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How To Export WordPress Content (Easily!)

how to export wordpress content

Do you want to learn how to export WordPress content in a few clicks?

Exporting your content isn’t just about keeping a backup (though that’s super important); it’s packing up your digital life into a suitcase, ready to move whenever needed.

That’s where exporting comes into play.

It’s your safety net for backups, your golden ticket to smooth site migrations, or even a way to share your content with others.

Whether you’re a blogger, a business owner, or someone who loves to customize and tweak your website, understanding how to export your WordPress content is a game-changer.

Let’s dive into this journey together and explore how to export your WordPress world.

This post covers:

You might also be interested in reading how to export a WordPress site.

How To Export WordPress Content

1. Access The WordPress Export Tool

discover the wp export tool
First things first, let’s head over to your WordPress dashboard.

Now, navigate to the “Tools” section in the left sidebar. (See how to use WordPress Export Tool.)

Click on “Export,” and you’ve officially started your exporting adventure.

Welcome to the Export screen!

Here, you’ll see various options that might seem overwhelming initially but don’t worry.

You can export everything from posts, pages, to all your media files.

In the next few steps, we’ll explore how to select exactly what you want to take with you.

2. Here’s What You Can Export

how to use the wordpress export tool
Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what content you can pack up and take with you from your WordPress site.

Ready? Let’s explore!


export wordpress posts
WordPress lets you export your posts based on category, author, date range, or status.

Want to take all your travel tales with you?

Or perhaps just the guest posts from your favorite contributors?

You’ve got the power to choose.


export wordpress pages
Your pages are the cornerstones of your site – the About Me, Contact, and whatever else you’ve crafted.

Whether you’re looking to export every page or just a handful of selected ones, WordPress has you covered.


export wordpress media
What’s a diary without pictures?

You can also export media files (images, videos, etc.) linked to your posts and pages.

This ensures that all those visual stories that add life to your words aren’t left behind.

Custom Post Types

Got some custom content types? Maybe a portfolio or a set of testimonials?

These aren’t your standard blog posts or pages, but they’re part of your site’s story.

Yes, you can pack these, too!

Contact Forms

export wordpress contact forms
Last but not least, your contact forms.

They might not seem like much, but they’re your connection to the outside world – your readers, clients, and friends.

3. Select Content For Export

Whether you’re looking to import everything or just the special highlights, this friendly step-by-step guide will help you select the content for export from your WordPress site.

Step-By-Step Guide: Select Specific Content Or All Content

1. Start: Head to the “Export” section under “Tools” in your WordPress dashboard.

2. Export all: Here’s where you make the call. You’ll see an option to export “All content.” This includes posts, pages, comments, custom fields, terms, navigation menus, and custom posts.

3. Or get specific: Not looking to move the entire house? No problem! You can choose to export “Posts,” “Pages,” or Media” separately. It’s like picking your favorite outfits instead of the entire wardrobe.

4. Customize your selection:

For “Posts” and “Pages,” you can filter by:

  • Author: Perfect if you have guest authors and only want to export their work.
  • Date range: Ideal for when you’re looking for that perfect summer series you wrote.
  • Status: Handy if you want to export only published content, leaving drafts behind.

For “Media,” you select files attached to posts or pages within a certain timeframe.

download export file in wordpress

5. Hit export: Once you’ve made your choices, click the “Download Export File” button. Your WordPress site will package your selections into a neat XML file, ready for download.

Tips On Filtering Content

  • Don’t rush: Before you start, consider what you need or want to take. This can save time and space in the long run.
  • Use filters wisely: Filters are like your packing checklist. Want to leave behind the old to make room for the new? Use the date range filter. Only interested in your writings? Filter by author.
  • Preview before you pack: If you’re unsure about what you’ve selected, you can always preview your posts or pages to ensure you bring along the right stuff.

4. Export Your Content

I’ve already briefly mentioned the export process above, but here are some additional insights to avoid inconvenience.

Understand The XML File Format

The file you just downloaded is in XML format, which stands for eXtensible Markup Language.

It’s a way of storing your data in a readable format for humans and machines.

This file is a detailed catalog of your WordPress content, from posts and pages to comments and custom fields.

Why XML?

It’s versatile and widely accepted, making importing your content into another WordPress site or even a different content management system easier.

What To Do If You Encounter Errors Or Issues During Export

  • Stay calm: Technical glitches can happen.
  • Check your internet connection: A stable connection is sometimes all you need.
  • Try a smaller export: If the process fails, consider exporting your content in smaller chunks.
  • Consult the help section: WordPress has a vast community and many resources. (They’re there to ensure you a smooth export.)
  • Consider using a plugin: A plugin might offer a more robust solution for larger sites or specific needs.

What To Do After The Export?

Congrats! You’ve successfully exported your WordPress content.

But before you set off, ensure your precious cargo is stored securely and you know what to do next.

