Written on: 05/06/2012 by Freeky (38 reviews written)
Firstly although Wordpress.com will sell you a domain or say you can move it to them they are not actually a domain registrar and will in fact register your domain with a third party (Automattic) which is a major cause of the many difficulties & headaches you will get trying to manage the domain.
Wordpress.com domain pricing is expensive, they may make thing seem easy when your starting, but once your in your troubles begin.
Wordpress.com do have a series of help pages for domain management, but they are incomplete and unclear on much needed detail, my assumption is its as those can be viewed prior to buying if the real complexities were clear many would be put off.
Automattic management pages are also obscure and very unhelpful, for example should an option shown be unavailable to you it simply wont work with no explanation why or what you need to do to enable it. They have no help pages whatever that I could find.
As an example, the following is the procedure to move a domain away from Wordpress.com which I include here to help others that will struggle with this:
Having logged into your account at your new registrar and inititiated thier transfer in procedure for the domain, the following is the Wordpress Domain Move procedure
1. login to your wordpress cpanel
2. goto myblogs and the blog dashbord related to the domain
3. goto settings -> domains (settings within the dashbord, NOT the Wordpress menu 'settings')
Ignore the domain list! at the bottom you will see a drop down selection with 'What would you like to do' in it:
4a. Select 'Transfer Ownership to another registrar'
4b. Select 'Next Step'
4c. Enter a New Password (Not related to your existing login & will not affect that iether)
4d. Select 'Save Password'
4e. Repeat 4a & 4b
4f. Make a note of the 'Customer Number' given
4g. Click on the 'Manage Domains' link
You will now be taken to a new site (secureserver.net) who are you real registrar (Automattic)
5. Login with the 'Customer Number' and New Password you just gave (there may be a delay for Automattic to recieve the password from wordpress
6. Select the domain your moving
7. If the domain is 'locked' (likely) click on the lock and select 'unlock'
8a. If you have 'privacy' enabled, you must turn that off too, ignore the 'manage' link (wont work)
8b. Go back to your blog dashbord
8c. goto settings -> domains
8d. Select 'Manage Domain Subscriptions' for the domain your moving
8e. Select 'Disable Private Whois'
8f. Confirm your un-subscribing
9. Now go back to Automattic and reselect your domain (if you kept open in a tab, refresh page)
10. You will now see your address and contact details for the domain, check the email address (they are about to use it) correct if required.
11. Against 'Authorization Code' click 'Send by Email'
12. You will now recieve an email with a Authorization Code', make a note of it.
13. After a short while you should recieve an email (to the same address) from your new registrar with a link to a 'move authentication page', go there and apply the Authorization Code' you got 1st. (This procedure may vary by registrar)
14. Next you should recieve another email from Automattic saying the transfer will be completed if no action is taken with 4 dyas, if you don't want to wait:
15. Log back into Automattic, Hover over the 'Domains' tab and select 'Pending Transfers'
16 On the 'Pending Transfers' page select the domain and click 'accept' (the unmarked green block) then 'OK'
That should be it, I would describe thier method as what should be a simple procedure made as convoluted and un-clear as possible, no doubt as they want you to give up and continue paying thier high prices, however I must say I`ve found others that are also poor and/or overpriced behave the same, no doubt for similar reasons.
If you want to create a blog Wordpress.com is great, but if you want your own domain for that blog I advise you avoid buying from Wordpress.com and find better. If starting out you could buy a domain, get free hosting for it adding wordpress to that hosting.