Moving Your Blog from WordPress.Com to WordPress.Org: Resources and Tips

Moving my blog from to a self-hosted site using software was far easier than I ever imagined. The process is not nearly as terrifying, complex, or time consuming as some would lead you to believe if you are prepared.

In this article, I will share the resources I used to ensure a smooth transition and special tips and alerts to make your blog move easier too.

Here’s a brief explanation of vs. from the Automattic team:

“ is a hosting platform that makes it easy for anyone to publish online. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server. has hundreds of themes, and includes the functionality of many plugins, but you can’t upload your own plugins or themes. offers free software that you can install on a web server. You can upload and install themes and plugins, run ads, and edit the database.”

In short, offers far more freedom, but requires taking more responsibility. Want to know more? Read the complete explanation.

Guided Transfer: For the Technophobic

If all things technical make your knees knock, the best choice for you might be a Guided Transfer. For $129, a Happiness Engineer will install WordPress software at one of their recommended hosts, transfer your blog, and provide additional support for a two-week period.

Resources for Transferring Your Blog to Self Hosting

If you prefer to make the move on your own, unless you are a tech whiz, you will most likely want to have a technically inclined friend willing and available to offer support as needed.

Your first three action steps for setting up your new “empty” site include:

  1. Purchasing a Domain Name (or Redirecting Your Name Servers if you already own your domain name);
  2. Finding a Web Host;
  3. Downloading and Installing WordPress software.

These are the steps that must be taken before you can export your blog from and import your blog contents into software on your self-hosted site.

Read these articles and watch the recommended video before you start the process. They will take you step-by-step through the process so you can avoid any pitfalls.

Special Blog Set Up Tips and Alerts

Once you’ve followed the links, you will have a good overview of how to transfer your blog and, I hope, will feel more confident about the process.

But, don’t dive yet! Following are some steps I recommend considering before you leap into exporting your blog or as soon as your import is complete. By thinking it through ahead of time, you will be able to get the features you want in place quickly rather than ending up without a subscription service, for example, and not knowing where to get one or how to set it up.


What theme would you like use on your new blog? Decide in advance so you can install it before or immediately after the transfer.

Unlike, your new blog will appear with only two theme options: Twenty-Eleven and Twenty-Ten. You will have to “install” any other theme you would like to use.

Many, but not all, of the free themes are also available for your self-hosted blog and there are more than 1,500 other free themes to choose from.

Check the theme directory at to see if your current theme is available or browse the expanded selection of options available to you there.

You might feel like a kid in a candy store – especially if you are a theme junkie like me – with hundreds of new theme options. You could easily waste hours or even days previewing the multitude of themes. Sooner or later, however, you will discover that most free themes are not well-constructed. Some of your best bets are the themes you liked on, if available, those listed as popular on the sidebar at the theme directory, or themes you’ve admired as you’ve traveled the blogosphere.

Now that you are self-hosted, you also have the option to purchase a WordPress theme. Paid themes typically offer more options and flexibility than a free theme. Some of the most popular theme makers include DIY Themes (Thesis), Studio Press (Genesis), Woo Themes, and Elegant Themes.

Once you’ve decided on a theme, with rare exceptions like Thesis, you can install it with a few clicks on your dashboard:

  • Appearance > Themes > Install.

Search for the theme by name, click the install now button after it appears in the window, and then activate. The second way to install a theme is to download the zip file at and then upload it here:

  • Appearance > Themes > Upload.

Email Subscriptions

Understandably, you don’t want to lose a single treasured reader. And, you’ll want to set up your subscription service for new subscribers to sign on first thing on your self-hosted blog.

Happily, the staff at will transfer your current subscribers from your blog to your new self-hosted site if you install the Jetpack Plugin by first. The Jetpack Plugin offers several handy features – mostly free and some paid – that you’re already accustomed to as a blogger. Free features include subscriptions, social media sharing, stats, spelling and grammar, a contact form, among others.

Installing the Jetpack plugin was one of the first steps I took after exporting my blog to the new site.

Install the Jetpack by plugin here:

  • Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Search for Jetpack by and follow the installation instructions.

