How to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org (in 5 Easy Steps)2022

06/09/2022 5:18 PM by WordPress in Wordpress

Are you looking to switch from Wordpress.com to Wordpress.org?It is quite easy to do that and here at GTSEOTools.com we have compiled a guide on how you can transfer your website from Wordpress.com to Wordpress.org easily.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system(CMS) that allows users to create and manage websites with the help of plugins and themes. Anyone can create a site quickly without prior knowledge of web development through WordPress.In fact, WordPress powers 43% of all the websites globally according to W3Techs statistics as of May 2022. However, there are two WordPress, WordPress.com and WordPress.org, which is which?

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What's the difference?

WordPress.com is a platform that enables users to create a website and make it available online but the hosting is managed by Automattic, the company that owns WordPress.com.

Wordpress.org on the other hand is open-source software that is 100% free to use for anyone who needs to create a website. You need a web host and a domain name in order to create a website with WordPress.org.This is why the other name of WordPress.org is self-hosted WordPress.You can download this software for free on WordPress.org.

Bonus tip: Bluehost is one of the officially recommended web hosting providers for WordPress.org and offers one of the most unbeatable hosting plans in the market. With just $2.95 per month, you get hosting for your WordPress site and a free domain name. GET STARTED HERE>>>>>.

So there you have it, the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is that the latter is self-hosted while the former is managed by Automattic.


Which is better WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

It mainly depends on how you see both and what you want to do with your website. If you are interested in just publishing content and not interested in managing your whole site's content including themes by yourself then you should choose WordPress.com.On the other hand if you want to install a lot of features on your site and integrate plugins, then choose WordPress.org.Both .com and .org have their pros and cons. Here is an article by WPbeginner about the pros and cons of both versions of WordPress.

Now that you know the differences, here's how you can transfer your site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org if your site was originally on WordPress.com.

Before Migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org:

You need to have purchased a web host and got a domain name in order to get started. As stated earlier, Bluehost is a reputable web hosting provider and is officially recommended by WordPress.Once you get your web hosting and domain name, proceed using the next steps below:

Also read:10 Best WordPress Hosting Sites: Best Hosting with WordPress 2022

Steps on how to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

#Step 1. Export Content from WordPress.com

wordpress.com to wordpress.org

  1. Login to Wordpress.com.
  2. On the left side of the panel, Go to Tools --->Export.
  3. On Export Content, click Export all. This will export all your website content including all the images you uploaded.
  4. Once done, WordPress.com will send you a download link to your email and display the download link to you at the top-right of the screen.
  5. Click Download and your content will be downloaded in a compressed zip format.
  6. Unzip the file and find the XML file that contains all your posts and pages.

#Step 2. Import Content on your new WordPress website

To do this you must have already installed WordPress on your web host and are ready to log in.

wordpress.com to wordpress.org run importer

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard on yourdomain.com/wp-admin.Replace yourdomain with the domain of your site.
  2. Once in your admin dashboard, go to Tools>>Import.
  3. You need to install the WordPress import plugin to continue. Scroll down and find WordPress then click Install.
  4. Once installed, click Run Importer.
  5. Next, you will be prompted to upload the XML file from WordPress.com that you downloaded.
  6. Click Choose File, select the XML file then click Upload File and Import. The file should not be larger than 2MB. If the file is larger, ask your web host to temporarily increase the limit or use a WXR file splitter.

Your content will start being imported and in the process, you will be prompted to choose whether you want to assign the posts to an existing user or create a new user. You can choose either option.

There will also be a checkbox prompting you to choose whether you want to import file attachments. Make sure you check this box as it ensures your images will be imported correctly.

#Step 3: Redirect your old site users to your new site to preserve SEO.

This is the most important step especially if your site was already receiving traffic and ranking on Google Search. You do not want to leave your visitors hanging and lose your SEO rankings. Do the following to redirect your old WordPress.com site to WordPress.org:

wordpress.com to wordpress.org redirect


  1. Go to your WordPress.com dashboard.
  2. Go to Manage>>Settings.
  3. Under General settings go to Site Address>>Redirect option.
  4. Next, you'll be asked the domain name where you want your visitors to be redirected. Enter the domain name then click Go.
  5. This is a paid redirect so you will be prompted to make the payment before the redirect is done.

Once done then congrats you have successfully managed to transfer your site from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.Here are Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) about this process

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Are WordPress.com and WordPress.org the same?

No.WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different things. The main difference between the two is that WordPress.com hosting is managed by Automattic while WordPress.org is self-managed(self-hosted website).

How much does it cost to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

It's free of charge to move from WordPress.com to .org.The only costs involved are the domain and hosting costs that you need to set up on WordPress.org in order to be able to migrate.

Which is the best web hosting provider for my Wordpress.org website?

Bluehost is the best overall web hosting provider for WordPress due to its great hosting plans at great prices.WordPress in fact recommends Bluehost as the best web host for WordPress.org users. Other great web hosts include Hostgator, Hostinger, Dream Host and Siteground.

>>>Here is an article on the top 10 best Webhosting sites with WordPress in 2022

How do I choose a WordPress host?

The main criteria to follow when choosing a WordPress host are Speed, Uptime and Customer Support. Choose a host that offers the best in these services. For more info check out this article by WPforms on how to choose a WordPress host.

Will my website go down when I make the switch?

No. Your site will not go down if you do everything correctly. If you need help doing this, we can help you for a small fee. You can contact us for help.

What if I had already bought a Premium plan on WordPress.com.Can I get a refund?

Yes, you can get a refund of your money from WordPress.com within 48 hours of making the payment.

What if I have a custom domain on WordPress.com?

If you already have a custom domain on WordPress.com, redirecting your users to your new site will be easy and no costs will be involved. You just need to change the custom nameservers at WordPress.com to point to your hosting provider.