Sometimes folks want to move their website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. This is most typically accomplished via each platform's import/export tools to move the content from one site to the other. This tool bundles the content on the site into a .zip file which you can then move to another location. Disclaimer: It isn’t perfect; you only get the content of the site, so things like posts, pages, and site settings. The plugins and themes aren’t included. So, if your site has a ton of plugins, this tool might not work for you. Media works for the most part, though it is a separate download/upload and isn’t always perfect.
This article will showcase the import/export tools within WordPress (.com and .org) the process is essentially the same for both, they just look a little different.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: What's the difference?
WordPress, in a nutshell, is an open-source content management software (read more about this in their mission statement). Automattic Inc. helps develop and maintain this software. We offer this software at Reclaim and users can install an instance on their domain, in fact, you’re reading this post on a WordPress installation.
WordPress.com is Automattic Inc.'s hosting company that runs the WordPress software explicitly. They offer free accounts with subdomains like meredithfierro.wordpress.com for free, or users can purchase a domain. Then users can opt-in to pay a monthly fee to get full use of the software, like if you installed WordPress on your domain through your hosting company.
You can read more about the difference between these two in our article WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.
The first thing you’ll want to do is export all of the content. Also, take note of the plugins and theme the site is using (this will save time on the other side).
Log in to WordPress.com and click My Sites. In the menu on the left find Tools and click Export.
From here you can choose the amount of content you’d like to export, or you can export the entire content on the website. When you’ve decided what to export, click Export All:
WordPress begins to package the content together. When it finishes, a banner should appear at the top of the screen. Click Download:
Navigate to the Tools section (steps 1 of the Export section). Click Import.
Click WordPress when selecting where to import your content from.
Upload the exported content file you downloaded (you may have to unzip the file first). Once the file is uploaded, click Continue to start the import.
You’ll be asked to import the authors of the site, but if you’re the only user on the site click Start Import.
You should see a progress bar like this:
From here you don’t have to stay in the window to keep it going, WordPress.com will send you a notification when the import finishes. Once the import completes, the content on the site is ready to go!
This process is similar to WordPress.com.
- Within the dashboard of your site, navigate to Tools and click Export.
- From there, you’ll choose what content you’d like to export. Also, take note of the themes and plugins you use. When you’re ready to export click Download Export File.
Easy as that!
- Within the dashboard of your site, navigate to Tools and click Import.
- You'll need to install the WordPress Importer plugin. Click Install Now. Once the install completes, click Activate or Run Importer.
Click Choose File or Browse to select the export file you’d like to import. Then click Upload file and import.
- For the all media to import properly, make sure to check-mark Download and import file attachments under Import Attachments.
- When the import is complete, you should see something along the lines of “All done. Have fun!” at the bottom of the screen.
That’s it! The Import/Export tools are super easy to use. They’re a great tool to use when you’re trying to move a small amount of content. Another useful tool is UpdraftPlus – which requires the download of a plugin so will work with wordpress.org but not wordpress.com.