Transferring Your WordPress.com Blog
If you're a longtime WordPress.com user making the move to WordPress software on a hosted domain, you may be wondering what will become of those hundreds of blog posts sitting at WordPress.com. The short answer is that those posts can follow you to your new home. This process is startlingly easy, even knowing how simple WordPress makes blogging.
We've just covered the process of updating and upgrading the WordPress software on your host. The process for migrating a WordPress.com blog (or, for that matter, a WordPress blog from one hosting company to another) is similar.
- Start at WordPress.com. Log in to your blog so that the Dashboard appears.
- Under the Tools menu, near the very bottom of the left side Settings options, select Export. The Export page shown in Figure 11.17 appears.
Figure 11.17 WordPress explains what's included in the export file.
WordPress explains a little bit about what it will do when you click the Download Export File button. Essentially, this export file turns your existing HTML content (posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags) into a single XML file, which the WordPress.org software uses to transform everything back into perfectly good WordPress content at the other end.
- You have many options to choose from when exporting your site.
- Start and End Dates—With a longstanding blog, perhaps you do not want all 10,000 posts dating back to the dawn of time (or at least the dawn of WordPress.com). Or perhaps you only want to preserve the first year of posts to remind you (and your readers) of how much your writing has improved. The pull-down menus include every month you have posted.
- Restrict Author—If you have multiple authors for your blog now and are going solo (or some of your coauthors are not migrating with you to the new digs), use the Restrict Author drop-down menu to identify who to exclude from the export.
- Categories—This pull-down menu does not let you choose multiple categories, so keep this at All Terms unless you are just covering one category in the new site. (One way around this would be to create a new category called NewSite and assign posts to it before doing your export.)
- Post Tags—Same as the Categories pull-down menu.
- Content Types—Use this menu if you simply want to export either your Posts, Pages, or Media (images, audio, and video).
- Statuses—Perhaps you just want to export the unfinished posts. This pull-down menu lets you select from Published, Scheduled, Pending, Draft, and Private status. It's unfortunate that this option also forces you to select just one option. You can, however, create multiple export files to pick up each status. Fortunately, nothing is lost when you do the export.
- Click Download Export File. Tell your browser where to save this file. It doesn't matter where you save the file, but you may want to put it in the same folder you upload to your other site, such as the Documents\Website\WordPress\wp-admin folder, for example.
- Go back to the new blog and log in to your WordPress.org Dashboard.
- Scroll down to the Tools menu again and click Import. The Import page shown in Figure 11.18 opens.
Figure 11.18 You can import posts and other files from many other platforms to your WordPress.org blog. Click the WordPress link at the bottom of this list. WordPress will first ask you to install a plug-in to handle the import (Figure 11.19). Click Install Now. WordPress will download the importer plug-in.
- When the plug-in is "successfully installed," click the Activate Plug-In & Run Importer link.
Figure 11.19 Install the WordPress.com importer plug-in before bringing your posts and other files to your new site.
- The Import WordPress page will appear. Use the Browse button to locate the Export file (with a *.wxr extension) on your system. Click to select it.
- Click the Upload File and Import button, and WordPress does the rest.
WordPress reloads the page and confirms that all your materials have been imported. You should now see that material in your Dashboard and in your blog.