Hey Amanda, I am currently on a blogging platform and want to make the big switch to a self-hosted platform and lose that annoying .blogspot.com at the end of my URL. How do I get started? – Robyn from Illinois
Before you do anything, make sure that you are comfortable doing the switchover yourself. It's not entirely confusing but if you are a newbie to hosts and servers, this could get complicated. If the words DNS server and MYSQL database make you nervous, your best bet is to find a developer to make the switch. Also, be prepared to play website-troubleshooter for a few days.
If you are still pushing to move platforms, first export your blog into an XML file. Both Blogger and WordPress.com offer this and it should be located in your settings section under a”Back Up Your Blog” option. Your blog will be saved into an XML file and will be downloaded for you to use and import into your new site. Next, learn more about which host you want to use and what content management system you want to use. A host stores your files and content for you and gives you access to their server; it's basically a filing cabinet. Do your research, make sure to read the fine print on the host's services and what they provide, as well as costs and support. A good host will have 24/7 support and a wealth of information in a help center that you can access at any minute.
A content management system is a platform that allows you to manage your blog content and photos. WordPress.org is easily the most popular content management system because it is extremely customizable and isn't hard to figure out. I suggest using WordPress.org mainly because hosts everywhere know how to work with WordPress.org, which makes your life so much easier. Once you find a host, see if they offer special WordPress.org installation. Most hosts know how to work with WordPress.org and can help make the transition super easy.
So, first steps are to export your blog into an XML file, find a host, then download a content management system.
For more information about how to move your blog to WordPress, check out WordPress's Frequently Asked Questions and guide to their 5-Minute Install. I know it can be intimidating but you can do it. And, if you need help, send us an email. Thanks!
image by Naomi Yang in Vogue Taiwan