Notice anything different around here? I’ve just moved from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and I LOVE the look of my new blog. I probably spent too much time on my laptop during this process and I definitely didn’t give my boyfriend much attention, but YAY. Moving to Self Hosted WordPress was something I have wanted to do ever since I learnt what self-hosted WordPress was and I finally got around to it.
A few people have been asking me questions about moving to self hosted WordPress so I thought writing a post about it would be a good idea! The process sounds so much more complicated than what it is but I promise you that it’s not. Saying that, you will stress a little and have a shout at your laptop but that’s normal! There’s nothing in the process that is difficult to get around once you have highlighted the problem.
Choosing a Hosting Provider and Buying a Domain
Before you get started you need to choose where you are going to purchase a domain and hosting from. I picked TSOHost as my hosting provider because they have 24/7 support and a few bloggers had recommended them to me. I’m on the Basic Hosting plan for £2.99 a month, can’t go wrong really!
It is also available to pay yearly but my bank account seemed less broken into this way! They have been so easily contactable and have always replied within a few hours so I haven’t been waiting around too long.
Transferring a Domain
If you haven’t purchased your own domain yet, then ignore this step! Transferring my domain was the thing I was most worried about when moving to self hosted WordPress. However it turned out that it wasn’t difficult at all! When purchasing WordPress hosting, I also added a Domain transfer to my cart. This basically meant that TSOHost would transfer my domain to their servers for me, so I don’t have to do all that wacky-techy stuff. This cost £8.99 for the transfer, and £5.98 for ID protection.
TSOHost also extend the domain for another year, so essentially you get it for free. Yeeeees. The ID protection ensures no one can get your details from the WHOIS database and I would definitely recommend it!
To start the transfer I had to unlock my ID protection for my domain in my WordPress.com settings and update my contact information. You then need to get the EPP code for your domain from your current provider. Your new domain host will contact you and you just need to enter it like a password. Once this is verified the domain transfer process can start. On TSOHost they say it can take between 3 and 9 days, although it can be faster. My transfer took 6 days!
Alternatively, you can find the instructions on TSOHost’s website here. The last step of managing your domain is connecting it to the TSO Host servers. It’s really simple to do but if you email your hosting company they will offer to do it for you! Lovely.
I had a slight issue with the transfer once it had been connected to the servers. My site was unaccessible because of the insecure connection via https://. This is probably because my domain was used to connecting straight to https:// as it was through WordPress.com. I spent a long time emailing TSOHost about the problem and after twelve hours it finally got sorted. I ended up Tweeting them and they redirected it to always connect to http://. I can purchase an SSL certificate if people stumble upon https:// often, but it shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Phew! I cleared my internet cache and refreshed my site and it worked.
Most hosting providers will give you a one-click install of WordPress from your account. After I’d installed it I was given a password to log in and voila: the WordPress dashboard! The dashboard is really easy to navigate once you know where everything is.
Moving all of your blog content can seem like a hefty task. I promise you it isn’t! To do it manually, you go into your current blog settings and find where it says “export.” On WordPress, choose the free version and download an XML file of your blog. In the new WordPress panel, you simply go to Tools > Import and upload the XML file you just downloaded. It will copy all of your posts to your new blog – simple!
I took the easier way out and got a free website migration from TSOHost. They moved all of my published posts and drafts to my new blog, including the photos which was a nice surprise! It took no longer than a day to complete.
Choosing and Installing a Theme
This for me was the most exciting part of moving to self hosted WordPress. I hated the restriction on editing themes on WordPress.com because I always wanted to get in there and edit the HTML. I spent days browsing through Etsy to find the perfect theme as I can’t afford a Pipdig one *cries*. I eventually found the Sahara theme from PishandPoshDesigns and I’m in love with it! The seller answered any questions I had, and an installation guide was included with the purchase.
To install this, in your WordPress dashboard go to Appearance > Themes. You can then click ‘Add New’ and simply upload your theme to WordPress. This took no time at all! For my theme I had to install two zip files. Customise away!
That’s pretty much the basics for moving from WordPress.com to self hosted WordPress. I hope this post comes in useful if you’re considering doing this! Do let me know if you have any questions or would like to see more posts like this. Maybe about which Plugins to install?
Are you moving to Self Hosted WordPress soon? Let me know!
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