What format does the CSV file need to use?

You can use nearly any character you like to separate fields, and nearly any character you like to enclose fields. The only characters you shouldn’t use are ‘~’ and ‘:’ since they are used to define category hierarchies.

The default separator is a comma (‘,’), and the default enclosure character is a double quote (‘”‘). These are the characters expected by most Western desktop software programs, but feel free to change them to whatever suits you. If you need to use double quotes in your content (ie for HTML), then you will probably find it easier to change the enclosure character to something you don’t use like ‘^’ or ‘|’.

How can I get double quotes to work?

This is only a problem if your enclosure character is a double quote and you want to use double quotes in your content. The best solution is to change the enclosure character to something else, but if you absolutely must insert the same character, then you can do so by doubling it up.

For intance, if you want text to appear as ‘Jane said “hello” to David’, then in your CSV file it needs to be: ‘Jane said “”hello”” to David’ (notice the repeated double quotes). This can get quite ugly, so usually it’ll be simpler to just change the enclosure character to something else.

Does the eShop CSV Plugin use standard wordpress functions?

Absolutely, the goal is to integrate with WordPress as much as possible. So, for instance, when you delete via CSV, you actually only move to trash and you can restore whatever you deleted via the normal WordPress method for 30 days afterwards.

I entered the name of a thumbnail image but it didn’t do anything. Why?

Make sure the image file is already in your media library, and that you just supply the filename (no path required). Sorry I couldn’t make this easier, but browsers are designed for security, and as such there’s no way I can program the plugin to fetch files from your computer’s hard disk.

Are categories and tags supported?

Yes, since version 2.0, there are two new columns for managing your tags and categories. Just list the categories/tags (ie “cat1,cat2,cat3” ), import the CSV file, then new categories/tags will be created if necessary, and then they’ll all be added to your post. You can create quite complex category hierarchies. Refer to the documentation for details.

How can I set a product to become available in the future?

Just set the future date and time you want it to be published in the ‘post_date’ column.

How can I change the default delimeter and enclosure characters?

This is for advanced users only so please contact me if you can’t find where to change these settings in the source code. Note that there aren’t any safeguards, so you’re on your own if it causes you problems. As always, you should be backing up your database frequently.

When I try to export it says no products found?

Check your file permissions. To export any number of products, CSV Imp needs to have permission to create files in ‘wp-content/uploads’. You can read more about WordPress and permissions here.

I have a large number of products, how many can CSV Imp handle?

Two happy customers have eShop stores with 5000+ products. I’ve only tested up to 10000, but don’t see any reason why it couldn’t handle more if your server has sufficient CPU and memory.

Can I add images to the main content of a post/page?

Yes. You can add whatever HTML you like to your ‘post_content’ field. So at its simplest you could add:

<img src='/wp-content/uploads/your-path/your-image.jpg'/>

If you want to do it the wordpress way, then I recommend you insert an image manually in one of your posts and then export to CSV to get the correct code. Your theme or other plugins might alter the default or WordPress itself could change in future, so don’t rely on my example below:

 <a href='/?attachment_id=74' rel='attachment wp-att-74'> <img src='/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Imp-205x300.jpg' alt='Imp' title='Imp' width='205' height='300' class='alignright size-medium wp-image-74' /> </a> 

You’ll notice that there are some post ids in there (ie ’74’, ‘wp-att-74’). I recommend not using these as it requires too much manual intervention.

Some users may find it more convenient to use shortcodes rather than HTML. CSV Imp supports this too, for instance, if your post has a gallery of images associated, then you could display one of the images using the ‘gallery’ shortcode (refer to WordPress documentation). You could also use a similar technique, except with the NextGen Gallery plugin.

Blank Screen

This problem is caused by your server settings. Please refer to the FAQs below regarding ‘Fatal Errors’.

Fatal Error: Maximum execution time of xx seconds exceeded.

If you have a slow, or overloaded, server you may receive this error once your CSV file starts to grow a little bit (usually 1000s of products). The less you pay for your hosting the more likely this is to happen because you’re not getting enough CPU to process your CSV file within the time limit (also set by your hosting provider).

Solution: Email your web host and request that they increase the php ‘max_execution_time’ setting to 600.

Any good web host (even inexpensive ones) will allow you to do this.

Fatal Error: Allowed memory size of xx exhausted.

WordPress is known to use a lot of memory once you activate several plugins. Most web hosts set the default to 32MB, but WordPress will often need to exceed that with 10-15 plugins installed (it depends largely on the plugins). Most good web hosts will allow you to increase your maximum memory usage from 32MB up to 64MB or even 128MB.

Solution: Contact your web host and request that the PHP ‘memory_limit’ setting is increased to at least 64MB.

Any good web host (even inexpensive ones) will allow you to do this.

How can I convert normal pages or posts into eShop products easily?

CSV Imp filters out normal pages and posts to reduce the size of the export file. There’s currently no way to make it export anything but eShop Products, but it can modify any post or page on import.

So, by following these steps, you can convert your posts:

  1. Install WP CSV
  2. Use WP CSV to export your normal pages and posts
  3. Use CSV Imp to export your eShop products (create one if you don’t have any already)
  4. Open both CSV files
  5. Copy the posts and pages you want to convert from the WP CSV file and paste them into the CSV IMP file
  6. The thumbnail columns won’t line up. So, if you have any, then use cut and paste to move them to the last column
  7. Now, on the row you just pasted, you’ll need to fill in all the fields starting with ‘eshop’ (Use your pre-existing eShop product as a guide)
  8. Save the file and import via the CSV Imp screens

Error: unable to create a new file (/tmp/eshop-products-20121210.csv). Please check your folder permissions.

If you’re receiving this error, then it most likely means that you’re on a shared server and your Web Host has restricted access to the default tmp folder that PHP uses.

The solution is to change the ‘CSV Path’ on the settings page of CSV Imp to somewhere that your Web Host hasn’t restricted. For instance, if your site files are in ‘/home/[username]/public_html’, then I’d recommend that you create a new folder ‘/home/[username]/csv_imp’ and put the full path into the CSV Path field on the settings page.

Note: You can’t store your CSV files anywhere inside ‘public_html’ because it would potentially allow someone to download your entire site in CSV format.

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