Once the Jetpack plugin is installed, contact staff and ask them to transfer your subscribers from your site to your new self-hosted blog. I was amazed by how quickly the staff responded. The transfer was complete in a matter of hours.

Three words of warning.

1. More than 100 of my subscribers vanished into thin air during the transfer never to be recovered again. While the staff was very concerned, they weren’t able to correct the problem. This was probably a rare anomaly; after all life happens.

2. Don’t count on your subscribers subscribing to your new blog in hordes if you opt out of the subscription transfer. Experience consistently indicates that only a small percentage of subscribers will sign on to your new blog even after being requested to do so through a special bells and whistles blog announcement or two. People are busy, they may miss the announcement, or actually want a divorce.

3. The (Jetpack enabled) subscription service does not allow you to download a file of your email subscribers. Because of this, I chose the free Feedburner email subscription service for my new subscribers. So I currently have:

  • the Jetpack plugin subscription service for sending new posts to my old subscribers;
  • the free Feedburner service in my blog sidebar for signing up new email (and RSS) subscribers.

This is important should you ever wish to use your subscription list for sending communications other than blog posts to your subscribers. This could be anything from a free newsletter to an announcement about a paid e-course. Setting up Feedburner was one of my first steps.


“Plugins” are software components that add specific abilities to your blog. Some function like the widgets you are accustomed to using on and others offer additional features like data base back-up, a contact form, social media icons, comment luv, SEO support and much more. You can read about the most important plugins in the articles linked to above.

There are thousands of plug-ins. Like themes, you could go wild. But here’s the cautionary point. Plugins increase the loading time of your blog so the fewer the better. Also, plugins sometimes conflict with one another and then cause mysterious problems on your blog. For example, a spam plugin I tried blocked comments all together! A recently installed plugin is a hot suspect when you suddenly experience glitches on your blog.


Even with excellent preparation, I ran into a few minor hitches but nothing major. I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the Google Analytics plugin until I finally realized that I had to set up a Google Analytics account first. I couldn’t figure out how to set up a plugin or two so I just opted for another choice.

Moments of frustration and confusion are bound to happen. Breathe, try again, do a web search for the problem, or ask a techie friend. You’ll sort it out in time!

After a few hours of advance preparation, it only took an hour or two to set up my new site, export my blog, and set up the most important features and plugins.

I haven’t had a single regret or a significant problem since moving my blog from to a few months ago. My traffic did not diminish significantly and my Google Page Rank did not dive to zero. I assume this is due to owning my own domain name for more than a year and having a good network in the blogosphere.

I’m grateful for the fantastic support I received as a blogger and consider an excellent blogging platform. But, I’m far happier now to have full control over my blog and not be subject to the limitations and policies that come along with any hosted format.

Have you considered moving from to self-hosting? Has anything held you back? If you’ve made a successful move, do you have any tips to share?

Sandra PawulaAbout the Author: Sandra Pawula is a freelance writer and inner explorer. Her aspiration is to help others find greater happiness and freedom. She writes about personal transformation at Always Well Within.

97 thoughts on “Moving Your Blog from WordPress.Com to WordPress.Org: Resources and Tips

  1. Hey thank you for your post and information. I have four blogs and have just transferred all the content into a new website and it’s associated blog tab to consolidate all the blogs and website content into one single place so as not to lose rankings when people visit the blogs instead of my website. It is all built on a self hosted site that is a merge of my old website and blogs to one place..

    My question is, and sorry if you have answered it already, when people search for our services, the old blogs addresses still come up in search results. I don’t want to lose that but I want to have them go to my new site instead of the old site.

    If I delete and point the old blog domain names to my new site I fear I will have nothing but broken links when people click on my old blogs in search engines.

    If I redirect the old blogs to the new one, the old blog still exists and my new site will never be the most popular in search rankings.

    And to add insult to injury we are currently deploying lots of SEO into our site which is changing the link structure and permalinks across our site which is causing a lot of dead links to occur and creating a headache of epic proportions!

    I feel like we are all over the place and scrambling towards a never ending-facade of constantly updating links throughout our site when we should be using this time to make new posts and site content.

    If you have any insight into this or anyone else can offer help to lay out this unruly bag of snakes for us I would greatly appreciate it. My email is mark at dynamicdrain dot net.

