ORG installs which run on different software.
      http://en.support.wordpress.com/ftp-access/
      http://en.support.wordpress.com/plugins/
      http://en.support.wordpress.com/themes/adding-new-themes/

      The domain mapping entry clearly states this:
      Before Upgrading – Important Notes
      Same Rules Apply – The Domain Mapping Upgrade does not enable the permission to use advertising, any kind of prohibited code, or upload additional themes or plugins. With the upgrade, your blog will still be hosted here at WordPress.com, which means that you will not have FTP access to your files and you will still be required to abide by our Terms of Service.

      If you wish to have complete control over a blog, the ability to upload themes and plugins, and to edit themes and templates then your option is to hire a web host and get a free software install from WordPress.ORG and self host it.
      WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: The Differences
      http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

      If you’ve registered your domain through WordPress.com and now want it to point to a blog or website hosted elsewhere for example to a self hosted WordPress.org install, then you can do this by updating the nameservers. The nameservers control where traffic for the domain goes using DNS. If you are moving from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, you can enter the nameservers provided by your web hosting company to switch your domain to their hosting service. Follow the Update Nameservers instructions http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/domain-management/#update-nameservers

  5. Hi timethief,

    I am actually in a position of wanting to buy a ‘.org website’ but have held off because im not sure i want to make that jump yet.. I believe that if i simply have multiple blogs (with other services such as blogger) i can use those for ads instead but keep my wordpress.com simply for the more proffesional important stuff such as followers and making genuine content (which comes in handy for selling books or ebooks later if I take that path). I am new to wordpress haha.

    I dont 100% understand what you have wrote above in other comments but what i am understanding is that buying a .org will remove alot of authority of your page – so you will have to begin from scratch with followers and visitors/searchers looking for your page. So my impression from what you have said is that its better to wait until i have atleast 1000 visitors per day or atleast some form of income($) coming from somewhere else.

    How long will it take for me to reach a figure of 1000 visitors per day in your opinion? I have to say whilst .org looks nice the price would be alot for someone who doesnt have income every month (i.e me lol). I have effectively learnt something good here about what to do when i want to make that switch too; bookmarked.

    Thanks for the blog read.

    • There are many blogs in many different niches and it’s impossible to estimate how slowly or how quickly your readership will grow. If you are committed to blogging over the long-term then I do recommend getting a domain and domain mapping upgrade from the get go. I don’t recommend setting up a self hosted WordPress.org install and moving your WordPress.com content into it until your blog stats demonstrate a steady and stable traffic flow of between 1,000 and 1,500 page views daily. Please read this more recent article. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/11/06/setting-up-a-self-hosted-wordpress-org-install/

      • Thanks for the link Timethief, will give it a good read now. And you’re right, it is impossible to know how long it will take to get 1000 but i’ll be positive and say its definitely possible lol. Cheers.

        • If you publish fresh content frequently and focus on creating relationships with other bloggers with blogs in the same niche your page views will increase. The most powerful way to secure comments and followers/subscribers is to devote time and energy to leaving meaningful comments on post published on related blogs in the same niche your own blog is in.

  6. Dear TT…thanks a lot for this post! I almost purchased a domain but fortunately I found out your website (by the way I stole some ideas too!) It has been the best post (including all the comments) I have found about this matter so far. I have worked hard on my blog considering I had not any idea about blogs and graphic design before. Fortunately the traffic has improved lately so I keep working hard. Thanks again!

  7. Hello TT i have a few questions, in currently on blogger, do not know why however i am getting over 1000 views a day. I have looked to move to wordpress.org which will mean i have to migrate my domain Plus purchase hosting. I have created a theme with artistser, will that work on .org? What hosting program do you use? And how much is it roughly to run, and set up using .org? Appreciate in advance.

