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When starting our blog, Em and I didn’t have a sense for the differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org.  As we got the hang of the blog and wordpress software, we quickly realized there was no advertising, blog her or skimlinks capability on wordpress.com!  This was very under-advertised when we signed up originally (as novices, didn’t fully understand the differences).   After talking to a few friends and trusted veterans, we concluded that there was no question we needed to migrate from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.   Like yesterday.

But how?!

Through and doing searches I ended up here:

http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-move-your-blog-from-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/

This showed us the step by step process on how we would transfer it ourselves.  Looked manageable.  But I was still intimidated.   The initial part I understood, but all the bells and whistles and widgets that were just “in” wordpress.com, I had no idea how to optimize.  I had never dealt with widgets, nor did I have the time or energy to figure out which widgets were absolutely essential, etc.  (I work full time and have 1 4 year old and twin 1 year olds, so anything I can outsource…).

I came across this on the wpbeginner site.

http://www.wpbeginner.com/free-wordpress-blog-setup/

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Dare I!? It seemed to good to be true.   I figured I’d start the process and if at any point my scam radar went off, I’d take a step back.

First step. Sign up for a host through their affiliate link (this is how they make money from the process).   The cost is no different than otherwise would be, so I felt ok doing that.   I get it.  We want to do that too.  Anyway, we picked bluehost.  I did this on a Friday afternoon and submitted the request to wpbeginner immediately after that (they ask you to paste in your receipt).

The next morning, I got this email:

Hello Laura,

Thank you for requesting the setup for www.goodnotperfect.com . We are excited to help you getting started with WordPress. You will totally love it.

In order for us to transfer your WordPress.com account over to a self-hosted WordPress, we would need your WordPress.com login username/password.

We would also need your updated Bluehost password, so we can start the process.

Ok I got nervous. Giving passwords away? I googled away, looking for reviews on the wpbeginner service. I COULD NOT FIND ANY.  They have such good SEO that everything I tried to google regarding them just took me to their site!   But I also didn’t find any obvious red flags, like scam alerts, scathing reviews.   And their site was full of helpful reviews and good information.  It appeared to be a legitimate business with a reputation to protect.   But how long would it take? What was the exact process? No clue.

I replied asking for a phone call so I could talk to a human. They informed me that they do not have a phone assistance, and politely directed me to the tutorial link should I not feel comfortable with the assisted route.

That was disappointing, but at least someone personally responded in a specific manner.  Upside? Sign of a human being actually reading my email.

So here’s what I did.  Knowing Em also had an admin account on wordpress.com, and knowing worst case we could fry that entire site and not be devastated since we’re like 9 posts in … I took a leap of faith.  For the benefit of novice bloggers everywhere, I offered myself as an experiment.  Yes, I am your official wpbeginner guinea pig.

I changed these two passwords to something easy (not giving them my real password) and sent them over.  We are so early in the blogging process I felt like I could be a guinea pig.  And either way I thought I’d have something to write about (hopefully not a headline like: Blogger gets scammed by Kenyan Prince).

The next email from my nameless, faceless geek helper was this:

Hello Laura,

We are almost done with the migration process.

Your new site is temporary located here: http://xxxxx/goodnotperfect.com

Please login to check if everything looks good.

If everything looks good, then we need you to change the nameservers, so we can finish the final step of the migration.

To change the nameservers, you need to go to your WordPress.com admin area. Go to Store > Domains. Scroll to the bottom and select Change DNS. You will have to create a password and such.

Your nameserver needs to point to Bluehost, so it would be ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com

Note: As of this point on, please DO NOT make any changes to your WordPress.com site because they will not be moved over.

This was it.  So I went to go daddy (my domain registrar) and pointed my nameserver to bluehost.  If you registered domain at wordpress.com it would be there instead.

Sunday night at 7:30 (roughly 55 hours after submitting my initial request) I got this glorious email.

Hey Laura,

We are finished with the migration process.

You can login to the site by going to:

http://goodnotperfect.com/wp-admin/

username/password is: XYZ

From this point on, you will be using the above admin panel to write posts, moderate comments, and everything else. You will no longer use the WordPress.com account.

If you are not familiar with WordPress, then we have created a 17 set video series that will help guide you through it. As part of your Free WordPress setup, it is our gift to you. You may find the videos here:

http://videos.wpbeginner.com/ (It is free to create an account there)

To ensure good SEO, we have installed WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin (the same plugin that we use on our site). To see maximum results, we would like to encourage you to fill out the meta title, description, and keywords when writing the post. It is fairly self explanatory. Basically that is the information that will show up when people search for you in google. This plugin gives you a google live snippet preview as well. This article below will help

http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/properly-seo-functions-wordpress-posts/

For performance optimization, we have installed W3 Total Cache plugin, the same plugin that we use. You don’t really have to do anything to it. It just runs in the background. Should you have questions regarding other useful plugins, then feel free to visit our Blueprint page.

http://www.wpbeginner.com/blueprint/ << This is a list of all tools, services, and plugins that we use to power WPBeginner. A very handy resource.

