How to import content into WordPress

This tutorial explains how to import content into WordPress. In terms of content we mean; pages, posts, images and menu’s.

Before starting the import process, we’ll need to ensure that the importer for WordPress content has been installed. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Log-in to your WordPress backend and click on Tools > Import in the left menu. You will see a list of systems that can import posts into WordPress, such as Blogger, Blogroll etc…

Selecting the WordPress importer tool in the menu

2. Click on WordPress, as we are going to be importing posts and other content from the demo installation. This will open a pop-up that will allow you to install the WordPress Importer plugin.

Installing the WordPress importer

3. Read through the description to see what things can be imported; posts, categories, comments, custom fields and more are included. Once ready, click on ‘Install Now’ at the bottom right of the pop-up.

4. WordPress will download and install the plugin package from the repository; once complete, you’ll be given the option of activating and opening the plugin, or returning to the list of importer options. Click on ‘Activate Plugin and Run Importer’.

Installation of WordPress importer complete

The importer will open, and you will be able to choose an import file. Since we don’t have anything to import yet, you can leave things for now. Should you wish to open the importer later, just click on Tools > Import > WordPress.

Now we need to get the file that contains the sample data for import. Follow these steps:

1. The file you need is located in the zip folder you downloaded. It is and XML file.

2. Log-in to your WordPress backend and open your WordPress importer (Tool > Import > WordPress).

3. Click on ‘Choose file’ and select your newly-downloaded XML file.

Selecting the XML file to install

4. Click ‘Upload file and import’. You will taken to the Import WordPress screen with two areas; Assign Authors and Import Attachments.

A list of user accounts available from the demo content

5. The ‘Assign Authors’ area will let you import the username of the content creator to your WordPress installation, create a new author for the content to be attached to, or assign the content you are importing to an existing author in your WordPress installation. Depending on the type of theme content being imported there may only be one or two authors to import, or there may be as many as ten, especially if the theme includes BuddyPress as each demo user has its own content. One of the following options must be chosen for each user:

  1. If left blank: The original username will be added to your user list and the imported content assigned to him.
  2. If a name is entered in the ‘create new user with login name’ field: The name specified in the field will be used to create a new user, that will have the imported content assigned to it.
  3. If a user is selected from the ‘assign posts to an existing user’ drop-down box: The content will be imported and assigned to the existing user selected in the drop-down box.

If you have existing content you may find it useful to import the original users, as this will make it easier to locate and remove the demo content as you begin to customize the theme and implement your own content.

6. Click the tick-box next to ‘Download and import file attachments’ to include media such as images from the posts in the import.

7. Click the ‘Submit’ button to run the import process. After a few moments, you will receive a confirmation message to say that the process has finished.