I’ve decided to take my blog from wordpress.com to wordpress.org using Bluehost as my registrar host. While I enjoyed the easy setup wordpress.com offers, their professional and business packages cost too much. Moving my domain to Bluehost and using the open source version of wordpress.org gives me greater customizability and tracking features, allowing me greater control over how I use my website at a much cheaper price.

It’s serious! Taking my blog from the easy-to-host version of wordpress.com to wordpress.org opens up so many doors—I can easily track user information without having to pay additional fees to add widgets and track my SEO scores using Google Analytics. Now I have complete control over of my website.

What is Webhosting?

In order for your website to exist on the web, it needs a place to live. Web hosts essentially “host” your website on their internet servers. Website owners rent space through a web hosting platform to allow their website to exist and be seen by other users on the web.

WordPress.com provides free web hosting services in exchange for advertisements. You can remove those advertisements for a basic cost of $4 per month and the cost of your domain. However, users still will be limited to what WordPress allows on their free hosting platform.

On the other hand, going through a paid hosting service like Bluehost or HostGator gives greater access to how an owner could use their site. Web hosts are essentially empty lots of internet space that people rent and build a website on. WordPress.org is an open-source free content management system (CMS) that allows you to develop and manage your website information.

WordPress.com is a great place to start. It helped me launch my blog and get connected with an array of other bloggers I love to keep in contact with today, but I wanted to expand my blog and include more features without having to pay the penalty. 

CMS and Webhosting Services

Most people choose to move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org (or choose the wordpress.org from the beginning) because they want to have greater control over their website. The only real drawback to using wordpress.org is learning to set up and operate your CMS.

With wordpress.com, the website host has greater control over who sees your website. Additionally, to gain access to many features available through using a web host and wordpress.org, the user would have to pay additional fees or an increased annual subscription.

With wordpress.org, users can literally build websites from the ground up. They can design the website using CSS or PHP, or simply install a website theme that they’ve paid for or found for free. Users also gain greater control over powerful tracking features, like Google Analytics.

It Saves Money

WordPress.com business package cost $24.92 per month, coming out to a grand total of $299.04 at the end of the year. This package gives access to third-party tracking, SEO tools and plug-in installation, which is something that comes with self-hosted websites. With this package, you could purchase a year’s worth of hosting and a theme to get you started with your blog, e-commerce site, or other types of website.

On the other hand, finding a registrar will help you save money in the long run. Pricing for a month’s worth of hosting using Bluehost’s prime package is $14.99 per month. Most users can get by using their basic and plus packages, running at $7.99 per month and $10.99 per month.  Right now (and pretty much all the time), they offer a promotion for first-time users for 50 percent off any package (The promotion for Bluehost prime is $5.45 per month).

How to Do It!

While it may seem complicated to move your website from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, it’s really not.

Once you’ve bought hosting for your website through service providers like Bluehost, HostGator or GoDaddy, you’ll need to transfer your domain from wordpress.com to your new registrar.Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 9.59.38 PM

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After a short waiting period of about seven days, you can install WordPress on your new website. You’ll then need to grab an export of your previous site from wordpress.com provided in a .xml file. Import that file onto the new website now using your same domain name.

Users doing this are essentially building their website all over again but using the information providing in the exported .xml file to expedite the process and maintain all the information from your previous website. Importing your website will bring over your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories and tags, but you’ll still be responsible for installing your new website theme.


Start Upgrading Your Site!

After uploading your information and designing your website, you’re done! You’re now operating your website using wordpress.org.

If you’re looking for a web host, Bluehost is really easy to work with and provides lots of assistance if you have any questions. They also offer a WordPress installation service that makes it easy to transfer your information to your new website.

Got Questions? Ask in the comments or send me an e-mail at greyresty@gmail.com