Export and Import Users in WordPress: Complete Guide for User Management

Ever feel like managing users in WordPress is an all-or-nothing battle? Importing new accounts or exporting existing ones can sometimes turn into a daunting search. Let’s help you with a way out! This guide will brighten the path to seamless user transfer, making WordPress feel like a user-friendly paradise.

Imagine the power: effortlessly migrating your community from website A to website B. Importing and exporting users in WordPress opens a world of possibilities. It lets you manage your digital domain with the precision of a seasoned architect.

Still wrestling with user logistics? Don’t worry! This comprehensive guide will break down the process into bite-sized steps. It will guide you from essential precautions to post-import tips. And if you ever get lost in the WordPress outdoors, – the comforting support from a WordPress development company is just a click away. So, let’s dive in and conquer the user migration frontier!

Why Export or Import Users in WordPress?

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving to a new website or welcoming a fresh wave of members. The exporting and importing users in WordPress empower you with flexibility and control over your digital community. Let’s explore the compelling reasons behind mastering this user-friendly force:

  • Transitioning to a new WordPress home? Take your entire community with you without leaving anyone behind.
  • Effortlessly add new users in bulk. It saves time and energy for more creative efforts.
  • Create a safety net for your user information with WordPress backup practices. This ensures easy recovery in case of unexpected events.
  • Seamlessly populate test sites with user data. Thus, creates a realistic scenario for experimentation and innovation.
  • Effortlessly transfer user roles and permissions, maintaining a well-organized community structure.

When you harness the power of user migration in WordPress, you’re ensuring a seamless user experience. It protects valuable data and welcomes a world of possibilities for your community. Ready to undertake forth into the domain of user mobility? Let’s dive into the practical steps to make it happen!

Pre WordPress Users Exporting and Importing Measures

Before undertaking your user migration expedition, taking some precautionary measures can ensure a smooth and successful journey. Consider these crucial steps:

  • Back-Up Your Data: It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Export your entire WordPress database, including user information, for a secure fallback plan.
  • Identify Your Target Destination: Where will your imported users land? Ensure your new or existing WordPress site is ready to receive them, with appropriate user roles and permissions configured.
  • Consider Expert Assistance: If navigating technical waters feels daunting, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of proficient WordPress experts. Their expertise can steer you clear of any obstacles and ensure a smooth migration.

While investing a little pre-travel prep, you’ll undertake your user migration journey with ease. With your website backed up, the right tools at your side, and you’re primed for a smooth and successful procedure!

How to Export Users in WordPress?

With your user data safely exported, the stage is set for their grand arrival at your new WordPress destination! Navigating user export isn’t just about technical steps; it’s about orchestrating a seamless transition for your community. So, grab your export banner, polish your process, and let’s dive into the export procedures:

1. Export WordPress Users Using Built-in Export Tools

wordpress export users

WordPress equips you with inherent tools to manage user migration, eliminating the need for external plugins in certain scenarios. Here’s a guide to navigating this native export process:

Step 1: Access the Export Tool: Within your WordPress admin dashboard, locate the “Tools” section and select the “Export” option. This discloses the platform’s built-in export functionality, designed to facilitate user migration.

Step 2: Define Export Criteria: Exercise control over your export by selecting either “All Users” or filtering by specific user roles or registration dates. This allows you to tailor the exported data to match your unique migration objectives.

Step 3: Initiate Download: Once you’ve established your export parameters, click the “Download Export File” button. WordPress will promptly generate a CSV file. This file will contain the essential user details, prepared for import into their new digital destination.

You’ve effectively utilized WordPress’s native export tools to streamline user migration without external plugins. It demonstrates proficiency in the platform’s core capabilities.

2. Export Users Using WordPress Plugin

For those seeking flexibility or the ability to export a wider range of user data. Choosing WordPress plugins offers a potent solution. Here’s how to navigate this approach:

Step 1: Plugin Plunge:  Explore the warehouse of WordPress plugins to uncover tools specifically designed for user export and import. Popular choices include “Import and Export Users and Customers” and “WP All Export.” Install a plugin and activate your chosen one, unlocking a new dimension of user migration possibilities.

Step 2: Navigate Plugin-Specific Interface: Each plugin presents its own unique interface and features. Familiarize yourself with the available options and settings to tailor the export process.

Step 3: Define Export Parameters: Most plugins allow you to select specific user roles, date ranges, or other criteria to refine the exported data.

Step 4: Initiate Export: Once you’ve configured your export preferences, execute the export process. The plugin will generate a CSV file containing the selected user information, ready for import into your target WordPress site.

