Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to redirect a wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted wordpress.org blog

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Moving from a WordPress.com blog to your own domain is very easy--if you know how. Problem is, and we recently discovered this while trying to move http://blogwell.wordpress.com to http://blog-well.com , there is very little information online telling you how to do it, and the information that was available was confusing or plain wrong.

As a result we have created this document to help anyone that gets stuck. Hope
it’s helpful!

We have now successfully redirected BlogWell and are maintaining it ourselves
on GoDaddy. Check it out - go to either of the above addresses and you will end
up at the same place: http://blog-well.com.

Why redirect a WordPress.com blog to your own domain?

The main reason anyone would want to redirect their WordPress.com blog to
their new domain is to ensure links coming in to their original blog are not lost.

Existing links to your original WordPress.com blog will be automatically
redirected to the new blog, for instance, our post on WordPress for Dummies,
http://blogwell.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/wordpress-for-dummies/ will now
be automatically redirected to http://blog-well.com/2007/11/20/wordpress-for-
dummies/


Also, the RSS 2.0 feed at http://blogwell.wordpress.com/feed will be
automatically redirected to http://blog-well.com/feed.
So you can move the blog's physical location on the Web and allow existing links
to the old location to be automatically redirected to the new location.
Old & New Permalinks Style Must Match

Before proceeding, it is important that the style of the permalinks, the
permanent links to your posts, of your new blog is set to match the style
used by WordPress.com.

If the permalink styles to do match, then your existing WordPress.com blog posts
will not be automatically redirected to your new blog.

WordPress.com uses the day and name permalink style, where the year, month,
day and name of the post are present in the permanent link.

Within your new blog’s Dashboard, select Settings, then Permalinks and ensure
that the “Day and name” style of permalinks is selected, and then press “Save
Changes”.

How is the redirection done?

Quite simply really, as Matt Mullenweg explains.

Before we start, we need to define a few terms, just to help clarify things:

Term

What it means

Domain name

A domain name is a name which identifies a computer on the Internet. For example, wordpress.com, google.com and microsoft.com are all examples of well known domain names. blog-well.com is also a domain name, although not so well known (yet). See Wikipedia for more information on domain names.

Domain host

A company that hosts domains on its own computers, and provides 24/7 availability, backup and support services. We use GoDaddy to host our blog.

Nameserver
(or "name server")

A nameserver is a machine (server) that stores the locations of domain names, and is usually held by your host provider

Also called DNS (Domain Name Server).

See Wikipedia for more information on nameservers.

Steps involved:

WordPress.com allows its blogs to be redirected to your own self-managed domain, for a small fee of $10/year. This is managed within the WordPress administration dashboard, select "Upgrades" and then "Domains".

After you enter your domain name (e.g. http://blog-well.com) and select "Add
domain to blog", you get the following information:

The "possible problem" WordPress.com points out to you is not a really a problem at all, so it’s a little tricky to understand. It actually describes what needs to happen: You must let WordPress.com manage the location of your domain, which is only temporary, while you setup the redirection. Going through the directions that WordPress.com offer, it seems a little confusing; don’t worry though, there is a method to their madness. :)

Only the true owner of the domain has the ability to change who manages the location of their domain on the Internet, and as such, WordPress.com is using as a way to verify that you are in fact the owner of the new domain.

If this check was not done, then anyone could create a WordPress.com blog and then redirect to any domain they like, for instance, you could create http://governator.wordpress.com, and then redirect it to official Californian Web site http://www.ca.gov.

Once you have setup your new WordPress blog you will now have two blogs, e.g. http://blogwell.wordpress.com (residing at WordPress.com) and http://blog-well.com (residing at GoDaddy).

Both blogs function independently of each other, and are in fact two different blogs, even if they do contain the same information.

You need to let your chosen host provider know that you want WordPress.com to manage the location of your new domain. This is done by your host provider. (The steps required to do this, if you are using GoDaddy, are at the end of this article.)

Once you have done this, you have allowed WordPress.com to manage the location of your domain name.