    • I have included information about the range of charges for web hosting in the article. I can say that A Small Orange provided me with excellent hosting and support. As for whether or not the theme you created can be used on a WordPress.org install your will have to ask that question in the wordpress.org support forum http://wordpress.org/support/

  8. Newbie here wanting to know if you can place an ad on wordpress.com as a graphic with text and link to their website on the sidebar? If so, then I can stay and not go to wordpress.org.
    Thanks so much for this great article that is finally something written in plain English that non-CSS users can understand.
    Cheers,
    Priscilla

  9. I don’t think its always money.
    Freedom and full-control are precious. We love to blog but we would like it to be ours.
    Hosting on wordpress.com is now out of my option , after the way it Imposed ADS on its sincere bloggers.
    I thinks that was wrong.
    Wordpress should not make new conditions, if it want ads, it can start with condition for new bloggers.
    What if WordPress decides something new, like payment scheme for free bloggers?

    Just my idea.
    I think WordPress.org is best and gives you full freedom.

    • I’ve been here for 5 years and I can say with confidence that the two top reasons for moving to a wordpress.org self hosted install are:
      to earn and income from advertising and /or affiliate sales;
      to gain complete control over the template, theme and advertising (or lack thereof).

      WordPress.com has been running advertising on their free hosted blogs since 2006. There is a paid annually renewable No-Ads upgrade offered for eliminating ads as well.
      ToS section 9. http://en.wordpress.com/tos/
      Features page – scroll to bottom > http://en.wordpress.com/features/
      Advertising > http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/
      Types of blogs allowed and not allowed > http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/
      Ads Off upgrade > http://en.support.wordpress.com/no-ads/

      • It was a good debate TT, yes I agree people move out for advertising but I wanted to say, some do it for freedom.
        Its amazing to see 40+ genuine comment on an article.
        Reading comments is equally informative as reading posts.
        Keep it up. Looks like you have already a good Profile in the internet.

        • Yes some people want total control over their site and are willing to pay for web hosting to have it. Very few of them actually choose not to have advertising. Thanks for the compliement you paid my readers. They are a terrific group of bloggers. :)

  10. Hi TT, I’ve read everything I can on transferring from WP.com to a self-hosted (WP.org) blog, but I cannot tell what happens to my site stats after the transfer. I understand that I can use a WP.com stat plug-in that will record site stats the way I am used to, but does the clock get reset to zero? Will I essentially be starting afresh in terms of site stats on my new self-hosted site? In my crowded niche, total visits is one indicator of credibility. If my total page views went back to zero, it would take a year to get back to where I currently am.

    In addition to the financial and learning costs (which are well-explained by you – thanks!), it seems there are substantial opportunity costs and not-easily-recoverable sunk costs (eg: having to get all your subscribers to resubscribe – hundreds in my case).

    • It was my experience the stats do not transfer but start over from zero. However this may have changed with the introduction of JetPack. http://jetpack.me I had both wordpress stats and sitemeter and relied on the latter. With regard to subscribers I use Feedburner and not wordpress for subscriptions so the tranfer was smooth as my subscribers did not have to resubscribe. Hope this helps.

  11. Pagerank is obviously important, but if you have been using domain mapping and transfer your domain to a self hosted wordpress.org site, you can avoid Google even knowing if you moved your hosting.

  12. Pingback: Time for self-hosting? I need advice! « Machiavelli Id

  13. Thanks, this was really helpful! I was debating whether or not to move my blog so I could take advantage of different plug-ins and host a few ads, but I was under the impression from the WordPress explanation that my page ranking would be saved. I think I’ll hold off for awhile after your advice.

    Quick question though, and I’m sorry if I missed it above (I tried to read through all the comments!), if I continue to have WordPress host my site, but I buy a URL, do I still lose my page ranking? Will traffic that goes to my .wordpress.com address be automatically redirected to my URL?

    Thanks!

    • If you want your blog to remain on free hosting at this time and plan to move to self hosting later on, then purchasing a domain and domain mapping to it from your wordpress.com blog is the way to go. :)

  14. If I have already changed from zzz.wordpress.com to zzz.com changing to wordpress.org, rather than wordpress.com wont effect my Google rankings, alexa etc will it? Not that I’m thinking of moving soon

    Thanks

    • Alexa records traffic. It does not send traffic to your site. Google Pagerank is fluid – constantly changing. If you already have a domain and WordPress.com blog is being domain mapped to it then when you move the blog all of those tag page links and the Google juice from the WordPress.com global tag pages will disappear. Every blog that uses any tag counts as one link to the Global Tag Pages. Millions of blogs are linking to the “News” page every day, for example. That makes WP.com hugely important in Google’s eyes.

