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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.

  1. I have been looking for this info for the longest time THANKS ALOT!

  2. I am moving from blogger to wordpress.org this week so this article was indeed timely.

    Currently I am using a blogspot domain name and will be transferring to a .com name

    Is it possible that when readers come in on the blogspot address they can be forwarded to the new site?

    I love this site. All the information is in plain english so for a technophobe like me it is invaluable.

  3. Wow, where did my comment go? I raised some legitimate concerns, and it’s just vanished.

  4. Right now I am having my blog with TypePad, it is ok, but you can’t make so many changes on the blog. thank for this article, I now know i need to move.

  5. .com to .org was the best thing I ever did for my blog. Its all grown up now (sort of) :)

  6. There are two WordPresses? As if life was confusing enough.

  7. Good post but i heard sometime the comment will gone, and i never use wordpress.com due to cant use plugin and add ads

  8. Setting up my self hosted WordPress Blog with my own domain name was a little tricky at first, well worth the effort and has so many opportunities to add and manage the look and way it works, that iwould never consider any other website again.


  9. John – I don’t see any other comments from you on this blog – there’s a chance it got filtered as spam by akismet my comment spam filter but I don’t even see it there (although we cleared the list yesterday).

  10. Hi problogger, i am sony, i have recently moved my blog to wp.org, i have no good knowledge about wp cache, could you please write a post completely about this plugin usage and how can we optimize it to decrease our page loading time and etc. Now a days so many people are migrating to wp, so many people need its usage.So please have a look, it will help a many i am sure.

  11. I agree this is a helpful article. A few questions:

    1) I am currently on WP.com – to migrate to wp.org,do i need to figure out the hosting option first, or will this walk me through the process as I make the move to wp.org

    2) Is there a preferable hosting site?

    3) Not being a techie I don’t understand the “php.ini” part – do I need to understand this in detail to make the migration – or if I just follow the instructions as in the article will I be ok?

    I’m concerned about having a glitch then not knowing how to correct it.

  12. Hey Jeff, thanks for a great article. However, hosting your own blog has it’s own “host” of problems. I moved from blogger to WP and initially had trouble setting up my WordPress blog on a Godaddy hosted domain. I worked through all the kinks and posted a how-to (or as I call it, How2) for others who may be in a similar situation.


    Hopefully this helps some of your readers who are undoubtedly using Godaddy to host their new blogs.

  13. This is good to know. Personally I’m not a fan of the hosted word press blogs. Always a better choice to go with the self hosted platform.

  14. Hi Jeff,

    I recently made the switch from .com to .org so I could have more control over my blog. Wish I had read this article before I went through all of it.

    Thankfully, I made a copy of my content before I made the switch!


  15. Hi all, I was actually volunteering to help a friend with the move from WP.com to his own domain using WP.org.

    The trickiest part about this is as Dannie asks above:

    Is there a process for carrying the links over as well?

    So, here I am all excited at the opportunity to blog the solution and take screenshots while helping my friend and I found someone else had already done it: http://blog-well.com/2008/01/27/wordpresscom-to-wordpressorg/

    The PDF document linked from the page above describes exactly how I was going to move the site contents and maintain the links.

    I hope that helps.


  16. Nice article.

    Last week I made the switch from a custom blogger domain name to WordPress.org while keeping the same domain in order to maintain my permlinks.

    This transition is MUCH harder then the one above since WordPress and blogger store things a little differently.

    I’m relatively new to blogging (~3 weeks) so it was a very difficult thing to transition over. I had to learn and troubleshoot on-the-fly.

    But after many, many hours i was successful, I think. So it is possible!

  17. There are two WordPresses? As if life was confusing enough.

  18. ProBlogger should throw a huge party once it reaches the 100k subscriber mark! I’ll bring the keg!

  19. This article very interesting!!

    I will come back again. :)

  20. The trickiest part about this is as Dannie asks above

  21. @ali,

    Have a look a few comments above yours. I linked out to a resource which solves the problem.



  22. I don’t know why the authors who write tutorials on switching from wp.com to wp.org self hosted solution don’t discuss the following problem and a big one at that. If you embeded any flash media on wp.com blog such as youtube none of it will show up on your selfhosted blog. This issue is huge problem particularly to video bloggers. And almost everyone embeds videos on their blog every so often. Can Jeff Chandler be so kind and please tell us all how to go about this since he already wrote this tutorial?

  23. Great topic! Just what exactly I am looking for. Any other great reference site for this? Thanks peeps…

  24. Does anyone know roughly how many visitors you’d need to have to make your .org domain pay for itself, or make you some money (say with Google ads) instead of costing money? It’d be a lot of help!