We’ve installed Jetpack which will allow you to transfer your subscribers over. Use the contact form below to request a transfer:

http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/?jetpack=needs-service

You may have to ask around in the support forums if direct support is unavailable.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Once again, we want to thank you for choosing WPBeginner. We hope that you will come back and visit the site regularly to take advantage of our awesome WordPress tutorials.

Done.  That was it. Everything worked, the links transferred over, etc.   I had to go in there and configure the time zone, reset my password to my private one, etc.   Turns out the whole process was that simple.  All I was in charge of was worrying, constantly checking my email in hopes I didn’t miss anything, and eventually redirect my nameservers for them.

All in all, pretty painless.  We are really pleased.

Hope this helps!

Laura Sig

 

36 Comments on Transferring from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

  1. Laura,

    Thank you for being pretty much the only person on the entire Internet to have reviewed this. I just took the plunge. Hope they are still legit, lol!

    • I know, right? I couldn’t believe that NOBODY had a review, and they really had very few testimonials on their website. I am so glad you found this – did it come up through google? Just curious how hard it was to find this review. I really wanted to help other people since I had so much anxiety about using them sight unseen. Can you do me a favor and leave a comment here letting me know how it goes when it’s done so I know if my experience was consistent with yours?
      Good luck,
      Laura

  2. I’m in the same boat as you are when you started– it seems I need to change like yesterday.

    And I found wpbeginner, but it just seemed… a bit nervewracking, to say the least. After finding your good experience (on the front page of my google search!) I’m calm and confident going forward, and can’t wait to do this with my own blog.

    Thank you!

  3. Hi Laura,
    After searching through a couple of google search links i stumbled on yours with ref to reviews on wpbeginner. Sure tough to find direct reviews- and every search took me bk to their site- clever indeed.

    Well..i am right on the far left. I am reg with the free wordpress.com.I am just starting out my blog isnt up and running, its still in draft and on private mode. I figured no hurry, i would just do it step by step learning from the official online tutorials. But when i ran into tech issues, i looked for much clearer video tutorials from youtube and the likes and came across wpbeginner.

    I needed to look up a few areas as well as the cost part. No clear info on that anyway, havent gone through all the FAQs though. From what i understand, we pay for the hosting (with their partners) and the plugins we choose to install as we go along correct?.

    I am so glad i found your post…but all said and not quite done yet, i think i shall take a bit more time before i decide to sign up with them. Hmm.. its just me…not too confident about things like this. But if and when i do i shall give my feed back here.

    Oh btw…thanks alot for the tip on the temp password to them and reverting after completion. Thats very smart of you. You seem to be pleased with them. Thank you again and all the best.

    • Thanks for stopping by! If you have any intention to monetize any aspect of your blog, I’d recommend it. My costs include my own hosting (with blue host is who I use) – they don’t receive any of the ongoing revenue but they get a “commission” from the referral. Any self-hosted blog will have hosting expenses, so this is not an incremental expense related to WPBeginner. Plugins are typically free! So you should really only have hosting and domain name expenses unless you choose to purchase other software.

  4. Hey, I only found this now. I set up for it last night (more like this morning, it was 2am and got the ‘we’ll contact you in up to 24h’ and all. I’m not big on waiting, but there are only 5 hours lefts on this 24 hours deadline and I still haven’t gotten the email confirming it. How long did it take for you to get the email? I’m scared I might have copied the invoice the wrong way :/

    • Hi! It took them about 20 hours to get back to me. Depending on what time zone you and they are in I wouldn’t worry too much if you don’t hear back in exactly 24… You can always send a second email to them if you don’t hear back in 48 hours?

  5. So glad I found this review! I am thinking of switching over to wp.org, and found the wpbeginner site. Like you, I couldn’t find any reviews.

    I am not technical at all. Is this something that a non-techie like me could do?

    Thanks so much!

  6. Thank you so much for the review – definitely helped make my decision to switch from wordpress.com to wordpress.org much easier. Such a great service that they offer – might need to leave a review of my own!

    Now, onto learning how everything works!

  7. Thank you thank you thank you!! I’m so glad I found this post. i just signed up for the free set up about 4 days ago, signed up for Bluehost as well, and got the same email requesting my username and password. After supplying them with that info I didn’t hear anything else from them. Of course I started to worry because I’ve had my blog for over 2 years and have well over 80 posts. Your recount of your experience as put my at ease. Now I can go about my day knowing all is well. Thanks again!

