How to Move From WordPress.com to Self-Hosted WordPress.org
No one can stick with WordPress.com forever as your site grows, you will eventually want complete control of your website. You may want to change the look and feel of your website which is not possible in WordPress.com. Or you may want to add new plugins and new themes to your WordPress which is of course not possible in WordPress.com. So, many serious bloggers after using WordPress.com for a while, they would want to move to Self-Hosted WordPress.org blog which gives you full freedom over your website. You can install as many plugins you want in your blog and you can edit your code and you can also install new themes and not just editing the CSS.
In this blog post, I am going to show you how to transfer your complete website from WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress.org including images. I will also be showing you how to transfer your website without losing your existing website rankings. Follow this guide:
Before going to start, you would first need a webhosting account to host your self-hosted WordPress. Be sure, to buy a hosting package from hosting which fully supports WordPress. The following web hosting companies are mostly recommended for WordPress users.
Once you get the hosting, now, if you already have a custom domain name with WordPress.com account, then we will tell you how to point your custom domain name to your new self-hosted WordPress, or else, I will show you how to get a brand new domain and use it for your old content.
You would need access to your WordPress.com account, so that you can export all the data in it to your new self-hosted account.
Step 1:- Exporting your data
Sign in to your WordPress.com account and go to its dashboard. Once you have signed in, go to Settings > Export
Once you click on Export, you will be shown with the option Export All
Click on Export All, to export your data.
Once the system exports all the data, you will get a confirmation message. Here is how it will look like.
A download link will be sent to your email with the exported data and, you can also see the download link on the same page itself.
Now, log on to your self-hosted WordPress.org account. If you already haven’t installed the WordPress in your hosting account, here is the guide on how to install WordPress.
After installing WordPress, login to your admin panel by visiting your admin URL, it will be like
Once, you have logged into your admin panel, click on Tools
Go to Tools > Import
Once you click on Import, on the right hand side, you can see many options where you can import posts from and one of the option is WordPress.
Click on Install Now to Import posts from WordPress.
Once, you Install it, you can see the option Run Importer option, see below
Step 4: Importing the Exported File
Now, Click on Run Importer
Now, click on Choose File and show the location of the downloaded file (exported file) which you have downloaded from WordPress.com account.
In my case, here is how it will look like,
After I click on Open, this is how it will look like
Step 5: Uploading Exported File
Now, click on Upload file and import button to import your data from WordPress.com to your self-hosted WordPress website.
If you are getting an error saying
Sorry, there has been an error.
This does not appear to be a WXR file, missing/invalid WXR version number
That means, the downloaded export file is a zip file and you are trying to import a zip file. In this case, you have to extract the zip file and upload the file which was inside the zip file.
Here is how to do that,
And click on Extract Here option to extract the files present in the archive.
After the extract, you can see a new folder created in the same name.
If you go to that folder, you can able to see an XML file present inside that folder.
Now, repeat the step 4 again, and this time, when you Choose File, choose this XML file which can be found in the new folder which was extracted from the zip file.
now, click on Upload and Import
Step 6: Importing Attachments
In this step, you will be asked to assign the exported posts to a new author or to an existing author. You can choose the option you like and click on Download and import file attachments, so that all your files will get imported to your new website.
Once you have chosen your options, click on Submit button.
When everything is done properly, you will able to see the success message saying All Done. Have fun!
Here is how it will look like
Step 8: Setting your Blog to Private
Now that, you have exported your data from WordPress.com to your self-hosted WordPress. If you want, to set your WordPress.com site to private, you can do so by going to Settings > General
Under General tab, go to Privacy settings, in that, you can choose if you want to set your blog to Private or not. If you set your old blog to Private, only allowed people will be able to access your old website and rest of the people will be restricted to access your old blog.
Step 9: Redirecting old blog to new blog
If you already have a custom domain with WordPress.com account, then you can simply change the name servers of your domain to point to your new hosting. You can ask your hosting support team to help you with that. Finally, you have transferred your old website to your new self-hosted WordPress.
If you need any help, please let us know