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There may come a day when you want to redesign your website or create a backup. Maybe you’ll want to move your site to a different server, or duplicate it so you don’t have to create a similar one from the ground up. No matter the reason, you’ll want to be able to move your data with ease.

How WordPress Stores Your Content

Before diving into our list of suggested import/export plugins, it’s important to understand how WordPress stores your content, your data.

Every WordPress site, no matter its size, is made up of different types of data. You already know many of them just from using your site:

  • Posts and pages
  • Products (if you run a store)
  • Custom types of posts (e.g. portfolio items, FAQs, testimonials…)
  • Tags and categories
  • Profile information for all users in your site

All this information is stored in the WordPress database which is just a set of simple tables. There is a table for storing post information, another one for storing user information, and so on. These tables basically work just like the spreadsheets you know from applications like Excel or Google Sheets.

In the following image, you can see an illustrated version of a WordPress database:

An illustrated presentation of how a WordPress database looks like

As you can see in the image above, the table dedicated to posts has multiple columns. Each column represents a particular part of information related to your posts. This includes the post ID, title, author, and date of creation. And each post on your site has its own row in this table.

How Data Exporting and Importing Works

When the day to move your data comes, you’ll need to access the WordPress database. While there are tools like phpMyAdmin, they tend to be geared toward developers and users with advanced technical experience.

Thankfully, you don’t need to be a developer to handle your site’s database. There are plugins that you can use right from the WordPress admin. These plugins export your whole database, or specific parts of it into files that can then be imported back into another site, or stored offsite. 

Most of these plugins export the information into XML and CSV formats, but don’t let the terminology daunt you. These are simply types of files used to store information coming from databases. For example, you can even open CSV files in any spreadsheet editor and you will see the content presented on a sheet.

Depending on whether you want to import and export all your data or specific types of data, you may find that certain plugins fit your requirements more than others. For this reason, we’ve divided our top plugins into two categories: 

  • All-In-One Import and Export Plugins 
  • Utility Import and Export Plugins

All-In-One Import and Export Plugins

If you want to move large amounts of content or even your whole database, an all-in-one plugin is the way to go. These plugins come equipped with advanced and easy-to-use features. 

While some listed plugins have free versions, you may need to purchase the premium or pro versions to gain access to certain features or to handle multilingual data.

1. WP All Import

Posts, pages, WooCommerce products, taxonomies, media, and other custom fields and post types – WP All Import can handle it all.

With WP All Import, you can import your data to WordPress from any XML, CSV, or Excel file. The interface is easy to use, allowing you to drag and drop the content you want to import. WP All Import accepts a variety of files, so you can upload any file type, size, and structure. The plugin also offers Automatic Scheduling, so you can run your imports on a schedule.

Advanced Features

WP All Import has an in-built code editor which allows you to create your own custom PHP functions. It also has an extensive API that includes many hooks. By combining these hooks with your own custom code, you can import almost any type of data.

Please note that both the free and paid versions ($149 – $299) of this plugin require the free WPML All Import glue plugin for full compatibility.

2. WP All Export

According to Soflyy, “If it’s in WordPress, you can export it”. 

WP All Export supports all types of data, be it custom term meta, stock info, or user data. Similarly to its companion import plugin mentioned above, this export plugin has an easy-to-use drag and drop interface that allows you to rearrange spreadsheet columns and data fields. You can also schedule your exports.

Advanced Features

With WP Export, you can write and test PHP inside the plugin. Or, use the advanced builder to write your feed in XML.

To export WooCommerce customers, orders, and add rules to filter export data, you’ll need to purchase the Pro version ($99 – $299)

3. WordPress Ultimate CSV, XML Importer Pro

With Smackcoders’ WordPress Ultimate CSV, XML Importer Pro you can import or update your WordPress content from any XML/CSV file in one go. You can also import images in bulk from your desktop or from external URLs.

This well-rounded import tool also comes with advanced export filters and lets you schedule imports or updates according to your preferences.

Advanced Features

Advanced Mapping makes it possible to automap the CSV field with WordPress fields, so long as the CSV Header is the same as the WordPress fields. If not, you can choose the correct option from the drop-down menu.

Although a free version of this plugin is available, you can only import and update multilingual data with the Pro version ($149 – $199) of this plugin.

4. WP Import Export Pro

With just one click, this plugin from VJInfotech makes it possible to import and export:

  • Posts, pages, and custom post types
  • Taxonomies
  • Comments 
  • Users

WP Import Export Pro supports multiple file formats, comes with powerful filters and allows you to import and export data in the background. You also get 19 add-ons with the Pro version (including the WPML add-on). 

Advanced Features 

The WP Import Export Pro plugin allows you to import data with drag and drop field mapping. If you’re looking to export data, you can rearrange and edit fields with just one click.

Although a free version of this plugin is available, you will need to purchase the premium version ($109) and install the WPML add-on to import and export multilingual data.

5. WP Sheet Editor

With WP Sheet Editor, you can easily edit posts, pages, custom post types, and products from the back-end. Any edits you make in the spreadsheet apply live on the website. 

