This summer, I finally moved my blog from freely-hosted WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress.org. The transition went much more smoothly than I thought it would, thanks mainly to E-Webscapes Design’s Lisa Sabin-Wilson, who for a very small fee, imported my content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
The new blogging/content management platform already provides a lot more control than WordPress.com did, allowing long-term use of Premium WordPress themes (such as Thesis or Genesis), or any custom design theme, not included in the WordPress.com directory.
Before you make the transition to WordPress.org, you’ll have to point the nameservers at WordPress.com to your new hosting service. For steps, see Resetting Nameservers at WordPress.com to a New Hosting Service.
Issues Making the Transition to WordPress.org
The only messy part of the transition from WordPress.com to WordPress.org was the sizing of my images went berserk, in a few places. (I’m still fixing images, as I come across the problems.) I also had to re-embed YouTube videos and SlideShare presentations, which I had included in the WordPress.com version of this blog. (The embed codes are different for WordPress.com versus WordPress.org). After setting up your WordPress.org site, you’ll also need to delete the WordPress.com version of your blog, so Google will not penalize your new site for duplicate content.
For anyone else who might have a hard time logging in the first time, here is the WordPress login link, which I had trouble tracking down, last summer: http://sitename.com/wp-login.php
Finally, with all the embedded slide presentations and videos I had incorporated at WordPress.com, I had already used up about 90% of my storage on the new hosting service’s basic plan, which required me to upgrade my new hosting service, almost right away. (I don’t include slide presentations or video quite as often on WordPress.org as I used to on freely hosted WordPress.com, for this very reason.)
Tips on Blogging for Small Business
If I ever want to design this blog more like a web site, or leave open the possibility of making money here, moving to WordPress.org continues to be the right choice.
With this possibility in mind, I ordered Chris Brogan’s Blogging for Small Business webinar, which provided excellent tips on ways to use your blog for business, site setup (covering from urls to plugins), content development, and more. (The recorded Q&A with Brogan, President of Human Business Works, was like a customized consulting session for new, small business bloggers, given how representative the collective questions were. Highly recommend.)
Valuable PlugIns Make WordPress.org Already Worth It
Additional WordPress Resources
Here are some of the additional WordPress resources that are helping take me to the next level.
WordPress for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson. Covers both the free-hosted WordPress.com version and WordPress.org, which requires users to purchase Web hosting services. Written by an expert who works directly with the developers and co-founder of WordPress. Shows readers how to set up and maintain a blog with WordPress and how to use all the new features.
The Boston WordPress MeetUp Group. Includes fans of WordPress, the most popular open source blogging engine. Meets once a month, traditionally at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center for a presentation, Q&A session, casual networking, and pizza. Presenters include SEO gurus, theme designers, plugin developers, bloggers, and beginners.
WordPress Newsletters, by I’d Rather Be Writing’s Tom Johnson. Provides a sign-up form to receive practical tips for improving your WordPress site, as well as an archive of Johnson’s past ten newsletters.
Questions for You
So, there you have it. That’s my WordPress progress, to date. Long-term, I would really like to make the transition to Thesis or Genesis, especially as both themes support Scribe, a well-recommended plugin for optimizing blog content for search engines. I’m currently using the Twenty Ten 1.1 theme, which I don’t think provides Scribe support. Anyone out there have any recommendations on making the transition to a premium WordPress theme? Thesis versus Genesis? Do you use Scribe? Has it made a big difference in how you rank in search results?