So, if I upgrade to a domain without WordPress in the title, will I need to change the links on everything so far, or will those automatically transfer to the new domain?
The blog I need help with is antinarrative.wordpress.com.
You have to register an underlying .wordpress.COM URL first to be able to domain map from it to a domain URL.
If you are migrating from a self hosted WordPress.ORG site to WordPress.COM please see: Moving from a Self-Hosted WordPress to WordPress.com
re: purchasing WordPress.COM upgrades
WordPress.com provides free blogs and hosts them free of charge. There are no bandwidth charges. All WordPress.com blogs come with 3000 megabytes (~3 GBs) of space for storing uploaded files and images. Free features are listed here https://en.wordpress.com/features/
We have 4 different plans: free, personal, premium and business. All hosting is free regardless of which plan you choose. You can view all wordpress.com plan features here https://wordpress.com/pricing/ Add a plan for each of your sites here: http://store.wordpress.com/plans/.
How domain mapping works
Registering an underlying .wordpress.com URL first is required for domain mapping. That underlying URL does not have to match the domain URL when you are domain mapping. What domain mapping does is providing a seamless redirect to the very same content under the new domain URL when a person clicks the old URL .wordpress.com to the original content. It can take up to 72 hours for domain propagation to take place throughout the internet but it doesn’t usually take that long. https://en.support.wordpress.com/domains/
There are 3 ways to add a custom domain to your blog. Please note that an active WordPress.com plan is required to add a custom domain to your site. https://en.support.wordpress.com/domains/#getting-started
WordPress.com does not accept domain transfers but mapping an existing domain is possible. http://support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/map-existing-domain/ The domain or mapping of any existing domain URL is included in the pricing for a personal upgrade, a premium and a business upgrade. The WordPress.COM upgrade for mapping a domain must be renewed annually.
WordPress.com does not provide an email service for blogs on their sub domains or on custom domains. Please see these support docs
Before you upgrade
Make sure you read the comparison very closely do you know exactly what the restrictions and limitations on WordPress.COM blogging are: http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/
Also read Important Notes Before Upgrading http://en.support.wordpress.com/domains/#important-notes-before-upgrading
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