Move site from To

Move site from To

WordPress started out as a content management platform in 2003. It has now evolved into a full-featured CMS and web application platform that powers an approximate 26% 0f the World Wide Web.

Whenever opting for WordPress, many first-timers face the confusion between and It is important to differentiate between these two very separate platforms. This distinction could have serious impact on the performance and presentation of a website.

I will start with highlighting the difference between the two and then will explain how to migrate your website from to a self-hosted platform. is a service, owned and operated by Automattic, a well-known web development agency. You just need to sign up on, drag-and-drop elements and your website is ready and live. However, the URL of your website will be like: A website offers a balance of advantages and disadvantages. They provide a managed WordPress service, but restricts you to basic features until you purchases a plan from them. is actually home to an open source web development software. Just download the files from, upload to any web server and your website is ready. You could then customize it any way you want using a plethora of themes and plugins. Almost every hosting provider offers a WordPress installation and hosting.

Moving From to

Many people start with a website. However, they soon outgrow the platform’s free features. At this time, a large number of users decide to get their own powered self-hosted website.

The process of migrating the website to its new home is straightforward. Read on to understand the various steps involved in the process.

Don’t Have WordPress Hosting ? Don’t Worry!

First things first, you need a hosting plan for your website. If you do not have one, you need to buy a hosting plan from optimized WordPress hosting providers such as WPEngine, Pressidium or Cloudways (Where I work). Here is how you can install WordPress on DigitalOcean very easily on Cloudways.

Refer to the following GIF:

Don't Have WordPress Hosting Don't Worry

Once you have acquired the hosting plan, make sure that the latest version of WordPress is installed and running.

Now, let’s move your website from to self-hosted

Step 1: Export Content From WordPress.Com

Login to your account. From the left pane, go to Settings >> Export and click on Export all.

Important: I selected Export All because I want to move the entire website. If you wish, you could export specific parts of the website as well.

Export Content From WordPress.Com

The process takes a few moments and a notification will appear. Click Download. Once downloaded, extract it and you’ll find a XML file that will be used in the following steps.

Export Data Download

Step 2: Import Data to Self-Hosted WordPress Website

In this step, the data exported from the website will be used at the new website.

Login to the self-hosted WordPress Dashboard. Navigate to Tools >> Import and select WordPress.

Import Data

A new popup will ask you to install WordPress Importer. Click on Install Now.

Install WordPress Importer

Once installed, click on Activate and run importer. After that, you’ll be asked to Choose File. Browse the XML file that you downloaded earlier. Once selected, click on upload file and import.

Important: As you can see, the maximum file upload size is 10MB on the test hosting platform. This restriction varies with different hosting providers. If you have a large volume of  data, you might need a go-around.

There are several ways of  increasing file size limit such as modifying functions.php file, modifying .htaccess or wp-config.php file and increasing file size limit in php.ini file. If you are not technically well versed in this, ask your hosting provider to increase the file size limit.

Choose XML File

After successfully importing data, you can change authors of the posts.

Under Import Attachments, check Download and Import file attachments and click Submit. this will import all attachments from the original WordPress installation to the new self-hosted WordPress.

Import Attachments

Import External Images

Importing the attachments is a bit tricky. Sometimes, the process fails but you should not worry about it. WordPress always have plugins to handle such problems. One excellent plugin for this issue is Export External Images.

Adding Theme

You may observe that the theme of the new website is different from the website. Discover the name of the theme by navigating Themes on

Adding Theme

In this case, the current theme is “Cubic”. You have to search and install this theme at your new website.

Importing Theme Customization

By default, theme customizations are not exported. The process is done manually. Following are some settings that might not be exported.

Importing Theme Customization

The New Website Is Still Broken

If your website is still broken, do not worry!

JetPack, an all-purpose plugin stores several configurations of the website.

Install the plugin on your new website and connect it to the account.


Redirect Visitors and Preserve SEO Efforts

Once you have a new domain, the standard way of redirecting visitors is by using 301 redirect rule in .htaccess file. Since does not allow files access, you are unable to use the redirect rule. To preserve SEO efforts and retain the traffic, you could use Site Redirect. In many cases, a single year subscription plan is enough.

Redirect Visitors and Preserve SEO Efforts

Update URLs

If you found any URLs linking to the old WordPress, you could easily fix the issue by using the plugin Velvet Blues Update URLs.

Velvet Blues Update URLs


I hope that you have understood (and hopefully applied) the process of migrating to a self-hosted WordPress website. If you need help in moving selected data, you could refer to Transfer Selected Data From WordPress Or WooCommerce Site.

If you need to ask a question, please  ask via the comments section below. I would love to answer your queries.

Author Bio:

Mustaasam Saleem

Mustaasam Saleem is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways – A Managed WordPress Hosting Cloud Platform, where he actively works in learning and sharing knowledge with the WordPress Community. When he is not working behind his computer screen, you can find him playing squash with his friends, or defending in Football and listening to music. Connect with him on Twitter:  or Email.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Hello your article is great, with the help of this I learned all the difference of both site. So I’m gonna keep this on my list.

  2. I have a website that is hosted with Blogger. I want to move it the WordPress without hampering the permalink structure and of course my Google rankings. What is the best way of doing it? Do you have any guide for the same?

Leave a Reply

Close Menu