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How To Use WordPress Export Tool?

wordpress export tool

Welcome to my in-depth guide on how to use WordPress Export Tool like a pro.

Have you ever considered the safety of your content or how you can move your precious work from one site to another without losing a single byte of data?

That’s where the magical WordPress Export tool comes into play.

Whether backing up your site to keep a secure copy of your hard work, migrating to a shiny new domain, or simply wanting to consolidate your content, this tool is your go-to solution.

From posts and pages to comments, custom fields, and media, the Export Tool ensures that NO PART of your website’s essence is left behind.

Stick with me as we dive into the world of WordPress exporting.

Let’s ensure your website’s journey is smooth and secure, whether it stays put or ventures into new territories.

This post covers:

Understand The WordPress Export Tool

In WordPress, the Export tool is a built-in feature designed to help you pack up your content, ready to move wherever it needs to go.

Whether you’re backing up your site, moving to a new host, or keeping a copy of your content, this tool has your back.

The beauty of the WordPress Export tool is its simplicity and power.

With just a few clicks, you can neatly wrap up all your digital content into a single file.

Types Of Content You Can Export

types of content you can export in wordpress

Here’s a rundown of the types of content it can handle with grace:

  • Posts: Every blog post, story, and article you’ve painstakingly written.
  • Pages: All the static pages that make up your site’s structure, from the homepage to the contact page.
  • Comments: The lively discussions and feedback from your visitors, preserving the community vibe.
  • Custom fields: Those extra bits of information add depth to your posts and pages.
  • Terms: The categories and tags that help organize your content and make it navigable.
  • Navigation menus: The roadmaps that guide your visitors through your site.
  • Custom posts: Any unique content types you’ve created, ensuring your site’s versatility remains intact.
  • Media: All your media – video, images, or other uploads to your Media section.

Prepare To Use The WordPress Export Tool

You want to ensure that everything is organized and backed up and that you’re only taking what you truly need.

Make Your Digital Space Ready For Export

Let’s do a bit of housekeeping to ensure everything is neat and tidy.

  • Update everything: Make sure your website’s content is up-to-date. This includes all your posts, pages, and any media files you intend to take.
  • Declutter: Take a stroll through your website and look for anything you no longer need. This could be old plugins that are no longer in use or irrelevant content.
  • Check for updates: Ensure all your themes and plugins are updated to their latest versions. This helps avoid compatibility issues when importing content into a new site.

Back Up: Better Safe Than Sorry

Before you start the export process, it’s crucial to have a full backup of your website. Here’s why and how:

  • Why backup: If anything unexpected happens during the export or subsequent import, you’ll have a complete copy of your website to fall back on.
  • How to backup: There are several ways to back up your WordPress site. You can use a WordPress backup plugin specifically designed for backups or manually create a backup through your hosting provider’s control panel.

Preparing your website for export ensures a smoother transition and gives you peace of mind.

Access The WordPress Export Tool

Step 1: Enter The Command Center

access wordpress export tool

Your first stop is the WordPress dashboard, the command center of your website.

If you’re already logged in, you’re one step ahead!

If not, simply type in your website’s URL followed by “/wp-admin” and enter your login credentials.


Welcome to the dashboard, the heart of your website.

Step 2: Discover The Tool

discover the wp export tool

Now that you’re in the command center:

  • Look to the left-hand side and find the “Tools” section.
  • Click on “Tools,” and a submenu will appear.
  • Among the options, you’ll see “Export.” Click it.

That’s it!

Use The WordPress Export Tool: Step-by-Step Guide

how to use the wordpress export tool

Select What To Export

All content: If you want to take everything with you – every post, page, comment, and so on – select the “All content” option.

Specific content: WordPress lets you pick specific content categories for a more selective move. You can choose to export:

  1. Posts: Just your blog posts, filtering by category, author, date range, or status if needed.
  2. Pages: Only your site’s pages, perfect for when you’re revamping or relocating your site’s structure.
  3. Media: All your images, videos, and files, ensuring your new site feels just like home.

Download The Export File

With your selections, follow these steps to securely wrap up your content:

1. Initiate the export process:

After choosing what to export, click the “Download Export File” button.

Your WordPress site will then start packaging your content into a neat XML file, essentially a blueprint of your site’s content.

2. Understand the XML file format:

The XML file is like a detailed inventory list of your website’s content, complete with instructions on where everything goes.

It includes your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags, and more, all in a format that another WordPress site can reconstruct.

