Site Update: My Blog Is No Longer Hosted on WordPress

What do you think? Is the new design easy to browse, search and read?

SUBSCRIBERS: If you like the re-design and want to continue receiving new posts via e-mail, then please re-subscribe using the e-mail icon in the sidebar. Unfortunately, I think I lost all my e-mail subscribers in the move to the new server, but I don’t feel right adding them myself manually. I really appreciate everyone who follows me via e-mail and I’d hate to lose any of you.

I’ve wanted to set up my blog on its own domain since I first started blogging in August 2008. However, every time I would attempt to tackle the subject of how to do that, my brain would overload and I put the issue off until “another time.” Then I started thinking about how much harder it would be to do the switch after working to promote my blog around the WWW. So I decided to stop dragging my feet and do it already.

I work with web sites a lot in my day job, which means their intricacies are not totally foreign to me. But after I performed a few searches for instructions on how to go about switching my WordPress.COM blog to my new WordPress.ORG blog, I was flabbergasted by the amount of confusing information. Thus, I completed the process using a few different sources, and decided I would write up my own instructions in an effort to help others in the same boat.

Therefore, the remainder of this post will contain step-by-step instructions on how to redirect a blog hosted by WordPress to a blog hosted by Bluehost. I hope this proves helpful. I’ve also included a link to download the below instructions in PDF because I’m sure there are people who, like me, prefer to print out instructions to follow along on paper as they move through each step.

Only thumbnails of the screenshots are provided below because the full-size shots would take forever to download.

Introduction

So you started your blog at WordPress.COM, but now you’ve decided to move it to WordPress.ORG.

No worries!

In just five steps, I’ll show you how to redirect your original blog hosted on WordPress to the new blog hosted elsewhere.

My original WordPress.COM blog / domain:

http://unleashtheflyingmonkeys.wordpress.com

My new WordPress.ORG blog / domain:

http://leahsaylorabney.com

I wanted to redirect the original domain so if anyone clicked on an original link, or typed the original domain name into their Internet browser’s address bar, they’d be automatically redirected to the new domain and see its name in the address bar.

This redirection is nothing more than a technical switch-a-roo.

However, I didn’t realize I wanted to create a set of instructions to share with others until after I’d already completed the redirect on the above domains. Therefore, some screenshots aren’t available, or won’t match exactly how your screen will look, but in those steps, I try to give an in-depth explanation to make up for the lack of a visual aid.

In addition, these instructions are specific to domains using Bluehost; however, you could use them for other hosts as long as you substituted that host’s settings in Steps 2 and 5.

These instructions also assume you’ve purchased both the new domain (e.g. leahsaylorabney.com) and web site hosting service (e.g. Bluehost) as well as successfully installed WordPress on your new site.

I hope you find this document helpful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner.

Feel free to share this document with others as long as it remains intact.

Warmest wishes,
Leah

Quick Reference Glossary

Term Explanation
Domain A domain refers to a computer, or server, on the Internet that holds the folders and files for a web site.
Domain Name A domain name identifies a specific domain on the Internet. The domain name allows us to differentiate one domain from another. Yahoo.com, WordPress.com, and HPANA.com are examples.
Domain Host This is the company that houses, or hosts, domains on its servers.
Nameserver This is pretty much an Internet phone book that stores the locations, or IP address, of each domain name, and it’s usually stored on the domain host’s servers.

These simple instructions will redirect your WordPress.COM blog to WordPress.ORG as long as you follow them step-by-step, in the exact order in which they’re presented below.

This document is an example of the process that worked for me. I make no guarantees as to the validity of these instructions and I cannot be held liable for any problems or complications that arise from their use.

I highly recommend you read the entire document before you begin.

STEP 1 – The permalinks style for both blogs (aka domains) must match. If the permalinks do not match, the links from your WordPress.COM blog will not be redirected to your WordPress.ORG blog, and your visitors are likely to receive a 404 Error message.

1)   To verify, or update, the permalinks style on your new blog (aka new domain):

  1. Log into the WordPress.ORG Administration Panel for your new blog (aka new domain).
  2. In the left sidebar, scroll down until you find Settings, then click it to display a drop-down menu of options.
  3. Click Permalinks. You should see the below screen.
  4. Make sure the radio button beside Day and name is selected then click the Save Changes button.


