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The Ultimate Guide to Move Your Website From WordPress.com to WordPress.org

If you have a website built on another platform and you want to move your website to WordPress.org, at some point in your planning process, you are going to have to figure out how to get your pages, images, and posts over to WordPress.  I’m going to show you how!

First, I’m going to tell you what NOT to do.  I started with WordPress in 2007 (back when I didn’t know anything about websites except I needed to have one).  I didn’t know there were 2 versions until AFTER I’d almost built the entire website in WordPress.com!

Imaging learning a language so you could visit a country, only to learn the language you learn is no longer spoken in the county you have arrived in to visit.  I had a free website built on WordPress.com only months later to find out there was another version!

How to move your website from WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

You know I was fit to be tied (that’s Texas for frustrated and pissed off)! Of course, all that content had to be moved over so how was I going to get it over to the new site?  Because I knew so much about WordPress (That is such a sarcastic statement! Who am I kidding? I didn’t have a clue!) I used good ‘ole copy and paste! Let me tell you right now.  That is NOT what you want to do! Please don’t do that. Save yourself a TON of clicks and headache.

By the time I learned there was another better version, I had almost 30 blog posts.  Yep, I know you feel sorry for me because I literally copied and pasted every. single. one. I shudder even now after all these years about that!

How to Move Your Content From WordPress.com to WordPress.org Click To Tweet

So how do you move your website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org? 

The first thing you want to do is to grab all of your content from your WordPress.com site.  I recommend going through your website and doing a little clean up first. Remove all of the pages, posts, media, etc., you don’t need or don’t want to use.  This will keep you from transferring the information you just don’t need. There’s no point in carrying over unnecessary information, right?

Step #1 (all should be h2 headings)

Go to your website and log into your account.  

How to move your website to WordPress.org

Step #2

Now it’s time to grab your content.  Head on over to Tools and choose export.

How to move your website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Step #3

You will arrive at the Export page and are given 2 options; one that you can export yourself, which is free and a paid options where WordPress will transfer the information to your self-hosted WordPress site for a fee of ($129, at the time of this post).

WordPress.com export

Step #4

You guessed right, we’re choosing the free option!  Click on start export. An XML file will be created for you to download and import into your new website.

Step #5

WordPress is then going to ask you what content you want to export.  See why I told you to clean up first? This way you’ll only bring over the content you want.  I’m going to bring over all of my content.

Self hosted WordPress login page

Step #6

Click on Download export file.

WordPress.com download export

Step #7

All of your content will be exported to one file.  Once you have your file, it’s time to head on over to your new self-hosted WordPress website so you can add your content!

Step #8

Log into your self-hosted WordPress website.

Move your website to WordPress.org

Step #9

Go to tools, but this time you’re going to choose import.

Move your website to WordPress.org

Step #10

You’ll arrive at the import screen which provides a list of sites you can import your content from.  Choose WordPress.

Step #11

You will need to install the WordPress Importer plugin on your website.  Click on Install Now.

How to move your website to self-hosted WordPress

Step #12

As WordPress is installing the plugin, you will have to choose Activate Plugin & Run Importer.

Step #13

We’re almost there!  You will arrive at the Import WordPress page.  Remember that XML file you exported from your WordPress.com website?  It’s time to use it. You choose that file from your computer (or wherever you stored it).  Once you have chosen the file, you will click on Upload file and import.

Step #14

Whether you had once author on your website or 10, WordPress is going to ask you who you which author you want to assign the content being imported to.  If you want to assign it to someone who isn’t an author on your self-hosted WordPress website, you can go ahead and create a new user on this page. If the author is already added, you can choose the user from the dropdown.  You also want to check download and import file attachments. Next, click Submit.

Step #15

Guess what?  You’re done! Your content has been imported AND you didn’t even have to do one darn cut and paste!  Don’t forget to update the passwords and roles of the imported users

Step #16

Go through your website to make sure things look okay and imported properly.  Make adjustments where needed!

@lynnwhite showed me how to move my WordPress.com website content to my WordPress.org website Click To Tweet
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Lynn

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