CSV Column Descriptions

Below you’ll find helpful details relating to every column that the plugin imports and exports. Please don’t attempt to type these into a spreadsheet. The best way to get a correctly formatted CSV file is by downloading an export file.


There should always be a number in this field when you export. Leave the number as it is if you want to modify the same post. If you want to use the post as a template for a new post, then delete the number and leave it blank. If you want to delete the post, then add a minus to the number (ie 123 becomes -123). Deleted posts will be moved to trash and WordPress will delete permanently after 30 days.


CSV Imp exports dates as yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss. However, by the time you see it in your spreadsheet it will probably have a different format. To avoid problems, I recommend configuring your spreadsheet not to alter the format, and to ensure that your import files format the dates in the same way that they are exported. If you use any other format, import may fail or the dates might be mis-interpreted.


This will be the title of your post or page.


This will be the content of your post or page. HTML markup is no problem, but you should avoid using your enclosure character. ie if your CSV delimiter is a comma and your CSV enclosure is a double quote, then don’t use double quotes in your HTML markup.


You can set to ‘draft’, ‘private’, ‘publish’, or ‘future’. The ‘future’ status can be used with post_date to schedule posts to be published at time in the future.


You can add this to a post or a page but, with most themes, it will only display for posts.


Pages can be organised hierarchically. Use this field to specify ‘id’ of the parent post. With most themes, this will only work with pages.


This is the unique name (aka ‘slug’) required for each post and page. When you link to your page, this is what appears in the url. If you notice that your slugs are getting numbers added to them on import, it means that the slug is already used somewhere in WordPress (posts in trash will still cause this to happen)


This can be ‘page’ or ‘post’.


This can be ‘open’ or ‘closed’. Open means pingbacks and trackbacks will be allowed.


This can be ‘open’ or ‘closed’. Open means comments will be allowed.


Use this to control the order in which pages appear in menus. Lower numbers appear first. With most themes this will do nothing when set on a post.


If you put “one, two, three” into this field then these tags will be created, if necessary, and then attached to your post.


CSV Imp supports simple category creation as well as category hierarchies. Following are some examples of what you could put into this field:

  • Input: “one, two, three”
    Result: Three categories created with the name and slug the same.
  • Input: “slug1:Name 1, slug2:Name 2, slug3:Name 3”
    Result: Three categories named ‘Name 1, Name 2, Name 3’ but with slugs ‘slug1, slug2, slug3’ respectively.
  • Input: “Parent Name:parentslug, parentslug~slug1:Name 1, parentslug~slug2:Name 2, parentslug~slug3:Name 3”
    Result: The first category is called ‘Parent Name’ with a slug ‘parentslug’, and the other three categories are children of that parent

You must create parent categories before any children categories or it won’t work. However, if you follow that rule, you should be able to build quite complex hierarchies.

Custom Taxonomies

Any custom taxonomies you have will appear around here in the CSV export file. Again, I recommend following the quick start guide to get the correct column names, order, and format.


You can specify a thumbnail for your product here. CSV Imp does not transfer images to your web server. You need to upload them yourself using FTP or some other method. Image files must be place under the ‘wp-content/uploads’ folder somewhere on your web server.

If you FTP ‘image.jpg’ to the ‘wp-content/uploads/2011/05’ folder, then you’d need to put ‘2011/05/image.jpg’ into this field so that CSV Imp can find the image and import it into WordPress for you.

Custom Fields – Simple

If you have any custom fields, this is where they’ll be exported. You could even insert a new column here and a new custom field will be created on import.

Custom Fields – Complex

Some plugins and themes store complex data structures in a custom field. As of version 1.4.3, WP CSV will import and export these in JSON format. The format is very useful but it can also be quite unforgiving, so be very careful when you edit complex custom fields. As always, let the plugin or theme that produces the complex custom field do so for at least one post and then use that as a starting point in your spreadsheet.

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