      Please all the comments, okay. I have posted more into them than I have into the post itself. :)

      • Thanks for the reply! Sorry shouldn’t have mentioned Alexa in same breath as Google.

        I’ve already bought my domain a few months, I’m getting google referrals in the hundreds each day so I don’t think moving has had too much of a negative impact for me personally :)

        Surprised you reply to every comment!

        • I think all bloggers who are into blogging for the long term ought to buy a domain. I’m glad to hear you have done so. You have done a remarkable job on your site. I’m so impressed. :)

          I try to reply to every comment. Now and then I’m not well enough to. Every now and then I fall behind in answering but I do aim to respond to every person who comments. :)

  15. One major point of moving to WordPress.org platform is the absence of quality themes at affordable prices. Most of the free themes are almost junk and all good themes are priced absurdly. With all top themes priced at $60-100 bracket the hit becomes severe for bloggers outside the US when they pay in their national currency. For a new blogger, moving to WordPress.org platform becomes a costly affair.

    May be WordPress can do something about it and sell themes at what could be just prices. I know nothing is free but there are lot many designers who would like to sell their themes on WordPress.

    • You are correct moving to self hosting can be costly. We are talking about going into business and it takes money to make money. Those who are moving to WordPress.org to make money have to accept what comes with the territory. If you want a professional looking site then you do have to purchase a theme. If you want to compete with others who have professional sites and business sites then don’t expect a free ride. The business world is based on competition.

      You are correct re: bloggers who are located in countries outside of North America and Europe are going to be financially stressed. However, it must be understood that the cost of living in North America, Canada, Europe or any other developed country is very high. I don’t think many bloggers in less developed countries necessarily have a grasp of how high the cost of living is. Web designers who create themes are in business. Their income is how they support their families so expecting them to give them to give away the high quality products of their labor free of charge is not realistic. And expecting that WordPress will create a marketplace for every web designer the world over who aspires to sell their themes through WordPress is likewise unrealistic.

  16. I’ve been thinking about moving over, but may rethink it now. The thing is I’ve seen a newer innuit types theme I love and want to introduce that. Am torn.

    Atm I have the same innuit theme as you are using on here, but can’t work out how you have added a HOME button. I’ve fiddled around for ages and can’t add one. Can you help?

    • You create a custom menu and instead of being limited to only displaying static page tabs on the top navigation you can display custom links like a link to your home page, as well as selected pages, sub-pages, categories, sub-categories of your choice. Instructions are found here http://en.support.wordpress.com/menus/

  17. This is a great article, thank you very much. I encourage clients to try using WordPress.com for their website needs, since it’s so stable and multi-functional. I get the impression that WordPress.com is gearing itself up for professional sites, since they’re now selling premium templates and upgrading their services on a regular basis. I love the ease of use!

    • WordPress.com does have significant numbers of sites on VIP hosting and they appear to be growing in number. Now WordPress.com has moved to providing paid themes signifies they are responding to demand, and moving towards attracting more professional and business bloggers. I too love the ease of blogging at WordPress.com. :)

  18. Great post, and I wish we had known all of this before we moved our garden blog from WP to our own domain. It would have saved a lot of time and headache. The blog has been up and running at the new address for months now but, as you say, we had to build it up practically from scratch (in terms of ranking, etc.). We’re also not happy with the amount of advertising that Google appears to put on our blog. Thanks for the numbers, too, they help give us an idea how far or close we are to our target.

    Didi

    • @didiwright
      Thank you for sharing what you have experienced. Hearing from those who have been there and done that is valuable and I appreciate it.

      I apologize for being so far behind when it comes to replying to comments, breaking my foot made a heart impact on my life.

  19. Hi Times,

    Thanks for the treasure trove! I was considering the costs of moving my wordpress.com blot to wordpress.org. Thanks to SiteMeter, I am well aware that I’ve a long way to go. However, I did not know that I needed 1000+ unique visitors per day! I was not aware of the hit on my page ranking, though.

