In our article The 5 Best WordPress User Import Plugins, we ranked plugins based on their general features.
In this article, we may summarize some of those features, but our focus will be on how the plugins handle CSV imports specifically.
All of the plugins on this list can import WordPress users from a CSV file, so what is there to discuss? If the incoming users contain data elements that:
...then there is nothing to discuss, at least with respect to the CSV format.
But that's not what happens in the real world. Depending on who generated the user import file, you may encounter data elements that:
It's the ability (or inability) to handle these more challenging CSV issues that dictates how we rank the user import plugins on this list.
WP All Import is our top choice for importing users from CSV because it can transform the user data on the fly in any way you wish.
For example, say you want to create one unified address field to generate mailing labels. You can do this simply by a) dragging the desired data elements into the target fields and b) injecting whatever literal values you want:
You can also use PHP functions in fields. For example, this function deletes any instances of commas inside an incoming data element:
Or you can use WP All Import's embedded function feature to make even more sophisticated changes. In this example, a function is used to round a dollar amount:
This function can then be used during the population of any WordPress user field much the same way that a built-in PHP function is.
This means that WP All Import lets you transform the content of any import file into the exact field layout and field formats that your WordPress user fields require — no exceptions.
When this unlimited capacity for data manipulation is added to all of WP All Import's other import features, including:
...this is why we rank this as our #1 plugin on this list.
When it comes to importing WordPress users from CSV files, Webtoffee's Export and Import Users and Customers plugin is a bit like a light version of WP All Import.
It allows you to merge incoming user fields:
It also allows you to use a limited set of operators against numeric fields:
However, it doesn't give you the ability to use PHP functions inline, and it doesn't provide any kind of embedded function editor to allow more sophisticated manipulation of incoming user data.
Add this to the plugin's more general limitations, including:
...and you can see why we've ranked this plugin #2.
For additional information, see Export and Import Users and Customers.
This plugin actually has slightly more ability to manipulate CSV data than Webtoffee's plugin. For example, it will let you selectively update user fields during an import. It also provides a good import filter.
Also, like Webtoffee's plugin, it lacks an embedded function feature to truly let you manipulate incoming user data.
These factors explain why we've kept this plugin in third place.
For more information, see Woo Import Export.
In the context of this article, where we're trying to assess plugins on their ability to handle complications in a user import file, this plugin doesn't fare well. Its basic premise is that it's up to you to make sure the user import file:
This doesn't exactly meet our definition of import flexibility.
Don't get us wrong. If you control the exact layout, format, and content of your user import file, this plugin will do as good a job as any of the other plugins on this list. But throw it a curve ball, and you'll be shopping for a new plugin.
To learn more, see Import and Export Users and Customers.
Everything we've said about the preceding plugin applies to this plugin except that it is even more rigid in its import file requirements, and it has even fewer options to control what does or doesn't get updated when a user in the import file already exists in your WordPress user data.
For all practical purposes, this plugin can only be used when importing core WordPress user fields using data that was either output from existing WordPress users or manually created/edited to mimic this.
To learn more, see Import Users from CSV.
In this article, we took the same five plugins from our The 5 Best WordPress User Import Plugins list and examined them through the lens of the specific requirements of importing WordPress users from a CSV file.
In doing this, we paid special attention to more challenging user import scenarios, such as when the import file:
WP All Import is the only plugin on this list that will handle all of these situations with ease and has, in fact, been designed specifically to do so.
Export and Import Users and Customers by Webtoffee and Woo Import Export by Vjinfotech will let you handle some of these scenarios but not the more complex ones. They also have broader shortcomings compared to WP All Import.
The final two plugins on this list — Import and Export Users and Customers by Codection and Import and Export Users and Customers by Codection — won't help you handle variations in incoming data whatsoever. They are only suitable for importing data that has been perfectly formatted in advance.
As usual, we hope this article helps you decide which plugin is the best for you.