CSV Importer


This plugin imports posts from CSV (Comma Separated Value) files into your WordPress blog. It can prove extremely useful when you want to import a bunch of posts from an Excel document or the like – simply export your document into a CSV file and the plugin will take care of the rest.


  • 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
  • Multi-language support

Drag & Drop to Import any CSV/Excel/XML with WP All Import Pro

WP All Import Pro can import custom fields, taxonomies, WooCommerce, images and galleries, users, ACF, and everything else:

  • Drag & Drop to Import Any File: Give any CSV or XML to WP All Import, then drag and drop to map data from your file into WordPress.
  • Any Custom Post Type, Every Data Type: Import data to custom post types, with support for WooCommerce, ACF, custom fields, taxonomies, and everything else.
  • Import Images & Galleries: Images can be uploaded, downloaded, or matched to media already in WordPress. Full support for WooCommerce product images and variation galleries.
  • Import Files from URL: Download and import files from external websites, even if they are password protected. URL imports are can be re-run to add, edit, and delete posts.
  • Scheduled Imports: WP All Import Pro can check periodically check a file for updates and then add, update, or delete to the imported posts accordingly.
  • Developer Friendly: Pass data through custom PHP functions. For example, use something like [my_function( {user_email[1]} )] in your template, to pass the value of {user_email[1]} to my_function and display whatever it returns.
  • Priority Support: Personal support from our team of expert developers with over a decade of experience importing and exporting WordPress data.
  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee: Not 100% happy? Let us know, and we’ll promptly send you a refund. No questions asked.

Check out WP All Import today.


Click on the CSV Importer link on your WordPress admin page, choose the file you would like to import and click Import. The examples directory inside the plugin’s directory contains several files that demonstrate how to use the plugin. The best way to get started is to import one of these files and look at the results.

CSV is a tabular format that consists of rows and columns. Each row in a CSV file represents a post; each column identifies a piece of information that comprises a post.

Basic post information

  • csv_post_title – title of the post
  • csv_post_post – body of the post
  • csv_post_typepost, page or a custom post type.
    New in version 0.3.2
    In prior versions, importing rows as pages could be specified on a per-file basis using the plugins UI. In 0.3.2, csv_post_type column was added to support custom post types as well.
    Refer to the WordPress documentation on custom post types for more info on how to set up custom post types.
  • csv_post_excerpt – post excerpt
  • csv_post_categories – a comma separated list of category names or ids.
    New in version 0.3.5
    It’s also possible to assign posts to non-existing subcategories, using > to denote category relationships, e.g. Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia. If any of the categories in the chain does not exist, the plugin will automatically create it. It’s also possible to specify the parent category using an id, as in 42 > Primates > Callitrichidae, where 42 is an existing category id.
  • csv_post_tags – a comma separated list of tags.
  • csv_post_date – about any English textual description of a date and time.
    For example, now, 11/16/2009 0:00, 1999-12-31 23:55:00, +1 week, next Thursday, last year are all valid descriptions. For technical details, consult PHP’s strtotime() function documentation.

Custom fields

Any column that doesn’t start with csv_ is considered to be a custom field name. The data in that column will be imported as the custom fields value.

General remarks

  • WordPress pages don’t have categories or tags.
  • Most columns are optional. Either csv_post_title, csv_post_post or csv_post_excerpt are sufficient to create a post. If all of these columns are empty in a row, the plugin will skip that row.
  • The plugin will attempt to reuse existing categories or tags; if an existing category or tag cannot be found, the plugin will create it.
  • To specify a category that has a greater than sign (>) in the name, use the HTML entity >

Advanced usage

  • csv_post_author – numeric user id or login name. If not specified or user does not exist, the plugin will assign the posts to the user performing the import.
  • csv_post_slug – post slug used in permalinks.
  • csv_post_parent – post parent id.

Custom taxonomies

New in version 0.3.0

Once custom taxonomies are set up in your theme’s functions.php file or by using a 3rd party plugin, csv_ctax_(taxonomy name) columns can be used to assign imported data to the taxonomies.

Non-hierarchical taxonomies

The syntax for non-hierarchical taxonomies is straightforward and is essentially the same as the csv_post_tags syntax.

Hierarchical taxonomies

The syntax for hierarchical taxonomies is more complicated. Each hierarchical taxonomy field is a tiny two-column CSV file, where the order of columns matters. The first column contains the name of the parent term and the second column contains the name of the child term. Top level terms have to be preceded either by an empty string or a 0 (zero).

Sample examples/custom-taxonomies.csv file included with the plugin illustrates custom taxonomy support. To see how it works, make sure to set up custom taxonomies from functions.inc.php.

Make sure that the quotation marks used as text delimiters in csv_ctax_ columns are regular ASCII double quotes, not typographical quotes like “ (U+201C) and ” (U+201D).


New in version 0.3.1

An example file with comments is included in the examples directory. In short, comments can be imported along with posts by specifying columns such as csv_comment_*_author, csv_comment_*_content etc, where * is a comment ID number. This ID doesn’t go into WordPress. It is only there to have the connection information in the CSV file.


This plugin uses php-csv-parser by Kazuyoshi Tlacaelel. It was inspired by JayBlogger’s CSV Import plugin.