    This page + comments should be on the Support page called “Thinking of moving? Count the Costs!” I’m sure raincoaster and sacredpath could add to this.

    • Hi Barry,
      We Volunteers are frequently asked about what the move involves and any member who actually follows instructions and does forum searches will find we have answered them over and over again. What we find is that new bloggers are not reading the sticky posts at the head of the forum, and are not doing forums searches before they post.

      The second most common reason bloggers get a WordPress.org install is because they want to have full control over a theme but most do not want to pay for a theme. ell finding a high quality WordPress.org free theme that’s does have attractive features, and not have “hidden links” in the template, and does not have sponsored links in the footer is not easily done.

      Also note that locating high quality, safe and compatible plugins is not always easily done either. There are some malicious and faulty plugins that once installed can infect your computer and site, or that are simply so badly coded they cause massive site breakage that must be repaired.

      Last year I published a post I linked to above titled > Self Hosting: What’s Your Hurry? http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/01/13/self-hosting-whats-your-hurry/

      Lastly, note that there are others who may choose to argue with my numbers. The numbers I provided are based on my own experience and consulting with other WordPress.org bloggers. They have high quality blogs and are making enough income from advertsisng to cover their web hosting and associated costs and not much more.

  20. WordPress.com is definitely a great place to start when beginning a blog or website. It’s amazing how wonderful the options are in the WordPress world. It’s too bad that you can’t 301 redirect the page link juice from the .com version to a self-hosted server hosted elsewhere. It can be a bit restrictive if you’re site reaches a threshold of users that would make sense to move to a larger server.

    • We can purchase a 301 site redirect but PageRank is fluid and the SEO here is excellent. Moving content to a wordpress.org install means the URLs are removed from of the wordpress.com global tagging pages as it’s no longer hosted here. That does have a negative impact on PageRank. I’ve been there and done that.

  21. Hi – I am trying to see past this one as, eventually, i would like to be able to earn an income from my blog (believe me it is a long way in the future as I am still in double figures on the daily visits LOL).

    But, looking to the future, if I have a wordpress.com blog and purchase a domain name. Let’s call it 123.com. I spend 6 months (or mor elikely 6 years) building my blog to the 1,000 – 1,500 visitors a day that you say are needed. So I now see my blog as starting to become viable, having learnt a lot more about blogging along the way I decide to move to self-hosting. And then I have to start from scratch again to make the blog viable again? Have I understood that right? So in real terms, if someone is looking to earn an income from their blog (I’m not talking about getting rich, just paying the bills), and they reckon six months to build to viability, they need to double that to allow for starting from scratch when they go self-hosting?

    What happens to people who have bookmarked the site, the links you may have built up from higher ranked sites etc? Do they get moved with you? Or do you have to start again building those up again as well?

    I have only just found this site from the wordpress forums and I have to say it is refreshing to hear someone NOT say “oh yes, you’ll be earning 6 figures within a month LOL Thank you :)

    • @eumaeus
      I have a series of medical appointments today and will be coming and going. As soon as I have the time to I will answer your questions. Thanks, in advance, for your patience.

    • i would like to be able to earn an income from my blog …

      Many blogges have that aspiration but most I know were faced with the reality that they make not much more pocket money over and above what’s required for purchasing a theme, web hosting their site, paying for storage and extra bandwidth, and maintaining the site.

      And then I have to start from scratch again to make the blog viable again? Have I understood that right? So in real terms, if someone is looking to earn an income from their blog (I’m not talking about getting rich, just paying the bills), and they reckon six months to build to viability, they need to double that to allow for starting from scratch when they go self-hosting?

      If and when one moves to self-hosting they may be able to retain most of their regular readers. In fact most do but every blogger I know who did this found their traffic dropped. The traffic that flowed to their blogs from wordpress.com global tag pages dried up. As their sites were no longer part of the WordPress.com community the impact of the removal of all those Google juicy high Pagerank links from WordPress.com made a significant negative impact on the site’s Pagerank and positioning in the SERPS (search engine page results). Those who began to get into advertsting, affiliate marketing and/or paid blogging found their Pageranks dropped.