  25. I have used wordpress.com only once. they froze my account just because i was posting too frequently. Imagine the use of a blog if we cant blog according to our own will. Well blogging is really about giving ourselves space right. I paid money and got myself a blog. Now i dont need to worry about any restriction (other than my bandwidth) and just express myself.

  26. I recently bought a domain name compassionateconsiderations.com

    It will be hosted within the server of the organization I work for and I was given a 20MB room to work with initially.

    I am still learning how to do the switch from WP.com to my own http://www.domainname.com.

    I already have more than 7,000 hits and I am afraid that once I launched my blog through the domain name I purchased , that my counter will have to go back to being zero.

    I am a newbie in blogging much more in switching and exporting blogs. I have used blogspot and livejournal but it is with wordpress that I became more comfortable with.

    My domain name will be http://www.compassionateconsiderations.com and it will still be powered by wordpress but hosted somewhere.

    i wish someone could just really give me the steps you know kinda like “Moving to your own domain for the dummies!”


  27. @Rex

    Have a look a few comments above yours. I linked out to a resource which solves the problem.


    This could easily qualify as “Moving WordPress to Your Own Domain for Dummies”.


  28. I followed your directions but when I try to import the xml file onto my server I get the following message: “Sorry, there has been an error. Unable to create directory /home/julie/public_html/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01. Is its parent directory writable by the server?”

    I went onto the server and created the directory myself and then transferred the file into it manually but that didn’t seem to work either. Is there another way to transfer the file manually, or is there a setting on my server cPanel I should change to allow the import?

    Please help!!

  29. This product do not deliver what you have said about it.

  30. Good point of view, but still, I can’t agree

  31. Information does not apply.

  32. I am not sure that I can completely understand your comments. Would you be so kind as to expand on your reasoning a little more before I comment.

  33. I’m pretty sure some people will not like it

  34. Hello, I just searched for and I found your site!

  35. Hi! You always seem to write about stuff that interest me, I think it’s time I bookmark your blog. :)

  36. Hi, The o – Move From WordPress.com To WordPress.org-post was a very interesting one, thanks!

  37. Henry says: 01/19/2009 at 2:29 pm

    Hey! I just searched for and I found your site!

  38. Hi, Interesting stuff. I just bookmarked this page. I will read it later, Im at work now. :P

  39. Howdy Partner, I fell lucky that I located this post while browsing for if we were a movie. I am with you on the topic of o – Move From WordPress.com To WordPress.org. Ironically, I was just putting a lot of thought into this last Monday.

  40. Monday I was searching for blogs that were related to Organic Grocery Bags and specifically . I found your site and appreciate the content greenwithenvyorganics . com

  41. I find your blog boring,I don’t think you are telling the truth.

  42. my appologies, but this article is pretty shallow. as mentioned before, exporting contents is only 50% of moving process. Yes, it’s the main part, but not the whole.. How can one get the list of plugins used, for example. I need not start new blog with old contents but replicate the blog 1 to 1, exception being only urls.

  43. Hi,
    Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day!


  44. I love your blog and have referred to it many times. I am confused on this one though. I followed the steps to move my domain from WP.com to WP.org but now what?

    It still looks the same. I didn’t have to do anything else. And I can’t log in at .org now – do I still login at .com and assume that the switch has been made?

  45. I had my blog at wordpress.com for about 4 years and decided to move it to my own domain. The post above has the general things outlined – but one should also take care for domain redirection and CEO value. I managed to redirect all post from my wordpress.domain to my new domain at theskykid.com – for which I had to pay 10 $ ( yearly ). Nowadays I get pretty much the same traffic – between 1500 – 2000 visitors a day, but at the same time my google PR standing seem to have decreased . I am trying to get in back to normal.

  46. I am planning to move my wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted blog.

    searching for information on net brought articles with lots of technical stuff in them. they must think everybody speaks their language.

    this post makes it all simple. I guess I’ll have more confidence now doing my planned transfer.


  47. Wonderful article. A lot of great information to study and learn while reading.

  48. Thank so much for the helpful information!!! :)

    Worked like a charm! Yay.

  49. Thanks for such a great post. I am in the process exploring how to migrate from wordpress.com to .org. Quite painful I am using go daddy to register a domain and for hosting.

  50. I am planning to move my wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted blog.

    searching for information on net brought articles with lots of technical stuff in them. they must think everybody speaks their language.

    this post makes it all simple. I guess I’ll have more confidence now doing my planned transfer.


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