We are now in a position to setup the redirection within WordPres.com. Return to the Domains section of your administration dashboard of your WordPress.com blog and add your new domain (e.g. blog-well.com):

Enter your new domain and select "Add domain to blog" and WordPress.com will
ask for 10 credits:

Select "Buy" and you will be able to setup the redirection:

Your new domain will now be redirected to your WordPress.com blog (e.g. http://blog-well.com is redirected to http://blogwell.wordpress.com).

You are now half way there; to complete the redirection you just need to flip it around.

Within the "Domains" section of the WordPress.com dashboard, you need to tell WordPress.com that your blog is located at your new domain (e.g. http://blog-well.com).

This is done by selecting "Put blog here" next to your new domain name (e.g. http://blog-well.com).

Once you have done this, it will show that your blog is now located at your new domain (e.g. Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.) and your WordPress.com blog (e.g. http://blogwell.wordpress.com) is being redirected to it.

The last thing you need to do is to undo the first thing we did :-), as we no longer need WordPress.com managing the location of the new domain. This is done by your host provider. (We have put the necessary steps to do this for GoDaddy at the end of this article.)

Congratulations! You have now completed the redirection of your WordPress.com blog to your new domain.

Changing the Nameservers for blog-well.com using GoDaddy

The following are the steps required to change the nameservers for a GoDaddy hosted domain.

Once you have logged into GoDaddy and selected "My Account", select "Manage Domains" from the "Domain Names" menu:

Select the domain name you want, and then select the "Nameservers" button:
This will display the current nameservers for your domain name.

You want to, temporarily, host the domain name somewhere else, being WordPress.com. Select the "Custom Nameservers" option which will allow you to change the nameservers to those used by WordPress.com.

Before you change anything, write down the nameservers used by your domain name host. You may need these later.

You need to change the current nameservers to ns1.wordpress.com, ns2.wordpress.com and ns3.wordpress.com.

Select OK.
After a few minutes the nameservers for blog-well.com will have been updated:

WordPress.com is now managing the location of http://blog-well.com.

Restoring the Nameservers for blog-well.com using GoDaddy

The following are the steps required to restore the nameservers for a GoDaddy
hosted domain.

Using the previous directions, go to where you manage the nameservers for your
new domain.

We need to restore the default nameservers so that http://blog-well.com
references the blog which has been created on GoDaddy.

This is done by selecting the “Default Hosting Nameservers” option within the
“Set Nameservers” options.

NOTE: You may need to explicitly enter the original nameservers used by your
domain host.

Select OK and after a few minutes the nameservers for blog-well.com will be set
to GoDaddy's nameservers.

January 27, 2008 – Created.
June 27, 2008 – Updated. Section on Permalinks added.

Please feel free to copy, enhance, and pass this document on. Do what you like with it – just make sure you help others .

A MadLid creation
http://blog-well.com

3 comments:

Shane Jordan said...
March 25, 2009 at 3:13 AM  

Thank you! This is so clear and straightforward. I appreciate you taking the time to explain it. As you said, it's not found anywhere else and it is sorely needed.

coldprairie said...
April 21, 2009 at 11:10 PM  

I cannot believe it took me an hour of searching to find this information. Seriously, you should be at the top of the search engines. I also cannot belive how unhelpful wordpress info is on this, both .com and .org. Anyhow, in case someone goes with bluehost for their provider, the steps are:

1)login to bluehost.com
2)go to domain manager
3)click on your domain name
4)select name servers from the tabs on the right
5)add row
6)enter wordpress nameservers

Save settings.

All this must be done BEFORE you tell wordpress.com that you're updating your domain as it won't work the other way around.

Thanks and cheers!

Anonymous said...
April 22, 2009 at 8:19 PM  

That was very helpful information, but.......

I am going from wordpress.com to wordpress.org and I don't want the blog transferred; I just want the redirection. Is the process the same?

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嗨,我是花,居住在印度兴奋的Windows,Linux中国的外籍人士和所有高科技的东西

Hi, I am Hua, a chinese expat residing in India excited about windows, linux and all things tech

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