      If you are blogging for money then PageRank can be a major issue. Once your blog has a higher PR (4 or 5) then higher paid writing opportunities do become available to you. But, if you write for services like ReviewMe, Text Link Ads, Smorty, and/or PayPerPost, etc. then it’s important to understand that Google doesn’t like paid links, so if you have them and if your site does not indicate them with “nofollow” or, if you’re active on the internet selling links, or selling links on your blog then your site’s PageRank will suffer.

      If you don’t care about Google and PageRank then get involved with services like ReviewMe, Text Link Ads, Smorty, and/or PayPerPost, etc. and sell all the links you want. But if you don’t want to be harmed in Google PR updates then don’t sell links and don’t link to sites that do.

      What happens to people who have bookmarked the site, the links you may have built up from higher ranked sites etc? Do they get moved with you? Or do you have to start again building those up again as well?

      See here please > Are you leaving WordPress.com? Would you like to redirect yourblogname.wordpress.com (as well as all of your permalinks) to your new domain name? Have you recently changed your blog address and need to redirect traffic to the new name? That’s what the Site Redirect upgrade does … http://en.support.wordpress.com/site-redirect/

      If you want more advice then I suggest you get it from bloggers who have moved to self hosting and have successfully monetized their sites.

  22. timethief,

    Thanks for your extensive reply about ads on our WordPress.com blogs. I’m shocked, but it’s only due to dwelling in ignorance instead of waking up and investigating this myself. Yes, I’m like you in this sense. I find the idea of ads at the start, end, or middle of my content horrifying. I really dislike this on all blogs. I don’t mind ads in the sidebar on other blog, but not all mired in the content. And I certainly don’t want ads on my site so I will have to go for the No Ad option.

    Thanks again. You are a true friend.

    • Hi Sandra,
      Some time ago now I backed away from spending as much time on social networking and on commenting on blogs. I intended to back away from multitasking so I could develop a better balance. When I did that I started to become more aware of the wordpress.com realities. The more awareness I developed the stronger the pull I have felt towards purchasing an Ads-Off upgrade for my personal blog. I was so distressed when I saw the ads on your site that I felt like immediately taking screenshots and emailing you but I decided against being an alarmist. Then when I broke my foot I forgot all about that and everything else as my whole schedule online and offline came undone. I have spent 3 weeks traveling back and forth for medical care and testing, and I am exhausted physically and mentally. I’m on a little break now but when I resume some contract work I will be making the same move.
      I value our friendship very much and I’m so glad you do too.
      Peace be with you always,
      TiTi

  23. Hi Timethief,

    I need your opinion. I was thinking about setting up a domain name for my WordPress.com blog. I have narrowed the choices down to 1) the name of my blog: futurehusbandsandwivesofsaudis 2) the name I use on the blog: taraummomar 3) saudimarriage or 4) marriagetosaudis. According to Google Adwords, if I chose #3 or #4, both of them would each garner 3,600 hits a month. #1 and #2 would not get above 100 hits per month. So should I stick with #3 or #4 or what would be your opinion?

    I enjoy your blog, it really is one cool site. Thank you!

    • Blogger initiated advertising is not allowed on wordpress.com free hosted blogs, whether or not they have a domain name. Consequently, Adwords naming is not something I’m into because I see blogs suspended and deleted every day. When we purchase a domain mapping upgrade that’s what we get and nothing more. The support pages clearly state the following:

      Before Upgrading – Important Notes
      Same Rules Apply – The Domain Mapping Upgrade does not enable the permission to use advertising, any kind of prohibited code, or upload additional themes or plugins. With the upgrade, your blog will still be hosted here at WordPress.com, which means that you will not have FTP access to your files and you will still be required to abide by our Terms of Service. http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/

  24. Thanks for this useful article (again). :)

    Now, I would be in heaven if I had 1,000+ page views daily. Anyway, one of my blogs is self-hosted because it is for an organization that will have corporate sponsorship. The first sponsor will be announced in a few wks. or so.

    There is no other reason. I find wordpress.org is abit more finicky. I don’t get into CSS at all even though it’s been warned that I should know CSS for .org version.

    Then I find out later the graphic designer that designed the logo for the conference (which blog promotes indirectly) is thinking of changing the template?? Horrors….I hope it’s only the header. He wanted to align with other products with logo branding, etc. Whatever.

