Step-by-step instructions on how you can move your blog and all your content + followers over to Self-hosted WordPress.
Moving your WordPress.com over to Self-hosted WordPress is often a big step bloggers are afraid of, mostly because they don’t know how. In this post we will cover all the details you need to know for moving your blog over on your own.
Remember, if you need any help with this process, we’re also more than happy to fully assist you in doing everything for you. If that’s something you’re interested in, just get in touch with us and we’ll take it from there!
Are you already blogging on your own custom domain? Then I highly recommend that we help you out, as we will make sure your visitors don’t experience any down-time during this process!
Step 1 – Get hosting for WordPress
As you learned in our earlier post (What is Self-hosted WordPress), WordPress is simply a software that you can install on any webhost of your choice. So the first step is to find a webhost you wish to use. The most popular hosts at the moment are SiteGround and BlueHost. Both of which are officially recommended by WordPress themselves.
In our professional experience SiteGround is the better choice of the two. The main reason for this is that they give you a free SSL certificate for your blog, included in all their plans. An SSL certificate is what tells your browser that the website you are visiting is “safe”. It’s often shown with a green lock next the the website address.
So why is this important? Well, it’s of course always good to show your visitors that your site is safe and secure, but most importantly: When your blog is already on WordPress.com, it uses their SSL certificate, if you then choose a host without SSL – your readers will suddenly get a big warning that the website they are trying to view isn’t any longer secure.
As far as choosing a host, you are free to pick any host you want. We highly recommend using SiteGround, not just for the above mentioned reason, but also included in their service: They can setup Self-hosted WordPress and move over all your content for you, 100% for free.
To read our full review on why we recommend them, please click here.
If you decide to use SiteGround you can follow the steps below for signing up.
1.1 go to SiteGround
Signing up is very easy. Click the link below and get a 50% discount on their hosting.
1.2 Choose a hosting plan
SiteGround has 3 different plans available, we recommend the GrowBig Plan as you will not have to worry about outgrowing your blog as your visitors increase. Another feature is a higher level of caching, which means faster loading speeds if you have many pictures on your blog.
In case you want to take use of their Free Site-migration, this is also only available with the GrowBig and GoGeek plans.
You can always upgrade or downgrade to a different plan any time you want.
1.3 Enter your domain
You will now be asked to register a domain name. If you already have a domain name you wish to use, select the “I already have a domain”. Then put in your domain name in the box and click proceed.
If you don’t have your own domain name already, you can register it now.
1.4 Fill in your details
Next up, fill in your personal details. This should be pretty self-explanatory up until these points:
Hosting Services: The Data Center will automatically be selected based on your location, but if you want a different Data Center you have the option to select a different one by clicking the small button next to. (We recommend leaving it as is).
Period: The standard period is 12 months, you can also register for longer but 12 months is perfectly fine if you are not sure WordPress is for you. With SiteGround you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee. We do not recommend selecting the 1-month trial, as it has a $20 setup-fee which is not returned should you want a refund.
Extra Services: You do not need any of the offered extra services. The essential features that are included in all plans are more than enough to keep your site fast and secure!
All that’s left then is simply to check-out. Congratulations, you just got hosting!
Step 2 – Install WordPress and move your content
The great thing about SiteGround is that they include a Free Website Transfer for you, so instead of having all the hassle of setting up WordPress and moving over your content on your own, they can handle it all for you.
We highly recommend taking advantage of this, as it just makes everything much easier!
When you login to your Hosting Panel for the first time you will be greeted with a Pop-up like this:
On the pop-up window, just select Transfer a website and click Confirm.
Next up, you will need to fill-out the website transfer form. Look at the screenshot below to see how. Please remember to double-check that the login details you submit are actually the correct ones.
You can copy our template below, for the “Post an inquiry” field:
Hi, I need help importing my blog from WordPress.com over to SiteGround (Best done by you via SSH, so the import doesn't timeout due to php limits). I kindly ask that you setup a WordPress installation for me with the same Login + Password as I have on WordPress.com To download my Export file, you can login to my WordPress.com account and "Export All" content from the Settings area. Thank you for your assistance.
Just copy+paste the above text into the field and then submit. Now you can sit back and wait a few hours for the support team to completely copy your entire blog over.
Once they’re done, you will receive an e-mail with the new login details for your blog.
Please note, if you already have your own domain, I highly recommend getting in touch with us to handle the move for you, as there are a few more technical steps involved, so that your move happens without interrupting your current blog with any down-time!
Migrating your followers
One thing you should do when you’re logged in – on the lefthand side of the menu, there is something called “Jetpack” – once you click this and connect to your old WordPress.com account, you can transfer all your old followers over and add some additional features to the blog which are highly recommended!
(Please note that it asks you to Select a Jetpack Plan, but you can just skip this part as you don’t actually need to pay for any of these features, just use the free plan that is offered since you’re now self-hosted with all the features included anyways!)
When you have Jetpack connected, you can then move all your followers over by following this guide: https://jetpack.com/support/subscription-migration-tool/
That’s all there is to it! You’re now Self-Hosted and can enjoy the full features of WordPress!
If you have any questions or need any help please don’t hesitate to let us know!
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Please note that we have commercial relationships with the above mentioned hosts, but that it does not effect our opinions. Our review is solely based on facts and experience. Using our links will not cost you anything extra, in fact you get a special discount you wouldn’t get otherwise!