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I am launching an education and awareness site on Federal budget. Obviously less effort to use .com and can get going faster -- but would like characterization of effort required to migrate later to .org as will need plug-ins for beta. THANKS

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It's not hard just copy your theme and plugins to the new site and use export from tools in the dashboard and you should be fine.

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Assuming that you are trying to do this on a wordpress.com site, and not a self-hosted installation, you will need to use the domain mapping feature, as discussed here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/

In your dashboard, go to Upgrades > Domains and type in the domain you would like to register. It will lead you through the process of purchasing the domain and then setting up your blog to be visible at that address.

You can work on the site while it is at x.wordpress.com as a beta, and then push the site over to the real domain with domain mapping at any time and you should not have any issues, the system will take care of it for you.

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