If you’ve been following my blog since the start then you’ll know that I originally started out on wordpress.com. I had a blog a few years ago also which was on Blogger so when I started this blog I knew I didn’t want to use that again as it wasn’t customisable enough for me, therefore leading me to wordpress.com.
What I didn’t know at the time of starting this blog was that whilst wordpress.com is much more customisable than Blogger is, it’s not 100% customisable. You don’t own your site, you can’t use any other themes other than the ones included (unless you pay through wordpress.com and upgrade your plan, which is a lot of money fyi) and you also can’t monetise your website. The latter isn’t really a problem for me as I’m not intending on doing that but it’s something to bear in mind if you are.
I’d been thinking about buying a domain for a while and started doing a bit of research into how to go about it and what the best route was. I didn’t really understand it all at first and thought the best way to do it would be to just upgrade my plan through wordpress.com (also fyi, it’s not). After looking around on the internet though I came across this super helpful website called wpbeginner.com/ which had a ton of useful information about getting a domain and about wordpress.org.
Now if like me you didn’t know that there was a wordpress.org, there is and if you want to have your own domain, it’s definitely the way to go. WordPress.org is basically the full version of WordPress, for lack of a better term. You can choose from loads of free themes, way more than wordpress.com and you can also use plugins, upload your own theme/layout, have access to more widgets via plugins as well as being able to monetise your site because you own it.
If you’re looking to get a domain for your blog/website then I would really recommend this route, especially if you’re already blogging on wordpress.com. You’ll be able to export your blog from wordpress.com, migrate your wordpress.com followers as well as your Bloglovin’ ones and aside from waiting for your domain to register the whole process doesn’t take that long considering what you’ll have at the end of it.
I don’t want to risk explaining the actual process incorrectly in this post so I’m going to leave all of the links I used so that you can take your time and read through them properly, but if you do have any questions about the process then I’d be happy to try to answer them as best I can 🙂
This is the process I followed:
- Purchase a domain and wordpress web hosting – I found this website on Techradar.com so I knew it was an established company and trustworthy. I also checked reviews for them and they were really good. You’ll need both a domain and WordPress web hosting (add both to your basket at the same time), 1&1 currently have some discounts so depending on what domain you want (I went for .com) you could get both domain and WP web hosting for around £17 for 2 years worth of your domain and 1 year of web hosting, which I think is a really good deal! Once you’ve purchased your domain it can take anywhere between 2-24 hours to register, mine took 11 hours, so you’ll need to wait for the status to change from ‘setting up’ until you can connect it to your new wordpress.org blog (see step 2).
- Moving your existing wordpress.com blog to wordpress.org – This website was so helpful with the entire process, from explaining how to install wordpress.org, to exporting and importing your blog and even migrating subscribers! Now if you used 1&1 to buy your domain and WordPress web hosting then they install wordpress.org for you with their 1&1 WP Wizard. The other great thing about 1&1 is that they manage all wordpress.org updates to keep your website up and running smoothly, the only thing you need to do is check the Updates tab via your wordpress.org dashboard for any updates every now again as some of the plugin and theme updates need to be done by you, but it’s no harder than just clicking ‘update’.
- Transferring wordpress.com subscribers – Before you set your old wordpress.com to private go to your new wordpress.org blog and install the jetpack plugin and then follow the steps in this link. It’s such a quick and easy process and it means you don’t lose your loyal subscribers!
- Transferring Bloglovin’ subscribers – You’ll need to claim your new domain name first and once you’ve done that you can move your followers over.
- Don’t forget to update your links on your social media too!
If you followed these steps and particularly the steps in link at step 2 then you should now have a self hosted website! Woo! It’s so exciting having your own domain for your blog and being able to choose the layout you want with so much more freedom. I’ve linked all the websites I used in the steps above but I’ll pop them below in the order I used them just in case.
I hope this post was helpful to you if you’re looking to get a domain, as I said earlier any questions feel free to leave a comment or email/tweet me 🙂