General, Tools

Moving from a Self-Hosted WordPress to WordPress.com

We offer a couple of options for moving from Self-Hosted WordPress to WordPress.com.

Option 1: Use our Migration tool to move all your site’s content, plugins, and custom themes to WordPress.com.

Option 2: Use the Export/Import feature to import just your site’s content, including posts, pages, and media.

Table of Contents

Get Started

If you haven’t already, create a WordPress.com user account and site at https://wordpress.com/start

Option 1: Migrate from Self-Hosted

If you have a WordPress.com Business plan or higher, you can migrate all of your site’s content as well as plugins and custom themes.

Migrating your site will completely overwrite the existing site on WordPress.com

Before importing

To start the migration process, go to WordPress.com and log into your new WordPress.com account.

  1. Click on My Site(s) → Tools → Import
  2. Select the WordPress import option
  3. Type in the site address where the content is currently hosted and click Continue
Migrate from Self Hosted - Step 1
  1. On the next screen, you’ll have two options under “What do you want to import?”
Import from WordPress - Everything or Content Only

Everything – All your site’s content, themes, plugins, users and settings.

Content only – Import posts, pages, comments and media only.

The Content only option uses an XML export file from your existing site. The XML export can be created through Tools → Export on your existing self-hosted site.

If you would prefer to import your site’s content only, click here for instructions.

  1. To migrate all your content (including plugins and custom themes) select the Everything option and click Continue.

Make sure to carefully review the information on the following screen before continuing.

Transfer To - Migrate Everything
  1. Once you’re sure you’re ready to start the migration, click the Import Everything button to proceed.
  2. You’ll get one more screen asking to confirm that you want to Import and overwrite everything on the site.
  3. Next, you’ll see a screen showing the import in progress. Depending on the size of the site being imported this part of the process can take some time.

When the import is done, you’ll receive an email to your WordPress.com account email letting you know the process is complete and you’ll see a message at the top of My Home.

Your site has been imported!

This option cannot be used with sites built in local hosts.

Option 2: Content Only Export

This option allows you to migrate your site’s content: pages, posts, comments, categories, tags, and media content. You can use this option with any WordPress.com plan. The process consists of two primary steps:

  1. Export – Exporting content at your self-hosted site.
  2. Import – Adding the exported content to your WordPress.com site

This option is a good alternative if you are migrating from a local installation of WordPress.org.

Export

In your old self-hosted WordPress.org site, go to Tools → Export and download the .xml (WXR) file to your computer.

This will ONLY export your posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags

The XML file contains references to image files (not the image files themselves), so it’s important that the export site is accessible at the same address when using this XML file for importing. If the self-hosted site is not available, uploads and images may need to be transferred manually to the new site.

dot-org-export
Import

In your new WordPress.com site:

  1. Go to Tools → Import
  2. Select the WordPress import option
  1. Click the upload it to import content link under “What WordPress site do you want to import?”
Import - Select XML option
  1. Drag your .xml file into the box, or click the box to browse to the file on your computer.
Import - Drag file or click to upload.

Once the file has finished processing the uploaded file, click the Start Import button. You will be asked to reassign the authors of the imported items to an existing user on the new site before starting the import process.

if you had more than one author on your site and wish to keep your content assigned to the same authors: invite the user to your site on WordPress.com prior to import. This will allow you to assign the posts to the correct author. Inviting the users will require they have a WordPress.com account.

Check

Check that all of your content and images have been moved over to your new site.

 

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