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How To – Move From WordPress.com To WordPress.org

WordPress To WordPressMoving a Blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org is something I’ve had a lot of questions about – today Jeff Chandler shares tips on how to do it.

Everyday it seems like I find a story or two from a cities local online newspaper which delves into the topic of blogging and what it’s all about. The story usually goes through a mini backlog of history surrounding the term, what blogging is and at the end of the article, there is usually a list of suggestions on how to get started with the most popular suggestion being WordPress.com. Using WordPress.com is a great way to introduce yourself to blogging but if you decide that you want to turn blogging into a full time job or just want more control over your work, you’ll need to move.

Thankfully, the move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org (WordPress.org being the self hosted version of WordPress) is painless thanks in large part to a great export tool.

Tools ImportTo start things off, login to your WordPress.com account and browse to your administration panel. From the menu on the left, click on TOOLS – EXPORT. At this point, you have the option to confine the export to a particular author or all authors. Using the export tool will compile your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags. This information is placed into a WXR file or, WordPress eXtended RSS file. Essentially, this file is just a normal XML RSS based file with a couple of custom fields added to it which makes it specific to WordPress. Once you’re finished, click on the Download Export File button and save it to your desktop.

Once you have that file on your desktop, you can breath a little easier considering your half way through the content migration process.

The second part of this guide refers to an installation of WordPress 2.7. Login to your self installed WordPress administration panel and from the menu on the left click on TOOLS – IMPORT. From the list of blogging systems click on WordPress. Next, click on the Browse button and locate the XML file you downloaded earlier. This will upload the XML file into your WordPress installation and will unpack all of the data the file contains. There is one caveat though regarding this entire technique.

Importing WordPressMost webhosts for whatever reason still have their PHP.ini configured in such a way where end users can only upload files with a maximum file size of 2MB or smaller. Although it takes quite a bit of content in an WXR file to go over 2MB, 2MB is not a lot of head room. If you find yourself in the position where your WXR file is larger than the maximum file size, I highly suggest submitting a trouble ticket to your webhost and asking them to increase the limit. If they choose not to, then ask them if they can import the file for you. If that doesn’t work, you can pull a trick from your sleeve by uploading a custom php.ini file to your webhosting accounts root folder. This is what my host did for me and afterwards, I took a look at the php.ini file and noticed it had this line in it:

; Maximum allowed size for uploaded files.
upload_max_filesize = 7M

Apparently, the php.ini file overwrote the settings on the original file and I was able to bump my limit up to 7 Megabytes. This trick is not guaranteed to work. As a last ditch effort, you can also try adding these lines to your .htaccess file. Just replace the pound sign with a number that is above the size of your WXR file.

#set max upload file size
php_value upload_max_filesize #M

#set max post size
php_value post_max_size #M

Once the WXR file is unpacked on your self installed version of WordPress, you’re ready to walk through the gates of freedom without skipping a beat!

P.S. This strategy also works for those wanting to go from WordPress.org to WordPress.com.

Comments
  1. Did not even know there was a WordPress.com & WordPress.org. I learned something to start off this new year!

  2. I’ve recently made the move and it would have been a lot easier with this article to read! I got there in the end but there’s a lot of not-very-great information out there, but nothing quite as straight-forward as this post!

  3. Hah. Strange, i just had that problem with the php.ini file but now i got it to work. Thanks.

  4. I’m not sure I follow, why would you want to switch to the .org version? Don’t you need to invest less time in the .com one? I would think that when you’re making $12,000/month you would want a platform that demands less time.

  5. I think the question is not why would anyone switch…
    it is if anyone needs to switch then how to do it..
    nice article

  6. This is a great post Jeff , that many will find helpful.

  7. One thing is not mentioned here – restore functionality. Once you install your new blog – you might want to install the plugins to replicate the functionality you had with wordpress.com blog and also install the theme you need to ensure your look will be consistent, unless you are going for a new look.

    Alex

  8. Nice article Jeff!

  9. Of course you should switch. I think the free version holds you back from what you can really do with blogging. People are just always overlooking the pros of leaving the free version.

