Migrate Your Site To Self-Hosted

Congratulations on moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. If you’re NOT migrating, and are starting fresh, you need to read about Starting From Scratch. If you are here to move your things to a better place, let’s get started!

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Click to read my disclosures.

Step .5: Export Your Blog Content

Since you’re already writing content, all you need to do is head to your dashboard and export your blog. It will download as a .xml file. Don’t lose this file.

  1. Click on Tools
  2. Click on Export
  3. Export everything**You won’t be able to export your theme, plugins, and widgets.

Step 1: Buy Hosting

There are many levels of hosting available for every type of website, including dedicated WordPress hosting with many hosts. My choice for website hosting is GreenGeeks. I picked them because my carbon footprint is important to me, and they run a carbon-neutral company. There are several more companies that a quick search will reveal. make sure you find something that’s compatible to your lifestyle. If you have any questions, head over to the blogging group and ask.

Step 2: Purchase A URL

You can buy a URL and Hosting together. It’s not a great idea to pay for the upgraded WordPress plan with the intention of having a lot of control and being able to monetize because You won’t be able to. You can ask for your money back, though.

I buy my URLs from NameCheap. I transfer them to GoDaddy after I’ve had them for 90 days, because GoDaddy’s interface is easy to use for URL management, and their renewal rates are usually the least expensive.

You’ll want to keep your URL as short as possible. It’s okay if it has dashes in it, because that doesn’t seem to affect SEO as much as it used to.

Consider also buying a short URL, so that you can customize your URL shortener. For example, the shortened URL for A Spork in the Road is spork.fun, and the one for BloggyPedia is blgy.pro. Having a shortened URL isn’t necessary. I just think it looks cleaner when links get shared.

Don’t forget to edit your DNS so that your URL points to the correct host.

***NOTE*** You will get an email verifying your domain purchase. You must complete this step in order to proceed.


Step 3: Install WordPress

Once you have access to your CPanel (control panel), you’ll need to install WordPress to your website. If you’re migrating your blog from another place and are uncomfortable with moving your content, you’ll want to ask your host’s tech support to move it for you so that everything gets mapped properly.

  1. Log in to your hosting account
  2. Locate your CPanel
  3. Scroll until you find “Softaculous App Installer”
    CPanel Softaculous
  4. Click on WordPress
  5. Click Install Now
    install WordPress
  6. Choose your protocol. It will probably be without “www”. Only pick https if you have a SSL Installed.
    Wordpress Installation 1
  7. Follow the form down, and fill it out to the best of your ability. Much of this can be changed from the WordPress dashboard after installation.

    Wordpress Installation 2

    *note: there is no admin@asporkintheroad.net. Nice try, hackers.

  8. Press Install and wait. Don’t forget to email yourself the installation information.
  9. You’ll get an email with the info on this installation.
  10. Continue on

Step 4: Create A Proprietary Email

Locate your Email section, and click on Email Accounts.

cPanel Create Email Account

Choose your user name and password. Make your quota unlimited. Click Create Account. Do this for as many email addresses as you want for your website. I wouldn’t make more than 3 per person.

cPanel Create Email Account


Step 5: Install A Theme

There’s a list of my preferred places to get my themes on by Blogging Resources page. Once you have your theme, leave it in .zip format.

  1. Click on Appearance. It’ll take you to add a theme automatically. Click on Add New.
    Click on Appearance
  2. Click on Upload Theme
    Click on Add New
  3. Click on Choose File
    click on upload theme
  4. Pick your theme from your downloads area
  5. Click Install Now
  6. Click on Activate

Step 5.5: Import Your Content

You’ll use the Tools menu item again. You will be prompted to install and run the WordPress importer plugin. You can disable and delete this when you’re done importing. Make sure you click Upload File & Import and check Download & Import Attachments.

Step 5.75: Install Jetpack

Once you’ve added Jetpack, you can move your subscribers and stats. Just follow these instructions from WordPress.


You’re now ready to customize your theme and install plugins.

Need Help? Schedule-A-Sesh and I’ll walk you through it.

How to migrate to self-hosted - Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

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One Response to Migrate Your Site To Self-Hosted

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