  • Denis Kobozev (original author)
  • Kevin Hagerty (post_author support)
  • Edir Pedro (root category option and tableless HTML markup)
  • Frank Loeffler (comments support)
  • Micah Gates (subcategory syntax)
  • David Hollander (deprecation warnings, linebreak handling)


  • Plugin interface


Installing the plugin:

  1. Unzip the plugin’s directory into wp-content/plugins.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. The plugin will be available under Tools -> CSV Importer on WordPress administration page.


I have quotation marks and commas as values in my CSV file. How do I tell CSV Importer to use a different separator?

It doesn’t really matter what kind of separator you use if your file is properly escaped. To see what I mean by proper escaping, take a look at examples/sample.csv file which has cells with quotation marks and commas.

If the software you use for exporting to CSV is unable to escape quotation marks and commas, you might want to give OpenOffice Calc a try.

How can I import characters with diacritics, Cyrillic or Han characters?

Make sure to save your CSV file with utf-8 encoding.

Prior to version 6.0.4, MySQL did not support some rare Han characters. As a workaround, you can insert characters such as 𠊎 (U+2028E) by converting them to HTML entities – 𠊎

I cannot import anything – the plugin displays “Imported 0 posts in 0.01 seconds.”

Update to version 0.3.1 or greater. Previous versions required write access to the /tmp directory and the plugin failed if access was denied by PHP’s safe mode or other settings.

I’m importing a file, but not all rows in it are imported and I don’t see a confirmation message. Why?

WordPress can be many things, but one thing it’s not is blazing fast. The reason why not all rows are imported and there’s no confirmation message is that the plugin times out during execution – PHP decides that it has been running too long and terminates it.

There are a number of solutions you can try. First, make sure that you’re not using any plugins that may slow down post insertion. For example, a Twitter plugin might attempt to tweet every post you import – not a very good idea if you have 200 posts. Second, you can break up a file into smaller chunks that take less time to import and therefore will not cause the plugin to time out. Third, you can try adjusting PHP’s max_execution_time option that sets how long scripts are allowed to run. Description of how to do it is beyond the scope of this FAQ – you should search the web and/or use your web host’s help to find out how. However, putting the following line in .htaccess file inside public_html directory works for some people:

Sets max execution time to 2 minutes. Adjust as necessary.

php_value max_execution_time 120

The problem can be approached from another angle, namely instead of giving scripts more time to run making them run faster. There’s not much I can do to speed up the plugin (you can contact me at dvkobozev at gmail.com if you like to prove me wrong), so you can try to speed up WordPress. It is a pretty broad topic, ranging from database optimizations to PHP accelerators such as APC, eAccelerator or XCache, so I’m afraid you’re on your own here.

I receive the following error when I try to import my CSV file: “Invalid CSV file: header length and/or row lengths do not match”. What’s wrong with your plugin/my file?

Short answer: update to version 0.2.0 or later. Longer answer: the number of fields (values) in rows in your file does not match the number of columns. Version 0.2.0 pads such rows with empty values (if there are more columns than cells in a row) or discards extra fields (if there are less columns than cells in a row).

I’m getting the following error: Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR or '}' in .../public_html/wp-content/plugins/csv-importer/File_CSV_DataSource/DataSource.php on line 61. What gives?

This plugin requires PHP5, while you probably have PHP4 or older. Update your PHP installation or ask your hosting provider to do it for you.


জুন 19, 2021
I really love this plugin, but sometimes doesn’t worked fine for me and skipped some posts apparently without a reason. Now I’ve found a problem with accented letters commonly used in Italy, if one of these is used in the text the CVS plugin skip the post. After a lot of errors I’ve changed the “èéàìòù” characters with “a’ e’ i’ o’ u'” and what was previously skipped, is now correctly imported. Hope this helps some of you too.
সেপ্টেম্বর 3, 2016
Since I often have to create custom posts in batches, this saves me a lot of time. Just be aware that csv_post_title, csv_post_excerpt and csv_post_post must be present in the input file, even if they are empty.
ফেব্রুয়ারী 8, 2017
please help, how to make it an example of how the csv file, I am confused, could not have asked for an example of the csv file that is so, send me an email to asmawi_cuma@yahoo.com
Read all 27 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“CSV Importer” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “CSV Importer” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Minor ui update


  • Minor bug and security fixes


  • Minor bug and security fixes


  • Make hierarchical custom taxonomy line splitting more robust
  • Fix deprecation warnings


  • Fix category cleanup bug


  • Added ‘greater-than’ category syntax
  • Updated the docs


  • Added csv_post_parent column
  • Updated the docs
  • Got rid of a deprecation warning


  • Fixes incompatibility with versions of WordPress prior to 3.0 introduced in previous release.


  • Added ability to specify custom post type.


  • Import comments.
  • Updated php-csv-parser – the plugin should no longer create files in /tmp.


  • Custom taxonomies.


  • Root category selection, cleaner HTML.


  • Slight speed increase, support for post_author and post_name.


  • Bugfix release to deal with BOM that may occur in UTF-8 encoded files.


  • Ability to import rows as pages, not posts.
  • Starting with this version, you can also specify category ids instead of names.


  • Ability to handle CSV files where the number of cells in rows does notmatch the number of columns
  • Smart date parsing
  • Code cleanup.


  • New option to import posts with published status.


  • Added support for post excerpts.


  • Code cleanup
  • Changed column names for CSV input. Sorry if it breaks anything for you, folks, but it had to be done in order to allow for custom fields such as title (All in One SEO Pack uses those, for example).


  • Initial version of the plugin