WordPress.com provides free hosting for Sites, and the setup process is also quite hassle free.
This is one of the reasons behind the immense popularity of WordPress among new bloggers as they look for suitable web hosting.
Once their blog starts driving revenue, they begin to think about moving their blog from WordPress.com site to a self-hosted solution. This gives them a more professional-looking website address and identity.
So, if you are planning to move your web blog from a free WordPress.com hosting server to your own server, then read on.
Why You Should Move To Your Own Hosting Server
When moving from WordPress.com to another host, you’re going to have to pay for hosting. Fortunately, there are many benefits to upgrading.
Here are several reasons to move from WordPress.com to a self-hosted solution:
- It’s only good for community-based, low traffic or personal sites.
- It does not support email hosting.
- You can’t use custom plugins and affiliate links.
- If you don’t abide by WordPress’ terms of service, you could get banned by them.
- It can’t handle the growing requirements of a business.
- Limited theme choice – several professional themes are not supported by WordPress.com.
- You cannot make changes in WordPress theme structures as you are limited by customization restrictions.
Now that you know why you need web hosting, let’s talk about getting set up.
Step #1 – Register A Domain & Find A Hosting Provider
First, register a domain name of your choice. Next, choose a hosting service. Hosts are not hard to find – do a quick Google search.
Step #2 – Install WordPress
After you’ve registered with a hosting company, you’ll need to install the WordPress CMS on your site.
With most hosts (such as Bluehost), it only takes a few clicks to install WordPress.
If you run into any problems, again, Google is your friend.
Step #3 – Find & Install A Theme
You can find many great themes within in WordPress. Premium themes – such as the Genesis Framework – on the other hand, might require some digging.
Oftentimes, you pay for what you get. Free themes might seem nice on the outside, but they break easy. Use WordPress’ own Twenty Sixteen or Twenty Fifteen themes as a starting point if you don’t have a budget for themes right now.
Step #4 – Export Data From Your WordPress.com Server
Log in to your account at WordPress.com and click on “My Sites” in the top left hand corner if it isn’t already selected. Scroll down in the menu bar until you see “Settings” (it should be at the bottom)”, and then click on “Export” in the primary window.
Then, export all content. You’ll be prompted to save an XML file to your hard drive, which contains all the data of your WordPress site, including pages, categories, posts, tags, comments, and so on.
Step #5 – Import Data On Your New Domain
Log into WordPress on your self-hosted site, if you aren’t logged in already.
From the left-hand menu bar, roll over “Tools”, and then click on “Import”. Scroll down until you see “WordPress”, and click on the “Install Now” link, which will install the WordPress Importer plugin. Once installed, activate the plugin and run it.
You’ll be promoted to browse for a file on your hard drive. Upload your XML file from earlier, click on “Upload file and import”, and the Importer should do the rest of the work for you.
Step #6 – Redirect Your WordPress.com Site
First, you’ll need to go to this link. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s the easiest way to redirect your site.
Now, click on the site you want to redirect (if you have more than one connected to your WordPress.com) account. Enter the new domain where you want your traffic to redirect to, then click on “Go”. Yes, you must pay for the redirect option. Follow the checkout process, and you’re done this part of the process.
But there’s one more thing you should check, which is your permalink structure. In most cases, you can keep the defaults, and everything should work fine. But if your permalink structure is different on your domain than it was on your WordPress.com blog, the forwarding may not work properly. Double-check to make sure.
So, this was an easy-to-follow tutorial comprising of only necessary steps to move your blog from WordPress.com to your own hosting server. Try out these steps and see how easily you migrate to your self-hosted domain.