    Thank you so much for your time in advance!

  2. I am pretty new to blogging, and just switched over from to I just copied and pasted the old content, since I only had a few posts. My question is about commenting on other blogs when I opt for the wordpress option. It still links to my old blog with the .wordpress in the url. Is there a way around this? It seems that it is hard for wordpress users to sometimes comment on blogger blogs anyway, but I feel like I must be missing something. So much new lingo and information in such a little time is overwhelming. And the above exchange with that one guy has me worried I’m supposed to only ask questions in a certain place?

    • I can’t help you with this. You need to get help from the support forums and they are here If you don’t have a username account at, click that link and register one on the top right hand corner of the page that opens, so you can post to the correct support forums for your software.

  3. Hi there, and thank you for this post, helped a lot…now I just need to try tomake this work on my blog :) Have you got an idea, if andif then how I can show the blogs I follow on my blog?

  4. I’n new to blogging, and, after a couple of weeks on I thought I could just move over to My bad. I did the setup, hosting and all that stuff okay. But I got there and learned about “plugins”. Didn’t know what they were, what they did and that many of them were already included in my site. Then I installed one that I needed a tech genius to get setup properly and the owner wanted to charge me $150.00 to do that. Whoa! And I don’t even have readers and subscribers yet. I don’t think so. So, my best decision was to mossy on back to until I can learn what I’m doing, build some readership and build some content into my blog. The transfer process was not hard for me, but the “what to do next setup process” was a nightmare. When I’m ready, I’ll be back.

  5. Thank you so much for this post….very, very helpful.

    I have another question that I hope you might be able to answer.

    I am planning on moving my blog to but it occurs to me that since I have not had my blog for very long and have as yet to acquire very much of a following (unless you count my mom commenting on everything) maybe I should just start over fresh with the rather than trying to transfer my blog.

    So my question is can I keep my current blog on and still create a brand new blog on cancelling the .com one once I have everything rolling with the .org site??

    Thank you so much in advance for your help :-)


  6. Hi there Sandra
    thanks so much for all this brilliant info. I have just moved my bog from to .org and it was all going well until I realised that you can’t actually see my old posts). I know that this is a beginners questions, but if you have time could you point me in the right direction for an answer? I think its probably something really simple that I need to do. I have installed jetpack and changed the name-servers so my new blog is just out there looking trashy for the world to see! I have trawled all the support forums for hours but I am no closer to finding an answer. If you are too busy, that’s ok, just thought I would ask. Have a happy new year.

    • Hi Margaret,
      I’m responding as it is the holiday season and Sandra may not be able to reply right away. I don’t know why your earlier posts are not appearing in your install. I do know that they ought to be included in the XML export file you created. I also know that if you need help with importing an XML export file that you will need to create username account so you can post to their support forums. You do that on the top right corner of this page I hope this helps. Best wishes with your new site.

      • Thanks for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate this. Yes my posts are definitely in the export file but are mysteriously not showing. All the other content is there though ( about page etc.) I will do what you suggested and post a query to the support forum. Thanks again. This is a great site.

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  8. Thank you for this article! I can already tell your site will be extremely helpful. Moving my site has been on my to-do list for over a year now. After failed attempts at outsourcing the task, I’ll give it a go myself. Your article makes me feel much more capable! Keep up the great work!

  9. One thing you did not mention is that, if you already own your own domain name, you can set up a self-hosted site with a temporary url (very easy through Blue Host) and copy your old site’s contents onto the temp site THEN work on any/all design changes you may want to incorporate into that site BEFORE you redirect the name servers. This allows you to work on the new site without having any down time on your old one. When you’re all done, it’s easy to point the name servers to the new hosting company, change your url in settings on the .org dashboard, and update the permalinks.

    • Hi there,
      You’re right. Sandra already had her domain and it was being domain mapped from her blog when she made the move to self-hosting. Thanks so much for your addition to her article.