    Shara

  8. Thank you so much for posting this. Incredibly helpful. I also stumbled across them and had the same reservations. Glad you were willing to be the guinea pig!

  9. THANK YOU!!! I, too, built my website on wordpress.com only to LATER realize that I really need to be at .ORG. Ugh. I feel like I only know enough to hurt myself sometimes (hence not wanting to migrate it myself). And plunking down a fair chunk of change to have a “guided transfer” just seemed like a lot of money that I could use elsewhere. I am a perfect skeptic so I was in disbelief that the wpbeginner would offer a service for free. So glad to see your post! Quick question though — did they migrate your plugins? I am not afraid to reinstall most, but did pay for the premium “easy recipe” plug in and I would hate to lose it…

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  11. I’m so glad I came across this! I sent off the request last night and received an automated email saying somebody will be in touch within 24 hours to get the ball rolling. I have been a bit nervous and read so many tutorials on the wpbeginner website but instead of being inpatient I am going to wait for someone to email me and get it done!

    Glad it worked out ok for you, fingers crossed for me!!
    x

  12. Thank you so much for writing this article! I have recently come across the exact same situation: either trust wp beginner with my usernames & passwords or pay someone over £100 to migrate my site. Being a total novice I had no idea how to do it myself. After reading this article I went with wp beginner and I’m glad I did. They did an excellent job & it all happened exactly as you said it would. You (and wp beginner!) have saved me a lot of money, thanks again!

  13. Hi

    I’ve just been blogging for about a month, but already feel the need to transfer over to .org. I did look up reviews of wpbeginner. However, it is nice to see someone who has done the process. Congratulations on your how to description!

    I like your approach to your blog. Will let you know after I’ve made the plunge.

    Kind regards

  14. Hey Laura,

    Syed here. I’m the founder of WPBeginner. Thank you so much for writing the review.

    I’ve never really asked folks to write reviews for us, but I’m glad to see so many users here have tried and liked our free service.

    I am going to create a testimonials page at WPBeginner in hopes that others can find us :)

    Once again thank you for writing about us, and we’re always happy to help.

    -Syed

    • Syed it was very intimidating to try it the first time – it seems that there is no real “record” of you on the internet other than what directs people to your own site (good SEO I presume!). I’m sure people would like testimonials, but even more, they’d like to be directed to sites of “impartial” 3rd parties like me, who received no compensation for this – truly just trying to help others! :)

  15. Thank you for reviewing them and giving your honest opinion. I was about to hit the “send” button for my email revealing my passwords to WPBeginner and I thought I’d give it a quick search to see if there was a review out there. I have 2 and half years on my old blog http://www.365daystounstuck.wordpress.com, so I didn’t want to lose everything.
    Thanks again!

  16. Thank you for this review and for volunteering yourself as a guinea pig! That must have been scary. Now I’m going to check out their service.

  17. I was overwhelmed after I signed up with Bluehost (I thought I could easily do everything myself!) and after two customer service calls to them that left me on the verge of tears but no closer to understanding the initial steps to take, I stumbled upon this post. It was a lifesaver. THANK YOU! I still can’t believe how easy it was to use WPBeginner, and appreciate someone vouching for them, as I thought it was too good to be true.

    • Right? Totally seems too good to be true. That’s why I changed my passwords to something temporary and hoped for the best, figured what’s the worst thing that could happen (non income generating hobby blog destroyed?). :) Glad it helped. It worked out well. Glad I could be the trusting guinea pig.

  18. WPBeginner are GREAT! I’m a little further along now, but recently had to google’ how to set up a test environment’ so I could perform a major update for Woocommerce and not jeopardise my client’s entire online wine shop. They have the perfect tut on it. I’m finding I’m going back there more and more. Thank you WPBeginner!
    I must also say I studied with ‘LearnWebDevelopment.com’ also. They set me going from the beginning and they will work with you on your problems if you sign up with them…
    It’s an amazing journey and I’m definitely hooked! But WPBeginner is good.

  19. This is just what I was looking for. Just like you and everyone else who has commented here I wanted to find a good review before deciding to use their service. I also have a blog on wordpress.com and and looking to move it over to wordpress.org. I will let you know how I get on.

    Thanks again for your review

    • I’m so glad it was helpful. This post has helped ease many peoples’ minds it seems! I have barely blogged the past 18 months but this post still has legs! :)

  20. Great article! I’m about to take the plunge! Will my site transfer over exactly like it is now…ie widgets, theme, looks of the site? Is there anything I should be ready to do when it switches? Im not familiar with plugins but are there any you would recommend? I can’t find any posts in regards to these questions. Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer!

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