3. Save & name your export file:

Once the export is ready, your computer will download the XML file.

Here are a few tips to keep your digital belongings organized:

  • Name: Give your export file a clear and descriptive name, incorporating the date and type of content. For example, “MySiteContentExport_July2024_AllContent.xml”. This makes it easier to identify later, especially if you make exports regularly.
  • Save: Store the file in a dedicated folder on your computer or cloud storage service, where it’s safe and easily accessible.

What To Do After The Export?

Congratulations on successfully exporting your WordPress site’s content.

Let’s explore how to make the most of your exported file, whether you’re moving to a new site, setting up a backup, or both.

How To Use The Exported File

You can open the XML file in a text editor (like Notepad or TextEdit) to see what’s inside.

It might look a bit like ancient script, but it’s actually all your content in a format that WordPress understands.

Import Content Into Another WordPress Site

import content into another wordpress site

Moving your content to a new home?

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prepare the new site: Log in to the WordPress dashboard of the site where you want to import your content.
  2. Install the WordPress Importer: Navigate to Tools > Import, find WordPress, and click “Install Now.” After installation, click “Run Importer.”
  3. Upload your exported file: Choose the XML file you exported earlier and upload it. You’ll then be able to assign imported content to existing users on the new site or create new users. You can also import attachments, ensuring all your media files make the trip over.
  4. Begin the import: With everything set, click the “Submit” button to start the import process.

For more, see this extensive guide on how to use the WordPress Import Tool.

Troubleshoot Common Issues

Timeout Errors

  • Break it down: Exporting it all at once might overwhelm your server, leading to timeout errors. Try exporting your site in sections – posts, pages, media – rather than all at once.
  • Increase PHP limits: Sometimes, your server just needs a bit more strength to carry the load. Increasing the PHP time limit and memory limit can help. This might require a chat with your WordPress hosting provider or a venture into the code of your site’s .htaccess or php.ini file.

Incomplete Exports

  • Check server resources: If your export file seems to be missing some pieces of the puzzle, it could be that your server ran out of resources mid-journey. Review your hosting plan to ensure it can handle your site’s demands.
  • Plugin conflicts: Sometimes, other plugins can interfere with the export process. Try deactivating non-essential plugins temporarily to see if that smooths the path.

How To Handle Large Export Files

1. Split The Load

  • Export by type: Break your content down by type (e.g., posts, pages) and export them separately. This reduces the file size and makes the process more manageable.
  • Use a plugin: There are plugins available that specialize in exporting and importing large amounts of data. These tools can often handle bigger loads more gracefully than the default WordPress exporter.

2. Upload Large Files

  • Increase upload limits: Just as you might need to increase PHP limits for exporting, you may need to increase the file upload limit for importing. This can often be done via the .htaccess file, php.ini file, or by contacting your hosting provider.
  • Use FTP: For particularly large files, consider uploading the XML file to your new site’s root directory via FTP. Then, you can use the WordPress Importer to run the import directly from the server, bypassing upload limits altogether.

Conclusion: Master WP Export Tool

The WordPress Export tool bridges your current website and its future, whether that’s a new domain, a safe backup, or a clean slate.

This tool ensures that you always have control over your content – your hard work, creativity, and digital legacy.

With the map in your hands, you’re ready to navigate the world of WordPress exporting with confidence and ease.

Remember, the digital seas are always changing, but with the WordPress Export tool and a bit of preparation, you’re well-equipped to handle whatever comes your way.

FAQs About WordPress Export Tool

What can I export with the WordPress Export tool?

You can export posts, pages, comments, custom fields, terms (categories and tags), navigation menus, and custom post types. This allows you to export most of your site’s content and structure.

Can I export my entire website with the WordPress Export tool?

Yes, you can export the entirety of your site’s content. However, note that the tool exports content, not your site’s design or theme settings.

Will the export include my media files (images, videos)?

The export file includes URLs to your media files, not the files directly. When importing using the WordPress Importer on another site, there’s an option to download and import file attachments, which will transfer your media files if they are accessible from their original URLs.

How can I import the content to another WordPress site?

To import content, go to the WordPress dashboard of the site you want to import to, navigate to Tools > Import, choose “WordPress” at the bottom of the list, and then upload the XML file you exported.

What should I do if my export file is too large?

If your export file is too large, consider breaking it down into smaller parts, such as by content type (e.g., posts, pages) or by date range. For very large sites, you may need to use a plugin specializing in handling larger volumes of data for exports and imports.

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.