I've had a Wordpress.com weblog for 3 years. And its pages have a good pagerank and are shown in first search results pages.

Because of the limitations, I should migrate to my own WordPress.

How to migrate safely with the minimum SEO problems? (I know how to export content in wordpress.com and import it to a new wordpress.org blog.)

Note 1: links structure and site design are different on the new wordpress blog. (I don't like wordpress.com links structure :| )

Note 2: as you know, it's not possible to edit .htaccess file on wordpress.com. so I can't use 301 redirects.

1 Answer 1


If your wordpress.com blog uses a subdomain such as "example.wordpress.com"

You would need to:

  1. Set up Google Webmaster tools for your wordpress.com blog (here's how).
  2. Set up your new self-hosted WordPress blog to use exactly the same permalink structure as the wordpress.com blog (don't worry, we'll fix this in a minute!).
  3. Export your content from the wordpress.com blog.
  4. Import that content into the self-hosted blog.
  5. Change the permalink settings on the self-hosted blog to your preferred format.
  6. Purchase and activate the Site Redirect product from WordPress.com, which carries a small annual fee (see the product page here).
  7. Add your new site URL to Google Webmater tools, then tell Google you've changed your site address with their Change of address tool.

Now, when a user visits youroldblog.wordpress.com/old/permalink/style, the Site Redirect product at wordpress.com will send them to yournewsite.com/old/permalink/style, and then your self-hosted WordPress blog will automatically rewrite that URL to yournewsite.com/NEW/permalink/style.

This works because you changed the permalinks after importing the content, and your self-hosted WordPress "remembers" the old URL style and automatically rewrites it if you change the permalink structure. This tip assumes that you haven't yet imported the content into your new site. (If you have, you could delete it, change the permalink structure to the WordPress.com style, then reimport it again, assuming your new site doesn't have traffic yet.)

This redirection setup, combined with the "Change of address" tip, should help to reduce negative effects caused by the move.

If your wordpress.com blog already has its own domain name like "example.com"

Then you can follow the above steps, but skip numbers 1, 6, and 7. You would then simply need to change the nameservers of your domain to point to your new self-hosted blog. If you purchased your domain at wordpress.com, here are the instructions to repoint the domain servers.

If you registered your domain through wordpress.com, you may also want to move your domain to another host (for example, to the company you're hosting your new blog with) so that you don't have to pay domain renewal fees to WordPress or manage the domain through their control panel in future.

  • Thanks, but is it possible without the Site Redirect?
    – kikio
    Aug 16, 2012 at 7:53
  • @kikio If you're using your own domain already with wordpress.com and that domain is the same as your new site, then you could follow the steps above and skip numbers 1, 6, and 7 (then just repoint the domain from wordpress.com to your new site via your domain registrar's control panel). That way, you wouldn't have to pay the Site Redirect fee. But if you have been using a subdomain with wordpress.com such as yoursite.wordpress.com, then you'd have to pay the Site Redirect fee every year. That's the "tax" for moving away from a wp.com hosted blog, it seems.
    – Nick
    Aug 16, 2012 at 9:17

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