How to Migrate Your Author Website from WordPress.com to Self-hosted WordPress

WordPress.com is a great platform to get started with your author website. It lets you get a website for free, gives you a reasonable choice of themes and has features like social sharing and SEO.

But after a while, you may find it limiting. The themes aren’t the best, you can’t install plugins, and you have to put up with ads on your site over which you have no control.

You can improve the situation by upgrading your WordPress.com plan. This will get you more themes, extra features and your own domain name, not to mentioning banishing those pesky ads.

But I think you’d be better off switching to a self-hosted WordPress site (also known as WordPress.org). The software is free and all you have to pay for is hosting. This can cost from as little as a few dollars a month, which may be cheaper than a premium WordPress.com plan. And you get thousands of free themes and plugins.

But what if you’ve already got a heap of content in your WordPress.com site and you don’t want to lose it?

The good news is that it’s easy to migrate your content from WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress. And in this post, I’m going to show you how.

Note: It’s a good idea to get your theme working and install any plugins before doing this. If you used the Testimonials or Portfolio features in WordPress.com, you’ll need to install the Jetpack plugin to your new self-hosted site. That will give you all of the features of WordPress.com on your self-hosted site, for free.

Step 1: Exporting Your Content From WordPress.com

First you need to export your content into a file. It’s not as hard as that makes it sound, I promise!

  1. In WordPress.com, go to Settings from the admin menu. Scroll down to the Site Tools section. Click on Export.
  2. On the next screen, click on Export all.
  3. WordPress will create an export file and email you with a link to download it. Do that and put it somewhere on your computer where you can find it again.

Step 2: Importing to Your Self-hosted WordPress Site

Now it’s time to import your content into your new WordPress.org site.

  1. In the WordPress admin menu, go to Tools > Import.
  2. Under WordPress, click Install Now and then Run Importer.
  3. WordPress will ask you to find the export file you downloaded after exporting from your WordPress.com site.
  4. Find the file and click the Upload file and import button.
  5. WordPress will ask you which user account you want to associate the new content with—it’ll normally be your own account. It will also ask you to verify that you want to import media. You do.
  6. Wait while WordPress imports the new content, then go to the Posts section of your site. You’ll find it full of your content.

And that’s how you migrate your old site into WordPress. It only takes five minutes – easy!

This is an extract from my book, WordPress For Writers. You can order it via all the major book retailers.

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