My Blog Migration Story: Part 1

My Blog Migration Story from WordPress.com to WordPress.org - Part 1 - by The Thinking Closet

In the wintertime while birds migrate from north to south, bloggers migrate from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.  At least, this blogger does!

As many of you know, one of my goals for 2013 was to make the migration to WordPress.org.  After several weeks of work behind the scenes, the new site is slated to go live very soon, my friends…very soon.  Maybe even later this week!  Suffice it to say, I’m teeny weeny bit excited about it.  {Lauren runs off, shuts herself in the bathroom, jumps up and down as she screams, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!”  Opens door, runs back to computer, sits down and continues typing.}  As I said, a teeny weeny bit excited.  {Wink.}

A few of you expressed interest in hearing my migration story and what I’ve learned in the process.  I am by no means an expert, but I’m always game for sharing what I can to help my fellow blogger or blogger-to-be out.

Since conciseness is not my strong suit, this “post” has turned into a mini-series of bite-size parts.  Today, in Part I, I’m going to focus on answering two questions you may have:

  • What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
  • Why are you choosing to migrate to WordPress.org?

If you’re a blogger or even considering starting a blog, this post is for you.  

Q:  What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?  They sound the same to me!

A:  Good question.  In fact, I was 3 months into blogging before I realized that there was a difference.  After doing some research, here is my understanding of the main differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (a.k.a. self-hosted WordPress):

The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (Self-Hosted WordPress) | The Thinking Closet

Q: Why are you choosing to migrate to WordPress.org?

A:  The short answer:

Why I Chose to Migrate to Self-Hosted WordPress | The Thinking Closet

{Photo from allmovie.com. Text added.}

Now, the longer answer:

  1. Plug-Ins: There have been so many fun WordPress plug-ins I’ve read about (i.e. project gallery, adding a pin it button to images); however, on WordPress.com, you cannot add plug-ins.  Not a one.  Grrrrr….
  2. Javascript:  There have been several situations in the last few months where I got excited about adding something to my blog, but came up against another road block, usually related to inputing javascript on my blog (i.e. embedding a music mix within my post or installing Google Analytics on my site to better understand my traffic).  They just don’t allow it.
  3. Blog Design Customization: While I’ve used a lot of resources around the web to try and customize my blog’s theme, Splendio, there’s only so much I can do.  I know that many of you have felt this frustration, as well, because we’ve emailed back and forth about it!  In order to make the layout and look of my blog exactly how I see it in my head, it needs to be built from scratch, not using an existing theme and tweaking it.
  4. Advertising: You cannot legally advertise or have sponsored posts on WordPress.com.  Some people do it anyway, but it’s illegal and WordPress can delete your site if they find out.  As I grow my blog, I want to have the option to monetize.
  5. URL: I want to be free of having wordpress.com tacked onto my blog url.  Maybe it’s the first-born in me, but I’ve always had an independent spirit.

Yes, the migration to WordPress.org is an investment of time and money, and it also requires more knowledge and responsibility; however, after weighing the pros and cons, I decided that it would be worth it in the end.  So, I’m taking the leap and migrating!

And now, some unsolicited advice: If you are considering starting a blog on WordPress and think it might ever turn into something more than just a hobby, then I recommend starting directly on WordPress.org.  You’ll save yourself the time, effort, and headache of making a migration in the future.

Q:  How does one prepare for such a move?

Click here for Part II of My Blog Migration Story to find out the answer!

This is Lauren, signing off.

Blog Divider - The Thinking Closet

P.S. I like to link up here.

Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    So excited for you, Lauren! I have been considering the same. Mostly, I want to tweak things to make them appear as I see them in my head. Also, if I am investing time into my blog, why not benefit monetarily, if I can. My goal has never been to profit from my blog, but if the opportunity came, I’d want to be ready for it.
    I am watching you very closely in this regard, my friend.
    Forge ahead, I have you back. That said, I am nervous to make the switch. I am not technically savvy and I am afraid of the back-up requirements. But, I’m sure you will make it all look as easy as pie.

    • says

      Thanks, Christine! My back feels got.

      And I, too, have been overwhelmed by the technical side of things. I seriously debated doing it myself (after all, I love a good d.i.y.), but the risk of messing up royally and accidentally deleting my content or followers was too much to bear. That sort of stress could send a woman to an early grave. So, I have a few angels behind the scenes helping me out. Will introduce y’all to them in a future “part” of My Blog Migration Story.

      Thanks for your support, and hopefully I can share what I’ve learned to empower you to make the move if you ever decide it’s the next right step for you and Decorum DIYer.

      • says

        So sorry. “I’ve got youR back”. I love that you zinged me with that within the first two sentences. :) Grammar is important, after all. I am honestly excited for you and super duper pooper proud of you!

        • says

          Ha ha! Actually, I wasn’t referencing the typo! (My eyes glazed over it.) Just doing a lil word play myself.