  10. Hi Sandra and Timethief. Again, can’t thank you enough for the article and thread. I’ve decided to take the plunge and do it. I’ve already purchased the Guided Transfer, but nothing has happened. I have not been contacted by a Happiness Engineer and am completely confused. I know which host I’ll be using and I know that I’ll need to move to a new theme since I bought a Premium Theme (moving from Woo Delicous Magazine to Elegant Lucid). I have not purchased my package with Dreamhost or installed my Lucid theme yet because I have NO IDEA what I’m doing and don’t want to register my old domain and have my sight impload.

    What is the process usually like with Guided Transfer? I’m frustrated I can’t just call someone and I seem to hanging in Guided Transfer Limbo?

    Any suggestions? I don’t even know the order of doing things.


    • Provided The Jetpack plugin has been installed and activated, Staff can transfer email followers only. Followers using the Reader cannot be transferred because there is no community. blogs are stand alone islands ie. there is no community Reader to transfer them to.

      • Hi there, When I transferred my blog from to I noticed I lost all my sharing buttons below my post. I have Jetpack installed so was able to install them again, however, I noticed that I lost all of info that was previously on all of my posts (i.e. # of likes, tweets, etc). Is it possible to get that info back? Is that something that can transfer over? Or is that info lost for good? Thanks!

        • Hi there,
 likes are “in-house” bragging likes. Your blog is no longer a member of the community so the like stats are gone. And when one uses publicize the Twitter followers they have are duplicated by the app.

  11. You can go ahead and delete my questions and I will be sure to unbookmark your page so as to not inconvenience you with my interaction in the future. Thanks.

  12. I don’t usually take advantage of the comments section of these types of web sites, but hey I need help. I’m moving a site from to .org self-hosted. The problem I’m running into is all the little things that an export/XML dump DOESN’T include. One thing is videos (has anyone figured a workaround to that?) but the MAIN problem I’m having is theme options and custom CSS things that have been put in place. I couldn’t believe that export didn’t include any details about the theme. So I have fresh installed the same theme on .org but I have to go thru ALL the theme options and widgets etc and re-create the look I had on .com? Pleeease tell me you’ve found a workaround. Thanks guys! Hey look, my question will surely get you more search engine traffic because I haven’t been able to find an answer to this question ANYWHERE.

    • 1. and run on different software and themes are NOT exportable.
      2. The CSS editing you did was specific to the theme version we have at and as the themes are not identical the CSS style sheets and your alterations are not transferable.

      I cannot help you with these issues. Please post to the correct forum for your software http://wordpress.ORG/support/ If you have not registered a username account yet you can do so on the top right hand corner of the page I just linked to so you can post to those support forums.

      As for your last sentence understand that I will not approve another comment from you like this one which you and I well know ought to have been posted to the support forum

  13. Hello there. This is quite some post, and I wouldn’t have stumbled upon it at a better time. I am considering launching a full fledged wordpress website for my web content development firm (I am using blog right now). I have two options, to stick with and upgrade to Pro Level, or move to and buy a web hosting package with one of their recommended webhosts. I think dreamhost is great, at $8.95 per month. If you think thats steep, wait till you find the goodies in the package.

  14. Hi Sandra – great post. I have a few questions for both you and Time Thief:
    1) I’ve been blogging about 5 months, and one of my biggest frustrations with is that I can’t install Google Analytics, nor can I get on larger blog networks like BlogHer. (I am new though and still evaluating whether I even need to do that). For example, bounce rates and time spent on site are important metrics I feel a little lost without that insight.

    2) Is there a time in a blog’s lifecycle where it’s better than others to make a move like this? For example, I’m gaining traction but am not so big that if I move and lose subscribers the world will end. But, on the other hand I’m only 5 months in and blog part time so I worry about the time commitment.

    3) Lastly, I really need to hire a UX/designer like person to help me optimize my site (on a small budget), but am having a tough time understanding what to look for, the right questions to ask and generally where to go. If you have some thoughts would you email me directly [email address removed by timethief] I would also want a tech person to help me if I decide to transfer my stuff to .org (and I will use that transfer service).


    Becca (

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  16. Thank you for your wonderful blog post and I hope at some point to move to self hosted! I know I am not near ready yet but hopefully in time I will be and at least I have your site to fall back on! Hope you are feeling better! :)

    • Sandra’s excellent guest post will be a resource for many who make the move to I’m happy to hear you are bookmarking it for the future.