Step 5: Reap the Benefits: Plugins often grant access to expanded export capabilities, such as:

  • Exporting additional user data beyond basic information
  • Scheduling recurring exports for ongoing maintenance
  • Filtering by custom fields or user metadata for highly targeted migrations

With WordPress plugins, you’ve unlocked a gateway to expanded user export capabilities. Whether you’re seeking comprehensive data transfer or advanced filtering options, plugins offer a versatile solution.

3. Export WordPress Users With a Code-based Method

For those comfortable venturing beyond plugins and seeking granular control over user data export, WordPress offers a code-based approach using PHP. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Access Your WordPress Functions File: Navigate to your WordPress site’s file structure. Typically by using a WordPress FTP client or file manager within your hosting control panel. Locate the “functions.php” file, which resides within your active theme’s directory.

Step 2: Insert Code Snippet:  Carefully add the following code snippet to the “functions.php” file:

function my_export_users() {
    $users = get_users();
    $export_data = array();
    foreach ($users as $user) {
        $export_data[] = array(
            'user_login' => $user->user_login,
            'user_email' => $user->user_email,
            // Add other user fields as needed
    header('Content-Type: text/csv');
    header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="users.csv"');
    $fp = fopen('php://output', 'w');
    foreach ($export_data as $row) {
        fputcsv($fp, $row);
add_action('admin_init', 'my_export_users');

Step 3: Initiate Export: Visit your WordPress dashboard’s “Tools” section. You’ll find a new “Export Users” link, created by the added code. Click it to trigger the user export process.

Step 4: Download User Data: WordPress will generate a CSV file containing the exported user information It will be. ready for your download and subsequent import into your target website.

Diving into the realm of PHP, you’ve unlocked a level of control over user exports. It extends beyond the reach of plugins and built-in tools. With the ability to create custom export functionality, you can tailor the process to the exact needs of your WordPress project.

How to Import Users in WordPress?

If you’re looking to add a large number of users to your WordPress website, you may be wondering how to do so efficiently. Luckily, there are a few options for importing users into WordPress that can save you time and effort. In this section, we’ll explore three methods for importing users.

1. Import WordPress Users Using Built-in Export Tools

wordpress import users tab

For those seeking a straightforward approach to user import, WordPress generously offers built-in tools to guide you through the process. Embracing these native capabilities often proves sufficient for many migration scenarios, eliminating the need for external plugins. Here’s how to conquer user import with WordPress’s inherent functionality:

Step 1: Access Import Option: Within your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the “Tools” section and locate the “Import” option. This portal will serve as your launchpad for welcoming users to their new digital abode.

Step 2: Select Import Method: Choose “WordPress” as your import tool. This aligns with the CSV file format generated during the export process.

Step 3: Upload User Data: Click the “Choose file” button and select the exported CSV file containing your user information. This file acts as the blueprint for reconstructing your community within your new WordPress environment.

Step 4: Map User Roles (Optional): If you’d like to assign specific user roles during the import, check the “Download and import file attachments” box. This grants you the power to streamline user permissions and structure your community effectively.

Step 5: Initiate Import: Press the “Submit” button and initiate the magical process of user migration. WordPress will diligently parse the CSV file, creating user accounts and transferring essential details to their new home.

WordPress’s built-in tools offer convenience and simplicity. Yet, it’s crucial to acknowledge their potential limitations. If your migration involves user data structures or demands advanced mapping options, exploring dedicated import plugins remains a wise approach.

2. Import Users Using WordPress Plugin

Seeking more comprehensive control? WordPress plugins offer customization options, and the ability to import complex user data. Here’s how to harness their power:

Step 1: Explore the Plugin: Discover plugins like “Import and Export Users and Customers” or “WP All Import” that cater to user migration needs. Install and activate your chosen plugin, unlocking a treasure trove of advanced import features.

Step 2: Navigate Plugin-Specific Interface: Familiarize yourself with the plugin’s features and configuration options. Tailor the import process to your exact requirements.

Step 3: Initiate Import: Within the plugin’s interface, select the appropriate import method. Upload your exported CSV file containing user data, and carefully configure any required mapping options. These often include: 

  • Mapping user fields
  • Defining user roles
  • Custom field management

Step 4: Execute Import: Once you’ve configured the import process, initiate the transfer of user data. The plugin will diligently handle the migration, creating user accounts and populating them with the imported information.

Step 5: Unlock the Benefits: Plugins often unlock a spectrum of advanced import capabilities, including:

  • Importing from multiple sources, such as other platforms or databases
  • Scheduling recurring imports for automated user maintenance
  • Filtering and sorting user data during import for targeted migrations
  • Handling complex user data structures and custom fields

You’ve expanded your user import horizons, gaining access to a wealth of customization options and advanced features. No matter, if you’re managing intricate data structures, or seeking granular control over the migration process. The plugins provide a versatile solution to meet your unique needs.

