My Top Tips for Moving to Self-Hosted WordPress.Org from WordPress.Com
Last February I took the leap to WordPress self-hosted. It was a little scary and at the time I wasn’t sure if I’d made the right decision. But a few months on…yes, I’m so pleased I have more control over my website. The journey wasn’t super easy though and there were plenty of niggles. If you’re thinking about starting a blog then take read of these beginners tips here too!
I thought I’d share with you some of my lessons learned though, because there were quite a few! I did a lot of researching and googling to finally get the website up and running as I wanted it!
Why i wanted to go self-hosted
I ultimately wanted more control over my site. I wanted to add more social sharing buttons than the .com version of WordPress allowed me to. And I wanted to have the option of opening up the site to advertising later on. I also wanted to “own” my content and I wanted to be able to grow an email list.
My self-hosting details
Not my login and password no, but the process of which I went through to make the leap from wordpress COM to wordpress ORG. I did a lot of research and reading in the UK Parent Blogger and UK Blogger Facebook groups. If you search “moving to wordpress” or some of the hosting providers such as TSO and Bluehost, then you will find plenty of posts that ask the same questions you probably have swirling around your head.
I opted to go with TSO and I requested they do the migration. To be honest it sounded straight forward but I don’t have a lot of time outside of work so I just wanted things handled properly.
I also used a WordPress consultant I found on the website People Per Hour. He was able to get my site looking and feeling exactly like the old site did. He set up my menus, ensured images were transferred correctly and made sure URLs were redirected. He also got me up and running with some of the basic plugins such as Jetpack.
Things to Expect
Depending on your wordpress THEME, not everything will look exactly the same as your previous site. Expect some changes here. For example the colour of my site has reverted back to the original theme colour. I could personalise it but it means fiddling around with CSS thingy-majiggies. I’ve been getting more comfortable with CSS so I’m hoping I can personalise a bit more soon!
Most of my images moved over fine but it’s best to check things. It’s a good ideas to keep back ups, and keep photos organised before a move.
Resources and Reading that helped me
During the migration, I found a number of online resources super helpful. Here are the links you need:
Back Things Up
Everyone says it and they are right. Back up your site. I used a plugin that auto backs up the site to Dropbox. You want to make sure your site is backed up in case anything untoward happens. And trust me, it does. I have a super long password, I keep my site plugins updated and yet my site was still hacked with malware last December. malicious code was inserted literally all over the blog – over 200 posts.
There are plugins that scan for threats but if your site is hacked, it will need cleaning. I used Sucuri to clean out all the code and fortunately I lost nothing. It’s worth finding out about security options once you’ve made the move over. Don’t stress too much at the start but add it to your to-do list once you’re familiar with the WordPress platform!
If you are already on your blogging journey and want some tips and tricks on how to declutter your blog and clean it up, have a nose here.
Are you considering moving to a self-hosted blogging platform? Have you used WordPress.com and thinking of taking the plunge to org?! Let me know how it goes! And follow me on all the social whatnots and feel free to ask questions. I’ll help if I can!