Friday, November 2, 2012

How to Transfer a Blog to a Self-Hosted Site

Think it through.

Before taking any action, you must sit down and think about everything involved. You must plan what you want your site to look like, which theme you want to choose, what your site's purpose will be and what amenities you want it to contain. Amenities can include the amount of sidebars you want, how you want your site to look, whether you want a shopping cart and e-commerce functionality, a comment section, a multistreaming video section, a live customer chat capability and an affiliate section. You must take the time to visualize your site before making any transfer from your blog to a self-hosted site.

Thoroughly understand what level of technology you come from. Do you have the skills needed to host the site on your own? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Operating a self-hosted site requires full responsibility from content to security.

Find a Competent Web Hosting Company

A number of web hosting companies exist, all claiming they are the best. As with any good business decision, you must check your facts before making final decisions. What is their reputation among the industry? What type of feedback is found on social networking sites about the company? What are the company's strengths, and how do they differ from their competition? How long do their introductory discounts, special packages, last? What are the costs after the introductory phase ends? How much technical support is included in each software package? How much extra is technical support beyond a certain point? Check into their costs to protect yourself and your budget in the long-run.

Check out their customer service department. When deciding upon a company, contact their firm to assess their level of customer service. Are you happy with the promptness and level of expertise you received? Did they seem genuinely concerned about your needs and desires?

Obtain referrals from friends, associates and your social networking circles about competent companies. Ask how, and why, they recommend a particular company.

This includes checking with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company. Remember that there will always be some negative comments; you just need to weight the positive against the negative. If there are negative comments, how did the company rectify them? Is it to your satisfaction?

When researching web hosting companies, remember to check their downtime record. How often, if at all, have the company's servers shut down, for whatever reason? What are its records to fixing such problems? What's the company's security record? How often do they offer software updates and security fixes?

WordPress has a number of recommended web hosting companies listed on their site. These sites make transferring your blog to their site effortless. Note that these sites are promoted as being compatible with WordPress installations. Most offer a single-click installation of software.

Thoroughly understand what level of technology know-how you currently possess. This is crucial when choosing a web hosting company. With so many hosting companies available to choose from, be sure to check about what skills are needed to properly use their software. Will their software be conducive to your level of expertise? Are their online tutorials? Do they offer training classes? Do you have the skills needed to host the site on your own? Will their technical support charge extra if you need help? Your transfer may require more technical knowledge than you possess.

Copy Files

An important step in transferring your WordPress blog to a self-hosting site involves backing up all your blog's files and content. WordPress makes this easy and even has an online tutorial.

Purchase Domain Name

Purchasing a domain name is one of the first things you need to do to transfer your WordPress blog to a self-hosting site. Your entire blog contents will be transferred over under your domain name. Either research online for available domain names, or use your chosen hosting company. Many offer this service. If you already have a domain name, you simply need to redirect your name server to your new site.

Download and Install WordPress Software

After you have backed up your files and purchased both a hosting company and domain name, you need to download and install WordPress software to your site. To do this, sign into your hosting account and go to hosting admin panel. Now, click on the WordPress plugin titled Importer. Click 'Install, ' and then set up your admin account. Now, activate the plugin by clicking on the Activate and Run Importer wording.

Now, you need to go to your old blog. Go to Tools, then Export and now download the XML file to your hard drive. After you have done this, go to your new self-hosted site. While in the Admin portion, simply go to Tools, Import, WordPress to start the process of uploading the files you choose in the Export step. Remember to import file attachments, also.

Pay and Take The Easy Way

If you are at all uncomfortable with doing the task yourself, a number of WordPress experts are available. You pay an additional fee, but can be assured of everything going like clockwork.

Running your own WordPress site offers you the creativity and freedom to make it anything you want.

About the Author

Jamie Cody is a writer for centernetworks and often writes about technology and reviews on various products and services like hosting. Centernetworks is reviewing the best of the best for your convenience.

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