    • Hi there,
      Sandra’s post is an outstanding one. When you are ready to make the move I’m sure you will find it helpful

      P.S. I’m getting physio for my back 5 days a week and slowly recovering. Thanks for your well wishes.

    • You’re welcome. I wish you a smooth transition when you make the move. In addition to this article, there are many other resources here at One Cool Site that can help you make the most of the move too.

  17. I’m planning to get myself a self hosted blog but I’m afraid to do so. But as I have read your post, I’m more eager again to execute my plans, hope I could do it soon and find someone to help me. Thanks

  18. I’m still on I saw in a “help” thread that you suggested another user try in order to create a “grab it” text box for creating a blog button on a sidebar via text widget so that others can copy/paste code in order to attach my button to their blog. I tried the site,but their code didn’t work for me. I put their generated code into my “text widget,” and instead of creating the box for copy/paste text, it just shows the code with all of the parentheses reversed. Can you help? How do I create the little box with HTML trapped inside for others to copy/paste. :( Thanks, in advance. ~Amber of (hosted by

  19. I’ve created a blog using because it had corporate sponsors. Have to say that there is alot less forum support compared to

    If it’s just a personal blog it’s not worth all that unless it is part of learning journey for yourself and you are willing to put in that amount of extra time investment.

    • Hi Jean,
      I agree there are a lot of benefits to being on Each person has to find the best fit for themselves. I don’t find it particularly difficult to have a self-hosted blog. I did appreciate the forum support on Now, if I come up against a challenge, I just google the problem and have been able to find answers quite easily so far. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  20. Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for including my recent blog post of moving from to self-hosting ( in your list of related articles! Most, if not all of the points that you covered above rang true with my experience in the switch. I will add something about the Guided Transfer from I had originally planned on doing this, but as I had already paid for a custom upgrade on .com (I think it was the fonts one) I wasn’t eligible for the Guided Transfer. I ended up doing a lot of research and did the switch myself. Thanks again! Best, Rashelle

    • Hi Rashelle,

      I’m glad the switch went well. I think the research and advance preparation is what pays off and makes it go relatively smoothly! Thanks for letting us know that you didn’t qualify for the guided transfer because of the upgrade. This is the first time I’ve heard of that. All the best!

  21. Sandra, that was exhaustive (and exhausting). When I decide to move, I know I am going to lean on a friend. And boy, am I glad she’s willing! But I am pretty sure I am going to come back and read this post, so I am bookmarking it! Thank you – I can only imagine how much time you must have invested putting this post together. Thank you! Love, Vidya

    • Hi Vidya,
      I would be more than happy to support you although I’m not familiar with moving from Blogger specifically! Yes, my head started spinning with all the techno bits. I really began to skilled time-thief is when it comes to writing on these topics. Good luck if you decide to make the change.

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  23. Great article – one of the few that talks up the virtues of I really like this platform and notice it’s getting a lot of attention from Automattic. Actually, I’ve done the opposite – moved blogs from onto, just to make them easier to learn and use. I teach a wordpress class for beginners and always start with the .com version. It’s easy enough to migrate to an org. installation if necessary. It might never be necessary, though!

    • is a great platform, a great place to start, and can be a great place to stay! It depends on your blogging goals and whether you feel limited by some of the policies that any platform will have. I decided to move when the new comment policy was instituted that made it more difficult for some folks to leave comments. Now, I’m the one that sometimes has trouble leaving comments on a blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  24. Hi timethief,

    You’re very welcome. Thank you so much for hosting my guest article! I appreciate all that I’ve learned from you since starting off as a blogger. This is a small way I can share what I’ve learned on my journey.

  25. Hi Sandra,
    I want to thank you for contributing this excellent post to my blog. I have 3 medical appointments today and I will be online and offline but will approve comments as quickly as I can.

  26. Sandra, You wrote, “Unlike, your new blog will appear with only two theme options: Twenty-Eleven and Twenty-Ten. You will have to “install” any other theme you would like to use.” I’m thinking it’s the dot org that has only two theme options?

    Writerdood’s question is a really good one! Or is that answered in some of the links you’ve posted?

