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May 062012

I’m moving domains from WordPress.com (http://robwilc.wordpress.com) to a self-host domain.  Much better, according to everyone that writes about writing online.  Much more serious, according to everyone that writes about writing online.

So for me and my domain there are 7 major steps.  I’ve listed them out below, and I’d recommend that you do them in the order outlined.

Step 1

Decide on the new domain name.

I sort of like the name of the blog currently : Things I Learned Today.   I wanted to do a spin on that, if I could.

So the domain is : http://thingsilearnedtoday.net/

Thanks to Mark Barefoot for his assistance on that one!

Step 2

Decide on a new host.

Everyone, does web hosting with WordPress software add-ons, or so it seems.  My partners hosting company does it (http://123-reg.co.uk), and there are tons of others including names I’ve heard recently such as Hostgator, and Dreamhost.

I’ve gone for Dreamhost.

Recommended by a couple of friends, so we’ll see how that goes.  They’re US based, but in this global-day-and-age, I don’t think it matters too much where they are hosted.

Step 3

Set it up, and pay the money.  This caused a few over night problems, which appear to have been resolved by a combination of me, the bank, and Dreamhost.

Step 4

Export the old.

You do this in the Tools area of the old host, and you end up an XML file relating to all your old site.

Step 5

Import to the new.

This wasn’t as straight forward as I would have liked.  Whilst the upload *says* it can take an export of up to 7 Mb, I found my 2.9 Mb file timed out.  A lot.  I tried it on my girlfriends hosted site, and it suffered the same issues.  In the end, after a bit of hunting around a cool tool helped enormously :


I split my WXR file into 31 chunks of about 100 Kb, and then slowly imported them all opting for the ‘grab the images and push them to the new site option’.

Step 6

Start snooping for themes, add-ons, etc, etc.  My new host uploaded a ‘sample’ of 141 themes.  I narrowed it down to about 6 ones that I liked, and we’re currently running with my favourite.  Though that might change!

Step 7

Pay for a nice redirect from wordpress.com to the new location.  This is so that you don’t lose page ranking, break SEO and all that sort of ‘recommended’ stuff.  It’s not very expensive either, so that’s good.

I *suppose* in a few months, I then have to start to think about deleting content from the old WordPress.com site, and seeing what effect that has.  That’s a blog for the future!


So as you can see it is not a difficult process to follow..  but there a further three steps which I’ve gone through since.  I’ll write about those in the next post, so stay tuned.

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