          Yes, grammar is important, but I actually like breaking the rules as much as I do keeping them. My family have always been ones to play with words…especially my Dad, the king of the puns. You two would have a field day with your punny ways!

          And it’s decided: I need to start saying “super duper pooper.” How fun!

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing this post, Lauren! You did a great job summarizing the differences, pros and cons. If anyone can make this switch smoothly, I know you can! I know you will enjoy more freedom, and I can’t wait to even see what blog theme and design is patiently waiting in your head, asking to be let out for creative expression! You are creating such a beautiful and welcoming space for community, my friend!

    I’m so surprised by your self-assessment; I’ve always thought of conciseness being one of your strong suits, much like it is for me as well! heehee

    • says

      Thanks, Jessica! I’m reallyexcited to debut the new graphics, fonts, and theme…in fact, the comparison chart I made of WordPress.com versus WordPress.org is a little teaser of what’s to come (a very little teaser).

      And I smiled at your tongue-in-cheek comment there at the end. Seriously, the wordiness is a problem for me sometimes. I just don’t know how to do it any other way. (Frowny face.) Maybe we should join a support group for wordy writers! Or better yet, just embrace our verbosity! I think I like that second option best.

  3. says

    Look at you girl, did I mention already how glad I am that I found your blog????

    I’ve been working hard for several weeks now to get my new site up and running, ON WORDPRESS.ORG, and I’m very nervous about it. I hired a designer to do it for me, since I really could not even imagine doing it by myself. I’ve only ever used blogger, and even then I hardly know anything, lol.

    I am the type that WANTS to know it all, so I will surely figure out a lot about wordpress once I actually start using it, but for now it just scared me to death. I don’t like change very much, especially technology, computer stuff, erghhh….

    However I after my NEW site goes up, I’ll be working on transferring my personal blog over, and then my other cake blog as well. EVen though the cake one is a website right now, I want to switch it over to wordpress.

    I have lots and lots to figure out, and learn, but I’m hoping by having them all in the same place, it will eventually be easier for me, and more flexible when I want to change something, or add plug ins like you said.

    I REALLY look forward to reading all about your process, I’m sure I’ll learn lots, and the timing couldn’t be better:)

    Thanks again!!!

    Hugs, Bella :)
    Bella’s 40 Day Challenge

    • says

      Bella, you’re too sweet. I’m glad you found this post so timely!

      Believe me, I’m not doing the migration on my own either – – I’ll share more about that in future parts of the story, but like you, I just didn’t feel adept enough in coding to tackle it on my own. But, also like you, I have a thirst to know more and grow more, so hopefully I’ll find my way around the new site before long and fee more comfortable to make changes and tweaks myself.

      Wow…I didn’t realize how many blogs you had going on. You are quite the ambitious lady! That sounds like a pretty big endeavor to get them all transferred over into one blog, but totally worth the effort to have everything in one place. That’ll be nice!

      Hugs back,
      Lauren

  4. says

    I LIKE what you are doing! Educating me in a language I can easily understand. I, too, am like Bella in that I am the type that wants to know all that I don’t know. I am the type of person that would rather watch someone do something rather than read how to do it, but you, my friend, are the exception. Thank you so much for taking so much of your time to do this. I am so looking forward to being able to learn more from you.

    Thank you!!!
    Karen

    • says

      Karen, I’m so glad that you were able to track with this post and found it interesting; I did wonder if it would be lost on non-bloggers, but your comment gives me hope that there are others who may have found it useful, too! And thank you for your generous compliment; I don’t feel I deserve it, but I’ll take it…and it’ll power me to finish writing Part 2. :-)

      • says

        Are you keeping a log as to the time involved so us other non bloggers can get an idea of your generosity in sharing this whole transition with us?

        I am sure, as with many things I do, that you find yourself wanting to stray off topic when it comes to answering all our questions and comments, but I am VERY grateful that you have taken the time to share this all with us! You have to be an EXTREME organizer!

        • says

          Truthfully, Karen, I don’t think I could even begin to track how many hours I’ve poured into this already. Countless. It’s definitely not something you can just squeeze in to your schedule…but need to make time for. But then again, I am a bit of a perfectionist, and very much enjoyed the “research” phase of this process…which is coming in Part 2!

          Keep the questions coming! I love attempting to answer them. ;-) (And while I’m not organized about everything in my life, there are certain things – – like blogging – – where I delight in making charts and secret pin boards and lists. It does make the Type A in me very happy.)

  5. says

    I’m excited for you. I cannot wait to see how things work out for you. As you know I’ve been tossing this thought around too. I will also be keeping a close eye on your progress and will be eager to read your posts about the transition. I may follow in your footsteps. :-)

    • says

      I’m excited for you, too! Sounds like there are a lot of bloggers contemplating this migration…so hopefully I can work out the kinks and share what worked / didn’t work and make the process a bit smoother for y’all. Thanks for following along!

