Inconveniences of Transferring from WordPress.com to Self-Hosting

A few weeks ago, I transferred Olive and Clo from WordPress.com to the self-hosting provider, Siteground (backed by WordPress.org) and as a result, invested in a new domain name: http://OliveandClo.com.au.

I made this decision after realising that:
(a) I wanted to continue blogging (enough to invest money into the venture); and
(b) I wanted to own the content I created.

And after my post Olive & Clo has a New Domain, I realised that a lot of you guys were interested in the whole process. Whilst I am not an expert on this subject matter whatsoever, I thought I would share with you all the ..inconveniences I experienced throughout my transfer in hopes that it might help whomever else is looking to take the plunge.

Inconvenience 1:

When you see self-hosting services advertised for $4.95 a month in enticing, big, green font, it is probably worth noting that the advertised rate only applies when you purchase the 12 month membership up front (or in the case of Bluehost’s $2.95 per month deal, a minimum membership of 36 months).

Inconvenience 2:

A freebie that most self-hosting providers offer is a free domain name. However, this ‘freebie’ only remains a freebie as long as you renew your membership with the offering provider (for Siteground anyway). In the event that you choose to go elsewhere, a renewal fee will apply.

Inconvenience 3:

When exporting your existing posts from WordPress.com to WordPress.org – you are purely transferring comments, subscriptions, media files and content. Not your theme or plug-in(s). The key takeaway from this is that your posts will need to be completely re-formatted.

Personally, this proved to be a huge pain in the ass. For instance, all my photos in all of my 30-plus posts were turned into thumbnails and re-aligned from centre to left. I spent hours, and hours re-jigging all my posts and media files.

Inconvenience 4:

It’s important to note that when you change domain names you sacrifice any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you have built up under your previous site address. 

For instance, it took weeks for my new domain name: http://www.OliveandClo.com.au to appear in Google, whilst http://www.OliveandClo.wordpress.com was still flagging, despite the shut down of the website.

Inconvenience 5:

You will find that for a while, your readers will still comment under your previous domain name. This can be frustrating as once you have ‘exported’ your content, in order to transfer the new comments over to your new address, you’ll need to re-export your ‘comment’ data again. 

This sounds inoffensive enough – but trust me, it can get pretty old fairly quick.

Inconvenience 6:

Further on inconvenience 4, when changing domain names, all the ‘likes’ on your blog posts will reset. Which I found particularly annoying – considering that I used my ‘likes’ as positive/negative indicators for all the content I had created.

Inconvenience 7:

Now this point will prove redundant to most, but for a tech noblet like myself – I was caught off guard by this very simple notion. 

WordPress.org is no where near as user friendly as WordPress.com. For instance, basic tasks such as creating a gallery requires 3 additional steps than the historical 1 step required for WordPress.com. Just make sure you have set aside additional time to explore and understand your new platform.

And that’s about it. None of the inconveniences I experienced were particularly troublesome. For the most part, Siteground were really helpful and were generous with their knowledge and time.

My only advice for those thinking of making the move, is to designate a good half a day to the process. Because once you get started, you will become obsessed with trying to get your website to where you want it to be.

I hope you guys found this post somewhat helpful. Should you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment below, I am happy to help where ever I can.

Until next time, stay safe.
Love Linda, xo

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33 Comments

  1. April 17, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    I’ve been playing with the idea of moving to self-hosting my blog. But for now I’m having fun where it is. It’s very user friendly, and self-hosting sounds like a lot more work XD
    I’d love to do it one day, but my blog is still fairly new, so I think I’ll wait a bit 🙂

    • OliveandClo
      April 17, 2017 / 6:03 pm

      I would have to agree with you there Angela. Take your time. To be completely honest, when I transferred my site – I had only been ‘blogging’ for 5 or so weeks – and I found the whole process a little overwhelming. I think I even went 2 – 3 hours out of love with Olive & Clo.

      When it feels right and you do decide to go ahead. Hit me up. Would love to help wherever I can! 😍😍😍

  2. April 17, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    Plan to do the same thing but gotta wait until I am more famous..:D I have to consult with my husband who is a web designer, hope he can help me more on this matter.

