Move Your Web Content with WordPress Import and Export

This video shows you how to use the WordPress import and export feature to move your web content between websites. For demonstration purposes I export content posted on and import it to a self-hosted WordPress site. But you’re not limited to moving content between WordPress installations. The import feature also moves content from other blogging systems like Blogger, TypePad, and LiveJournal.

The video also demonstrates an overlooked import features, the ability convert tags to categories and categories to tags.


8 thoughts on “Move Your Web Content with WordPress Import and Export”

  1. Very informative video. I didn’t realize that it was possible to change categories into tags.
    Many thanks!


  2. Guys, how did you get the twitter widget on the top right hand corner? Thanks for the attention – love it btw …

    1. @alps, Thanks, the twitter widget is actually hard coded into the theme header. It’s just your standard Javascript widget being positioned with HTML and CSS.

  3. Hi – I’m about to change my WP theme – however the preview of the new theme looks messy, with lots of conflicting menu headings and a range of aesthetic issues. Therefore I’d like to start the new theme ‘clean’ – to do this I am going to use the import/export mechanism you demonstrated above to make sure I do not pull in any unwanted content/formatting to my new theme.

    However, after I have exported data, I am assuming i’d have to delete all of the content so that it is not automatically imported into my new theme when it is activated. Let me know if this method is correct or if there are other techniques to do the same.

    Many thanks for your thoughts and for generating this great content.


    1. @Andrew – Import and Export are designed to move content from one WordPress installation to another. If you plan to setup a new installation of WordPress to test your theme, then import/export is a good way to move test content to that new site. However, it sounds like you plan to import your content back to the blog that you exported from. That’s not recommended and you will almost certainly be disappointed with the results.

  4. Hi Kirk,

    What’s going on with the new database when we move a WordPress site from one place to another? Is the import tool that take control of this database’s change name?

    Is it the same process if the WordPress to move is on our own server (local)? Is there an another procedure to do in this case?

    Thank you very much!

  5. Hi Lucy,

    If you’re using the Import/Export process described in this video you won’t be accessing your MySQL database directly. Instead, you’re going through WordPress to load content into the database.

    It is possible that your database name may change from server to server. That won’t matter if you use the Import/Export process.

    The downside of this approach is that WordPress doesn’t export all of your plugin and theme settings. To get those you need to do a full database export through MySQL. If the export includes the database name you may run into problems when you go to import on your new server (or local server) if the name is different. You can get around that by editing the SQL file. Just change the name to match the name of the database on the server you’re restoring to. Or delete the “create database” line entirely and just restore directly to the database that’s already been created.

    I hope this helps. This lesson was intended to be the quick solution to moving content, as opposed to migrating an entire site.

  6. Hi Kirk, I tried to click through on your “contact us” link but I could not, thus this message/question being where it is. At any rate, I am considering checking out website blueprint, but I want to know if you cover adding custom page templates to a theme specifically in that course. Thanks.

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