From to Site Move Guide

Today we'll share a complete guide to move your site from to self-hosted easily and fast with no content lost.

By Claudio Pires
Updated on October 6, 2022
From to Site Move Guide

WordPress is the most popular and versatile CMS out there and there’s no denying the fact that is an ideal blogging platform for webmasters who want to create a free blog in minutes. In today’s post, we’ll share a complete guide to move from WordPress com to WordPress org easily and fast., although free, comes with an array of limitations that permit users from leveraging the CMS to its full potential and, for this reason, some users want to take their site to the next level and delve into its self-hosted version,

Making the switch from to may be intimidating – especially for users who aren’t as technically inclined as others. Keeping this in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help webmasters move their blogs from to without running into any dead ends or risking losing their content.

Before we start, let’s put this all into context. vs.

If you’re a WordPress newbie, you’ve probably heard about both and (maybe even used them interchangeably). One thing is for sure – mixing them up from time to time is common in the WordPress community. Let’s get some things straight before we move any further.

What is

WordPress com front page
From to Site Move Guide falls under the category of a commercial site that enables users to host their sites without charge. The underlying, open-source platform is the brainchild of Matt Mullenweg and his company, Automattic. With, users have no need of paying hosting charges. They can’t, however, purchase premium themes to add visual appeal to their site.

What is

WordPress org dashboard
From to Site Move Guide is the place you go to get WordPress CMS software. Once you get the free software, you’re find an appropriate hosting provider and domain name on your own. comes with comprehensive documentation on just about everything you could ever want to know about the platform and its usage.

Limitations of

In a nutshell: With, you get full control whereas with you get control limitations over your WordPress site. restricts users from many of the features which are available on For instance,

  • The site’s URL will be long and unappealing.
  • Users can’t upload plugins.
  • Limited storage space allotted.
  • Restrained control over your site.
  • Users can’t access the FTP client.
  • Users can’t monetize their site.
  • Users don’t own the site since they don’t pay for hosting.

With limitations like these, it’s difficult to make it big in the world of blogging or take your online business up a notch. Now that you’ve really taken to stardom, it’s time to move on to bigger things – starting with moving your blog to a self-hosted platform.

Before You Start The Move From to

By now you probably believe that is much, much more flexible and feature-rich than its free counterpart. However, before you can move on to the tutorial, there are a few things you’ll need to have in place. is a self-hosted platform which means that the first thing you’ll need is to have a domain name and sign up for a reputable web hosting service that acknowledges WordPress. The hosting company you ultimately decide to go with will affect your site in the long run.

I wholeheartedly advocate Bluehost hosting service for WordPress sites. The Shared Hosting plan is a great way to start out with without breaking the bank. In addition to the low costs, you’ll also get the following benefits:

  • A free domain.
  • 1-click, hassle-free WordPress install.
  • 24/7 premium support from Bluehost’s customer service representatives.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

Signing up for Bluehost is a no-brainer; it’s a reliable, cost-effective hosting provider that has all the features you’ll need to start out with a self-hosted platform in place along with dedicated support staff to help you out in case you run into any difficulties.

Note: If you’re not sure how to set up your domain name and hosting service with Bluehost, follow Step 3 in our post How to Start a Blog From Scratch.

The other really important thing you’ll need is to access your account in order to transfer your blog’s content (images, posts, pages, and other such data) to your brand new self-hosted site. Make sure you have your account’s login credentials handy.

Now that we get the preliminary steps out of the way, let’s move on to the tutorial.

How to Move Your Blog from to

Moving your free blog site to self-hosted might not be a cakewalk but it isn’t all that complicated either. In this section, we’ll walk you through five simple steps to make the transition.

Step 1: Export Data from Move to

Transferring data from your site to your new site is a nearly painless process thanks to the utterly useful Export tool.

  1. Login to your site’s account.
  2. Navigate to Tools > Export from the WordPress Dashboard.
  3. You will be redirect to the Export You will be prompted to choose between the free Export option and the Guided Transfer.
Choose what to export
From to Site Move Guide

Select All content from the Export screen.

Click on the free Export

On the following screen, you will be out to choose what to export. Select the All content

Click on the Download Export File button to proceed.

Once you press the button, you’ll notice that an XML file is downloading to your computer’s drive that contains all of your site’s posts, pages, comments, custom fields, terms, navigation menus, and custom posts.

Step 2: Configure Your New Site

If you’ve already set up your domain name and hosting service with Bluehost following the above-linked guide, it’s time to install WordPress.

  1. Login to your Bluehost cPanel using the login details emailed to you by the hosting provider.
  2. Once you’re logged in, navigate to the website section from the homepage and click the Install WordPress button.
BlueHost cpanel page
From to Site Move Guide

1-click WordPress install

On the following screen, you’ll be provided with important information about WordPress. Give it a quick read and click the Install button in the top-right section of the screen.

BlueHost install CMS 1 click
From to Site Move Guide

Click Install to continue.

Select the new domain name you’ve just registered (or your pre-registered custom domain name) and click the Check Domain button to proceed.