    • OliveandClo
      April 17, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      Oh! You are a lucky duck! I imagine your husband would be a huge help! Looking forward to watching your blog grow! I doubt it will take long. 😘😘

      • April 18, 2017 / 6:09 am

        Thank you very much for your kind support. Hope my blog will grow and you will stay with me all the way. 🙂 thanks dear.

        • OliveandClo
          April 18, 2017 / 6:23 am

          Of course I will 😍

  3. April 18, 2017 / 6:20 am

    Thank you! This was super helpful! Just a quick question though- I have a premium plan with wrodpress.com and have a custom domain- so this will not be able to be transferred, is that correct? I’m a little confused about that.

    • OliveandClo
      April 18, 2017 / 6:29 am

      Hmm, Kelsie – very good question. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. Is the premium plan on WordPress.com = WordPress.org?

      Because if that’s the case, and you already have a custom domain – the content you create already belongs to you (I assume?).

      So I think you are good to go. Siteground just gives you additional hosting support. Like – if I have a stupid question.

      Unfortunately, I am not sure Kels.
      Please let me know if you do find out!
      What do you think your next investment will be? 😍😘💜

    • June 18, 2017 / 9:31 am

      Hi Kelsie, I can help you with this a little bit. I had a premium plan but because I wanted to transfer WordPress gave me a refund on the remainder of my plan and only charged me for my domain. However it was a complete pain pointing the DNS servers to my new hosting site, (I didn’t have a working site for 3 days) and I lost all my subscribers. So if you’re going to make the move do it now! As there probably will be some issues cropping up.

  4. April 18, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    I think one day I’ll get round to doing this as well but at the moment it seems like it might take quite a bit of time and effort, so it will just have to wait for now. Be prepared for some desperate emails screaming “HELP!!” off me in the near future haha. xxx

    • OliveandClo
      April 18, 2017 / 6:10 pm

      Hahaha, yes Chessie! 💜
      I am so excited and welcome those emails! 🤣🤣
      And to be honest, it probably doesn’t need ‘that much time’ – I’m just a bit of a crazy perfectionist with zero IT skills! 😫

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting loveliness. 😘

  5. April 19, 2017 / 9:22 am

    Good to know. I paid for the premium package to have my own website but am still tweaking it. Excellent post 💕

    • OliveandClo
      April 19, 2017 / 10:20 am

      Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂🙂
      Good to here – a bit of a process but it has definitely been worth it!

  6. April 19, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    Thanks for the enlightenment! I’m just starting out so I’m still doing the freebie sight, but if that goes well I hope to upgrade too, and your insights will be helpful. 🙂

    • OliveandClo
      April 19, 2017 / 1:20 pm

      Oh amazing Min 🙂🙂
      When you do get to it, let me know.
      I have almost zero technical knowledge – but would be happy to muddle through it with you haha! 🤣🤣
      Thank you for commenting and reading! 💚

  7. April 19, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    I was thinking of doing this when my blog is more known and I have more posts etc, so thank you for writing this! So helpful 🙂

    • OliveandClo
      April 19, 2017 / 8:15 pm

      Absolutely my pleasure Emily 😍 – thank YOU for reading and commenting 💜🙂
      Very excited for you to make the move. It IS a lot of fun. And very motivating.

  8. April 20, 2017 / 2:00 am

    Ugh – I really need to consider making this move – but I’m still too scared… trouble is that the longer I leave it the more posts I’ll potentially need to re-jig, re-format etc. Oh, it hurts my head a little just thinking about it! Thanks for the informative post! Charlie x

    • OliveandClo
      April 20, 2017 / 4:42 am

      Hahah, Charlie! 🤣
      Just do it 😜
      It honestly doesn’t take that much effort. Especially as it depends on whoever you decide to go with to self host. Your photos might not even get reformatted! How good would that be 🙂 I would definitely look at doing it sooner rather than later if you are thinking about it.

      As always, thank YOU for reading and commenting lovely beach fairy. 🏝😍😘

      • April 20, 2017 / 4:46 am

        You’re so right – might be the push that I need, I’ve owned my domain for ages so now it’s just a question of making the move!! 😁

  9. April 20, 2017 / 6:05 am

    Great post! I just upgraded my wordpress.com free account to premium. It has been fairly painless so far, and not sure if this is related, but have noticed new people (like yourself) visiting my site. Thanks for starting the conversation. I am not a techie – need lots of advice, lol.

