Things you need to know before you use WordPress' Export Function

February 11, 2010 |   5 minute read

Things you need to know before you use WordPress' Export Function

Background: I wanted to export some of my WordPress blog posts so I thought I'd try out WordPress' Export function. Here's what I learned from the experience...


1) It's a no-brainer to always back up your site before you do major work on it. But sometimes we feel like taking a gamble, we think "ah...this is a quick job, it'll work". But when you're exporting your WordPress blog, don't risk it. It is a big job and you will need a back up of your WordPress Blog.
2) Be careful that you do not assume definitions of "export" (and other terms) are consistent across various computer softwares: always read a variety of other people's experiences online (like this one!) before you try something yourself with your WordPress site.
3) When you export your WordPress site file, make sure you do not rename the WordPress Export file (e.g. When I saved the WordPress .xml export file to my desktop, the file's configuration no longer worked.  When I let my Mac download it and uploaded that WordPress .xml file, it worked on my new site--and my old site).
4) When you export in WordPress--you lose the posts. They no longer appear on your original site, so MAKE SURE you do not go into the new site and start permanently deleting posts you don't want. You will lose your posts and pages!
5) That last point was a real doozy, so don't panic: here's a potential fix. Provided you've done #3, if you lose your entire site, you might be able to get it back. Go back to the original WordPress site (i.e. the "old" one) and "import" the WordPress .xml file that Wordpress exported for you. *Remember, this won't work if you manipulate the WordPress export file, or even the file name at all.

So, Tip #3 is the key: I was finally able to export my WordPress blog posts and pages and import them to a new site. I lost my main WordPress site. But then I imported the WordPress .xml file of my site back onto my original WordPress site and that retrieved my original site. So in end, I managed to get what I intended: all of my blog posts and pages onto two sites.

BUT: I lost some of my features in the process, so always back up your site before you do major maintanence and ALWAYS read online before you try something new.

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