After I posted hacks about Mio C230 in November 2007, my blog became even more popular than before. I wanted to try out Adsense and other affiliate programs to make some money from my blog. I didn’t make a decision until the first week of April 2008.
The first step is to pick a hosting company. After comparing several hosting companies which supports WordPress blogs, I picked BlueHost because it offers a lot for a low price. At the time of the writing, it offers 1.5 TB space and 15 TB transfer. It probably more than I need, but I know that I am covered when I need the capacity. The price is $6.95 per month if you pay them for 24 months in advance. It’s $7.95 per month if you pay them for 12 months in advance. They also offer 30 days money back guarantee.
It took me a while to pick the right name for my new site, too. All the domain names regarding to Computer Bits are taken. I then thought about naming my site to combits, but only .org or .biz suffix is available and I don’t want to use .org or .biz suffix. I then thought about change combits to something more Web 2.0ish. I had a brain storming session with my daughters and her friend. We finally settle on kombitz.com.
After paying them with my hard earned donations through PayPal, I was ready to transfer my blog to BlueHost.com. I should be able to export the pages from WordPress.com and import them to my site hosted by BlueHost.com. The process should be effortless ans simple, right? Wrong. BlueHost.com offers you a good platform to build your site, but you have to do the hard wiring yourself. I must have done the installations a dozen times before I got it right. For simplicity, I’ll just tell you the steps to get it right the first time.
Installation of WordPress
BlueHost.com offers two automated tools to install WordPress. You can find them on the Software/Services tab of cPanel. I first tried Fantastico De Luxe, but later found that it only supports the old 2.3.3 version. If you want to use the latest 2.5 version, you have to use Simple Scripts.
Exporting WordPress.com Blog
Exporting the old blog is easy. Just click on Mange and Export to get your blog exported to an XML file. Before I import the XML file to my new site, I used a text editor to replace the links to my own site. I searched for the string href=”http://computerbits.wordpress.com/ and replace it with href=”http://www.kombitz.com/ . Do not replace just computerbits.wordpress.com with www.kombitz.com because computerbits.wordpress.com is also used in the site configuration. You just want to change the ones that’s used in links.
Increasing the Import Limit
By default, WordPress can only import XML file which is smaller than 2MB. If your XML file is larger than 2MB, you’ll need to get the limit increased, otherwise, you can just skip this step.
The limitation is really not a WordPress issue. The limit is imposed by PHP. To change it, you have to edite php.ini file. This is no php.ini file in the WordPress directory. You can either request it through customer support or you can get one through cPanel. Click on PHP Config through cPanel. Click on INSTALL PHP.INI MASTER FILE. This will copy the master php.ini to your public_html directory named “php.ini.default”. Move the php.ini.default from your public_html to public_html/wp-admin directory and rename it to php.ini using the File Manager on cPanel. Edit the php.ini file and change the variable upload_max_filesize.
upload_max_filesize = 3M
My XML file is just over 2MB, so I changed the limit to 3MB.
Importing to the New Blog on BlueHost.com
Click on Manage -> Import -> WordPress to import the XML file to the new site. Make sure the checkbox for including attachments is selected so that the pictures are imported to the new site. Otherwise, the pictures will stay in the old site.
Changing the Permalinks Format
My WordPress.com blog uses date and name as permalinks, while the new site uses just the post name. For example, the url of a post on my old blog is usually like
. On my new site, the url is like
. The redirect is not going to work like this. I need to set the permalinks to use the old format. To do this, I click on Settings -> Permalinks to change it.
Redirecting the Traffic
The last thing I want to see after the migration is that all the links to my old site are lost. I want people to find my posts after the transition. To make this happen, I’ll need to set up redirecting. I found an excellent article about how to do this. Here is the pdf file. You can follow the directions in this article to get WordPress.com to redirect the traffic to your site. The example in this document is for GoDaddy.com. For BlueHost.com, you can change the name servers if you click on Domain Manager on cPanel, and then click on Domain Manger on the top. You can then click on the Name Servers tab to change the name servers.