Storing The Export File Securely

  • Cloud storage: Consider uploading your export file to a cloud storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud.
  • External hard drive or USB: For an extra layer of security, save a copy on an external hard drive or USB stick.
  • Password protection: If your export file contains sensitive information, consider adding password protection or encryption.

Importing The Content Into Another WordPress Site

wordpress import tool page

  • Open the new WordPress dashboard: Navigate to your new or existing WordPress site where you want to import your content.
  • Install the WordPress Importer: Go to “Tools” > “Import” in the dashboard and choose “WordPress” at the bottom of the list. You might need to install the WordPress Importer plugin.
  • Upload your export file: Once the importer is installed and activated, you’ll be prompted to upload your WordPress export file. Select your file and click “Upload file and import.”
  • Assign authors & import attachments: You can assign posts to existing authors or create new ones. Make sure to check the box to import file attachments.

Note: For more on this, check my guide on how to use the WordPress Import Tool.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

  • File size limits: If you’re having trouble uploading your export file due to file size limits, you might need to increase the maximum upload file size in your WordPress settings.
  • Incomplete exports: If your export seems incomplete, try exporting your content in smaller portions. Sometimes, breaking it down into smaller “packages” can help ensure nothing gets left behind.
  • Error messages: Encountering error messages? Don’t panic. Check the WordPress support forums or consult with a tech-savvy friend (even your WordPress hosting support).

Use Plugins To Enhance Export/Import Capabilities

wp all export plugin
Do you feel like you need extra power when moving your WordPress content?

That’s when plugins come into play, supercharging your export/import capabilities.

Popular Plugins That Offer More Export/Import Flexibility

One standout hero in the plugin world is WP All Export.

This plugin allows you to export your data in various formats, customize the exported data, and even set up automatic exports.

Installing & Using Export/Import Plugins

  1. Find your plugin: Start by navigating to the Plugins section in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Install & activate: Search for “WP All Export” or another export/import plugin of your choice. Click “Install Now” and then “Activate.” (See our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin if you need more help.)
  3. Start exporting: Once activated, the plugin is under the Tools section, ready to help you organize your content. You can select specific data to export, customize the format, and even automate the process for regular backups.

Pros & Cons: Plugins vs. Default Tool

Pros Of Using Plugins

  • Flexibility: Plugins offer more options for filtering and selecting the exact data you want to export.
  • Format variety: With plugins, you’re not just stuck with XML; you can export in CSV, Excel, and more.
  • Automation: Some plugins allow you to set up automatic exports, ensuring your content is backed up regularly without you having to lift a finger.

Cons Of Using Plugins

  • Learning curve: New tools have new buttons, settings, and options, so it might take a bit to learn the ropes.
  • Overhead: More powerful tools can sometimes slow down your site or conflict with other plugins.
  • Cost: While many plugins offer free versions, unlocking the full suite of features often comes with a price tag.

Conclusion: Master Exporting WP Content

And there you have it, folks – you now know how to export your WordPress content – all or parts of it.

You also learned how to organize it better and even discovered some cool plugins to make exporting easier.

Remember, regularly exporting your content isn’t just about moving or backing up; it’s about giving yourself peace of mind.

It’s knowing that your digital creations, blog posts, pages, and all media files, are safe.

So, I encourage you to get hands-on and practice exporting your WordPress content.

Familiarize yourself with the process, play around with the tools, and maybe even test out a plugin or two.

Think of it as a digital fire drill; you hope you’ll never need it, but you’ll be so glad you knew what to do if the time comes.

FAQs About Exporting WordPress Content

How do I export all of my WordPress content?

Go to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to “Tools” > “Export,” and select “All content.” Click the “Download Export File” button to save your entire site’s content as an XML file.

Can I choose specific parts of my WordPress site to export (posts or pages)?

Yes! In the “Export tool” under “Tools,” you can select specific content types such as “Posts,” “Pages,” or “Media.” Choose the desired option, apply any filters if needed, and export only that section of your site.

What format is WordPress content exported in?

WordPress exports content in an XML format, which allows you to easily import this data into another WordPress site or different platforms that support XML.

Why might I need to use a plugin for exporting WordPress content?

While the default WordPress export tool covers basic needs, plugins like WP All Export provide more flexibility, allowing for custom export options, different file formats (e.g., CSV, Excel), and automated scheduled exports.

What should I do if my export file is too large or fails to download?

Try breaking down your export into smaller parts, such as exporting posts, pages, and media separately. If issues persist, consider increasing your PHP memory limit or using a plugin that allows for partial exports or handles large files better.

About Author

Rok decided to put his original approach and vision into action by starting ULTIDA, thanks to his extensive experience with web development and design since 2011. Working with 100s of clients made his subconscious mind think of nothing but themes, HTML, plugins, mockups, etc.