    • says

      Thanks, dear Bethany! I think WordPress.com is a great starter platform, and I am grateful for it and how much I learned on it. But I think like with biking, after a few hundred times of riding around the neighborhood, you want to start exploring new places. And those training wheels need to come off in order to go further and faster. Ya know? (The metaphor works in my head at least!)

  6. says

    Fabulous mini-series! I wondered about this very thing. I tried to switch from Blogger to a wordpress.com but it was too difficult to use (back when Blogger was easy before they changed their editor & turned into spam land). ;-) Thanks so much for sharing all of your knowledge!

    • says

      I always wondered why Blogger seemed so overwhelmed with the CAPTCHA spam catcher…didn’t realize it was due to a change in their editor. Verrrry interesting! Thanks for the 411, Mel!

      And I think more and more folk are switching from Blogger to WordPress.org these days…for the SEO and ease of customization. Hopefully you can pick up a few nuggets of info from this mini-series even though I’m not on Blogger.

      Are you still contemplating migrating?

  7. says

    wow! very interesting, I am just currently looking at wordpress.org/com and deciding on the 2 from blogger but after reading this I think I will have to look into even more as I was debating on monetizing also and don’t want to suffer a deleted account on wordpress.org. wordpress.com would be too time consuming currently and I have just gotten the hang of blogger- I wonder if blogger allows monetizing? that is wild what people will risk rather than following the rules! great post- keep em coming!

    • says

      (I think you mixed up WordPress.org and WordPress.com in your comment but I know what you mean, Kelly.) I’d say stick with Blogger if you’re just getting the hang of it and find it’s working well for you right now – – and yes, you can monetize on Blogger.

      Yeah, I’m not sure if everyone on WordpPess.com even realizes the rule against monetizing (I didn’t at first), so perhaps some are breaking the rule unintentionally? Or maybe they have a thirst for danger! ;-)

  8. says

    Ooh, scary and exciting! “When I grow up…” I’d like my blog to go the monetized way as well. The technical stuff is scary, so I’m glad I have a computer programmer friend who likes sweets. :) Thanks for the side-by-side comparison. I look forward to Part2.

  9. ntcreations says

    fun! I’m still on blogger (with a custom domain) and it seems like I have many of the options that you will with .org, but not the complete freedom you will have :o) I hope the transisiton goes well for you! Thanks for linking up to Tasteful Tuesdays @ Nap-Time Creations. So glad you stopped by! Emily

    • says

      Happy to help a fellow blogger out, Bonny, and I’m glad that a lot of the information was useful even for a Blogger user. Let me know if I can assist you in any way…especially if you do take the plunge. (Eek!) ;-)

  10. says

    This was such a great, in-depth post! Thank you so much for putting it together and for sharing it with your blogging community. I’m going to see how the switch goes for you and take copious notes before making the jump myself.

    • says

      So glad that you enjoyed it, Jennifer. I know we’ve shared similar struggles with the limitations on WordPress.com. I’ll be sure to let you know how the view is from the other side…and hopefully bring you along with me! ;-)

  11. says

    Lauren! I been wanting to ask you this for the longest time! Since your blog site is so well laid out with perfect fonts, header and colors I guessed you were already using .org!

    I am trying to do a lot of research on this as well but haven’t gone very far with it. I know you need reserved database server for this but is it necessary to buy the domain as well? Can’t i use it with .wordpress.com in the domain?

    Can you share a few resources that helped you along the way? That would be great! Thank you so much for this post, awaiting Part 2. I’m sure your new site is going to shine!

    • says

      I wish I could take credit for the layout and fonts…but those are all part of the Splendio theme. I added the background and custom header, but it still feels like a bit of a hodge podge to me.

      I’ll talk about reserving a database server in my next post…and yes, you do need your own domain if you’re going to a server outside of WordPress.com…but there are ways to redirect traffic so you don’t lost your old content. You would just install it on the new site and redirect new traffic to from the old url to the new one (if that makes sense). Will go in more depth soon! And you can bet I’ll be sharing the resources and links that have helped me make sense of all this mumbo jumbo!

      Thanks for your kind words and support!

  12. says

    Hi Lauren!
    I found your blog through the I Gotta Create: Wildly Original Link Party and I’m glad I did!
    I have been thinking about switching from blogger to wordpress for my blog and I didn’t even know there was a difference between the wordpress .org & .com!
    Thank-you for enlightening me on this one!
    I am now a follower and would love it if you could come by and check out my blog sometime!
    Take Care!
    Lisa H.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I’ve been thinking about migrating to a self hosted site (not on WordPress) and I’ve been watching closely as Lauren went through this process at thinkingcloset.com. She’s keeping her readers in the loop with a multi part series of posts about her experience. I’ve found them interesting and eagerly await her 4th post. Check out her first post My Blog Migration Story: Part 1 […]

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