I assume you have already setup your new domain and installed WordPress.org. Follow my guide to setting up WordPress.org if you haven’t already. It will show you how to get a WordPress.com domain name. If you’re interested in having me do the installation for you, please submit a request to install a blog here.
This tutorial will explain how to move a WordPress.com-hosted blog to your own domain with WordPress.org.
WordPress.com comes with many inherent problems that make it less attractive for bloggers. These issues include a lack of control over your blog and security. These are all reasons to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
1 – Export Your WordPress.com blog
While third-party plugins cannot be installed on a WordPress.com free blog, an export tool is available that will allow you to download all comments and posts to facilitate the transfer from WordPress.com into WordPress.org.
Navigate to Tools > Export on your WordPress Blog, then click “Export”.
You can choose the content you want to export. To export all of your posts and pages, comments as well as navigation menus and other content, you will likely stick with the default option of “All Content”.
Click on “Download Export” to save your content to your computer as an XML single file.
2 Import Your WordPress.com blog
Upload the XML file now to your WordPress.org blog ( read more about how to make your blog here). This will allow all your content to appear on your website immediately.
Navigate to Tools > Import on your new self-hosted WordPress.org site, and then click the last option “WordPress”.
Click “Choose File”, and navigate to the XML document you downloaded in the previous steps. Click “Upload file” to import your content. Wait for WordPress to upload it to the new site. The time required to transfer your content depends on the speed of your Internet connection as well as the size and complexity of the XML files.
3- Create a Redirect
Visitors won’t notice that you moved to a self hosted blog. However, they will continue to visit the old site for a while. You’ll need to redirect them to the new domain. Site Redirect is available from WordPress.com for $13 per year.
Go to the old wordpress administrator dashboard, and click on the “Store” menu item. Then search for “Site Redirect”.
Click “Buy Now” and then click again “Buy Now” to confirm. Enter the address of your self hosted wordpress.org blog. Click “Redirect To This URL”
Confirm your purchase and then enter your payment information to complete the transaction.
After you’ve set up the redirect, you will be able manage your site redirects using the “Store >My Domains menu item” in the WordPress.com administrator dashboard. The permalinks for your new site must match the ones on your wordpress.com blog in order to redirect correctly. You can easily change the redirect anytime you wish. For best results, however, you might want to use it for at least one year until your visitors start to remember your new domain.