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