Owning a free Blogger or WordPress site is cool but there are limitations to its use – you cannot monetize or customize it to its full potential. As a result of this, you need to register your own domain name and move your free site to it – but you have to follow simple steps in order not to lose the online reputation you have spent time and money to build for your Blogger or WordPress site.
You should register for an annual web hosting service through a reputable registrar and get a free domain name registration (I recommend GoDaddy). Once your account is set up, you should then export your contents from your old site to the new one. If the old site is using a WordPress theme, log in to your WordPress dashboard. Click on ‘tools’ and select ‘export’ and you will be taken to a new page where you will be asked to choose between free or guided transfer – I will recommend the free transfer. You should then choose the data you want to export and select ‘all content’. Subsequently, you should click on ‘download export file’ and an XML file of all the contents of your site will be saved on your computer. The next step is to import the content into your new site by uploading the XML file into your new site.
On the other hand, if your old site is a Blogger, the process of moving your files is different. You should log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to tools, then import. Click on import, select Blogger and click the ‘install now’ button. The next step is to click ‘activate plugin & run importer’ and on the next screen, click ‘authorize’. Subsequently, you will be prompted to allow WordPress to access your Blogger account which you should grant. As soon as WordPress has checked all your posts and comments to import, a new screen will show and you should click the ‘import’ button. Click ‘save the changes’ and you are good to go.
However, you need to redirect your old site to the new one so that search engines will know that you have changed from the old one to the new one and also maintain your ranking (read How to Move Your Domain Name to a New Registrar). You should also let your readers know that you have moved to a new domain. You should inform them on your old site several weeks before switching and welcoming them with a post on your new domain.