There were many factors why I didn’t DIY my transition to self-hosting. Time. Patience. And the fear that I could mess things up! And frankly, I don’t speak tech-geek. Hehe. Hence, I decided that Guided Transfer was the best route in the end.
But… and a big BUT at that, when I think about it now, I would have done it myself. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
In this DIY version of Beginners Guide To Self-Hosting, I will share the steps I took when I moved my other half’s blog on my own. Please bear in mind though that I’m just a blogging aficionado, not your Happiness Engineer (although I’d love to be one, one day :-D). So, if you are unclear on any of the steps, do ask in the comments or if I’m not around, speak to Live Support from your host provider before tackling any steps. (I’m sure the Live Support at Hostgator know me by now LOL)
Note: Check with your host provider if they are able to do the transfer for you. Hostgator offers it free of charge. See here.
So, are you ready? Get that geekery cap on!
Buy your domain via WordPress, GoDaddy, or any other domain registrar
(already have a domain? Dive in to Step 2)
Important: If you are a WordPress blog and you buy your domain via WordPress.com, you will pay $18 per year and technically, you will end up saving on domain mapping, especially if you decide to not self-host right away.
If you have bought your domain name via GoDaddy (or somewhere else) however, you will have to pay an extra $13 for domain mapping per domain, per year. Depending on how much you pay for your domain, it could work out cheaper, or more expensive. Do your homework.
Another scenario: You bought your domain and hosting plan from the same provider (or different) but still want to redirect your myblog.wordpress.com to myblog.com, you will have to get the Site Redirect upgrade, which you can purchase via WordPress.com Store. See here for more details.
Tip: A lot of hosting companies will offer free domain with a hosting plan. So have a look around and make that list!
Pick your host provider.
Once you’ve picked the right hosting plan for you, you will receive a welcome email, which will contain login information for your cPanel (Control Panel), Billing login details and your new host nameservers. Please keep them safe and handy at the same time.
Step 2 (a)
Now, BACK UP YOUR BLOG and make no attempts of doing any changes until the installation is done.
How to: Login to your WordPress.com blog, Dashboard – Tools – Export – and select All Content when prompted, then Download Export File.
Save this XML file on your computer, where you can easily access or remember it later. This file contains all of your posts, pages, images, comments, custom fields, categories, tags, navigation menus and other information. We will be moving this later on to your new site!
Change your nameservers on your domain to point to your new location (meaning your new host).
You would need to login to your domain registrar to make these changes.
You will need this info:
1st Nameserver: nsxxx.hostgator.com
2nd Nameserver: nsxxx.hostgator.com
Here’s a very thorough explanation on changing the nameservers, here.
Once you’ve changed the relevant nameservers allow it to propagate between 24-48 hours (72 hours max) so, don’t be alarmed if your new site doesn’t work right away.
Info: The nameservers control where traffic for the domain goes using DNS. If you are moving from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, you can enter the nameservers provided by your web hosting company to switch your domain to their hosting service. [source: WordPress.com]
Go to cPanel (Control Panel) — see Step 2 for your login details to install WordPress!
Installation couldn’t have been made easier with this quick easy steps using QuickInstall on Hostgator.
You can do so by clicking QuickInstall – WordPress – Continue
Click on the thumbnails below for full view.
Important: Never use admin as your login username!
Fill in the relevant details. Use a valid email address since this is where your new WordPress login details will be emailed to, including the password.
Click Install Now.
Check your email. You should now receive your new login information for your new blog looking like this:
Admin URL: myblog.com/wp-admin
Video guide by Hostgator on Quick Install
It’s time to Import your XML File to your new blog!
Login to your admin page (not your WordPress.com). The link should look like this: http://myblog.com/wp-admin
How to: Dashboard – Tools – WordPress
You will be asked to install WordPress Importer to perform the action. Follow the steps and then click Download & Import File Attachments.
Go grab a drink, quick! Or if you have one already, enjoy that sip! We’re almost there!!
Install the awesome Jetpack plugin! (and once done, email WordPress.com Support to let them know about your new site and that you’d like to move all your subscribers)
With Jetpack installed, you will be getting almost the same features as your old WordPress.com blog plus an array of plugin selection to integrate on your blog to make the whole blogging experience better.
Here are some of the essential plugins (more to share in next post) to install and configure for your blog.
WP Super Cache
Now give yourself a big pat on the back and do the happy dance because you simply deservet it!
P.S. Still need help on this one? That’s where I come in, why don’t you drop me a line here: hello at sweetjellybean dot .com and perhaps I can be your Blog Manager for a day or week! 😉
Q: What were your reasons to go self-hosted with your blog? What advice would you give to those who are planning or just started with self-hosting? Based on the DIY above, would you consider self-hosting?