This article describes how to move your content from one installation of WordPress to another.
Installing the exporter
If this is your first time exporting the content you will have to install the plugin. It’s very easy just go to the left side menu of the dashboard, click on Tools > Export.
If the tool is already installed you will get a page like the one below. In this example you will only see “Posts, pages and media” available to choose separately but depending on what you have installed on your site the list of content will vary.
Sample below of what the exporter of my site shows.
Exporting your content
From the export page select “All content” and then click on the blue button that says “Download Export File”. This will save a file with an .xml extension in your computer. This file includes all content and images.
Let’s check what content (posts/pages) we are moving.
Installing the importer
On the destination/final site you will go to “Tools > Import” from the left side menu in the dashboard.
If it is a new site and you’ve never run the importer before you’ll need to install it.
Next, after the installation process completes, click on the Run Importer button to be taken to the Import page.
Importing your content
Get your file with the .xml extension and click on the “Upload file and import” button.
When choosing the file with our computer we can get a peek of the contents and some of the instructions.
The next screen will prompt you to choose a user from this website to “own” all the posts and pages. Basically this means each post and page has to belong to someone in the WordPress installation so you need to assign them or create a new user for them. You will check the box that asks to import attachments.
Next we get a response from WordPress. In my tests WordPress failed to import the featured images of the posts and pages. I tried several things to troubleshoot this (read about it in the last step of this document “Problems & Troubleshooting”).
Verifying your imported content
On the front page of your site you will be able to see the pages and posts that have been imported (unless you’ve created a menu already – you can follow the article “Create and Add menus to your WordPress site” to learn how to do that).
Problems & Troubleshooting
So during my demo, I got an error “Failed to import Media”. I checked the posts and pages and realized what were missing where the featured images for posts and pages. The images used inside the posts were imported correctly, but there were no media files in the Media Library.
I searched google and got different responses of what the problem could be. A short summary of possible issues:
- The media files were too big.
- A plugin might be interfering.
- The theme installed might not support featured images.
In my case the first two were not applicable as I had three images less than 100K each, and no plugins installed since it was a fresh install of WordPress.
Here is what I tried:
- I changed the theme to be the exact same in the source site and the destination site to no avail.
- I also tried exporting/importing “only” the images and that still gave me the error.
- I did the export on a real server instead of on my local computer.
All of these still gave me the same error message.
So my advice is to use this only if you want to move posts and pages but do not rely on it for image transfer as it is faulty.
Thank you for reading.