How To Move Your Site From to

Move Your Site From to

WordPress is a beautiful platform. Whether you are on or, you are utilizing the most robust, powerful, and widely used website platform.

Although these two platforms offer you the power to manage your site with the tools, themes, plugins, and community that comes with WordPress, there are basic differences between them.

In this article, we will explain the main difference between and Then show you why and how you can move your website from to


Difference Between and is a blogging service that uses the WordPress platform. This service is offered and managed by Automattic, a company founded by Matt Mullenweg (co-founder of WordPress).

On this service, you can get a free plan, or upgrade to paid plans if you need more features. You would be given a domain name (or can purchase one), hosting service, and other requirements needed to run your site.

With on the other hand, you download the WordPress platform software and install it on a web host you purchased. You would also need to purchase your domain name. All management of your website rests solely on you.

At Fixrunner, we believe is ok for newbie bloggers. But if you are aiming to grow your site and make money off of it, we advise you to switch from to, and here’s why.

Why Choose over

Perhaps the most outstanding reason is the one we already mentioned, is for serious bloggers and website owners. These pros/cons will help you understand why:

  1. users can only use a small set of themes and plugins: You cannot simply pick any theme or plugin you think will look good on your site. It has to be one of those permitted by the service. On the self-hosted installation, you can use any theme or plugin you like, with no restrictions whatsoever.
  2. You cannot customize your code: As your site grows, it may get to a point where it’s absolutely necessary to add custom features. If you are on, that’s not going to happen. On however, you are free to customize your code whichever way you like. No restrictions whatsoever.
  3. Ecommerce is very limited: You cannot sell goods you did not produce yourself. You can only make money from ads using the WordAds system offered by; all ads from major ad networks like Google and VibrantMedia are prohibited. You can only use PayPal as your payment method, etc. On, you are free to sell goods and services. You can also use ads from any network, no restrictions there either.

If you currently have a site but have decided to go for the freedom that comes with, this guide will show you how to migrate your site from to

How To Move From To

The rest of this tutorial will show you how to move your site to using the following steps:

  1. Purchase your hosting and domain name (If you already had a custom domain name, you can move it instead)
  2. Export all content from your site.
  3. Install WordPress in your new host.
  4. Import your content into your new, install.
  5. Check your install.
  6. Redirect visitors (only if you did not have a custom URL in

Step 1. Purchase your hosting and domain name

To move from to, you would need to purchase a web hosting service. There are quite a number of web hosts to choose from. For this, we recommend going through our review for the best WordPress hosting service providers for WordPress websites.

If your domain on is something like, then you would also need to purchase a new domain name. You can purchase one when you are buying your hosting service.

If already had a custom domain (e.g., there is no need to purchase another domain. When buying your web hosting service, you would be asked to input your domain if you already had one. Enter your domain at that step.

Thereafter, you can point your name servers at your new web host and continue using your domain name.

However, note that all WordPress domains use SSL (i.e. the link is https://, and not http://), if you are pointing your name servers to a web host that does not implement SSL by default (ask your web host about this). You can also check this guide to learn how to get and install a free SSL certificate in WordPress using Cloudflare.

Step 2. Export your content from

Thankfully, WordPress provides a super-easy way to get your content out of your site!

To do this, login to your account.

Switch to “My Site”, scroll down, and click WP Admin.

Export content -

In your admin dashboard, go to Tools >> Export.

Export content to

After that, click Start Export in the free export section.

Free content export to

Leave it set to “All content” and click Download Export File.

Export all content

Your entire website content will be downloaded as an XML file.

Step 3. Install WordPress in your new host

You can install WordPress using a software installer like Softaculous (this is easier), or by uploading the files and installing using FTP.

To do this, you need to have login access to your web host admin panel (likely cPanel). Request these access details from your web host if you do not yet have them. Next, proceed to install WordPress using one of the methods below:

  1. Installing WordPress Using a Package Installer (Softaculous or Fantastico).
  2. Downloading and Installing WordPress Using FTP.
  3. Install WordPress Manually.

Step 4. Import Your Content from to Installation

In step 2 above, you exported your content from your site. You can very easily import that file into your new WordPress install and get your entire content restored to your self-hosted site.

Here’s how to do this:

In your WordPress dashboard, go to Tools >> Import.

Import content into install

On the import page, scroll down to the WordPress section and click Install Now. Wait for the WordPress importer to be installed.

Install Importer

When the installation completes, the button changes to Run Importer. Click on this button.

Run Importer -

In the “Import WordPress” page, click Choose File and then select the XML file you exported from your site. Next, click Upload file and import.

Select content file and import to

On the next page, select an existing user in the “Assign posts to an existing user” dropdown. Next, check the “Download and install file attachments” box (make sure this box is checked, otherwise, your images would not be imported).

Start content import into

Lastly, click Submit to start the importation process.

Note: There is a 32mb size restriction on files that can be uploaded. Most export files will be smaller than this, but in the event that yours is bigger, you can split it and install using WordPress WXR File Splitter.

When the import completes, you would be greeted with this pleasant page.

Import complete!

And that’s it, you’re done moving your site from to However, before you go on to “Have fun” as the page suggests, you want to check that everything was moved over correctly.

Step 5. Check your install.

After the import completes in the step above, you want to do a general check to make sure you don’t have any broken images. In most cases, you would have no problems with this and your tests will show that you are good to go.

However, in some instances, you may have broken images. If that happens, you can restore your images using the Import External Images plugin.

Note that this plugin only imports 50 images at a time. To import the next 50, simply redo the import process.

Step 6. Enable Redirect if you had a domain

If your domain was something like, and you had to purchase a new custom domain, then we recommend you add a redirect from your URL to the domain you purchased.

This is necessary to preserve site traffic and SEO for your new site. Otherwise, your readers and search engine ranking will continue going to your old site. offers redirect services at $13/year. To enable this feature, go to the WordPress Redirect item in WP Store.

After that, enter the domain you want to redirect to and click Go.

Purchase redirect to your site

Finally, complete the checkout process to enable redirect.

A note about Permalinks: For redirect to work, your permalink structure has to be the same as the structure at, which is the “Date and name” permalink.

Though we normally recommend the “Post name” permalink structure because of its simplicity (besides other benefits), in this case, you have to use the “Date and name” permalink if you want to use redirection. In your self-hosted dashboard, go to Setting > Permalink to make this change.

What if you had a custom domain with If this is the case, and you only had to change your name servers to point at your new host, then you don’t need redirection. Simply go ahead and set your site to private.

To do this, go to Settings >> Reading.

Next, scroll to the “Site visibility” section and select “I would like my site to be private”.

Set site to private

Lastly, click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

How Can You Use This Information

While makes blogging easy for WordPress newbies, the truth is, if you want to do anything serious with your blog, you are better off moving to

If you have decided to make this switch, and have successfully done this using the steps covered here, good job! Time to let WordPress off the leash and experience its full power.

One thing to note is that the migration process does not import your WordPress theme. So if you want to continue using the theme, you need to install and activate it from your self-hosted WordPress site. But you can also go through our list for the best free and premium WordPress themes for your website.

In the future, we recommend you start your blogs using That way, you can avoid the extra effort needed to migrate, and the complications that sometimes come with it.

Of course, if you need a professional to help you with the migration process, you can request our service.

More Resources:

 This post was written by Mesheal Fegor

Mesheal Fegor is a Web/WordPress Developer and technical writer. His WordPress help articles have been featured on Kinsta and other sites. Mesheal holds a master's degree in computer science. His writing focuses on technical WordPress issues, ranging from core WordPress problems, to issues with WooCommerce, and more.

Last edited by: FixRunner Team