    Mostly, I want to thank you for this article. It’s just the info I have been seeking in the past couple weeks! And even looked for Time Thief’s address to mail her the question. Not finding it I was going to post the question when I knew she was revved up again.

    And, TT, I’ve enjoyed the Zen sort of atmosphere of your “place” these days. Knowing that you are a creative and lotus lover, you might want to check out Threads of Awakening at where Leslie sends out a weekly Buddhist inspirational note along with image details of her incredible silk Tangkas. I’ll be taking her class next year and may have to send you a little lotus of your own! Be well!

    • Hi Julie,

      Oops! Thanks for catching that mistake. You’re right, it’s the dot org that only has two theme options to begin. Although later this year the new default theme “Twenty Twelve” theme will probably be added as the default theme on too.

      • Julie,

        I’m glad you found the article helpful! Yes, you can purchase a site redirect from from the “store” link on your dashboard. BTW, I love Leslie’s site too. Enjoy her class!

  27. Good point! You can sign up for a Site Redirect through the “Store” link on your site. It currently costs $13.00 a year and this is what it does:

    “Forward visitors to another blog or an external site, if you’re no longer blogging on”

    I didn’t choose this option because I owned my own domain name for most of the time my blog was on and used the same domain name on my new self-hosted site. That means other bloggers were already linking to my domain name from the get go.

  28. The main thing that holds me back from going to .org is that you need an ongoing commitment. With .com you can forget about your blog for a month and if there is a security bug then you know that the .com staff will apply patches for you. With .org you need to do this yourself.

    Also. I do back up .com occasionally but not regularly – I rely on .com keeping redundant copies. I don’t get enough hits to go commercial and for me .com allows me to just blog. Granted some of their “imposed changes” have been unpleasant, but at the moment on balance the ease of having a managed site outweighs the problems.

    Its nice to know that the transfer is relatively painless. Its always worth having a “just in case” option.

    • Tandava, is a great platform. You’re right, it’s easier and serves thousands of people very well, many of whom are committed bloggers. Moving your blog to isn’t the best option for everyone.

    • Boy you make some good points for staying right where I am, Tāndava. But I think I’m going to learn how to make the change for that day when the blog can support itself.

  29. What about other blogs that have links to yours? When you change to .org, is there an automatic redirect, or are they taken to the old .com site where you have put up a page telling them where the new site is? (An automatic redirect would be much better).

    • Yes, I would like to know the answer to this question too.

      I wonder if the author could also advise if redirect is available after getting a domain name on the site? In fact, what are the advantages of buying your own domain name on the site, if any?

    • Writerdood,

      Good point! You can sign up for a Site Redirect through the “Store” link on your site. It currently costs $13.00 a year and this is what it does:

      “Forward visitors to another blog or an external site, if you’re no longer blogging on”

      I didn’t choose this option because I owned my own domain name for most of the time my blog was on and used the same domain name on my new self-hosted site. That means other bloggers were already linking to my domain name from the get go.

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  31. I’ve had a site since Jan 2012 and about a month ago decided to purchase a domain and began building my new website. at first everything went smoothly, designing and adding the content that I wanted…then….the troubles began. while I had not officially transferred anything (running the old site still and working on the new one because I was afraid of losing the few devoted readers that I have.) my stats dropped drastically on the site, got locked out, realized that the blogs I had followed were not showing up and everything, I mean everything (comments) went straight into spam.) I became so frustrated while working these kinks out one by one that I hired a friend to help me with a few things.
    I want to bring my old followers from my site to the new site but I am very afraid to do so. I have installed jetpack so it seems as if I am ready….but afraid to do so….. maybe soon? Thank you for all the great info…!

    • Yikes, Sherryl! Sounds like a horrible nightmare. I’m glad you were able to hire a friend to help you out. Your new site looks great. I didn’t see a link to your blog in the navigation though; you might want to add that. Yes, now that you have jetpack installed, it’s just a matter of asking the staff to transfer your subscribers over. It is a leap and there are no guarantees. I lost some of my subscribers but hopefully that was an anomaly and won’t happen to you. I hope your luck turns and the process starts smoothing out for you.

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