  10. I am currently going through this process the twist I have is that I took the offer from Automattic (owners of WordPress) and registered my domain with them for my blog. Now they are ignoring my requests to release the domain!!! Be very careful using the Free version if you intend to make your blog successful.

  11. Great article. I was looking for just the thing.

  12. Thanks for a great article and a great resource!

    I often have need for a WP.com–>WP.org article to point people to, and now I have one!

  13. Very nice write up.

  14. I could have added an entire section based on why someone would want to move from one to the other. For starters, you can’t edit your theme on .com unless you pay for that functionality. Also, you can not advertise on your WordPress.com blog so kiss making revenue good bye and last but not least, you can’t upload plugins to add functionality and also, they have disabled javascript from being used in Widgets on WordPress.com meaning your choices of using widgets pretty much goes out the window.

  15. I want to transfer my WordPress.com blog to Wordpess.org eventually, so THANK YOU for this great information!!

  16. Nice article for those people who are still using the free hosting version of wordpress.

  17. Jeff,

    This is the best help I’ve found yet. Thanks for sharing. Have a Happy New Year!

  18. It makes a big difference to have your own url and hosting. It costs a few dollars, but it’s worth not having wordpress in the url itself. Looks more professional.

  19. luckily for me I didn’t have many posts at all on the dotcom site so I just cut and paste. with 2.7 i think it is amazing what they are doing and wordpress is going to be “more” of the standard b/c it’s going to the one that people think when they start one up

  20. Thanks for this. This question comes up probably 2 or 3 times a month on a forum I’m on when someone outgrows their WordPress.com site. Or at least wants to do something with it that can’t be done on the .com version.

  21. Biggest question of all is how to maintain the inbound links you got while you were on wordpress.com. For example if you were on .com for 6 months or so built up inbound links and pagerank. Is there a process for carrying the links over as well?

  22. Editing the htaccess file to change the php settings will probably work fine… unless your webhost loads PHP as a CGI executable instead of as an Apache module.

    I had to deal with that once, and as I recall a custom php.ini file in the CGI-BIN directory did the trick.

  23. Thanks for the info. Any tips for those of us who want to move from Blogger (using a custom domain) to WordPress.com? Maintaining permalinks is what I’m really concerned about.

  24. Sorry, I meant Blogger to WordPress.org (not .com).

  25. I recently ( a few months ago ) completed a move from WordPress.com to a self hosted WordPress site. It was just as easy as this article suggests.

    @Susan. Wordpess has a feature to import content directly from Blogger.com. Read it here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Importing_Content#Blogger

  26. Very nice stats.

    Susan, you can use the Import tool in WordPress.org 2.7 to import your blogs from blogger to WordPress.org.
    I’d be glad to help you through the process.

    Good luck. :-)

    RusselCP

    http://www.russelcp.com

  27. Thank you for the article. Will definitely be forwarding people to this post in the future if someone wants to make the big switch. ;-)

    The photos in the post make it easy to understand, and extremely helpful.

  28. Susan, when I made the switch from Blogger to WordPress (.com in this case, I am switching to .org some six months later) I just left a notice parked on the last post of Blogger with a link to my WP blog. Then I fired up WP and carried on as per usual.

  29. Linda says: 01/03/2009 at 8:50 am

    I was just wondering how I was going to move my blog from WordPress to another site so that I could accept advertising and participate in affiliate programs.

    I didn’t know about WordPress.org.

    A couple of things about this remain murky to me. First, do I need to register a domain name in order to switch to WordPress.org?

    Is the blog actually then hosted on WordPress.org or do I still have to have the blog hosted somewhere else?

  30. Great tutorial. Most people are often afraid of making the switch, or don’t think that they can do it themselves. But you’ve made it all seem very manageable. :-)

    Hmmm. Good luck with that Susan. I’ve transported from Blogger to WordPress.org, but never to .com… But if I am not mistaken, the export/import file should work pretty much the same…

  31. @Susan, whoops! Yes, Susan, its doable. As for permalinks, they can usually be maintained. WP is very great about setting up just about any permalink structure you’d want.

