Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
In this article, I will show you how to migrate from WordPress.com to
WordPress.org . Before we jump right into the steps, you might ask, what is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org? Why should I move to WordPress.org? How do I know which WordPress version I am on?
Well, here are the reasons why I made the switch, the problems I encountered and how I overcame them.
How do I know which WordPress version I am on?
Google “check my website hosting” and click on any link. Alternatively, go to
https://hostingchecker.com. Key in your website and it will show you who is your hosting provider.
What is Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Hosted by WordPress. Your website will have “wordpress.com” as part of the domain.
- Self Hosted. You have look for your own hosting provider to host your website and you own the domain.
- I highly encourage you to sign up with Siteground if you have not done so. Speaking from my personal experience, I have encountered issues when performing my site transfer and am unwilling to spend USD 30.00 for Siteground to perform the web transfer on my behalf. Hence, I spend much time holding chat sessions with their customer service agents in order to troubleshoot my issues encountered. I dare say that they have superb customer support – the waiting time is short, their staff is knowledgeable.
Sign up with WordPress here today.
Sign up with Siteground here today.
Why I made the Switch to WordPress.org
- More room for customisation. Think unlimited themes choices and the ability to edit codes in your website.
- Able to utilise more plugins. Not all plugins are available if you are on WordPress.com. I would not advise upgrading your WordPress.com to Business plan. I recommend self hosting WordPress.
- Full control over database and files
- Ability to run affiliate programs on your site
How to Migrate from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
In the following steps, I will be using Siteground as the hosting provider.
Step 1: Download WordPress.org installation files
Unzip the files to a local folder on your computer
Step 2: Upload WordPress to your Self Hosted account (For example, Siteground)
How to Perform FTP
Download FireZilla → Key in your details to establish a connection
Host: the IP address found in your hosting provider portal
Username: Your FTP Username
Password: Your FTP password
Click “QuickConnect” to establish a connection between your computer and your hosting provider.
Locate the UnZipped WordPress files saved to your local drive earlier and drag it to the right hand side in order to upload the Files to your hosting provider.
Step 3: Create MySQL Database and User
Go to Siteground → My Accounts → cPanel → mySQL Database Wizard → Create a New Database
Once new database is created → Add user to the database → Select “All Privileges” → Save
**Note down your Database name, username and password as you will need them later.
Step 4: Configure wp-config.php
Go to Siteground → My Accounts → cPanel → File Manager → In the window pop up, select “Web Root” and “Show Hidden Files (dot files)” → Go
Select “public_html” on the left hand panel folder → search for “wp-config-sample.php” file → right click → rename to “wp-config.php”→ rename file
Right click on “wp-config.php” → code edit → look for this section
/** MySQL database username */
/** MySQL database password */
Replace database_name_here with the database you just created
Replace username_here with the username you just created
Replace password_here with the password you just created
Step 5: Run the Installation script
Open a new window and install the new WordPress
You should be able to see the Welcome page from WordPress. To confirm, you can visit https://hostingchecker.com to check.
Problems and Troubleshooting
1.Problem: After completing the steps above, the installation script failed to load. My website is throwing out an Error 404.
How to Troubleshoot: Have you installed WordPress software on your Hosting Provider?
How to check: Go to Siteground → My Accounts –> cPanel –> Softaculous –> see that WordPress is installed
2. Problem: After completing the steps above, the installation script failed to load. My website is throwing out an Error 404.
How to Troubleshoot: Check your DNS settings
How to check: Go to Siteground → My Accounts –> cPanel –> Advanced DNS Zone Editor → check if the IP address in there is matching the IP address on your hosting provider’s portal. If it doesn’t, perform a reset for your zone file.
Clear cache and refresh your installation script.
If it is still showing Error 404, wait for 2 to 3 hours for the DNS settings to point to the wordpress.org domain.
3. Problem: Siteground Migrator Plug in not working
Error after Generating Token
How to Troubleshoot: This is because this tool is meant for moving a WordPress site from another hosting provider to Siteground.
As my account is with Siteground to begin with, the tool will show an error.
I recommend performing a manual website transfer.
Do you find the steps above useful? Are there any areas which can be further clarified? Feel free to comment and I am sure we can work something out together!
4. Problem: Website is showing Error 404
How to Troubleshoot: Ensure SSL certificate is installed
How to Check: Log into SiteGround –> My Account –> cPanel –> Let’s Encrypt –> Install SSL