STEP 2You need to prepare your new blog (new domain) to be temporarily mapped to the original blog (original domain); thus, you must update the nameservers in your new domain host account.

GoDaddy users check out pages 9-12 of this PDF created over at:
http://blog-well.com.

1)   To update the nameservers in Bluehost:

  1. Log into your Bluehost Control Panel.
  2. Click on the Domain Manager tab.
  3. Under Please select a domain:

    1. Click 1 – Click the box beside the domain where you installed WordPress.ORG.
    2. Click 2 – Click the Nameservers tab.
  4. Write down down the Default Nameservers.I advise you to copy and paste the default nameservers to Notepad or Wordpad, name it “blog-redirection” or something similar, and save the file to your hard drive.
  5. Under the Nameservers tab:

    1. Click 1 – Select the radio button beside Use Custom Nameservers.
    2. Click 2 – Place cursor inside the first box and enter “ns1.wordpress.comwithout the quotation marks. Place cursor inside the second box and enter “ns2.wordpress.comwithout the quotation marks.
    3. Click 3 – Click on the Add Row text link. Place cursor inside the third box and enter “ns3.wordpress.comwithout the quotation marks.
  6. Click the Save Nameserver Settings button.The nameservers for your new blog (new domain) now refer to WordPress.COM. Log out of your Bluehost account.

** It can take as little as 5 minutes and as much as 72 hours for the updated nameservers to take effect. In my case, it only took 10 minutes. **

STEP 3 – Next, you must add your new blog (new domain) to your original blog (original domain) in your WordPress.COM account. This is referred to as “domain mapping.”

Please note: WordPress charges $9.97 USD per year for this service.

1)   To add a new domain to your original WordPress.COM account:

  1. Log into your WordPress.COM Administration Panel.
  2. In the left sidebar, click on Upgrades to display a drop-down menu of options.
  3. Click on Domains.
  4. Beside the Add a Domain field, enter your new domain name, then click the Add Domain button.
  5. Complete the steps to purchase the domain mapping feature.
  6. If your purchase is successful, you will see the new domain listed under the original domain.
    The screen would look similar to the below. Please note: I didn’t get to nab the screenshot for this step so the below won’t match exactly what you see.

You’ll also receive a system message at the top of the screen instructing you to wait until the mapping is successful before you attempt to redirect it.

STOP HERE! This is very important.

Patience is key. Wait until you can confirm the new domain is being mapped to the original domain.

This means when you enter your new domain name, examplename.com, you are automatically taken to examplename.wordpress.com.

It took several hours for this to happen when I completed this step. But this will vary depending on WordPress and your host servers.


STEP 4 – After you’ve confirmed the domain mapping, you can update the domains in your WordPress.COM account so the new blog is set as the primary domain.

1)   To change the primary domain in your WordPress.COM account:

  1. From the Domains screen, select the radio button beside your new blog (new domain).
  2. Click the Update Primary Domain button.
  3. Just like with Step 3 you need to wait until this update is confirmed before you proceed to Step 5.

You’ll know that Step 4 is successful when you can enter your original blog name (original domain) and you’re automatically redirected to your new blog (new domain).

Please note: You will still see the original blog (original domain) theme and content so pay attention to the name in the Internet browser address bar.

It only took about 20 minutes for this to happen when I completed this step. But this will vary depending on WordPress and your host servers.


STEP 5 – Finally, you have to reset the nameservers in your host account in order to see the new blog’s (new domain’s) theme and content.

1)   To reset your new blog’s (new domain’s) nameservers:

  1. Follow Steps 2-1-a, 2-1-b and 2-1-c listed on pages 4 and 5.
  2. Under the Nameservers tab, select the radio button beside Use Default Nameservers.
  3. Click Save Nameserver Settings.
  4. You can consider this step a success when you are able to see the new blog’s (new domain’s) theme and content at both your original blog (original domain) and the new blog (new domain).

It only took about 20 minutes for this to happen when I completed this step. But this will vary depending on WordPress and your host servers.

I was also able to tell the update had been received by WordPress and was being processed by Bluehost when I clicked on “Log Out” in my WordPress.COM account and received a 404 Error message from my new blog (new domain).

One Comment:

  1. Good dispatch and this post helped me a lot in my college assignment. Thank you for your information.

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