A Perplexing Journey: Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
With its omnipresence on the internet powering over 40% of all websites, WordPress has made website creation and management seemingly effortless. However, a perplexing decision that WordPress site owners encounter is choosing between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Although both have their benefits, WordPress.org requires a bit more work but offers greater control over the website. If you are currently using WordPress.com and want to switch to WordPress.org, prepare to be bewildered.
Step 1: Decipher the Differences Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Before embarking on this complex journey, it is essential to comprehend the differences between both platforms. WordPress.com is a hosting platform where a WordPress website can be created quickly. It has a free plan with limited functionality, and certain restrictions apply. On the other hand, WordPress.org is self-hosted, meaning it is necessary to store website files with a web host. Significantly more control is provided, including unlimited functionalities with custom themes and plugins.
Step 2: Choose the Right Web Hosting Plan
When making the definitive decision to switch to WordPress.org, it is necessary to select the right web hosting plan. This process requires careful consideration since web hosting is the backbone of a website. Factors such as server reliability, site speed, customer support, security features, and pricing play a vital role in determining which hosting provider to choose. Popular web hosting providers for WordPress.org include Bluehost, SiteGround, and WP Engine.
Step 3: Extract the Content from WordPress.com
Extracting content from WordPress.com is the initial step towards importing it into WordPress.org. The WordPress.com platform offers an in-built export tool that enables content to be transferred to a new WordPress site. Following the steps below to export content:
- Go to your WordPress.com dashboard and click on the Settings tab.
- Click Export under the Tools section.
- A drop-down menu will appear with the option to export all your content or only specific content. Select your preferred option.
- Click download and save the exported file to your computer.
Step 4: Install and Set Up WordPress.org
After selecting a web hosting provider, the time has come to install WordPress.org. Most hosting providers offer a one-click installation process that simplifies the task. Steps to install WordPress.org:
- Log in to your hosting provider’s website.
- Click on the “Install WordPress” button
- Follow the prompts to complete the installation process.
- Create the administrator account.
Step 5: Import the Content into WordPress.org
With WordPress.org installed, it is now possible to import content from WordPress.com. Following these steps to import content:
- Log in to your WordPress.org dashboard.
- Click on Tools, then click on the Import option.
- Select the option to import from WordPress.com.
- Follow the prompts given to authorize your WordPress.org site to access your WordPress.com content.
- Import your content by uploading the file downloaded.
Step 6: Customize your WordPress.org Site
Now that the content is transferred from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, customization is the next step. WordPress.org offers unlimited customization options, including custom themes, plugins, and widgets. Steps to customize the site:
- Select a custom theme that matches the style and brand.
- Customize the theme with the logo, font, and color schemes.
- Install and activate plugins that enhance the site’s functionality.
- Add widgets to the site’s sidebar or footer for more customization.
Step 7: Redirect the Old Site to the New Site
With the new website up and running, the last crucial step is to redirect the old website’s traffic to the new website. This step ensures visitors don’t run into dead ends while navigating the old URL. Here’s how to redirect the old site:
- Log in to your WordPress.com account.
- Go to Dashboard > Tools > Site Redirect.
- Enter your new site’s URL and click the redirect button.
- The old site’s traffic will now be redirected to the new site.
Emerging successfully after the perplexing migration from WordPress.com to WordPress.org requires meticulous consideration. Thus, it is crucial to choose the right hosting provider, export your old content, install and set up WordPress.org, customize your new site, and redirect old traffic to avoid confusion. With this in mind, one can transition to a new website with infinite possibilities.