Of course, all the spreadsheet editors include powerful import and export options. You can export the data from your WordPress site, edit it in Excel or Google Sheets, and then import it back.

Advanced Features

  • Update hundreds of rows at once using the spreadsheet formulas
  • Use the Advanced Search and its multiple parameters to find information in any field or operator
  • Benefit from automatic synchronization with ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) meta boxes.

You can purchase any combination of spreadsheet utility plugins individually or the premium bundled version ($99.99 – $ 299.99) which includes all functionalities.

Utility Import and Export Plugins

Sometimes, you may only want to import or export specific types of data, such as user information or products from your online store. The plugins listed in this section have been designed to deal with specific requirements and are great for users who don’t need all-in-one solutions.

Some of these plugins may have free versions, but access to certain features or multilingual support may only be available in the pro or premium versions.

1. Product Import Export for WooCommerce

This powerful plugin makes it possible to import and export products and product types from a CSV/XML file through a simple interface that also has AJAX support. You can also import and export images, categories and custom metadata.

The premium version of Product Import Export for WooCommerce also comes with additional features like automatic import and export, support for product reviews, and a variety of filter options.

Advanced Features

  • Detailed history and debug logs as well as Cron schedules to process, troubleshoot, and view your actions
  • Multiple import and export methods with the option to choose the location of the CSV file for the import

A free version of this plugin is available, but you’ll need the Pro add-on ($69 – $199) to import and export multilingual product data.

2. Import and export users and customers

With this plugin you can import and export users and customers from one WordPress site to another in a matter of seconds. You also have the freedom to select which users you want to export, be it by user role or registered date. Customer metadata can also be imported, exported and edited by using the meta keys found in each user profile.

Advanced Features

In addition to the above mentioned features, Import and export users and customers also lets you:

  • Create a cron task to import users periodically
  • Extend the plugin’s core functionality by using hooks

Although users and customers are not translatable post types, you can still translate the front-end user submission form that comes with this plugin.

3. Import Export WordPress Users and WooCommerce Customers

If you’re looking to easily import or export WordPress users and WooCommerce Customers using CSV, this plugin may be the right choice for you. Some key features include:

  • Powerful export filters
  • User-friendly drag and drop mapping
  • Exporting guest users or guest customers who purchased from your site, but didn’t create an account
  • Supports existing and custom password migration

Advanced Features

With Import Export WordPress Users and WooCommerce Customers, you can change values while importing customers and users using Evaluation fields.

Additionally, users of the Pro version ($69-$199) will be able to:

  • Export or import users and customers to/from a remote server via FTP in scheduled intervals
  • Receive third party plugin customization support 

While users and customers are not translatable post types, you can safely use this plugin on a website with WPML installed.

Support For Multilingual Content and Data

All the plugins listed above come with powerful features that make it easier for you to import or export your data. What’s more, they are all compatible with WPML and have been tested and approved by their own developers and the WPML team. As indicated, you may need to install glue plugins, add-ons, or premium versions to obtain full multilingual functionality. 

If you’re the owner of a multilingual site, there are a couple of big reasons why you should consider choosing a plugin that supports the import/export of multilingual data:

  • You won’t need to re-translate your content when moving sites.
  • All your secondary language content is in one spreadsheet, making it easier to bulk-edit multilingual data if needed. 
  • Your content in the default and secondary language spreadsheets is connected by matching cell numbers, so you’ll always know which post your translated content belongs to.

To Conclude

Although importing or exporting your data may not be something you’ll have to do on a regular basis, you never know when a WordPress import and export plugin might come in handy. While some of the listed plugins have a more narrow focus than others, they’re all powerful and simplify the process of importing and exporting your data. Best of all, they can also handle your multilingual data.

Have you tried any of the plugins mentioned in this post? Are there any other WordPress import and export plugins you recommend? Let us know in the comments!

6 Responses to “Top WordPress Import and Export Plugins for Moving Your Data”

    • Thanks for your comment, Vladimír. We’re happy to hear that you’ve had positive experiences with two plugins from this article!

  1. Hi Kathy,

    all mentioned Plugins are very good ones. Esp. if you have data you just want to import the easiest way possible.
    In case it is not that easy, e .g. data from an API or you have to change something in the data: If you need max. flexibility you might check my JCI-plugin
    https://json-content-importer.com/
    Flexibility means here:
    Load data (XML, CSV, JSON, DB) from an API or File and do with it whatever is needed.
    The plugin gives you commands for creating Custom Post Types, add Custom Post Fields,
    calc with the data, change woocommerce-products or the price only out of API-data. And: Update whenever you want to update your dataset.
    Currently I’m trying to check WPML: Several customers have their data in multilangual APIs. The task is now to fuel JSON-data with the JCI-plugin into different languages.

    Best,
    Bernhard

    • Hi Bernhard,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and share your thoughts.
      It sounds like you’re working on a very interesting plugin. When you’re ready, you’re welcome to join our Go Global Program. Our compatibility team can then assist you with testing.

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