Often situations arise where an individual or organization requires a carbon copy of all their website content for either restructuring, backup, web hosting or domain shifting purposes. Even in cases when years have passed and you have a more detailed and effective content plan in place, you may want to back-up your previous website data and instill an entirely new format either based on someone’s work or your personalized content models. Commonly, while converting HTML sites to WordPress, shifting from WordPress to Blogger or vice versa, you may not only need specific content but your entire layout. That is when this knowledge of importing and exporting data from WordPress proves valuable.
XML, a machine-readable format is a format that most export-plugins accept. In case you want to extract content in a human-readable format then look for a plugin that works with data in a row and column structure, such as a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file.
First things first, you cannot import any data unless you have first exported it. Click on Tools🡪Export and decide whether you want to export just pages, posts or every bit of existing content. Choose your option and click on “Download export file”.
If you choose pages or posts then several drop-down options pop-up and you can further filter by either category, authors, start and end date of posts, the status of posts (active, drafted, etc). As per the plugin installed, you can export specific posts such as newsletters, testimonials, discounted products, etc. But remember there are restrictions on settings with regard to plugins and widgets. These settings cannot be exported with the WordPress import plugin and will have to be executed from base at the destination website (or via a widget import-export plugin).
Make sure you make the most of WordPress All Export Plugin as it accommodates both, CSV and XML.
Head on to your WordPress dashboard and click on Tools🡪Import. You will notice that WordPress permits data importing from several sources. Some of them are Blogger, Tumbler, RSS, LiveJournal, Blogroll, and WordPress itself.
Now click on Install Now under the WordPress importer plugin. Once it has downloaded click on Activate plugin and run importer. This leads to successful activation and a ready-to-use importer for WordPress websites.
Now that your plugin is downloaded, you can import content data. Simply click on Choose File and upload the .XML file that you downloaded during the data exportation step. Once you click on Upload file and import, a pop-up box will appear and you will be tasked with the assigning of an author for the freshly imported content. Default settings make this author the administrator itself, but you have the flexibility to introduce a new user as an author.
Click on Download and import file attachments to finalize the transfer of all attachments from your old website to your new website. After this transfer is complete, click on Submit.
A message reading “All done. Have fun!” will appear. By clicking on “Have Fun!”, you will be redirected to your WordPress dashboard with all your transferred content, templates, and existing page layout. It is now time to play around with the widgets and myriad of features to complete your mission and put up a truly effective website.
You must keep in mind that no data that is already present on your new WordPress website will be allowed to get copied from your old WordPress website.
Common issues you can expect while importing into WordPress
SEO redirecting and Permalink failures – If you opt for a different platform other than WordPress, all the permalinks for each web page will be altered and you will have to individually redirect the permalinks back to the new pages.
Disability to transfer plugins and plugin-executed content – You must ensure to have the plugin pre-installed on your new website prior to import. This is necessary so that any plugin-related content displays perfectly when assigned a new web page. As mentioned earlier, widget and additional plugins cannot be exported from a website. WordPress Plugin Development Services are working on an even more efficient solution for the same.
Big file size and timeout errors – Keep track of your input file size and ensure it is not more than 100 MB as that will lead to failure of uploading. Also, when waiting time is exceeded, it is usually due to a large file-size. Simply, re-import a couple of times to make it work.
Failure of image importing – If you want your images in your new media library (they cannot be directly linked to your content) then make sure to check the “Download and import file attachments” box.
WordPress has worked incredibly hard over the years to simplify the data backing process for users. Frequently exporting content will ensure all-time safety of data on which ample time has been spent creating, editing and beautifying.