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.

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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

  • Make sure that the Jetpack plugin is active and connected to your self-hosted site.
  • Make sure to deactivate any incompatible plugins in your self-hosted site.

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 on 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.


Sites on WordPress.com use the following Permalink structure:

http://example.com/2014/10/21/sample-post/

You may have a custom permalink structure in place on your self-hosted site which is different to the above. In general, the WordPress software will try and match the old URL to the relevant URL on the migrated site.

For example the URLs:

http://example.com/21/10/2014/sample-post/

http://example.com/21/10/sample-post/
http://example.com/2014/sample-post/

will all resolve to the WordPress.com URL:

http://example.com/2014/10/21/sample-post/

Even just using the following will match the correct URL (presuming there is only one post with ‘sample-post’ in the URL on your WordPress.com site)

http://example.com/sample-post

As a result, there’s no need to worry about broken links from other domains due to differing permalink structures!

The one main exception to this is for sites that use a post-id structure, like the following:

http://example.com/?p=1337


Move Your Jetpack Stats and Subscribers

If you want to move your stats and subscribers from your Jetpack site over to your WordPress.com site, please contact Jetpack with the URLs of the sites you’re moving from and to.


Set Up Your Theme

We have hundreds of themes at WordPress.com, with new ones added regularly. Explore your options in the Theme Showcase. You can see this support document for more information on selecting, previewing, and customizing a new theme.

Sites on our WordPress.com Business plan or higher have the ability to install custom third party themes and plugins. If you want to use the theme you were utilizing on your old site, you can upload it to a site on our Business plan if it’s not in our Theme Showcase already.

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Check

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


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Connect Your Domain

Each of our plans includes the ability to attach a custom domain, either by registering a new domain (included free for a year), or using a domain you already own.

If you want to use the domain you were using with your previous site, you can either:

  • Map the domain (so it stays registered with the current registrar, but is pointed to your new site)
  • Transfer the domain (so WordPress.com is the new registrar and you would pay us for renewal each year)

You can see more information about adding domains here.


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Connect to Your other Social Networks

WordPress.com includes a tool called Publicize that automatically shares your posts on Facebook,  TwitterTumblr, and LinkedIn — it’s also part of the Jetpack plugin, so you might have used it on your old site.

To enable it, head to My Sites → Marketing → Connections. Click “Connect” and follow the prompts to approve the connection:

Publicize connections

Once you’ve enabled at least one service, you’ll see Publicize information when you write a new post in your dashboard. You can opt out from any of the services for a particular post, or include a custom message (the default is post title). Get all the details here.


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Learn About the Block Editor

You may already be familiar with our new Block Editor. If you didn’t use it on your previous self hosted site, you might want to review this support document to check out some of the features.


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Engage with the WordPress.com Community

When you join WordPress.com, you get two awesome services for the price of none: your blog, plus your Reader, which brings every WordPress.com blog together in one easy-to-search place. In the Reader, you can:

  1. Find great stuff to read.
  2. Catch up with blogs you follow.
  3. Post to your blog on the fly (as we just reviewed).

Find great reads

For a jump start, check out our hand-picked content at Discover.

To find blogs of interest, use the topic list in the Reader  — the list of terms running along the right side — to search for whatever you want. We’ve pre-populated it with some of the more popular topics, but you can add and delete topics at will to create a custom listing.

You can also follow non-WordPress.com blogs. Click “Manage” next to “Followed Site,” and put in the URL of any site you want to keep up with.

Catch up with bloggers you follow

When you follow a blog, you can also decide how you want to view new posts — they’ll all be collected in the “Followed Site” tab, or you can get them via instant, daily, or monthly email. You might choose the instant email option for blogs your particularly love, or the daily email for a blog that posts multiple times a day. To change or update your email delivery settings globally, head to your Manage Delivery Settings page and choose your settings.

 

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