  32. FYI: As a side point, if you are importing a large mySQL file into a new WordPress install, like I just did when moving to a new host, you may find a problem when using phpMyAdmin. It chokes after a certain file size.

    There is a script called BigDump that will get around the problem by doing the import one chunk at a time.

    http://www.hotscripts.com/review/20922.html

    Your way of doing it all through WordPress seems like it would avoid all that, though.

  33. Great post that popped into my Inbox today – timely too, someone asked me about the .com to .org switcheroo this morning (I offer WP blog premium theme customization on as a service). Thanks muchly for the trick-eroo in advance!

  34. wordpress.com is fine for people that want to casually blog, but, as you say, if you really want a professional looking site, wordpress.org is they way to go. It’s the alternative to a regular website, of course being a website developer I recommend going that route. But for people with knowledge in CSS, this is definitly a good option. Of course, you have to have it hosted, so another probelm for some people is the extra cost. Just a few things to think about.

    http://www.datexmedia.wordpress.com

  35. I have heard of wordpress and also it has better option than blogger.

    try it
    cathy
    tennis camp

  36. From the person who helped me move my WP blog yesterday via phpMyAdmin.

    “The WP importer/exporter does posts, comments, categories and tags, but it doesn’t do your WordPress options, so you have to redo all those”

  37. There’s nothing wrong with WordPress, but if you’re moving to a self-hosted site you may want to check out the other options for content management systems, like joomla or drupal.

  38. I’ve been on Blogger with my own domain name, and seriously considering going to WordPress. Just learned yesterday that WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress. I wasn’t sure what to look for next, so this was a timely post for me (to at least learn that WordPress.org is where I need to look). Thanks.

  39. Thanks to the other commenters for the Blogger to WP.org conversion tips. Don’t want to veer too far off-topic here, but my concern is the fact that WP and Blogger use different permalink structures. Here’s an example showing the permalink for the same post in WP compared to Blogger:

    (WP) …/2008/12/24/preliminary-capital-requests-for-the-schools/

    (Blogger) …/2008/12/preliminary-capital-requests-for.html

    There are lots of differences: the date format (which I know is customizable in WP), plus Blogger truncates the title and adds .html.

    I do a lot of internal linking on my blog. When I use the WP Importer for Blogger, will it update my internal links? Or will the internal links still point to the old (and now broken) Blogger-style permalinks? Anyone have experience with this? Thanks!

  40. Thanks, this helps. But how much prep work needs to go into preparing your wordpress.org blog before importing a blog that is currently functioning? For example, if you want a whole new theme on your new site does that need to be built before importing?

  41. nice post, but i would rather stay in wordpress.com, because it takes a lot of budget to transform my blog…but what the hack…thanks for the tips anyway Jeff………

  42. Not being too much of a techie, I started my blog on WordPress.com so thankfully, I didn’t have to go through this process.

    But, thanks for the great information.

  43. This is a great article and one that I’ll keep on Del.icio.us
    as I am in the process of moving down the road myself.

  44. i already try it before. But it failed.

    Then, i just do it manually.

  45. I just came across your blog about and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here. I also have a web site & blog about advertising/blogging so I know I’m talking about when I say your site is top-notch! Keep up the great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!

  46. i have moved from blogspot to wp.org, for that i have exported all my posts to wordpress.com blog then to wp.org blog, if we directly upload it from blogspot to wp.org, it may won’t allow. So follow this procedure, if you face any problem in exporting from blogspot.

  47. Before i read this post, i don’t know how to move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. But i have late to move, cause i already have a blog using wordpress.org.

  48. this couldnt have come at a better time..

    thanks for sharing, was much needed !

  49. thank for sharing very very good blog

  50. I just came across your blog about and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here. I also have a web site & blog about advertising so I know I’m talking about when I say your site is top-notch! Keep up the great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!
    http://www.soloadsonly.com

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