Import to WordPress.com: Migrating Your Self-Hosted Site

Maddy Osman / May 15, 2019

, ,

There are two versions of WordPress: the self-hosted version, and the one managed by WordPress.com. According to W3Techs, the WordPress enterprise is responsible for powering about one-third of the internet.

In part, this is due to WordPress’s flexibility and family of features, which can actually be intimidating for those less familiar with web design. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your self-hosted WordPress website, here’s how to import to WordPress.com — the ideal platform for new site owners.

Similar service, streamlined experience

Though WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress sites are similar in their abilities, there are several differences between the two platforms:

  • WordPress.com handles all aspects of web hosting and domain management. This means that you won’t need to worry about the technical details that come with integrating these elements. Self-hosted WordPress websites let you choose the provider you want to use, which can be useful if you require certain advanced features.
  • WordPress.com offers a completely free plan. There’s no free WordPress web host that offers this level of service.
  • WordPress.com limits which themes and plugins you can use. This may come as a relief to new site owners who don’t want to be inundated with technical details. With a self-hosted WordPress site, unlimited access to themes and plugins opens the door to technicalities that can be frustrating to less advanced users.

Your website should be a tool, not a burden

Those who begin with self-hosted WordPress websites assume that the flexibility associated with the platform means unlimited possibilities. But, those who are completely new to web design may feel overwhelmed by the dashboard and customization options.

If you’re looking for a fast way to get your website off the ground, WordPress.com is the ideal solution. Just as you can import to WordPress.com from a self-hosted site, you can also do the reverse if there comes a time when you want to dig deeper into web design.

Make the move to WordPress.com

Migrating from a self-hosted WordPress website to WordPress.com is a straightforward process — no advanced technical experience necessary.

  1. Create a WordPress.com account so that your website has a place to live. If you use Jetpack or Gravatar on your self-hosted website, you might already have one.

Create a blog then import to WordPress.com

  1. On your self-hosted WordPress website, navigate to Tools > Export. Then, download the .xml (WXR) file for All content.
    Export from a self-hosted site, then import to WordPress.com
  2. Next, go to your new WordPress.com website and navigate to My Site > Settings. Click Import under the Site Tools section. Finally, click the Start Import button next to the WordPress option, and upload the .xml file that you just downloaded.
    Use the WordPress importer to import to WordPress.com

After the import is complete, follow the instructions for Domain Mapping so that you can use the same domain name without needing to transfer it from the existing registrar.

Once completed, it’s a good idea to check your links and content to ensure that everything still works as intended.

After you’re done, give your website a fresh look to accompany its new home by testing one of these free themes.

Create your new blog or website for free

Get Started