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WordPress.com –> WordPress.org

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How to migrate wordpress.com to a self-hosted or cloud-hosted wordpress.org website. -this is the problem I faced, and hope that you can use my method to get your past the vice grips of wordpress.com

Problem #1

I had a client that wanted to migrate her site from lamaestrablog.com to lamaestra.com.

That’s simple enough, just migrate domains in DNS by exporting all DNS entries on wordpress.com and import them into the new Domain name DNS.

Problem #2

She also wanted to migrate hosting providers. Not from wordpress.com to Wix.com or anything like that. It needed to be migrated over to wordpress.org (the BETTER option). This blog was built in 2014, I believe, so there were lots of critical points to cover.

  1. meta data
  2. site traffic data (historical)
  3. blog posts (historical) and active
  4. domain redirects (301)
  5. media library

Problem #3

Change the theme and default URL path for the blog page (add a new home page).

Attempt #1

I tried doing the standard export and import, which is built into WordPress natively.

failed.

I then tried to use the built in AI migration platform for the WordPress host that I was using.

failed.

I poked around online forums to see why it may be failing and saw that there were multiple incompatible issues causing the problems. So, I attempted to resolve these by pushing it to a self-hosted WordPress instance on Amazon Lightsail with unlimited resources available to handle the 2GB migration and I removed pretty much all permission issues.

failed.

Attempt # 1002, or so it felt.

After researching the issues, I decided to come up with a workaround, on my dime. One of the primary limiters that I was facing was with WordPress.com. They required a paid BUSINESS subscription. They won’t let you upgrade for 1 month at a time, they require an entire annual payment – up front!!!!!!!!!!

So, I fronted the cost on my credit card. Initiated the AI migration service on the new platform, generated a key, installed the necessary plugins on wordpress.com, initiated the migration and all was good.

Within an hour, I had a mirrored copy of the site migrated to the new server, under the new domain.

I decided to make a backup of the original server while I was allowed to install plugins, saved it locally and then proceeded to request a refund. I did this within the first hour of signing up, and acted as if it was a mistake. WordPress.com refunded me – directly; no credits.

I’m now in the process of migrating domains from wordpress.com DNS over to the new platform, so that I can configure DNS based redirects. As soon as the domain is transferred, all redirects will be functional and hosted on a single platform.

Once that is done, I’ll have the joy of reaching out to all search engines and requesting them to re-index her new domain while also hoping to maintain long-term search rank which was built up over time.

On to the fun part – redesigning the entire website to be ‘current’ and not standard 2010 format.

Hope this helps someone out there.

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