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How to move your blog from free WordPress to Hostgator

Has your free WordPress blog outgrown your expectation? Perhaps it’s time to get serious about blogging and host your blog on its own domain and hosting. I often get questions from undecided bloggers on this topics: Should I move my blog to its own hosting? Should I start with a free blog platform? Can a web host transfer my blog when I wish to host with them?

For instance, here’s a forum post at Hostgator asking for help when it comes to moving a blog from the free platform.

I am sure this has been asked before but I was getting mixed messages from customer service so I wanted to double check before signing up.

Can HostGator transfer my hosted blog to a new domain of my own hosted here? I have seen the transfer form and just want to double check that they will go in and move it all for me even though it is a free wordpress blog. I understand I will have to set up wordpress etc but I am talking about the bare bones of transferring posts, comments, pictures etc.

Any help, tips or advice would be welcome. I have been trying to do it all with godaddy and it has been hell.

Export and Import WP blogs

In case you are one of those with the same doubts as below – let me tell you this: you DO NOT need help from your web host to move your WordPress blog as it’s ultra easy moving it yourself.

One best thing about WordPress is that it allows blog exporting and importing in just a few clicks.

To move your blog from the free WordPress platform to Hostgator, all you need to do is to backup your current blog (Refer image on right: Tools > Export > Download the WordPress eXtended RSS file), install a new WordPress on your Hostgator hosting account, and import (upload) the XML file saved earlier. WordPress system is so powerful that you can get this all done in its web-based control panel (the dashboard).

Here’s the quick print screen for both Import and Export page of WordPress.

WordPress Export Screen

Export and back up your blog

WordPress Import Screen

Import blogs from different platform

Note that not only you can restore and move your WordPress blog, you can also important your work from different platform to WordPress.

At this time of writing, WordPress’s ‘Import Feature’ support Blogger, Blogroll, Blogware, Bunny’s Technorati Tags, Categories and Tags Converter, DotClear, GreyMatter, Jerome’s Keywords, LiveJournal, Textpattern, Ultimate Tag Warrior, Movable Type, as well as TypePad! (that’s almost all the well-known blogging platform I knew!)

Start blogging at Hostgator

Why all the hassles setting up a full website, blog software nowadays can do almost every thing you need in a basic website.

Why WordPress for your blog?

To start blogging at Hostgator, you first need to setup your blogging software. For our case, I’ll take WordPress for example.

WordPress is a blog publishing system written in PHP. All data is stored in a MySQL database. It’s an excellent open-source and free blogging software that should soon or later take over all its competitors.

As Hostgator already has Fantastico embedded in the control panel system, we won’t need to install WordPress manually. All you need is to have the idea on the naming of your blog as well as where to install it.

Installing WordPress at Hostgator

Click “Fantastico” at the front page of your cPanel. Fantastico is a wonderful tools that enable you to install series of web applications in just a few clicks. phpBB, Joomla, and WordPress is some of the famous one listed in Fantastico library.

When you’re in, select WordPress – you’ll get a screen (on your right) showing a short description on WordPress, disk space required for installation, all WordPress installation on your account, and a link named “new installation”.

As you might be aware, Hostgator’s currently serving WordPress version 2.6 where the latest version is 2.6.1 (just released mid August).

To install, click on the “New Installation”.

Put in the necessary details – blog names, admin username, password, blog location… etc. Leave blank at the folder column in case you wish to have your blog installed at your root folder (meaning, you want the homepage of your blog to appear at the first page of your website). Click “Install WordPress” when you’re ready, the process will be done within seconds, and… you are DONE! Yup, with the help of Fantastico, it’s just that simple.

If you wish to have your installation details to be kept in email, you can input an email (same or different from what you just registered) and the system will automatically send you the details.

More about WordPress, visit here.