From to Site Move Guide
From to Site Move Guide

Select your blog’s domain name from the drop-down menu.

Enter your site’s information and your admin login credentials in the next screen to complete the installation.

From to Site Move Guide
From to Site Move Guide

Click Install!

Click Install Now.

Now that we’ve successfully installed WordPress to our new, self-hosted blog, it’s time to log in to your blog and import the XML file. Using the credentials specified in the fifth step, log in to your self-hosted blog’s WordPress Dashboard.

Step 3: Import Data to Self-Hosted WordPress Site

In this step, we’ll import the data we previously exported from the site to the self-hosted, site.

  1. Navigate to Tools > Import from the WordPress Dashboard (from the new site).
  2. You will be re-directed to the Import screen. Click the WordPress link to import data from a WordPress export file.
From to Site Move Guide
From to Site Move Guide
  • Click WordPress to import data.
  • In the following screen, you will be prompted to install the WordPress Importer plugin.
  • Install and activate the WordPress Importer plugin.

Once the plugin is installed, you will be asked to upload a WordPress export file. Click Choose File and browse your computer’s drive to locate the XML file that you previously downloaded.

From to Site Move Guide
From to Site Move Guide

Upload the XML file

Click Upload file and import button once the XML file is uploaded.

At this stage, you may run into a memory issue i.e. your XML file size exceeds the maximum size permitted by WordPress. To resolve this issue, follow one of the below-mentioned solutions:

  • Submit a ticket to your web hosting provider requesting them to increase the maximum upload limit or import the XML file for you.
  • Split your exported XML file using the WXR File Splitter and import the files one by one.
  • Upload a custom php.ini file to your WordPress site’s root folder via the Bluehost cPanel File Manager with the following line added to it (10M stands for 10 Megabytes):

upload_max_filesize = 10M

  • Add the following two lines to your WordPress site’s .htaccess file:

php_value upload_max_filesize 10M

php_value post_max_size 10M

Note: You can replace 10M with a different file size based on how big your XML file is.

  1. Once the XML file starts to import onto your new installation, you will be prompted to select a user to assign the old content. Choose the user as per your requirements.
  2. Be sure to select the option that enables you to import your old attachments. This guarantees that your site’s audio, images, and other media files are imported as well.

At this point, you’ve safely moved most of your data from to As an avid blogger, you might have had a whole blogroll set up on your free WordPress site. If that’s you then continue on to the next step and if not, you can skip to Step 5.

Step 4: Import Your Blogroll

By default, WordPress exports all links in Outline Processor Markup Language (OPML) format which is essentially a type of XML format that specifically caters to outlines such as blogrolls.

Those of you whose sites used the Links feature to organize and group links (in the form of a blogroll or otherwise) can follow these steps to import the relevant data to their blog.

  1. Locate your site’s OPML file by visiting the following link:
    • (for custom domains)
  2. Once the OPML file opens in the browser, save it to your computer’s drive.
  3. Login to your site and install the Link Manager
    • Navigate to Plugins > Add New from the WordPress Dashboard.
    • Search for “Link Manager”.
    • Click Install.
    • Once the plugin is up, activate it by clicking the Activate
  4. You’ll see that a new menu item, Links, has been added to the admin bar.
  5. Navigate to Tools > Import from the WordPress Dashboard.
  6. Click on the Blogroll link to import links in OPML format. This will install the OPML importer.
From to Site Move Guide
From to Site Move Guide

Clicking on the Blogroll link will install the OPML importer.

  • Once the importer is installed, you will be prompted to upload the OPML file that you previously saved in the second step.
  • Click Choose File and browse your computer’s drive to locate the OPML file.
  • Click the Import OPML File button to proceed once the file is uploaded.

That’s all there is to it. You’ve successfully imported your links and blogroll from to your self-hosted WordPress site.

Step 5: Post-Transition Checklist

Now that your site has successfully been transferred to a self-hosted platform, there are a few more simple things left to cross off your list.

Hide Your Site

The very first thing you need to do now hides your old site to ensure your viewership doesn’t land on the old site every time. Navigate to Settings > Reading from the site’s Dashboard. Under the Site Visibility section, tick the I would like my site to be a private option.

Let Your Loyal Readers Know You Moved

How do you notify hundreds of loyal readers that you’ve upgraded to self-hosted Publish a post, of course! Write a post updating your loyal viewership of the move and the domain change. Another popular option that bloggers adopt is WordPress’ premium Site Redirect service.

The Site Redirect service does exactly what its name implies – it’ll redirect anyone accessing your old domain name to the new, self-hosted WordPress site and it also ensures that search engines are redirected to your new domain with the purpose of preserving SEO efforts. For only $13/year, it’s great value for money!

Update All of Your Links

In Step 4 we took care of all of the external links and blogroll. Internal links have to be dealt with manually. Those of you who have ever linked to your own site will have to go back and update each link by hand. It’s a ton of trouble but it can’t be ignored!

In case, you need premium themes for your new site just go to our themes portfólio.

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.