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Troubleshooting the Demo Content Import

Hi All,

I've heard from a couple of users having issues during the demo-content import process and I wanted to help out by providing some usable information and steps that you can follow. 

Note: This does fall beyond our scope of support, though, so if you are still having issues after this article - please touch base with your hosting service since they are going to be the experts of your setup/server conditions. If they provide some feedback for the theme, please let me know. 

Most of the time, this is a simple WordPress or setup limitation and there are a couple things that you can do to troubleshoot this process.

Here are some variables to consider when troubleshooting this:

  • User role that is submitting the upload
  • Server limitations (ie. php memory, file upload size, etc.)
  • WordPress limitations (ie. php memory, file upload size, etc.)
  • Access/setup of .htaccess, php.ini, and/or wp-config.php (ie. do what do you have access to and what are the current settings in regards to file size, uploads, and memory.

Check your PHP version and other WP specific requirements:

00 - The very first thing that you'll want to do is confirm that your setup is ready with the basic WP requirements:

You might also consider a plugin like "WordPress phpinfo{}" to view your configuration details.

Fixing/Increasing WordPress/Server Limitations

01 - Touch base with hosting: Different servers/hosting services place standard limitations on WordPress setups/users. These are normal and easily increased by either touching base with you're hosting service, or by doing it manually. If you do want to touch base with you're hosting service, they should also be able to provide you with an error log and provide some additional insight as to why this is occurring for you.

02 - Fixing/Increasing Limitations: From there, the manual option is pretty easy, but can be intimidating if you're not familiar with the workflow.

  • wp-config.php - The most likely fix is to add this to your wp-config.php file:
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '96M');
define( 'WP_MAX_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );


  • php.ini - From there, you can Create or Edit your php.ini file with this:
; Increase maximum post size 
post_max_size = 64M
; Increase execution time
max_execution_time = 300
memory_limit = 99M
upload_max_filesize = 64M
  • .htaccess - Or you can edit your .htaccess file with this:
php_value memory_limit 256M
php_value upload_max_filesize 256M
php_value post_max_size 256M
php_value max_execution_time 300
php_value max_input_time 300
  • functions.php - Beyond that, we've seen this added to some functions.php files (within the theme):
@ini_set( 'upload_max_size' , '64M' );
@ini_set( 'post_max_size', '64M');
@ini_set( 'max_execution_time', '300' );

But usually the culprit is limited to one of these options.

The WordPress Importer

There are many of us out there that wish that there was a better import method/plugin than the WordPress Importer because of the various bugs that it has at the time of posting this. With that said, it does do the job eventually and is the best alternative out there right now.

01 - Error Log: If you are seeing a list of errors provided after the import, this is totally normal. There are various reasons for each of these "failed to import" messages, but nothing that would indicate a major error. Most of the time, this is just because the content already exists.

In another example, if a plugin isn't active (that the content being imported uses) it will also display an "error" message - since the content can't be added to a deactivated/uninstalled plugin. - ie. Contact Form 7 plugin has content demo imported at this stage.

Also, if the first import doesn't import everything, then during the next import - all duplicate items would display the "failed to import".

02 - Duplicates: Simply put, uploading the xml file even 10 times won't hurt anything. You can't upload duplicate posts, pages, images, etc. (you'll see an error message for each when importing the xml if they already exist). 

That said, duplicates menus will be added in Appearance > Menus, but that's easy to fix > Just delete all entire menus, and do one last import. Menus, as of this post, are the only items that are duplicated during multiple imports.

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