Migrating A WordPress Website From WordPress.com To Self-Hosted Location

You want to move your WordPress based blog from WordPress.com to a hosting account that you purchased or a self-hosted location? Perfect, you're in the right place.

First, a little background. I recently helped a friend move his site from WordPress.com to a hosting company that he could manage himself. The only thing I ask before we get to the meat and potatoes, when choosing a hosting company, make sure to do your research. My friend signed up for BlueHost, and by reading through their website it seems like a great choice! I've never used it before but they say they have WordPress experts and they have been recommended by WordPress.org since 2005. I found out the hard way that they do not have WordPress experts and although maybe they are recommended, their hosting only made the migration impossible. The export wouldn't import to the installation of WordPress we setup and they were blaming the official WordPress plugin when it ended up being a completely unrelated issue. After that, the theme my friend purchased that he wanted me to modify for him had issues installing the plugins it needed. It just ended up being one thing after another. In the end, we ended up going else where. I always recommend a local hosting company that I personally use for everything. If you are looking, do your research, but make sure to add Varial Hosting to that list.

Alright, let's get to those steps.

Exporting The Current Blog From WordPress.com

  1. Login to your WordPress.com account
  2. On the left hand side, click on "Tools"
  3. Select "Export" from the "Tools" menu
  4. Select the Free option from the two options provided
  5. Select "All Content"
  6. Click on "Download Export File"

This will download an XML file that we will need to import into the new setup.




Setting Up WordPress

Next, we will need to setup WordPress in the new location. There are a few different ways to do this. The easiest way is to look through your hosting account's dashboard and see if they provide a tool that installs applications to your account. If they do, there is a pretty good chance WordPress is an option. At that point, all you have to do is follow the walkthrough they provide. If you end up using Varial, the company we recommend, they have something called Installatron which makes the installation extremely easy. It also allows you to setup up automatic updates which can save you a lot of hassle and headaches.

To download and use the WordPress installation guide, just follow the links below.

Download WordPressWordPress Installation Guide

 

Importing The WordPress Export File

Now that we have the file we need and the new installation of WordPress setup, it's time to import our information from the old to the new.

  1. Login to your WordPress installation
  2. On the left hand side, click on "Tools"
  3. Select "Import" from the "Tools" menu
  4. Select "WordPress"
  5. Browse and choose the file
  6. Click "Upload file and import"
  7. Choose the user you want to assign the content to
  8. Check the box to import your old attachments
  9. Import

Issue I Ran Into And The Tool You May Need

When doing this migration I ran into an issue, but the solution wasn't very obvious. First I tried importing the file into the existing host my friend had, Bluehost. The import failed. The import needed to be split up into multiple chunks for this to work properly. It wasn't just one or two chunks... there was A LOT of information in this file. I ended up having to split it into roughly 15 different files and then upload them this way. Kind of a pain in the ass, but it did end up working when all was said and done. The file used for splitting the export is below.

WordPress Export File SplitterEnvisage Hosted Copy

Migrating Blog Subscribers

This one I'm not going to write out since the plugin we need to use to get this done supplied their own steps. You will have to make sure you have Jetpack installed and that both the old and the new are using the same account. Follow the link below to run through their steps and get your subscribers moved over to the new site.

Jetpack's Subscription Migration Tool And How To Use It

Hope this was useful for someone somewhere!

Posted on: April 1, 2017

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for all the info! this made my recent move on one of my sites much simpler! I too ran into the issue where I had to split the backup into multiple pieces!

Leave a comment