If you want the freedom to shape your WordPress website however you want, you might be considering moving it from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. However, before we get started with the steps you’ll want to follow, let’s clarify the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
The main difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is that with WordPress.com you will get a web hosting service, while with WordPress.org you will have to find one on your own and install the software there. WordPress. So, in short, WordPress.com is easier to start with, but it offers less freedom.
Also, many web hosting providers offer WordPress-oriented managed hosting, so if you’re willing to pay a little more for that ease of use, you might want to consider those solutions as well.
Although WordPress.com offers a free entry-level plan, it comes with severe restrictions such as placing your site under a subdomain, placing WordPress.com ads on your site, a limited disk space of 3GB, inability to monetize your site, and lack of support for plugins outside of the platform.
Even if you opt for one of the user-friendly paid plans, you will still not be allowed to install templates, themes and plugins outside the platform, which is a deciding factor if you want your site to look like another. a million.
On the other hand, with WordPress.org, you can build a fully functional, fully customizable site for less than fifty dollars a year, but you’ll have to get your hands dirty with hosting, third-party tools, and building your site from scratch. from the ground up.
The real WordPress (i.e. WordPress.org) is free, open-source CMS software that’s surprisingly easy to learn and use, so it’s no surprise that over 43% of all sites are currently using.
With WordPress.org, your site, its content, and all of its data will be yours, and yours alone. Since you’ll have full control, your site won’t be shut down (and all your valuable data lost forever) because someone thinks you’ve broken a rule or unintentionally skipped a payment.
As mentioned above, WordPress.org allows for a higher level of customization, which means you can shape your site with free, paid, and even custom plugins, apps, and templates. Also, you can turn your site into an e-commerce store or a membership site, and even run your ads and earn pocket money.
Things to know before you start
Since you will become full owner of your WordPress site, you will be in charge of updating it, which fortunately can be done in a few clicks (just check the update button). Plus, you’ll be the one doing the backups of your site, which can be simplified with a few handy WordPress backup plugins that let you automate them.
All in all, with WordPress.org, you will have to overlook the security of your site and ensure that it is protected against all kinds of cyber threats. So choose a secure web hosting provider and make sure your site stays security smart.
When it comes to customer support, although WordPress.org offers a comprehensive knowledge base filled with how-tos, you won’t get any professional person-to-person support channels such as live chat or phone line.
Once you understand all of the above, it’s time to start migrating the site.
1. Choose a web hosting plan
At the time of writing, only three web hosting providers are officially recommended by WordPress, including Bluehost, SiteGround, and DreamHost, so if you’re looking for the perfect WordPress-oriented hosting plan, you might want to check out these hosts right away. beginning.
Their entry-level plans are friendly enough for new users, packed with top-notch features, and backed by money-back guarantees.
2. Install WordPress.org
Since most WordPress-oriented hosts offer one-click WordPress installs, setting up WordPress on your site should be extremely easy. All you need to do is log in to your hosting account and search for a WordPress icon. Once the installation is complete, you will be able to configure your site title, create a username, and come up with a strong password for your WordPress account.
3. Export all your data from WordPress.com
Now you need to login to your WordPress.com site, go to the dashboard and find the “Tools” button in the left column. Tap on it, then on the “Export” button, and finally click on the “Export All” button which will appear in the pop-up window.
Once the export file is ready, a download link will appear, so click on it to download the zip file to your PC.
4. Import this data to your new WordPress.org site
To do this, you will need to log into the admin area of your newly installed WordPress site and go to ‘Tools’, press ‘Import’, then click the ‘Install Now’ button just below ‘WordPress’. Now WordPress will install the WordPress Importer for you, after which you need to click on “Run Importer” to continue the procedure.
This will take you to a new screen where you will have the option to upload the WordPress.com XML file that you uploaded shortly before.
It should be noted that if your file size exceeds the allowed size, you will need to contact your host and ask them to temporarily increase this limit. Or, if you have time to spare, you can split your file with a WXR file splitter.
5. Redirect your WordPress.com site to WordPres.org and preserve its SEO
The final step in the migration process (well, besides checking if everything is working fine) is to redirect your old WordPress.com site to your new WordPress.org site, and you do this to preserve its search engine rankings.
Since WordPress.com does not offer access to .htaccess, you will need to purchase an upgrade feature called Site Redirect for a reasonable $13 per year and add this feature.
To do this, go to the dashboard of your WordPress.com site, go to “Manage” and click on “Settings”. There you will find “Site address”, so click on the “redirect” link. When the following screen appears, enter the domain name of your new WordPress.org site, press the “Go” button, and that’s about it.
Benefits of switching to WordPress.org
Although moving your site to WordPress.org takes a bit of work, there are plenty of benefits to expect, including a higher level of customization, a wide variety of free and paid themes, plugins for just about everything from the ability to use Google Analytics for personalized analytics and tracking, having full control over files and code, and connecting with all sorts of creators, designers, and developers from WordPress’ engaged online community.
Since migrating your site shouldn’t take more than a few hours (depending on its complexity), your site won’t experience disastrous downtime.
While it’s fairly easy to start your journey with WordPress.com, after hitting the limits of this platform, you’ll likely move your site to WordPress.org without hesitation.
It might seem a bit daunting at first, but the migration process is surprisingly simple, and other than redirecting your site, you won’t have to pay anything.