Why I Switched To WordPress.org + How I Did It
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If you are reading this, chances are, you already have an established blog on a different platform, and are wanting more freedom and more capabilities than you currently have.
Well I am here to tell you, I was in the same boat as you when setting up my brand new blog. I researched over and over how to develop a website on a budget that worked for me, that included all the features I wanted to use, and how to do it without pulling my hair out at every step.
In this post I will go over how I successfully switched my already established blog on wordpress.com to a self-hosted blog on WordPress.org and how you can do it too!
This post contains affiliates. View disclosure.
The benefits of changing your blog over to a self-hosted website opens up doors to monetizing your site, using plug-ins you may feel are useful (but would otherwise be unavailable due to your current blog’s hosting policies), and overall sense of security.
One major benefit to owning your website is YOU own your blog, no one else, and have complete control over everything. There is no lingering suspicion that your blog will be pulled out from under you when you self-host. Why? Because is it yours and yours alone.
P.S. I will only be going over my switch from wordpress.com using a Business account, to wordpress.org in this post, and using my own opinions.
P.P.S Do your due diligence, and research your options before migrating your website to a self-hosted website. This post is intended to provide inspiration and insight into my own experiences.
Need another confidence boost to make the switch? Find your WHY, WHO, and WHAT first in regards to switching over to WordPress.org.
Why am I doing this? To secure a future for my blog and open up the possibility for monetization and custom features I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Who is this going to serve? My intended audience will benefit from a self-hosted website because I will be able to serve them through my own website with endless customization to meet their needs, and ensure my blog will not go anywhere unless I say so.
What am I going to do about it? Read along as I go over exactly how I achieved the switch unscathed.
Switching your site that may have over 200+ posts with media, or a large comment log, might feel daunting. Well, it is daunting to think about successfully moving these parts and keeping them intact. This is why goal setting is so important.
Set your goals and intentions first, evaluate your end goal, and you will know EXACTLY how to accomplish successfully migrating to a self-hosted site!
What is the difference between .Org and .Com?
I feel Wpbegginer.com says it best, but I will try and be as concise and direct as possible. WordPress.org is self-hosted and open-source website platform where you have full and complete control. If you use wordpress.org for your blog, you will need a domain name and web hosting service.
WordPress.com is a web hosting service that ranges from free services all the way to top tier hosting services with a large price tag. You would use WordPress.com as your web hosting service, but you would have limited use of your website design on a free plan. Take a look at Wpbegginer.com explanation for a deeper dive.
How I switched to a self-hosted site
I did this immediately before I started my website migration. Wpbegginer.com was a lifesaver in providing endless tutorials on how to do this successfully in WordPress.com and I used WordPress.com forums as well.
I was able to download my XML file and Jetpack Rewind activity log for my blog. This included all posts, plug-ins, and media. I previously had a WordPress.com Business account, so that is why I was able to download my blog’s activity log through Jetpack.
Do your research before you take this step! This is what worked for me, and other options might work better for you.
2. Where to host your website?
One of the most important actions I took before I started my website migration was researching webhosting companies. This took me a long time (about a month), as I wanted to find a webhost to help every step of the way in migrating my site and offer 24/7 customer service support.
I found a lot of useful information and testimonials for many webhosting companies on the many blogger Facebook groups I follow. I determined that Siteground was the best option for me and offered all the tools I needed to feel comfortable migrating my website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
The whole process took about 2 days after purchase, and Siteground’s fast and helpful Customer Chat was used frequently.
If you are ready to start self-hosting your website, use my Siteground affiliate link and get set-up right away. As a reminder, I only share what I have tested myself!
3. Do you need a custom website theme?
A website theme is essentially the look and style of your website, or you could even say your website’s outfit and accessories.
There are so many free and paid themes out on the interwebs, it just depends on what layout features you want to highlight on your blog and your price point.
I have a DIY mindset (and proud of it!) for just about anything I do ever, and for some reason I think I can do-it-yourself any project if I put my mind to it. I have built hobby websites before and used trusty Google every step of the way. In truth, the work always started to pile too high building these websites, and I couldn’t keep up!
The point I am trying to make here is sometimes investing in a service that will do the work for you has a greater savings and reward than you trying to save $$ from the start doing it yourself. Investing in a paid theme was really a lifesaver for me and saved my time and sanity when migrating my site.
Please let me know in the comments below if you found this helpful and if you would like to hear more tips for new bloggers.