Should You Move Your Blog From WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

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Last week, I decided to migrate my blog from fully-hosted WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress.org. Some of you have asked what the difference is or are currently weighing out the pros and cons of doing something like this.

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com is where I started. It was easy and didn’t require too much computer tech experience. At WordPress.com, your blog is fully hosted. That means the good people of WordPress take care of the tech stuff and provide you with all the tools you need to produce your very own blog.

What is WordPress.org?

Moving to a self-hosted version of WordPress means that I no longer have some of those perks that come with having someone else do all the hard stuff for me. What’s the trade-off? Having a bit more control over my site. And, it’s more than just changing font colors. There are things that I can do with a self-hosted site that I wouldn’t be able to do through WordPress.com.

Here is a must-read article explaining the difference between the two. This blog author does an excellent job explaining the difference, likening the decision to figuring out whether you should rent or buy a house.

When it came to this million dollar question, “WordPress.com or WordPress.org?” I found a lot of articles favoring WordPress.org, mainly because it provides the blogger with some creative control. However, I don’t think going the self-hosted route is necessarily for everyone.

What is the Best Choice for You?

If you …

  • are happy with the many choices of themes that WordPress.com offers
  • are not tech-savvy or have no desire to learn html, etc.
  • blog for the purpose of journaling, sharing information, connecting with other individuals
  • enjoy the community environment within WordPress.com and the ease of connecting with other bloggers
  • want to keep blogging without having to pay anything

Then, WordPress.com is a good option for you.

If you …

  • want to do more customizing of your blog
  • want to get involved with more affiliate marketing and advertising
  • want to grow a business
  • want to learn more about the tech side of blogging
  • are willing to pay some fees (such as your own custom domain and web hosting … I used WebHostingHub.com)

Then, consider switching to WordPress.org.

Moving Means Time: Make Sure You Have Lots of It

But, let me warn you. If you already have a WordPress.com blog, it may not be a smooth transition to WordPress.org. At least it wasn’t for me. I spent more time on it than I really wanted to. As a result, I sacrificed some sleep to get everything completed, so that it wouldn’t get in the way of my homeschool day with the kids. I should’ve waited to do this when life was less busy (summer perhaps). But, the reason why I jumped on this opportunity now was because of a promotion from Blogelina, which included a free year of web hosting. I thought this would be a good way to “get my feet wet” without the upfront cost of getting a web host. I just opted to set it up myself because I can be a bit of a control freak sometimes. I probably could’ve saved myself the time and headache by letting Blogelina do all the techie stuff for me since that was part of the deal. Oh well! It was a good lesson to learn.

If you are still thinking about running a self-hosted site, click here for a helpful tutorial about moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links. Click here for my disclosure.)

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18 thoughts on “Should You Move Your Blog From WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

    1. I hope it will be helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions. You can also fill out the form in the contact link if you want to send a message to me directly.

  1. Thanks for sharing! This did show up on my reader, by the way (you mentioned your posts weren’t showing up for everyone yet). So that’s good 🙂
    Quick question in case you know…I understand you need the self-hosting site to sell ad space on your blog but do you know if you have to have it just to have affiliate links on your site? I’d like to keep my .com a while longer but want to have some affiliate links. Wasn’t sure if that was possible.
    I wish wordpress had a phone support person to talk to! 🙂

    1. You can have affiliate links in a fully-hosted site. See here. http://en.support.wordpress.com/affiliate-links/
      But they have this unsaid rule about the amount of affiliate links you can have. I’ve seen no more than every 10th post, but that’s just something that was mentioned in the support forums as a good guideline. Basically, if you have too many affiliate links, you’d be breaking some rules. If you want to stay with wordpress.com, you can always buy a domain name through WordPress … that would be considered an upgrade and you would have access to sending direct messages to their Support if you have any specific questions. Hope this helps!

    1. Thanks, Jhanis! Although I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I like the freedom, but there is a lot to learn. Also, I feel like I lost some of my readers when I made the move. I had WordPress move all my followers, but I did notice (because I subscribed to myself to test it out) that there’s a pretty big lag time now for my new posts to appear in the Reader. By the time it hits, it might be way down at the bottom of the list of blogs. A fellow blogger told me she wasn’t seeing my posts anymore, and I think that’s probably what happened. Sorry, didn’t mean to unload on you. Did you have issues like this when you first moved over?

      1. Oh you can unload all you want! I know the feeling down to the last frustration. This is one of the downside of getting self hosted. Readership has gone down because most of my followers follow me on the reader and yes there will be a delay before our posts appear on there. Sometimes, it does not show up at all and apparently, there is nothing we can do about it, I have asked help from wp support and that’s just the way it goes. It helps if you promote your posts on twitter, G+, FB and Pinterest. G+ by far helps me most when it comes to pulling in readers.
        So now, I try not to worry about my posts not showing up on the WP anymore because if I think about it too much, it makes me want to pull my hairs out! LMAO

        All the best!

        1. Thanks again! I may have to pick your brain about G+ some time in the future, if you don’t mind. I’m not too familiar with it.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I remember wondering if I should switch or not a while back, but after weighing the pros and cons, decided that I didn’t have enough time to invest to switch. I will definitely be referring to this post if the idea pops into my head again.

    1. It’s good you came to that decision. I found so many blog posts favoring going the self-hosted way, but not many talked about how time-consuming it would be. I think once you get yourself up to speed (I’m getting there), it will take about as much time as a fully-hosted site. But, yeah, that first week of the switch, I had my head in my hands in front of my computer, saying over and over again, “What did I do?” Not to discourage you if you want to do this in the future … I can be overly dramatic sometimes. Feel free to shoot me a message with any questions if or when you decide to switch. I’ll do my best to help.

    1. Thank you! I hope your transition goes smoothly. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions.

  3. I’m in the decision-making process of moving to WordPress.org but I’ll have a bit more of a task because I need to migrate from Blogger to WP to do that and although it takes just 5-6 minutes based on youtube tutorials, I’m a bit scared I’ll mess up anything. Plus I don’t want to pay for the transfer. Jhanis’s web hosting company extended their web hosting sponsorship to me and I thought it would be great to take advantage of the offer but I want everything to be ready first before I move.

    I saw this post come out of Bloglovin but I couldn’t access your website for like 2 days and can’t think of a way to inform you. I’m not even planning to monetize just yet but the opportunity is great especially that the offer is lifetime sponsorship. Congrats on your transfer! 🙂

    1. I know what you mean. I was scared of losing all my data when I made the switch. But, you’ve been blogging a lot longer than I have, so I can understand your concerns. That’s weird that you couldn’t get to my site … I wonder what caused the glitch. If you ever need to get in touch with me outside of this blog, you can email less2moreblog@gmail.com. Thanks, Rea! God bless!

    1. Though I’m no expert, I’m here to help if you have any questions about switching to self-hosted WordPress.

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