Moving to a Self Hosting Platform from WordPress.com

So, it’s been a half-day since the big move and everything appeared to have gone pretty smoothly.   While I followed my steps pretty darn closely, there were a few adjustments.   So here are the steps I used to move from a hosted wordpress.com account to a self-hosted environment:

  1. Export posts/comments/categories/etc XML file to hard-drive
  2. Save a copy of the blogroll’s OPML file
  3. Copy the header graphic to hard-drive
  4. Set up new database with the host and configure wp-config.php file to point to new servers.
  5. Upload, but don’t activate, wordpress files to the new host servers *
  6. Publish posts on your existing blog saying changes are on the way  (Here’s my example) :)
  7. Change DNS settings using your domain registrar to point to your new host.
  8. Ask new host to recognize dustinluther.com as the new primary domain (this step probably really depends on the host)
  9. When your host recognizes dustinluther.com as the primary domain, configure MX settings.
  10. Wait for DNS settings to take effect and begin redirecting traffic to the new site!
  11. When your local ISP recognizes the new site, then run the WordPress 5 min install
  12. Import blog posts from XML file.  After uploading the initial file, be sure to confirm you want to batch in multimedia.**
  13. Configure theme, activate plugins, import blogroll, etc.

* Note I actually ran threw a test where I completed steps 1 through 4 AND activated the WP blog using the dummy domain I had set up with the host just to make sure I would have no problems installing WP on their backend. I then deleted everything and started over for the “official” move because it seems more intuitive to me to wait to “activate” the WP blog until after it’s going to be configured to the correct domain.

** At this state, I had to change the “php.ini to allow for uploads greater than 2MB. Not hard, but also not self-evident. And a great reason to do a the test I mentioned in the first note.

20 thoughts on “Moving to a Self Hosting Platform from WordPress.com

  1. I moved a blog from wordpress last year. It went smooth as well. I did find a drop in my traffic, and had to work to rebuild it. Good luck with your new site.

  2. The way I set things up, I was lucky that I didn’t need to do any redirects. Just carried the same domain and same URL structure to a new ISP.

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  4. Dustin, were their any issues with the php.ini changes? I did it onour hosting account and for some reason the changes didn’t seem to take affect for a little bit. We ended up hosting ours over at bluehost where did you put yours?

  5. No issues with the php.ini changes other than I had to figure out how to do it. I had to insert one line of code that let me upload larger files, and once I found that code (don’t have it in front of me), I then just uploaded the revised php.ini file to the server.

    I decided to go to Media Temple mainly because they have a better reputation than most for being able to handle a large amount of traffic. I’ve seen too many of the blog hosts go down when traffic picks up and I’d rather pay a bit more to ensure that doesn’t happen to me should I ever be interesting enough to drive some real traffic! ;)

  6. Thanks for the tip. If you do find that code can you post it? I made a change to my .ini file according to some advice I was given but it doesn’t appear to have worked.

  7. Agreed with much of the above. I too have one concern though: how does such a switch affect traffic to your site? Running blogs myself dealing with Vancouver real estate, it’s only natural I want all the traffic I can get. Any special tips and tricks on your part?

    It’s quite a series of steps. What tools did you find the most convenient in doing the job, and how do you manage it now?

    Cheers to all,
    Jay

  8. In terms of traffic, I didn’t notice much of a difference after the move. Search engine traffic stayed pretty consistent… even though the move also included a switch of my domain provider, which can sometimes upset the google gods a bit.

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  10. I think for blogs which are migrating from the wordpress.com are better off moving in the early stages as they can then save on the time taken to migrate and stay inside php limits like the ones you mention. Also, most people do not realise that wordpress.com is infact a demo of their services and not meant for a full blown usage as a blog.

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