3. Import WordPress Users With a Code-based Method

For those proficient in navigating WordPress’s core functionality, code-based import methods offer unparalleled control and customization. By directly interacting with PHP, you can tailor the process to meet the exact requirements of your project.

Step 1: Accessing the Functions File: Utilize an FTP client or your hosting control panel’s file manager to locate the “functions.php” file. For this, you might need some understanding of WordPress files and the directory structure. This file serves as the gateway for introducing custom code into your WordPress environment.

Step 2: Integrating Import Code: Carefully incorporate the following code snippet into the “functions.php” file:

function my_import_users() {
    // Replace this placeholder with your tailored import logic, defining how user data will be parsed from the CSV file and integrated into the WordPress database. This requires a proficient understanding of PHP and WordPress's user-related functions.
add_action('admin_init', 'my_import_users');

Step 3: Initiating the Import Process: With the search for the WordPress login URL, access the admin dashboard. Lastly, trigger the import. The specific method of activation will depend on your custom code implementation.

The code will be executed! Meticulously reading user data from the CSV file and constructing corresponding user accounts within your WordPress site. If you don’t possess the requisite coding expertise and require customization that transcends plugin capabilities, you can request assistance from WordPress experts to craft tailored import solutions.

Post WordPress Users Exporting and Importing Measures

Congratulations on successfully completing the user migration process within your WordPress environment! Now, it’s imperative to prioritize and establish a positive digital experience for your community. Here are key measures to implement following user export and import:

  • Data Verification and Validation: Conduct a thorough verification of all imported user data. Cross-check information for accuracy and completeness. This ensures that no users were inadvertently omitted or experienced errors during the migration.
  • Troubleshooting Discrepancies: Dedicate time to identifying and promptly resolving any issues that may arise. It could be:
    • Inaccurately assigned user roles
    • Missing or incomplete data fields
    • Potential password reset requirements
  • Improving User Experience: Foster a welcoming environment for your newly integrated community. Consider optimizing the navigation menu and structures for effortless site exploration.
  • Leveraging Expert Resources: Encountering complexities requires additional support, so readily seek guidance from WordPress specialists. Their specialized knowledge can:
    • Facilitate a seamless migration process.
    • Troubleshoot lingering issues with efficiency and precision.
    • Optimize user management strategies for long-term success.

Remember, successful user management necessitates an ongoing commitment, not a one-time endeavor. Continuously monitor, adapt, and refine your strategies to cultivate a thriving digital community. It should align with your website’s objectives and support its long-term growth.

FAQs About Exporting and Importing Users in WordPress

How do I export users with custom fields in WordPress?
Exporting users with custom fields in WordPress requires a slight detour from the built-in tools. Here's what you need to do:
  • Plugin: These tools offer dedicated options to define which custom fields you want to include in the export process.
  • Manual: For a one-time export, you can manually edit the exported CSV file after using the built-in export tool. Add a column for each custom field and populate it with the corresponding data.
How do I export and import a database in WordPress?
Exporting and importing the entire WordPress database goes beyond user migration. Here's a quick breakdown:
  • Exporting: Use a plugin like "UpdraftPlus" to create a complete backup of your WordPress database.
  • Importing: If you need to migrate your entire site to a new location, import the backup file on the new WordPress installation using the same plugin's import functionality.
Where are users stored in WordPress?
WordPress user information is stored in the "wp_users" table within your website's database. This table contains essential details like usernames, email addresses, passwords (hashes), user roles, and more.


You’ve reached the summit of user migration in WordPress! You now possess the knowledge and tools to navigate the process with confidence. Remember, user migration isn’t just about technical steps; it’s about fostering a seamless transition for your community.

  • Flexibility: Choose from built-in tools, powerful plugins, or custom code-based solutions.
  • Security: Safeguard user data during every step, from export to import. You must ensure the integrity of your website.
  • Engagement: Welcome your users with open arms, guide them through new features, and actively seek feedback.

But your journey doesn’t end here. As your WordPress needs to evolve, so too can your user management strategies. Whether you require advanced customization, ongoing maintenance, or expert guidance, our team of 5+ WordPress experts stands ready to assist you. Contact us today and discover the solutions you need to conquer user migration and beyond!

Mehul Patel is a seasoned IT Engineer with expertise as a WordPress Developer. With a strong background in Core PHP and WordPress, he has excelled in website development, theme customization, and plugin development.

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