Are you fed up with the restrictions of WordPress.com and yearning to harness the power of a self-hosted WordPress.org site?
Perhaps you’re seeking unrivaled customization options and cutting-edge flexibility that eludes you on WordPress.com. However, the migration journey may seem arduous at first, particularly if you’re not conversant with web development. Discard your fears, as we have carefully formulated a pragmatic guide to help you make the transition seamlessly.
Distinguishing between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
First, let’s categorically differentiate between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The former is an autonomous blogging platform that furnishes both free and paid subscriptions, typified by hosting, domain procurement, website protection, and essential software updates. Unfortunately, utilising WordPress.com restricts your customization bandwidth, bars you from installing third-party plugins and themes, and precludes website monetisation through advertisements.
The latter, WordPress.org, is an autonomous Content Management System (CMS). When you opt for this route, you seize unequivocal charge of your website’s hosting, domain, and security. This grants you full autonomy to customize your website using myriad plugins and themes, plus monetise through advertisements, affiliate marketing, and e-commerce solutions.
Migration Steps from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
With the disparity between the two platforms made explicable, it’s time to commend the pivotal steps involved in the migration process.
Step 1: Selecting a Web Hosting Provider
On a self-hosted WordPress.org site, the owner has the ultimate authority over their website’s server. This necessitates plumping for a web hosting provider that not only delivers an efficient server but can also guarantee sufficient bandwidth plus reliable infrastructure for your website’s uptime and website security. Examples of such providers include SiteGround, Bluehost or WP Engine. However, due diligence is mandatory to ensure they meet your website’s requirements and price point.
Step 2: Backup Your WordPress.com Site
Backing up your WordPress.com website’s content, media, themes, and widgets is crucial before commencing the migration process. Log in to your WordPress.com account, navigate to the dashboard and click on ‘Tools’ followed by ‘Export.’ Subsequently, select ‘All Content’ and click on ‘Download Export File’ to secure a copy of your website data on your computer’s hard drive.
Step 3: Installing WordPress.org
Once you’ve opted for a hosting provider, it’s time to install WordPress.org. Most providers currently offer a straightforward one-click WordPress.org installation process. Alternatively, you may wish to download the latest WordPress.org at the official website and upload it to your server utilizing an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client.
Step 4: Import Your WordPress.com Site to WordPress.org
After successfully installing WordPress.org, you are now ready to import your WordPress.com website data, which encompasses your posts, pages, comments, categories and tags. To achieve this, proceed to ‘Tools’ in your WordPress dashboard, select ‘Import’ then choose the ‘WordPress’ option, which will prompt you to install the WordPress Importer plugin.
Next, upload the export file you secured in step 2 to the WordPress Importer. The plugin will then instruct you to map your authors, and you can then initiate the importation procedure.
Step 5: Customising Your WordPress.org Site
Your WordPress.com site’s migration to WordPress.org is now complete, and it’s time to customize your new website according to your preferences. WordPress.org’s flexibility and versatility in plugin and theme installation is unparalleled. You can opt for either free or premium versions to augment your website’s design, functionality, SEO, and cybersecurity.
Step 6: Redirecting Your WordPress.com Visitors to WordPress.org
Redirecting your WordPress.com guests to your new website is crucial after finalizing your customization and content reviews. This entails establishing domain forwarding or pointing your domain towards your new hosting provider’s nameservers. Additionally, set up 301 redirects to ensure that previous website links get redirected to your new website to avoid jeopardising your SEO.
Step 7: Cancelling Your WordPress.com Subscription
It’s now time to part ways with your WordPress.com subscription. Before proceeding, ensure that you’ve backed up your website’s data and migrated it to your new WordPress.org site. Cancelling your subscription strips your website of WordPress.com’s features such as hosting, domain acquisition, and security.
In conclusion, migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org can be an overwhelming task, but the benefits it offers for your website are tremendous. Follow the steps outlined above, back up your data regularly, fortify your website’s security, and create worthful content for your visitors. Welcome to the self-hosted WordPress.org website experience, and happy migrating!