WP Import All, import any kind of data to your WordPress database

wp-all-importWp All Import is a great plugin to import any kind of data into your WordPress site.

You can import XML, CSV/Excel, JSON, SQL and in any kind of structure for posts, pages or custom post types.
With a simple and very easy to use drag and drop system to indicate what information is for what data base field.

It will import your images and also can autodetect the custom fields for the postmeta table.
They have an advanced version that supports Advanced Custom Fields and WooCommerce products.

The free version is very limited, it won’t work for the images or custom fields, wich I think you probably need in almost 100% of the cases. So if you are not a developer this plugin is worth the price.

I will tell you an example of when this plugin can be usefull. Imagine you run (or you have a client that runs) a portal of classified ads, a property portal or something similar, and you constantly have to import files with data from other external websites where each one sends you the data in a different structure and format. This plugin is great for that as you can also save the settings for each import as a template, so you only need to set up the import once and then load the template each time you need to import new data sent by the same source.

Check out the video on their wordpress.org page

Note: I used it in a site that manages classified ads, the user is able to create an ad, after that he receives a notification by email confirming the ad has been created. When I did the import of 1000 ads asigned to an author, the server tried to send 1000 email notifications. So be sure to turn off email notifications on this case scenario.

How to import images when importing posts from a WordPress export file

The WordPress Importer plugin does not import images when you import separately posts, pages, …. Even importing it all together does not work 100% correctly, it leaves the images in the content linked to the old site and does not keep the featured images.

Media Tools is a very helpful plugin to accomplish this, in combination with the plugin  Set All First Images As Featured.

This plugin has options to import the external images and save the first image found as featured image, the problem is that this last option does not work very well, so it is not worth using this plugin for setting the featured images but only to import external images.

After importing the XML file of the WordPress export, run Media Tools, it will trace the posts looking for src attributes of images found, if these do not exist on the new website, the plugin will upload them to the new uploads folder and update the src attribute of images to the new location.


1. Export posts or pages from the old site. Tools -> Export.

2. Install WordPress Importer in the new site where you will import the exported file.

3. Tools -> Import, select the file. Assign the authors of the posts and check “Download and import file attachments”, this box is to download and import attachments, but as I said before, it will not download or import,  it just adds the url’s of the images in the posts and will continue pointing to the old site.

4. Install the Media Tools plugin, activate it, go to Tools -> Media Tools.

Select the option to import external images. Select the post type where it must perform the tracing (posts, pages, etc.) and click the button below to start the process (as I said before, the option to assign featured images does not work properly so it’s better ignore this option for the moment).

5. The progress bar will display and just below a log of the traced posts with the found and imported images. When the bar reaches 100% the process is complete.

To set the first image as featured.

Install the plugin  Set All First Images As Featured

This plugin will scan looking for images attached to the post and save the first image found as featured. If it doesn’t find any images attached to the post it will look for  src attribute of the first <img> tag in the content of the post, if it finds an image it will save it as the featured one.

Before running this plugin (and generally any plugin that modifies your database) is recommended to do a backup of the database (and in this case specifically the tables postmeta and posts)

WordPress import and export, add this to your reading list

Very complete article in wphub.com with tips to export and import , from the default WordPress import/export functionality, to a long list of plugins for that matter, and also included script to import to MySQL database from Excel or CSV.

I haven’t really tested all of it, but I think it’s worth to check this out when you need to do this kind of work.