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
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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.

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