    He wasn’t engaged in blog design at beginning because the organization had not yet contracted a design firm, meanwhile we really had to begin to drive interest about the conference now…. not wait around and lose time. This is a situation where I think the graphic designer did not know about pre-set wordpress.org templates…

    Yes, it took a few days for me to get used to the .org and its vagaries. I only use it in a basic way. Life is too short to waste too much time. After all people are interested in content, pics and pleasing blog posts each time.

    By the way, Alexis I love your blog design. Effective.

    • Hi Jean,
      It’s good to hear what your experiences have been like. Hopefully, there will not be a problem with the designer changing the template. I am with you when it comes to content. I see numerous bloggers posting to the support forums who appear to be fixated on theme tweaking. When I click into their blogs I shake my head as they spend more time tweaking than they do in content creation. What brings readers to a blog initially is content, and it’s fresh content that brings them back again and again. As long as blogger can navigate a theme with ease and it’s framing the content well that’s what it’s meant to do. But when the theme is more outstanding than the content then the theme will not hold their attention nor will it motivate them to return.

  25. Thanks for this one, TT.

    I have read several articles on this topic, and I must say that yours offers the most practical advice. When I research topics such as this one, I am not looking for a cheerleading pro-only stance. I really want to know what I’m getting into!

    You’ve laid it out in plain English, and I am confident in my decision to stay on WordPress.com. In addition to the fact that I haven’t reached the milestone of 1000 readers, I am not technologically savvy – and really don’t have the time (I’m a full-time student) to devote toward learning the required skills for self-hosting.

    And in your comment above, you mentioned hackers and spammers . . . eek!

    • Hi there,
      It’s good to see you here. My personal blog had between 1,000 – 1,500 page views every day when I moved it. Sites that get that many pageviews here at wordpress.com and that are accepted into the Ad-Control program get about $5. per month from the advertising. There are legions of hackers and spammers attempting and in many cases succeeding at taking over self-hosted sites. If one is not on top of the situation, the latest exploit techniques and vulnerabilities, and does not keep their site updated nasty situations can arise. Another thing I shed my personal blog of by moving it back onto free hosting is the email I received attemtping to get me to post ads on my blog. I used to get 2 or 3 requests every day and now I get none – yay!

  26. Good credible write up and introduction to the ‘next stage”. Self hosted is an ambitious step and awesome learning process which includes some major self discovery. It can be a staggering amount of work though, but with balance and restraint one can prevent not getting in over your head.

    Although I have shifted back to a standard blogging platform I do have four WordPress projects locally which can be relaunched in the future.

    As a solo artist who thrives on the creative process I found the technical responsiblities to be a litte overhwleming. It doesn’t help being the kind of person who is overly obssessive about fine details either.

    If your ready for self hosted go for it. Leap and the net will appear.

  27. I decided to self-host out of simple vanity. I like playing with premium templates and plugins and such. So I went directly to the self-hosted model right out of the gate (first & only blog).

    I will say this – noodling around with custom templates WAS harder than I expected. Learning how they work, figuring out all the shortcodes, etc. took me longer than I thought. And I didn’t realize that by going down that path (namely using all these formatting shortcodes) would lock me into my current template. So that was a bit of a learning curve for me.

    But I’m not an enormously technical person and the process of getting my WP install set up and sorted out wasn’t nearly as hard as I feared it would be. So my 2 cents is that if you ARE thinking about it, it may sound scarier than it actually is.

    • Inatalling wordpress.org software install and self hosting it is much easier now than it was in the past. However, if you are not a savvy blogger who stays tuned to the lastest exploits being employed by hackers, spammers, and scammers eventually you will have nasty experience and have to restore your site from backups. Best wishes with your blog.

        • Yes you do and my advice is that you backup your site and your database, and deactivate all plugins prior to updating WordPress 3.2. If the plugins you have are not compatible with the new WordPress version you will get unexpected results. So after that WordPress update is done, carefully activate only one plugin at a time and wait to see what results before moving on to activating the next one.

