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Introduction for WordPress.com to WordPress.org
In recent years, WordPress.org has become a popular platform for building websites, blogs, and online stores. It offers users more flexibility and control over their website than WordPress.com, which is a more limited platform. However, many users may not know how to migrate their website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide to help you make the transition smoothly and efficiently.
Step 1: Backup Your Website
Before making any changes to your website, it’s crucial to backup all of your data. This includes your posts, pages, images, and other files. You can use a plugin such as UpdraftPlus to easily backup your website. Once the backup is complete, you can download it to your computer for safekeeping.
For more detailed information, check our article how to backup in WordPress.
Step 2: Export Your Content
The next step is to export your content from WordPress.com. This will export all of your posts, pages, and other content in a file format called WXR (WordPress eXtended RSS). Here are the detailed steps to export your content:
- Log in to your WordPress.com dashboard.
- Go to the Tools menu.
- Click on Export.
- Select which type of content you would like to export (All content, Posts, Pages, etc.).
- Click on the Download Export File button.
- Save the exported file to your computer.
This export file will be important when you import your content to your new WordPress.org website.
It’s important to note that if you have custom post types, custom fields, or any other custom data in your website, you should use a plugin like Advanced Custom Fields to export this data, and import it in the new website.
Step 3: Purchase a Domain Name and Hosting
In order to use WordPress.org, you will need to purchase a domain name and hosting. A domain name is the address of your website (e.g. www.example.com). Hosting is where your website’s files and data are stored. There are many providers to choose from, such as Bluehost or HostGator.
Step 4: Install WordPress on Your Hosting
Once you have a domain name and hosting, you can install WordPress on your hosting. Most hosting providers have a one-click install option for WordPress, which makes the process very easy. If your hosting provider does not have a one-click install option, you can follow the instructions on the our article to manually install it.
Step 5: Import Your Content
Now that WordPress is installed on your hosting, you can import your content from WordPress.com. Here are the detailed steps to import your content:
- Log in to your WordPress.org dashboard.
- Go to the Tools menu.
- Click on Import.
- Select the WordPress option.
- Click on the Install Now button.
- Click on the Activate Plugin & Run Importer button.
- Click on Choose File button and select the WXR file that you exported from your WordPress.com website in step 2.
- Click on the Upload file and import button.
- In the next screen, you can assign the imported content to an existing user or create a new one.
- Check the box to “Download and import file attachments”.
- Click on the Submit button.
It’s important to note that the import process may take some time, depending on the size of your website. Also, make sure that the server has enough resources and there is no timeout, to avoid issues with the import process.
Once the import process is complete, you should check all of your posts, pages, and other content to ensure that everything was imported correctly.
Step 6: Redirect Your Domain
Once your content is imported, you will need to redirect your domain to your new WordPress.org website. You can do this by going to your domain registrar (the company where you purchased your domain) and updating the DNS settings. This will redirect any visitors to your old WordPress.com website to your new WordPress.org website.
Step 7: Install and Customize Your Theme
One of the great things about WordPress.org is the ability to install and customize your own theme. A theme controls the design and layout of your website, and there are thousands of options to choose from on the WordPress.org repository.
When choosing a theme, it’s important to consider the design and layout, as well as the theme’s responsiveness and compatibility with the latest version of WordPress. It’s also a good idea to check the theme’s reviews and ratings to ensure that it’s a high-quality and well-supported theme.
Once you have found and installed a theme, you can customize it to your liking. This includes things like changing the colors, fonts, and layout. Most themes have a built-in customization area in the WordPress dashboard, but you can also use a plugin like Elementor to customize your theme.
Step 8: Install and Configure Plugins
Along with themes, WordPress.org also allows you to install and configure plugins. Plugins are small pieces of software that add functionality to your website, such as contact forms, SEO optimization, and social media integration. Like themes, you can find thousands of plugins on the WordPress.org repository.
When choosing plugins, it’s important to consider their functionality, compatibility with your theme and the latest version of WordPress, and the plugin’s reviews and ratings. It’s also a good idea to limit the number of plugins you install, as too many can slow down your website.
Once you have installed and configured your plugins, you should test your website to ensure that everything is working properly. This includes checking all of the links, forms, and other functionality to make sure they are working as expected.
Step 9: Optimize Your Website for SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of your website in search engine results. This is important for increasing website traffic and visibility.
To optimize your website for SEO, you can use a plugin like Yoast SEO, which will help you to optimize your website’s content and structure for search engines. Additionally, you should also ensure that your website’s URLs are optimized, and that you have set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your website’s performance.
Step 10: Migrate Your Website’s Data
Finally, you should migrate your website’s data to your new WordPress.org website. This includes things like your posts, pages, images, and other files. Here are the detailed steps to migrate your website’s data:
- Install the All-in-One WP Migration plugin on your new WordPress.org website. You can find it in the plugin repository.
- Go to the All-in-One WP Migration plugin and click on the Import option.
- Click on the Choose File button and select the backup file that you created in step 1.
- Click on the Import button to start the migration process.
It’s important to note that the migration process may take some time, depending on the size of your website and the server resources, so you should be patient.
Once the migration process is complete, you should check all of your posts, pages, images, and other files to ensure that everything was imported correctly. Also, you should check your website’s settings, like permalinks, to ensure that everything is working properly.
Conclusion for WordPress.com to WordPress.org
Migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org can seem daunting at first, but with the right steps and guidance, it’s a straightforward process. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can migrate your website smoothly and efficiently, and take advantage of the many benefits that WordPress.org has to offer. With the ability to customize your theme, install and configure plugins, optimize your website for SEO and migrate your website’s data, your website will be ready to go in no time.