How to: Move from WordPress.com to your own domain - checkdomain blog

How to: Move from WordPress.com to your own domain – checkdomain blog

WordPress is not just WordPress. When starting out as a blogger, many people first opt ​​for the free WordPress.com platform. But limitations, for example in terms of storage space, design and advertising placements, often lead to bloggers feeling restricted in their freedom over time.

If the blog has grown out of its infancy, a change to WordPress.org and thus to a self-hosted site is a good idea. Hosting a website yourself is no longer a complicated science. You should be willing to put a little more money, time and work into your new web project – but nobody needs to be afraid of the technical effort involved in hosting. In this post, we explain step by step how to move your WordPess.com site to WordPress.org and thus to your own domain.

relocation preparations

For example, many web hosts now offer convenient options with so-called 1-click installations to set up a self-hosted WordPress site directly via the user account – you can be up and running within minutes without a great deal of technical knowledge or FTP upload.
Checklist: what needs to be done?

In the video we have explained the first four of the following steps to you in quick succession. You can find the detailed instructions below.

Move from WordPress.com to your own domain

If you want to move your WordPress site to your own domain, you switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. We will show you how to export the data and import it into the new installation…

Step 1: Export data from WordPress.com

After the preparations have been completed, the implementation begins. In the first step you have to export all data from your “old” WordPress site and save it on your PC.

To do this, log in to WordPress.com, select the Settings menu item in the backend and click on Export data. On a new page you can now choose whether you want to export all content (recommended) or just individual posts. You can download the .xml file directly from the backend or via the link in the email that was sent to the address provided.

Step 2: Install the theme

If you would like to take the opportunity to give your blog a new coat of paint with the move, you can install a new theme. If you are still satisfied, you should install the previously used theme before importing the data. Look at WordPress.com under the menu item Themes to see which one you are currently using. Most themes are usually also available for download at WordPress.org.

Step 3: Import data into WordPress

This is probably the step most people dread. Take a deep breath, it’s not that difficult.

In the new WordPress installation, go to the Tools menu and select Import data. Here you will find a list of some other blog systems. Installing the WordPress Importer plugin is required for WordPress. With one click you install it and then click on Run Importer. All you have to do here is upload your previously downloaded export XML file, check the Import attachments box and send the request.

The more content, the longer the import takes – so you have to be patient. Your screen should then look like this:

Step 4: Is everything still there?

Now click through the front and back end and see whether your content and media have been completely and correctly adopted and how they work with the (new) theme.

All images may not have been transferred correctly. Unfortunately, WordPress only imports some images into the individual posts, but not into your media library. Install the Attachment Importer plugin, load your XML file there and enjoy a filled media library.

Step 5: What Happens to the Old Blog?

You should not take this step hastily. Take enough time to set up the new blog and adapt the design. If you are satisfied and have a good feeling, it is time to complete the WordPress migration and guide your users to the new WordPress site. There are two options for this: complete forwarding or passive further operation.

The forwarding service can be activated quickly and easily via the Settings menu item in the WordPress.com backend – however, WordPress.com charges €13.00/year for this service. For a blog that has already built up a good visibility on Google, this annual investment is recommended.

Basically, it is not recommended to delete the blog completely. Tedious link building would be completely obsolete. Instead, we recommend passive and free continued operation. You have to edit the posts on the old blog so that Google doesn’t penalize your posts, which can now be found on the old and new blogs, as duplicate content. Teasers the topic covered in each post and then sets a link to exactly this post – but in the new blog.

Also post a “farewell post” on the old blog announcing the move to the new blog.

Step 6: Update URLs

After moving to a new domain, internal links in your texts will no longer work because the URL has changed. Changing all links manually is time-consuming – the free plugin Velvet Blues Update URLs can help. After activation you have to enter the old and the new URL of your website and tick the URLS in page context box. After confirmation, all URLs will be adjusted automatically.

All done? The checklist for your WordPress move

Have you thought of everything? Our checklist shows you at a glance what needs to be done.

  1. Prepare new WordPress installation
  2. Exporting the data from WordPress.com
  3. Install previous or new theme
  4. Import data via WordPress importer
  5. content check
  6. Redirect user to new blog
  7. Adjust URLs of internal links
  8. Excited about the new blog

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