How to migrate from a free WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted blog – tips for BlogCamp attendees

Last Saturday, I was luck enough to be involved in BlogCamp in Birmingham, which Kat and I helped Sally Whittle (Tots100 supremo) to organise. With well over 100 bloggers, 10 speakers and a lot of cake, it was the most ambitious BlogCamp to date. But, it was well worth the 5.30am alarm call as I met so many cool new bloggers and got to know others I already knew a bit better. A summary of posts is on a Tots100 write-up.

My presentation was about how to migrate from a blog hosted by WordPress.com (e.g. yourblogname.wordpress.com) to a self-hosted WordPress blog. The advantages, of course, are to take make the most of themes and plugins, have your own online identity and make it easier to monitise your blog.

Below is my Slideshare presentation (I sometime wonder about the wisdom of these things, as you don’t get the audio to accompany it), but hopefully those who were there will find it useful as a refresher.

There were lots of questions and discussion, so here’s some notes, which are hopefully useful for those that attended the presentation:

  • Make a decision about whether you want a domain name with your host or a domain company (e.g. 123-reg). It largely depends whether you’re likely to want to manage multiple domains or just one. If it’s the latter, your host will probably be fine to manage your domain
  • When choosing a host (I’m happy with EZPZ hosting), it’s probably easier to go with one that has one click WordPress install
  • If you’re manually installing (ie. not one-click), it’s not too hard and there are plenty of videos around explaining how to do it, such as this one on YouTube
  • What to do with your old WordPress.com blog? Well, most people write a “I have moved” post, but you can also pay WordPress to handle the redirection for you (I’ve not done this myself, so don’t know if it’s any good)
  • If you bought a personal domain already through WordPress.com and want to host your blog yourself, you just need to point the nameservers to your new host
  • My theme company of choice is Organic Themes
  • Some people asked about importing from Blogger. I’ve discovered there’s a Blogger Importer Plugin, which may be worth trying (not a Blogger user myself, so untested by me)
  • There were questions from the group about email management with your own personal domain. Although it’s easy enough to set up within a control panel, I personally use Gmail to handle all my emails for various addresses. Find out how on the Gmail help pageĀ 

I think these were the main points, although if I’ve missed any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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