Resetting Nameservers at WordPress.com to a New Hosting Service

In my last post, Taking WordPress to the Next Level, I described my transition from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, this past summer. The one part of the process I didn’t mention was resetting nameservers at WordPress.com to a new hosting service.

The main part of your blog URL is its domain. An example of a domain is “wordpress.com.”  When you make the transition from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, you must first reset the nameservers at WordPress.com (available through the Domain Manager) to point to the servers, at your new self-hosted service.

At the time, I stumbled through the process, a bit clumsily.  I prepared the instructions below, based on my experience over the summer. Hope it might help anyone, making a similar change.

Resetting Your Domains

To reset your nameservers, complete these steps:

  1. From Settings>Domains at WordPress.com, set a password under Domain Administration and note your customer number.
  2. Click the Manage Domains link.
  3. From the Secure Login Screen, enter the Customer # or Login Name and password.
  4. Click Secure Login. The Domain screen appears in the Domain Manager.
  5. Click your site’s domain name.
  6. Under Nameservers, click the Nameservers link.
  7. In the Set Nameservers screen, select the option, “I have specific nameservers for my domains.”
  8. Enter the respective nameserver (provided by your web hosting service) in the box for Nameserver 1 and Nameserver 2. For example, in my case:
    ns1.blogs-about.com
    ns2.blogs-about.com
  9. Click OK.

Now your domain points to the servers at your new hosting service.

If You Are Unable to Reset Your Domains

Initially, I wasn’t able to reset my nameservers. I entered the new nameservers multiple times, but the default WordPress nameservers remained. When I asked my web hosting provider why this might be happening, she advised that it can sometimes take up to 24-48 hours for domain changes to take effect.  If the domain servers did not fully change in that time frame, she advised it would be a good idea to contact WordPress.com Support and ask why their system wasn’t allowing the changes to occur.

Contacting WordPress.com Support

I ended up contacting WordPress.com Support (support@wordpress.com) and was happy with the fast response. According to my “Happiness Engineer” (what a great title!), the WordPress.com domain provider implemented a fix for the name server change issue I was experiencing. I was advised to try my changes again, which this time, I was able to make successfully.

Importing Content  

From there, for a small fee, my new hosting provider used my WordPress.com credentials to make a copy of my WordPress.com blog, install the latest version of WordPress, and import my content.

My new hosting account was ready to go.

In hindsight, I wish I had installed WordPress and imported the content myself (just to get the experience), but I was simultaneously working with a designer on customing my theme, and I took the easier route because of time constraints. If you want to try installing WordPress and importing your WordPress.com content on your own, Tom Johnson’s webinar demos how easy it is to install the WordPress software. For complete instructions, you can also see Installing WordPress, at the WordPress Codex.

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