As most of you know, I recently made the decision to migrate my free WordPress.com blog site to a new self-hosted (paid) WordPress.org blog site. I know some of you are interested in learning about the process, so I wanted to do a blog post about my experience. I know when I was researching all of this, I really appreciated reading people’s posts on the subject, so here is mine. Enjoy!
WordPress.com VS WordPress.org
WordPress.com is what I was using to host my old blog site. It is free to host through WordPress.com. WordPress.org is only accessible for self-hosted blogs, meaning you use a separate paid hosting platform for your site. I decided to go with Blue Host, as it was the most affordable, and I found their website very straightforward and clear. I purchased my new domain through their site as well. If you are interested in Blue Host and would like to make an account with them, you can use my affiliate link here. Other popular hosting platforms include GoDaddy and Namecheap.
The main difference between the two is that you have more flexibility within a self-hosted WordPress.org site. More plugins are available to help you make your blog the best it can be. You also have more theme options with a self-hosted blog.
The transition was a little stressful, but fairly straightforward. Once I purchased my hosting platform and domain, I installed WordPress.org directly through Blue Host. This was all easy to do. I then needed to import my old content into my new blog. This is where things got a little stressful. I consulted many online guides and found this post by WP Beginner very helpful. I exported my old content and then imported it into my new blog, but only three quarters of my content transferred over. This is because my export file size was just over 2MB. I had to import twice in order to get all of my blog posts transferred over. For reference, at that time, I had about 35 blog posts.
All of my images transferred over perfectly, which was a relief. Links are transferred over in a separate step (outlined in the above article I linked to). External links to other sites transferred over and worked fine. All of my internal links needed to be updated with my new domain URL, which was time-consuming but unavoidable.
I purchased a WordPress theme off Etsy from SheShoppes and then installed it. The theme I purchased came with a step-by-step guide on what to do, so this process was quite simple. It was time-consuming editing the theme to make it just right for me, but that is because I am quite picky, and couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted. This was probably the most time-consuming part of the process, which really says something about how easy the process actually is.
But what about my followers?
In order to move my old followers across to my new site, I had to install a plugin called Jetpack. There is another great guide that I consulted about moving followers across, and you can read it here. The process is very simple, you just need to remember to make your old blog private straightaway, so people are not able to follow your old site. It took me a few days to figure that one out, but once I made my old site private I migrated those new followers across and now everything is fine. All of you lovely WordPress followers are seeing my posts in the usual way on your Readers, which is great.
I had been thinking of making this change for quite a while, and I finally decided to invest a bit of time and money into my passion – this blog. I have no regrets, and I love the way it turned out. The process took me a couple of days, but that is because I am a perfectionist and also I know nothing about web design. I truly am a novice in this area. If I can do it, so can you.
In saying that, you can get an expert to complete the migration for you. You can read more about that option here if you are interested. I like to do things myself (control freak) so I was happy to soldier through alone. Many sellers on Etsy also offer theme installation services with their themes, so you could even have someone do that for you too.
If you have any questions at all about this process, please feel free to leave a comment below or message me over Instagram! Thanks so much for reading and for supporting me through this change!
*This post contains an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to click on that link and sign up to Blue Host, I make a commission. This in no way affects my opinion and overall recommendation of the product. I really appreciate the support.