Written on February 10, 2009 by  /  with 25 comments  /  in the Wordpress Tips category.

How To Import Content Into WordPress via CSV

I ran into a situation recently where a client of mine was starting a new blog and needed my helpĀ  importing over 600 blog articles into WordPress. The other complexity was that these articles were all in individual Microsoft Word Docs and not currently in some other blog platform like Blogger or WordPress that I could just export. So I needed a way to be able to quickly combine all the Word Docs into one spreadsheet and import them all at one time! Even that would be time consuming considering I had to do 600 Articles but it will still save me days from inputing each blog article one by one. After much research and trail and error I finally found something that worked for me.

Update: October 14, 2010

Use The CSV Importer Plugin

Currently the best plugin for importing multiple blog posts via CSV is the CSV Importer plugin. There are many other plugins that claim to be “free” but are actually baiting you into a proprietary version. Watch out for these. The CSV Importer Plugin is currently the best in the open source market of plugins to help you accomplish this mass importing task. It’s features include:

  • Imports post title, body, excerpt, tags, date, categories etc.
  • Supports custom fields, custom taxonomies and comments
  • Deals with Word-style quotes and other non-standard characters using WordPress built-in mechanism (same one that normalizes your input when you write your posts)
  • Columns in the CSV file can be in any order, provided that they have correct headings

The plugin is fairly easy to use. Just be sure to follow the Usage Notes here and you should be good to go. Really the most important thing is to have your CSV file compiled correctly in order for the plugin to read it properly.

The information below is what I tried over 1 year ago and had success, but most likely is not working any more. I now use this plugin for my importing needs.

Plugin I Tried To Use But Failed

A CSV Import script posted by Zack Preble is probably what most of you will come across. It was the first script I tried using without any luck. It imported a bunch of mashed up junk, confusing the titles for the categories and vice versa. If you are using the most recent version at the time of this post which is 2.7, I don’t recommend using Zack’s script until he updates it to work with this most recent version.

Plugin That Worked For CSV Importing of Content to WordPress

After trying various random ideas, I finally came across a plugin posted by JayBlogger. It’s apparently a script that he payed a developer to put together and it worked like a charm for WordPress 2.7. The only issue I ran into was importing the categories. But with this plugin I was successfully able to import the following fields from the CSV file:

  1. Post Title
  2. Post Content
  3. Tags
  4. Timestamp

Here’s Exactly What I Did Step By Step

  • Go to JayBlogger and download his plugin
  • Unzip and upload the folder to your plugins directory
  • Activate the plugin
  • Look for the Import CSV page in your Admin Panel
  • Put together your CSV file by opening up the Test CSV file inside the plugin directory
  • Be sure to use the same format they use
  • Make sure your Timestamp date is in this format – “Feb 19, 2009 18:22:11 PM”
  • Import Your CSV File and enjoy!

The only bug I ran into with this plugin with WordPress 2.7 is that the Categories would not import. But in my case I didn’t need it to, I just needed the tags. This is something however that will most likely be important too many of you. I will keep you informed on when/if there is a fix for this.