How to Switch from a WordPress Sub-Domain

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Using a .home.blog or .wordpress.com sub-domain for your website is NOT recommended!

There are over 1,200 new Top Level Domains (nTLDs), .Blog is just one of them! WordPress owns the .blog extension… If you used WordPress.com to start a blog, you were pushed into using their .home.blog OR .wordpress.com subdomain (and hosting)…

Using a sub-domain is unnecessary, even harmful! Your URL (domain) is your storefront. It’s your address on the web. It’s your brand, your identity, and what people remember you by. Many recognize the use of sub-domains (IE: URL.home.blog & URL.wordpress.com) as inept, careless and clunky. You don’t seem original, and you definitely don’t appear authoritative!

You are losing traffic by using default WordPress.com methods… Your domain should be concise & meaningful! Don’t fret, it’s simple to buy a new .blog domain. Right. You can OWN a .blog domain. You might change from mystore.home.blog (or myblog.wordpress.com) to mystore.blog! It only costs $5.89! You may register any one of the many new extensions though; they are all priced *lowest in the industry* – no strings & no upsells – all the perks – FREE.

Hopefully, you just registered your domain. Follow along…just bear with me, I am an SEO maximalist. This guide will lay the foundation you need to succeed, to crush the competition. It may seem daunting now; it’s not, this will take perhaps 1 hour to implement since it’s your first time.

Now that you’ve registered the new domain for your site, let me guide you to some better hosting too…take it easy, follow the steps ahead. There are tools to make this easy as pie!

Cloudways hosting

Forget bluehost, hostgator, godaddy…those are terrible hosting options!

What you need is a cheap, scale-able VPS (virtual private server), one that makes managing WordPress a snap – Cloudways hosting! Cloudways offers what is called ‘managed VPS hosting’. The ‘managed’ part means all the complexities of managing a server are controlled by an astonishingly simple, yet in-depth UI.

Sign up for your 3-day free trial with the link above. Choose a VPS service and a host location – they’re all great. I recommend the $10/month options for blogs under 500 visits/day. If you ever need more, you can upgrade with literally the drag of a scroll bar. You will know if you need more because every server resource consumed is shown in the wonderful UI:

screencapture platform cloudways server 361856 monitor 2020 04 21 16 19 32 1.png - How to Switch from a Wordpress Sub-Domain
My ‘monitoring’ area. The ‘details’ are great for seeing trends in your traffic.

Right! $10/month buys you the best possible VPS server. This is not a “SHARED” server. What you pay for – all yours. I am really trying to sell you on Cloudways! The next paragraph will breeze over some features.

Cloudways offers a 1-click WordPress blog launching. You may host as many websites as you want with the click of a button! It doesn’t get easier. There are adjustable automatic backups/updates and restoration. There is integrated StackPath CDN (top of the line – content delivery network), which you may implement for $1/month. There is server caching such as Memcache and Varnish. There is even simple 1-click install SSL cert so your blog can be served over https. I’ll just say it – everything is 1 click – everything you need for a speedy, secure and easy-to-manage experience. Finally, if you ever have a problem, there is 24/7 live chat support! Honestly, you will be *shocked* that you’ve never heard of this; other bloggers push sub-par services that gouge users, but offer them a higher commission upon selling it to you.

Okay yea, I could offer step by step setup, but it’s really simple. Hope you were able to launch that server…it’s a beautiful thing.

Launching your Cloudway app

After a few minutes, your server will be setup. You will see a screen similar to this:

servers.png - How to Switch from a Wordpress Sub-Domain
You will need the IP later.

The image above is for reference. You need to click on ‘Applications’…

Be aware, this is the ‘Applications’ area now, not the ‘Servers’… Click the ‘Add Application’ button then, select the TOP WordPress option (plain install)…we’re on a roll.

add.png - How to Switch from a Wordpress Sub-Domain
Yes, I have 22 website on this server – no you can’t see them all 🙂

I bet you figured that out. It’s extremely intuitive. You just launched a fresh WordPress installation. Next, again from the same Applications area, click ON the app you just created. It will show something like this:

screencapture platform cloudways apps 1254336 access detail 2020 04 21 17 20 25.png - How to Switch from a Wordpress Sub-Domain
This is where you control the details of your new site. There are many options beyond the scope of this article.

Your new website already exists! It’s just blank and the domain isn’t set. I’ve underlined, in red, the 3 things you need to access wp-admin. Copy your password then go ahead and click that funny link: wordpress-361856-1254336.cloudway… It takes you to the admin screen! Enter the given username and password as usual – takes you to the dashboard!

Now don’t worry about the silly URL yet. It will be simple to change it to your *new domain* after you import your existing site!

Importing your existing WordPress site your new server

You’re not going to believe how simple this is.

  • Head over to your existing site
  • Install a plugin: “Cloudways Migrate”
  • Fill in the fields
screencapture wordpress 361856 1254336 cloudwaysapps wp admin admin php 2020 04 21 17 42 47.png - How to Switch from a Wordpress Sub-Domain
The whole migrate plugin…a monkey could do this.

Fill in your NEW DOMAIN, that NEW one which you registered and want to use now. Don’t use your OLD .home.blog sub-domain. Next, you need your database name too, the *new database* name. You will see it at the bottom of Cloudways, on the application management screen. OOPS, 1 more thing, back at Cloudways: you must *create* SFTP Username & SFTP Username; whatever you want. You’ll see it here:

sftp 2.png - How to Switch from a Wordpress Sub-Domain
You need to manually add these credentials then enter them into the last 2 fields of the ‘Cloudways Migrate’ plugin.

After the fields are finished, click ‘Migrate’. Yea. That’s it. Your whole website is now copied on your Cloudways server! It’s all there…

Point the Porkbun domain name to your server

Porkbun is the cheapest .blog registrar. Congrats on saving money every-step-of-the-way so far…Oh yea, by the way, you have 2 FREE email addresses for your new domain! Anyways, head on over there! Bring your server IP along with you – copy it!

porkbun.png - How to Switch from a Wordpress Sub-Domain
You’ll see your domain on the left. You must click ‘Details’ To see this dropdown..,

This is all so simple – almost finished! Click there on ‘Edit’, in the ‘DNS RECORDS’, highlighted above. You’ll see this:

arecord.png - How to Switch from a Wordpress Sub-Domain
Highlighted – all you need to worry about!

Didn’t I say this was all easy? Yes. Now, your new domain points to your server. If you visit your NEW URL, you probably already see your whole website there. There are just a couple more steps to wrap up…

Head back over to Cloudways. We’re going to add your new domain to this WordPress install. Be aware, you may get an error on these last steps…it takes a few minutes for that DNS ‘A’ record, which you just set, to propagate…Let’s assume it has!

add domain.png - How to Switch from a Wordpress Sub-Domain
You must click ‘Domain Management’ from the left-menu. Be aware – Don’t attach www. to the ‘primary’ domain.

Do you read the captions? Don’t add WWW. to the ‘primary domain’! Type just: yourwebsite.blog then ‘SAVE CHANGES’!

After you SAVE CHANGES, then you add the www. version under ‘additional domains’, on the right side, ‘add domain’.

Finally! Head over to your NEW BLOG and install a plugin named ‘Search & Replace’. This plugin allows you to replace *every* instance of your old .home.blog domain with your brand new domain – database and all. You’ll figure it out.

Do you want more help? Do you want your site even faster and more efficient? You should know how important it is!

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