    • OliveandClo
      April 20, 2017 / 8:19 am

      Amazing! Thanks for reading 🙂🙂
      I know what you mean – it can be very overwhelming. But I’m glad you have found it fairly easy thus far!

  10. April 22, 2017 / 10:15 am

    I think you may be ahead of me tech-wise. Your post was extremely enlightening, but I’m not sure I understand everything. (My ignorance, not a commentary of your post!)

    I’m a novice blogger as well, but I have been thinking of self-hosting. Frankly, not sure what the difference is.

    I love the look and feel of your site. You claim to be a novice, but you seem light years ahead of me!
    You’re hard work has paid off. You have a great site, and great content. I see you are a business consultant, if you take a look at my site I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have!

    Thanks for a great post. Clearly, I need to educate myself more. Cheers!

    • OliveandClo
      April 22, 2017 / 4:04 pm

      Oh, thank you Zoe for this wonderful, wonderful message. It warmed my soul. 💜😍

      To be honest, I definitely think a good WordPress theme can make a world of difference on how your blog looks! 🙂

      I would love to take a look at your site! 😁
      I’m flattered that you would want my opinion! 💜💚

      • April 22, 2017 / 8:59 pm

        I am glad. You are very kind. You earned the message! Well deserved.

        Have a look at the site, and let me know your thoughts. You seem to have a great eye!

  11. April 30, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    I have to be honest in here – I have been thinking to get self-hosted for over two years now but I’m still using wordpress.com business (own domain, bunch of support, unlimited themes but over $200 a year). You told that you had to build the posts partly again (aligning the photos, etc.). Where the text and photos still placed to right posts so that you did not have to find the photos from the media library again?

    I’m sure that getting self-hosted would be a lot cheaper for me but I just have been afraid that it would be super difficult and that I’d lost some of the photos or data in general. Or that it would take huge amount of time to do that.

    Btw when you did the transfer does it delete your old blog immediately or can you still go back there as long as you shut it down manually? Thanks! 🙂

    • OliveandClo
      May 1, 2017 / 2:28 pm

      $200 a year! 😱
      Although, I am paying about $60 for a year. And I haven’t even invested in a decent theme yet. So it might work out similar…

      Yes, the texts were still aligned to the right! But the photos were turned into tiny thumbnails, but I think still to the right…

      And to change the photos (edit them back to full size). I found that I didn’t have to search my media library for them again.

      From my experience, I didn’t list any photos or content, I did lose data in terms of likes and SEO but I think that was because I also changed domain names.

      It doesn’t delete your old blog until you delete it manually yourself. But do you have your own domain? I’m pretty sure when you transfer to self-hosted with your own domain, you wouldn’t lose anything. You just benefit from external support?

      Hmm.. some good questions! Haha, I think you should make the transfer. $200 per annum seems like an awful lot… xoxox

      • May 2, 2017 / 5:53 am

        Haha, I know! Everyone I’ve told the amount I pay have been quite shocked so, maybe I should (finally) transfer my blog into self-hosted.

        Thanks for all the answers! I do have own domain name so I guess only thing I’d lose are the likes. And maybe there would be some extra work with alignments and photos but that doesn’t actually sound as hard as I thought at first. Thank you for your help and inspiration! 🙂

        xo

  12. May 16, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    Hmm, I considered self hosting, but decided against it. There is a LOT more hassle, and I don’t see any real advantage. Either you have to install WordPress yourself (which you didn’t have to, I believe) or you get to use the version supplied by the hoster. This is sometimes a very old version. I have my own domain name redirected to my WordPress.com blog which costs me (from memory) around $11 a year with WordPress.com, and the usual domain name costs to my domain name registrar. If you stay with WordPress.com and get your own domain name both the old (.wordpress.com) and new names (brightshiny.com) work.

    I’ve been in the IT business for decades and hosted web sites for others and myself, and nowadays I would never use self hosting – too much hassle. Let others manage things like backups and so on.

    • OliveandClo
      May 17, 2017 / 6:08 am

      Interesting perspective Cliff!
      I have never thought about it that way before! Or questioned whether to WordPress I am using is outdated or not! Good call out! Something I will definitely look into!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! It’s great to see an opinion from the ‘other side’ ☺️☺️

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