  28. Once again – thanks for the valuable information. I’m so new at this I can’t imagine 1500 hits a day! I think I’d faint!….but wouldn’t it be lovely?

    I’ve seen slow and steady growth, plus I’m enjoying this so much! That’s a success in my eyes, but the numbers climbing give you a real sense of accomplishment! I’d like to have a medium size group of folks that follow along – cooking with me!

    I hope – daily – that you are well.

    • If you continue to be a productive blogger who does encourage commenting and build a blog centered community then in time your blog will receive more page views. :)

      Thanks for your well wishes. :)

  29. timethief,

    Thanks for this article. I thought I knew this one, but I learned a few more points from you! I didn’t realize that moving from WordPress.org to WordPress.com meant losing all your pagerank and authority. Is that the case even if you have your own domain name already?

    I’m very happy at WordPress.com because I am not blogging to make money and I don’t want to have to deal with all the extra technical aspects and the possibility of having my site hacked. But it does give me pause to think that should I wish to make the move in the future, I would lose all my pagerank and authority. I thought that was intact because of having my own domain name. Hmnnn….

    • Hi Sandra,
      It’s always good to hear from you. I think many bloggers are confused on this point and that’s why I covered it again. PageRank is not transferable. It is allocated by URL(s). The PageRank your wordpress.com blog earned is allocated to the wordpress.com blog URL(s) that earned it. What purchasing a domain name and domain mapping results in is the seamless transfer of visitors who click the root blog (wordpress.com) links to the domain URLs. It does not result in the transfer of PageRank it does result in reindexing of your content under the domain URLs. If you fail to renew domain mapping those domain links break and all posts and pages revert back to the wordpress.com URLs.

      Moreover, no free-standing self hosted site on a wordpress.org install can rival the huge amount ot Google juice that issues to blogs being free hosted by wordpress.com. When one moves a blog out of the wordpress.com community they wave goodbye to wordpress.com SEO and Google juice that goes into > PageRank, and some of their traffic so it takes a minimum of 6 months of continual publishing of optimized content specifically aimed at baiting backlinks to get out of the Google sandbox and begin to see a PageRank at all. That’s why there is a 302 temporary redirect upgrade (domain mapping) http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/redirect-trick/ and 301 permanent redirect (offsite or site redirect) upgrade. http://en.support.wordpress.com/site-redirect/

      ranicoaster, thesacredpath and I have been stating this in the wordpress.com support forum threads over and over for years as we have all been there and done that and we know what happens. Sadly, the misinformation and presumptions circulate to a wider range of bloggers than we reach.

      The bottom line is that if wordpress.com blogger is not either (1) money motivated (intends to make income from the blog), or (2) has money they wish to spend to gain total control over their blog (themes, editing themes, templates, plugins, etc.) then there is no benefit at all to moving blog content into a wordpress.org install.

      WordPress.com is on continual roll out and that means all wordpress upgrades are released on the wordpress.com blogging platform first. Then they become available to wordpress.org users — not the other way around.

      By purchasing a domain name and domain mapping from wordpress.com and remaining on free hosting we get the benefit of using all the features provided, we accept some limitations, and we have no worries about upgrades to wordpress, plugins, themes, backups, as well as security exploits, hacking episodes and resulting site restorations, and being mercilessly spammed. When my personal blog was self hosted it attracted hundreds of spam comments each and every day. At wordpress.com this has dropped to a few each day.

      The only other recommendation I would make as I have visited your site using IE8 and have witnessed the advertising which I know would have made you gasp in horror, is to purchase an annually renewable No – Ad upgrade as well as a domain and domain mapping. I consider the CSS editing upgrade to be of lesser importance but also recommend it to those who are truly not happy with the free theme selection.
       
      $17.00 per domain, per blog, per year
      $14.97 per blog, per year (CSS)
      $29.97 per blog, per year (No-Ads
      TOTAL = $61.97 per year per blog

      Note that total is less than what reliable and properly supported web hosting for a wordpress.org install costs per year. I know as I have been there and done that. :)

      P.S. Remember that wordpress.com comment links are no-follow (no passing of PageRank) links. If you have been primarily commenting on blogs that are self hosted wordpress.org installs and they use a plugin to create do-follow links that do pass PageRank — your blog did not earn them. For every comment you left on a do-follow blog, your blog was rewarded with a do-follow comment link to your site URL equal to a backlink received when another blogger links to a post on your blog in a post of their own, simply because you commented. That helped to raise the popularity factor of your blog, which is one on of the factors that increased its PageRank.

