What is WordPress Importer? Utility to Import CSV

How many times have you wished to have a genie that would do your task in a snap of a finger? I badly wished it while working on my other quotes blog.

I’ve been spending too much time over the last couple of months working on WordPress blogs for posting hundreds of new articles. The amount of time I used to spend after each post e.g., adding new post, content, content formatting, adding media, setting featured image, entering tags and categories and finally publishing was taking approximately 5-7 minutes considering the server response time. On an average basis, I could post maximum 20-25 articles per day.

The problem arises in the scenario of an active blogger who needs to upload a significantly higher number of posts, the task will become tedious, time consuming and unproductive. That’s exactly the situation I had to confront with when recently, I needed to import a fairly large amount of data into WordPress blog. There were approximately 10,000 of records to import (that’s huge…) and I could not imagine adding all the items manually one-by-one into WordPress blog.

There are many free plugins available that provide import functionality for WordPress, not all of them particularly pleased me, which I had experience with. Plus, few of them had their key features disabled in the free versions.

And my pursuit towards perfection prompted me to write my own tool. So, I created my own Genie… 😉

Now, without any further delay, let me introduce you to this WordPress CSV import tool.

So, What is WordPress Importer?

WordPress Importer is an easy-to-use and accurate desktop software that allows you to upload content from csv files into WordPress. In fact, it’s an offline tool that you will not require to connect to your WordPress site especially when performing the heavy data transformation such as from external data sources like csv into WordPress.

The tool was originally developed for internal use only and was later made available to the public for free with some additional functionalities. It can be used to bulk import data including posts, pages, menus, attachments custom fields and more.

What Kind of Data Sources Can You Import?

First, it was designed to import content from csv files into WordPress. But later, the tool was adapted to include support for other well-known sources such as xml and excel files.

You can import from,

  • CSV
  • XML
  • Excel

What Are the Benefits?

  • Easy to setup and Hassle-Free Data Import
  • Support for Sources like CSV, XML, Excel
  • Imports standard and custom WordPress Meta Fields
  • Validate Records for Duplicates
  • Maintain History of Data Validations

How to Import CSV Using WordPress Importer?

Getting started with WordPress Importer is easy. But before you start using this tool, you need to generate WordPress eXtended RSS or WXR file from your live website.

It’s a one click step. Simply log into your WordPress.com blog dashboard, then go to Tools → Export.

Next, choose to content to be exported. In our case, we select the option All Content and then click Download Export File button.

You may place the exported file into a desired folder and map the file’s path in tool’s configuration file.

Using WordPress Importer Tool

After you launch the tool, you will see the dashboard screen like below.

wordpress importer main dashboard

Set Field Delimiter for CSV File

As your input CSV file stores data in rows and the values in each row can be separated by different field separators. In the WordPress Importer tool, you can easily change the field delimiter of the CSV file you are importing.

To change field delimiter, go to ToolsField Delimiter

wordpress csv import field delimiter

Importing content from CSV, Excel, XML files

The WordPress CSV Import tool allows you to import data from variety of sources like CSV, Excel and XML files.

On the main screen, click on Import button. This will open a dialog box to prompt the user to select an input file. Note that the first row of the input file must present the header row. The tool will use the delimiter value set above to separate the columns values upon reading.

Next, it will prompt you to map the fields from input file to WordPress fields.

Map CSV or Excel fields to WordPress standard fields

When you import the file, the fields in the input file that matches the standard WordPress fields will be auto selected.

wordpress csv import mapping fields

You can also manually map each field with the correct WordPress field.

You may also override the status for the imported posts or pages by selecting the post status from the dropdown list as shown in the screen above.

After you have mapped all the required fields, click on Save button. This will launch the import process. Once the data are imported successfully, you will see a notification in status-bar showing the number of records successfully imported in the system. It also updates the total counter with the number of new records imported.

Sometimes, you might want to add few records manually just before importing the content into your WordPress website.

The WordPress Import CSV tool has the option to add records manually.

Setting Feature Image

While adding the record manually, you can add the featured image for your post or page.

To add featured image, click on Browse Image picture box and select the picture to be set as post featured image.

Filter WordPress CSV Import Data

Use search textbox to find the particular record. You can even filter records by post type using Filter dropdown.

Add Custom Fields

The tool has all the default WordPress fields that make up posts and pages. This includes the title, main content, date of publishing, and others.

wordpress excel import standard fields configuration

Optionally, you can add custom fields here in case you want to import them from CSV or Excel files.

To add custom field, click on Add Field button. This will open a form to add custom fields as below.

wordpress importer add custom field

You may add multiple custom fields here.

Importing CSV/XML into WordPress

Importing content into WordPress is so easy. Simply log into your WordPress.com blog dashboard, then go to Tools → Import.

wordpress tools

Choose WordPress platform, browse the output file (xml) generated by WordPress Importer, formerly known as WP Dynamo, and follow the instructions.

wordpress import

Well, that’s it, we’re done.

Lastly, if you’re interested in the WordPress CSV Import utility, you may download it completely free. And as this tool is built on the .NET platform, you must install the .NET Framework as a pre-requisite.