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Moving a blog off WP.com

  1. I'm wondering about the best way to do this. What I want is to start a blog here at WP.com and basically practice on it (including CSS) then, when I am ready to commercialize it, move it to outside hosting and use WP.org software. I'd like to do this using one domain name, ie register through WP.com and then keep the name when I move to off-hosted WP.

    My question is, how smooth is that transition? I can transfer the content no probs, but what about the name? Has anyone done this yet? It makes far more sense to start with the name you want to end up with and perhaps build a following and a Technorati ranking than to essentially throw away any attention you've gotten before the move, but naturally I'm being overcautious and want to know what's involved in keeping the name's portability. Can anyone do a quick Walkthrough for Dummies?

  2. Here's the process:

    - at the other site, install WordPress 2.1.2
    - here, go to Manage > Export > save the file
    - there, go to Manage > Import > upload the file
    That takes care of posts, comments and pages.

    Uploads such as images you will need to move manually. There would be no rush if you kept the blog here to do that. The url to those images would change when you moved them so:
    - you can get them all downloaded and ready, then upload all at once as you move. A simple find/replace on the exported file would take care of changing the urls.
    or
    - you move them gradually and change the urls as you do this.

    The domain name. This would be pointing here and would need changing to your own host. That is easy - change the name servers. But changing those results in a period of downtime or fluctuations in reaching the site as all the name servers around the globe have to be updated. The advice is 24-72 hours of this but it could be as little at 6. This is something we an't affect - all sites mving get that.

    That's it.

    It is a smooth process and if you plan for it you should have no problems and if you did, help is always around.

  3. Wow! Thanks Mark, that is a beautiful walkthrough.

    One question: if I keep the blog here until the new one is image-stuffed, preened and ready to take over the world, I obviously need a new name for the other blog in the meantime, right? So I would need to start with something like fillintheblank.org or whatever, and dump that URL when I did the switch?

    Or could I do that all essentially offline and then only launch the blog when I do the domain redirect?

  4. I'm not sure what you mean though - do you mean duplicating the url ?

    You could hide the blog behind a password - a secure login - until the unveiling. That's easily done.

  5. Sorry I haven't explained it well enough. The password thing is a great idea, though. I totally want to hit the ground running with this.

    What I meant was, the new blog obviously has to exist before the name transfer. My question is, do I need a "Filler Name" for the blog, or can it exist and be built offline until it's time to go live? I'm really cheap and would just as soon only buy one domain name, rather than buy one only to switch it to this new one later.

  6. How can I download all of my uploads in one shot?
    Suppose: I uploaded a.jpg, b.pdf and c.doc in my blog. How can I download all of them (a.jpg, b.pdf and c.doc) ? Do I have to download one by one manually??

    I think, Google PR might be dropped after changing the DNS Servers.. isn't it?

  7. I think you have to download them manually if they're hosted here, which is a good reason for using a service like Flickr or something for the images for this blog I'm moving. Uploading them to WordPress would be impractical, but if I used Photobucket or something the URL would remain the same.

  8. >>I think you have to download them manually if they're hosted here

    ya. i also think like that..
    I think, it's not very good for those who purchased "More Space" upgrade..

    Initially, I'm using Flickr for hosting my photos and esnip for hosting zip file of my article. but then, I thought, it's better if I upload to my owned space as much as possible instead of using other service. cuz we won't know when they are gonna stop offering their free service..

    I'm also thinking that it would be great if WP.com can offer paid-hosting service. I asked them about it. but they said that they don't have any immediate plan for it.

  9. raincoaster - if I'm understanding right, you want someone clicking on your name to go to raincoaster.com and for that to happen while you build the new site and then switch seamlessly over?
    If so, that's going to be tricky because a domain can't be in 2 places at once obviously. There will be a solution to this - including but not limited to giving the site a week off while you construct it out of site and after the move.

  10. Yes, that sounds right. I just want to avoid the dreaded 404 when people go looking for it. Sounds like I'll need a "parking" domain in the meantime for the new blog until the switchover, if it can't be built entirely offline and then just slammed onto the internet and activated.

  11. Send in a support - I can help you out here :)

  12. I have a wordpress.com blog already. I am now moving to a paid host to get more customizable option. I haveno probs in getting a new domain name. But I would prefer keeping my wordpress.com sub-domain. Is there any way I can redirect this name (like pareen.wordpress.com) to point towards my new host?

  13. Afraid not as it's too easy for spammers to abuse. Work around is to pick a theme that shows the sidebar on every Page and Post page, remove the entire sidebar except for a single text widget explaining that you have moved and giving your new URL, and make a post saying that you have moved.

    It's also been suggested that you mark your blog as not searchable by the search engines as that would slowly drop your old blog from their database and not compete with your new blog. That's up to you though.

  14. got it!
    hey thanks a lot...

  15. Not a problem. :)

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