      Consequently, if most blogs or many blogs you do comment on have do-dollow comment links then the PageRank of blog will be higher, than it would have been if you had primarily commented on wordpress.com blogs that have no-follow comment links which do not pass PageRank. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/12/03/links-no-follow-and-do-follow/
       

      • Dear TiTi,
        I second Sandra’s comment here. I also didn’t know this fact about pagerank NOT being transferred if we move to to wp.org. I’m so happy with wp.com, that I cant even think about moving. Too comfortable here. All the technicalities are taken care of and I can concentrate on the content.

        I too don’t have any burning desire to make money from my blog, I blog for the sheer love of helping people with this awesome medium of communication. If I do want to make money…it might be from a future product I create…but never advertising. I don’t like ads on blogs…they just UNpersonalize the whole blog experience for me. …unless the blogger is smart and places those ads in some corner.

        This is an eye opening post for me. I hereby state my complete Devotion to wp.com :)
        Lots of love,
        Z~

        • Hello Zeenat,
          How lovely it is to see you. WordPress.com has nothing to do with Pagerank or how it’s transferred or not transferred. That’s all a search engine determination function. That’s why there is a 302 temporary redirect upgrade (domain mapping) http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/redirect-trick/ and 301 permanent redirect (offsite or site redirect) upgrade. http://en.support.wordpress.com/site-redirect/
          It is possible to purchase a 301 site redirect but even so one’s blog does not “hold” onto PageRank. PageRank is fluid. Leaving the wordpress.com community means all those Google indexed juicy links in the global tag pages pointing to your blog are removed from the SERPs (Search engine page results) when Google clears its cache, and that has a negative effect on PageRank.

          All other things being equal after all the posts have been re-indexed the PageRank is usually restored. As long as you, Sandra and I choose to have or blogs free hosted by wordpress.com and continue to pay our annual renewal for our domains and for domain mapping that’s not an issue at all. As we have no intention of making an income from our blogs, the larger issue for us is paying for an upgrade to remove advertising from our blogs. I meant to publish this post previously because I also viewed your blog using IE8 and cringed but before I could get to it I ended up with a broken foot and that upset all my life at home, work and here online too.

          Much love,
          TiTi

      • Hi timethief,

        I’m gasping in horror just reading this much less actually seeing advertising on my blog that I didn’t put there. I think you, Raincoaster and Sacred Path are very clear. I appreciate your persistence and patience. This is another misunderstanding on my part as my brain does not seem to grok these finer details well. I gather IE8 means Internet Explorer 8. Since I’ve never seen any ads on my blog or any other WordPress.com blog (I used Firefox) I thought they didn’t really exist or were only put on really big blogs.

        Yikes! You’re saying that anyone using IE8 will see ads on our blog. Oh totally horrid. Sorry, I am so dense about these things. Does it cross over to other browsers too or only IE8. Since I’ve settled into blogging I haven’t been in the forums as much and maybe I’ve missed some important point.

        Thanks for the advice. I will definitely hop on the no-ad thing. I had no clue, but it’s really my own ignorance.

        I appreciate your generosity and the in-depth information you share here. We would be lost without you.

  30. I like the way youve spelled this out clearly. So unless I have 1000 visitors, Ill never need consider this. Aside from the money making angle however, it seems wordpress fullfills all other needs for a web site. So it just makes sense for me to stay with .com and leave.org alone.

    • Hello there,
      I tried to be a clear and direct as I could be when I created and published this post. What raincoaster, thesacredpath and I are experiencing is:

      • bloggers who do not have the full information and/or who have been misinformed;
      • bloggers who have the expectation that PageRank will not be lost when it defintely will be;
      • bloggers who assume they will make lots of income when they won’t;
      • bloggers who lack the skills to manage on their own on a free hosted wordpress.com blog, let alone, managing self hosting a wordpress.org install.

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