WordPress is without a doubt one of the best free blogging platforms and services available on the market today. It offers a wide variety of customization options and tools that will allow even those without technical knowledge to get their blog up and running in mere minutes. However, once a blogger uses WordPress’ official site as their blog for a while, he or she will begin to notice the limitations of the free WordPress.com service.
The limitations of WordPress.com
Firstly, a popular WordPress-hosted blog cannot monetize all the blog traffic as the blog owner desires because the service enforces the use of their advertising service known as WordAds. This, in turn, does not allow the direct use of Google AdSense or other online advertising tools. The terms of service also do not allow you to have a blog that focuses on reviewing products for profit or writing sponsored posts, which means that you cannot use your free WordPress.com blog for commercial purposes. But, all of this is permitted on WordPress.com when you pay for a WordPress Business account.
Secondly, while the customization options might be great for a novice blogger, it becomes clear after a while that some useful functionality is not available without paying for a WordPress Business account. For example, you cannot upload plug-ins that will help increase the quality and functionality of your blog. Switching to a self-hosted WordPress platform means that you can explore and start using the plug-ins that will allow you to do more with your blog.
Thirdly, the free WordPress-hosted blog will not allow you to upload your own themes. You also cannot modify existing themes, and you will be required to pay for a WordPress Business account in order to use custom fonts and CSS.
Finally, WordPress.com has pretty strict terms of service, which can lead to the suspension of your blog upon reports submitted by your visitors and at the slightest conclusion that your use of their services is abusive. Removal of content is also pretty swift – you will most likely not be warned at all should WordPress.com decide to purge your blog of content suspected to be abusive or offensive.
As mentioned in the paragraphs above, a lot of these problems can be solved by switching to a WordPress Business account. However, it does come at a price – $25 per month, to be exact. That price can be compared to not only paying for a domain name, but also a VPS on which the domain will be hosted. And with the VPS being entirely yours to use however you like, you can even use it for other purposes alongside hosting your blog.
WordPress.com is not really a place to grow your blog; it’s more of a publishing platform, despite it being a great content management system. This makes it a good place to start, but not a great place to stay. There is not much room for blog growth, especially in areas that really matter, such as monetization. This is why a lot of bloggers are choosing to migrate to a WordPress installation on a VPS with a domain they purchase. If you think that doing this is difficult, you are luckily mistaken, as this is quite an easy process – here are a few simple steps that’ll let you host your WordPress.com blog on your own domain.
A WordPress VPS gives you full control over your WordPress, so you can do a lot of tweaks to properly optimize and speed up WordPress.
WordPress.com to Private WordPress Server Migration Instructions
1. Register a domain name and rent server space.
You will first need to have your own domain name and order a virtual server on which you’ll host your domain and your blog. You can get a fully managed WordPress server from us, and we’ll help you migrate your WordPress.com blog to your own WordPress server.
2. Export posts from WordPress.com and import to your own installation.
Most hosting companies offer a simple one-click installation of WordPress, but whether you manually install or have it installed for you, you will need to ensure that WordPress is present in a sub-directory on your server. You also need to ensure that your webserver service is running and is displaying your WordPress site when you try to access your server through its public IP address with a web browser.
Get a VPS from us and we’ll install, configure and migrate WordPress for you, free of charge!
Once this is done and your WordPress site is set up, you’ll need to go to your old blog found on the old domain. On the administration dashboard found on your WordPress.com blog, going to Manage > Export will allow you to export your blog posts, comments, and essentially all data as a file. Then simply transfer the file to your server, then import that file in WordPress on the new server by going to the administration screen. From there, go to Manage > Import and select the file that was exported from your old blog.
(Note: This will NOT delete any already existing posts on the new server.)
3. Redirect search engines and your blog’s visitors to the new blog on your own domain.
This step can be as simple as pinning the link to the new blog in your old blog, or announcing your blog’s move to a new home through your social media accounts. Although it’s impossible to use the old wordpress.com (sub)domain on your new site, you can still redirect your old domain to your new one. Follow WordPress.com’s official documentation on site redirection for more information.
4. Set up your DNS server settings.
Go to your DNS settings and make sure that your domain name points to your virtual server’s public IP address. This ensures that when someone types in your domain name in their address bar and tries to load your site, it will load from your server.
After all of this is done, you can either leave your old blog in place with your old posts, or you can delete that blog altogether. It’s recommended that you leave the old blog alone and add links to your new blog or set up a redirect to your new domain.