JAN | 2017
A self-hosted WordPress blog would the right choice for you as you can install plugins and customize your themes in such blogs. Here are various pointers that make migration from your existing WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org site very easy.
To migrate from Wordpress.com to wordpress.org, it is very essential that you export all your data to the self-hosted WordPress blog. To export your database sign in your account, browse through your dashboard and click on the Export option from the Tool menu.
Export tool will open a page with two options that include Guided or Free transfer. If you choose the free transfer, a window would pop up, asking "Choose what to export". Go to "All Content" and then Download Export File button. After you are done with exporting data, an XML file will be downloaded to your computer. This file will download all your posts, pages, images, comments, custom fields, categories, tags, navigation menus, and other information from wordpress.com.
Done with exporting data from your data; now install WordPress on your web hosting. As you all know, installing WordPress is very easy and it is a matter of few clicks. After you are done with installing WordPress, import your data into the new self-hosted WordPress website. Importing is very easy; just install WordPress importer plugin and upload your WordPress.com XML file and its done.
The last step is to your WordPress.com blog to private. But this should be done when you don't want your old users to come; they all will be redirected to the new website. To set your blog into private, enter the dashboard and go to the setting tab, click on reading page and select the option "I would like my blog to be private, visible only to users I choose" and it's done.
To preserve your SEO rankings, it is very essential that you Redirect users to the new location of the blog with a 301 header. Error 301 will help to keep the search rankings steady when you migrate from wordpress.com to self-hosted WordPress blog. Wordpress.com doesn't provide access to .htaccess, therefore, you can't retain search engine rankings by yourself. But, with the help of paid upgrade, Offsite Redirect, you can attain 301 redirect which redirects your site's visitors and search engines automatically.