Now that you’ve completed Step 2 – Install WordPress – we can continue with moving your WordPress.com Business plan site to your new self-hosted WordPress site on SiteGround. Note, if your WordPress.com site is not on the Business plan, you’ll need to follow the instructions at Step 3a instead. You can find those here.
In this step we’re going to export your site using the All In One WP Migration plugin. Of all the solutions out there, this is by FAR the easiest and fastest method to migrating any WordPress site. Some other plugins might work, but most are not allowed on WordPress.com, and the ones that do require you to edit the database upon importing to your new host, making the chance for error much much higher.
Note though, if your site is larger than 512Mb, you may need to purchase the premium version of the plugin to do the import. It’s well work the money! Plus, you can wait until the import step to decide if you need to buy the plugin or not.
The first step is to install the free version of the All in One WP Migration plugin on your WordPress.com site. From your WordPress.com dashboard for your site, click on WP Admin link in the bottom left corner:
Alternatively, if you’re already logged into your WordPress.com account can add /wp-admin to the end of your domain name to get in. If you domain name is myawesomesite.com, then you would type in myawesomesite.com/wp-admin.
Now from your wp-admin dashboard, click on Plugins > Add New, then in the search window type in “All in one WP Migration”. Click on Install Now.
Then click on Activate:
On the left area of the Dashboard click on All-in-One WP Migration:
Now click on the EXPORT TO button:
And then select File:
The plugin will begin building the download file. When completed you can click on the green Download box to download your site’s export file.
When the file is finished downloading you can click the Close button. And that’s it for the export portion of the process. For the next step you’ll log into the WordPress dashboard for the new site we created in Step 2.
Recall in Step 2 we created a temporary domain name so we could access the site’s dashboard, this was in the form that looked like “http://184.108.40.206/~goselfho”. So to get to your new sites dashboard, append “/wp-admin” to the end of the url, then log in using the username and password you created in step 2.
Go to Plugins > Add New.
Search for “All in One WP Migration” and click on the Install Now button.
Note: if your import file is larger than 512MB, you will need the unlimited extension version of the plugin. After purchasing and downloading the plugin, use the “Upload Plugin” link in Plugins > Add New to upload the plugin. The plugin can also be used for doing regular backups and restores if required, so don’t think of it as a one-time purchase, and put it to good use.
Click on the Activate button.
This is step isn’t always necessary, but we recommend doing this to get around your hosts upload file limits. Go to https://import.wp-migration.com/ and click on the Download button.
Go to Plugins > Add New and click on the Upload Plugin link and select the file downloaded above. Click on Install Now and then activate the plugin.
Go to All-in-One WP Migration > Import.
Click on Import From and choose File.
Choose the .wpress file you exported from WordPress.com earlier. The import will begin immediately and could take a few minutes or longer depending on the size of the import file.
When the import is done you’ll get a message saying your database and content will be over-written. Click on Proceed.
You should now see the import success message. The plugin has a slight quirk where you need to save the Permalinks settings for things to work, but we need to be able to log in before we can do that, so click on the Finish link in the success message.
This will redirect you to login to your site. However, since your database has been overwritten, your login details have been changed to what was used on your WordPress.com site. While your username will be the same as your WordPress.com username, the password most likely won’t be. You can either use the Lost your password link on the login page, or manually reset it using the following steps.
Go back to your SiteGround My Account dashboard and click on the red Go to cPanel button. Scroll down to the DATABASES section and click on phpMyAdmin.
Expand the database tree, usually its the one with the partial name of your domain followed by an underscore “wp” and a number, in this format
Click on the
Look for your username if there’s more than one user, and click on Edit.
user_pass row, click on the dropdown box, choose MD5, and enter a new password. Click on GO to save it.
You should now be able to log in, head over to Settings > Permalinks in your dashboard, and click on the Save Changes button.
The final steps will be now to point your domain to your site to make it go live. From your WordPress dashboard, click on Settings > General, and change your temporary domain to your actual domain name in both the WordPress Address and Site URL fields. Make sure to include the full url, including the https. So in both fields it would look similar to
https://goselfhosted.com, except with your own domain name. Then scroll down and click on Save Changes
You may get booted from the site again, but that’s ok. Now let’s point the domain name to your new site.
First let’s grab the name servers from your SiteGround dashboard. Log into your SiteGround account and under the My Accounts tab and the Information & Settings tab, make a note of the Account DNS settings. These are the name servers you’ll use in the next steps.
Head to your WordPress.com site dashboard and go to Manage > Domains and click on your domain name.
Click on Name Servers and DNS
Uncheck the Use WordPress.com Name Servers and enter the SiteGround name servers in the two text boxes, and click on Save Custom Name Servers
After this is saved, it could take a few hours to start working properly due to something called DNS propagation. In the meantime,
This can take a few hours to happen, but is usually fairly quick. When it starts working you may have issues accessing the new site still, likely due to the SSL certificate. So head over to your SiteGround account again, and click on the red Go to cPanel button, scroll down to SECURITY and click on Let’s Encrypt.
Select your domain (if you have more than one with SiteGround), and click on the Install button.
This will queue up the SSL certificate to be added to the domain name.
In a few minutes the SSL certificate should be installed. After name servers have fully propagated you should now be able to access your new WordPress site’s dashboard by adding /wp-admin/ to the end of your domain name. Your site should now be live.
Any last minute cleanups would be to reconnect Jetpack (if you want) and have your followers migrated over.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this page are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item or service, we may receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.