I've moved to a hosted blog from Wordpress and here is how to do it without loosing any data, users & search engine referrals.
I'll assume that you are moving http://example.wordpress.com to http://blog.example.com
- Login to WordPress; go to Manage->Export. Use this option and export all your blog entries, categories, comments in an XML file and save to your local disk
- Get an account with a hosting service, which supports PHP and gives you some DB (mostly MySQL)
- Follow the guidelines by your hosting service to create a DB. Note down the user name & password
- Download and unzip the WordPress from here.
- copy wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php and give the DB details
- The toughest part will be to go thru the WordPress installation Wizard and installing it. ;-)
- Now with the password that you got from the install wizard, login to Dashboard
- If you have unzipped the wordpress into a different directory and/or you are publishing it to a subdomain, you need to specify it. Go to Options and change the urls (Wordpress URL should point to the subdirectory (http://example.com/<unzipped dir>) and blog address should point to subdomain (http://blog.example.com)
- Go to Options->Permalinks and "Date and Name based" one. By default that is the one followed in WordPress.com
- Go to Manage->Import and point to the xml file you have exported earlier from WordPress.com
- In case you have used any special WordPress marker URLs (like YouTube, Digg, ...), you need to edit the individual entries and embed them properly
You are done with the content. What about the existing users and the hits you were getting so far from the search engines? Follow these steps:
- Purchase the Domain Upgrade @ WordPress.com.
- Mention the same domain in which you are hosting the blog (blog.example.com)
- Go to Upgrades->Domains and do "Put Blog here" for the purchased domain
Now WordPress.com will redirect all the traffic for http://example.wordpress.com to that http://blog.example.com. Since that domain name will resolve to your hosting service, it will be directed to that. The URLs & contents are available for the users without any problem. This includes the feeds as well. So those who have subscribed to your WordPress.com feeds will automatically get this feed (all major feed readers will respect redirection).Yeah, you are done. Seamless move. Now you can enjoy all the nice plugins and themes that were not available with the WordPress.com hosting. In case you are missing any nice functionality like the tag cloud, you can write one and share it to the community :-)