How to Migrate Your Blog from Medium to WordPress

Medium is a great platform and community for writers to publish their content—it’s where everyone has a story to share. However, recently more people are starting to migrate away from Medium to other platforms such as WordPress. Here’s a post and followup discussion on HackerNews about why some people are moving away from Medium.

While migrating away from Medium may seem like a pain, it’s actually very simple to do! It can be done in four simple steps, which will be outlined in this guide.

It’s also not a bad idea considering there are many benefits to using a self-hosted WordPress website. Some of the many benefits include:

  • The absolute ownership of content on a self-hosted WordPress website versus a community-based platform like Medium
  • You will have full control of your brand and content promotion
  • Unlimited design and customization with themes, CSS, and plugins
  • The ability to add and manage multiple users and content moderators
  • Trusted and utilized by many. It’s the largest content management platform in the world!

In this guide, I’ll show you how to migrate your blog from Medium to a self-hosted WordPress using WordPress.com as an interim step. This interim step is important because the exported file from Medium won’t be compatible with your self-hosted WordPress site. By using WordPress.com as the middleman, it will convert the Medium file to the proper format for the final migration process.

This can be done within minutes without any downtime! In the end, you’ll be able to enjoy and own full ownership of your content on a self-hosted WordPress site.

Step 1: Download your Content from Medium

Download Your Content from Medium

Download Your Content from Medium

The first step is to gather up all your content to prepare for the migration. This can be done from the settings page in your Medium account.

Next to “Download your information”, click on the “Download .zip” button. A zip file of your content will be e-mailed to you.

As stated earlier, this .zip file will not work if you upload straight to the self-hosted WordPress site. You will need to continue onto the next step to get the proper format for the final migration process.

Step 2: Import your Content to WordPress.com

Before importing your content to a WordPress.com blog, make sure that you’re using a fresh copy with no existing content. If you’re uploading your Medium content to an existing WordPress.com blog, in the final step you will be exporting all of the content that’s currently on it. Unless that’s your intention, create a new one to work with.

Once you’re completed all the steps in this tutorial, you can then delete the WordPress.com blog. To set up a fresh WordPress.com blog click here.

Lucky for you, WordPress.com has a built-in feature that allows you to easily import your Medium file. With just a click of a button, your files will be uploaded straight onto the platform.

Log in to your Admin Dashboard and go to My Site → Settings and select Import from the Site Tools section at the bottom.

Click Start Import next to the Medium importer.

This is where you will upload the .zip file you downloaded from Medium. Simply drag the file into the import window, or manually navigate to it.

Click Continue once the file has been uploaded. The import will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 1.33.30 PM.png

You will receive a notification when the import process completes. All of your Medium content will now appear as posts on your site under the original date of the post, along with their original tags.

Step 3: Export Your Content from WordPress.com

After importing your content to WordPress.com, you will need to export it! Since WordPress.com and the self-hosted WordPress run on the same framework, they will be compatible with the same file formats.

In your Admin Dashboard go to My Site → Settings  and select the Export option in the Site Tools section at the bottom to download a copy of your blog’s content. The content will be delivered as a series of .xml files, that will contain your posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and references to your site’s images. These files are also referred to as WXR (WordPress eXtended RSS) files.

If you’d like to export all of your content, just press the Export All button. If you’d like to export a subset (a single author’s posts, for example, or a certain category or date range), click the arrow next to the Export All button to see the advanced options.

Export Selected

Once you’ve selected the content you wish to export, press the Export Selected Content button.

At this point, you can remain on the export page to wait for the export file to become available. A handy notification will appear, offering you a download link.

Export Success

The link will contain a download of a .zip file containing any export files (larger blogs will include more than one export file). This ensures that your export process will be fast, and complete successfully. When importing back into another blog, you’ll need to unzip the file, and import each of the .xml files individually.

It’s safe to navigate away from the screen once the export is in progress. You’ll also receive an email with a link to the export file, which will remain available to download for up to a week.

Note: This will ONLY export your posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags; uploads and images may need to be manually transferred to the new blog.

Step 4: Import your Content to your Self-Hosted WordPress Website

For this final step, you’ll need to use the default WordPress Importer plugin. Navigate to Tools > Import and click on Install Now under WordPress.

Install WordPress Importer Plugin

Install the default WordPress Importer Plugin

Once installed, click on Run Importer and upload your WXR (.xml) file from the previous step.

Import your Content to your Self-Hosted WordPress Website

Select your WXR (.xml) file & click Upload File and import button

Depending on how much content you have it can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Be patient and let the process run.

Once the import process is complete check your site by looking through all your posts to ensure all the content is there. If there are any issues, go back a few steps to make sure that you imported and exported the correct files. Remember to double check those file formats!

Now you’re all set and ready to continue your journey on WordPress! While Medium is still a great platform, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the ownership and customization that WordPress has to offer.

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Published by Hans Desjarlais

Founder @ Themely, entrepreneur and travel addict. Always learning, maverik at heart, speaks 3 languages and hope's to go to space one day.

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