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The best import export plugin for WordPress & WooCommerce.

Complete, granular control of your data with an easy to use drag & drop interface.
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How to Update Existing WordPress Data

To update existing WordPress data, create an import via All Import › New Import. Provide your import file, choose the required post type, then select Existing Items to match with existing records.

Table of Contents

Advanced Topics

Update WordPress Data – How It Works

WP All Import can import data to posts that already exist on your site, even if they were manually created instead of imported by our plugin.

You need something in your import file that WP All Import can use to match the “records” in your import file to the posts that already exist on your site — that’s why it's also called Manual Record Matching.

When importing into existing records, you can specify which data WP All Import will update or overwrite, and which will be left alone.

Follow along with the example below to get a complete understanding of how to import data into existing posts.

Step 1: Understanding the Import Data

This example will demonstrate how to update multiple property listings with new prices.

As shown in the screenshots, we have a few property listings with outdated prices.

Example Properties

I have a CSV file with the MLS numbers of the properties and the new prices.

CSV File

I’ve entered the MLS number of each property in my theme. This means we can use the MLS number as the “matcher” so that WP All Import knows which price should be assigned to which property.

MLS Number

Step 2: Set Up Existing Items Import

To create the import, navigate to All Import › New Import, upload your CSV file in Step 1, choose Existing Items, and select Property Listings.

Step 1 Existing Items

Click Continue to Step 2.

Step 3: Fill In Data to Update in the Import Template

In Step 2 (of the import process), click Continue to Step 3.

In Step 3, set the price custom field to the price from your file.

Setting the price

The only field we want to import data to is the price, so leave all the other fields blank. WP All Import will warn you that your post title and content are blank, but that’s fine — you can continue anyway.

Click Continue to Step 4 at the bottom.

Step 4: Specify Important Import Settings

Now it’s time for the most important part — telling WP All Import how to match the records in our CSV file with the existing property listings already on our site. We’re going to match by the MLS number since we have the MLS number both on our site and in our import file.

Define How to Match with Existing Data

Choose to match based on Custom field and click the Name box to see a dropdown list of custom fields available to match by. Then choose mls_value — the custom field name the theme uses internally for the MLS field. You can also manually type in the custom field name.

Record Matching

Next, drag & drop the MLS column in your CSV file to the Value textbox:

MLS Value

For each record in your file, our plugin will look for a property on your site with a mls_value custom field that equals the same as {mlsno[1]} from your file, and then import the price to it.

If you have multiple records or properties with this same value, only the first found record will be matched and updated. To match multiple properties that have the exact same mls_value custom field and value, custom code would have to be used along with our API.

Tell WP All Import Exactly Which Fields to Update

To ensure our plugin only imports the price and doesn’t overwrite the title, content, and other fields that we left empty, specify which data points to update and which to ignore. For this example, we are updating only the price_value custom field:

Choose which data to update

If the custom field to update doesn't appear in the dropdown list, you can type it in and hit Return/Enter to add it.

This step is very important. If you choose to update all data without having data mapped, you risk erasing existing data from your products. You should only continue after having defined exactly which fields to update.

Once everything is set up, click Continue and then Confirm & Run Import.

After running the import, here’s the result: our three posts were updated with the new prices.

Import Summary
Data Updated

That's how you use Manual Record Matching.

Import Any CSV, XML, or Excel to WordPress

  • Any theme or plugin
  • Images & galleries
  • Custom fields
  • Categories & tags
  • Woo, ACF, Meta Box, JetEngine

Update Existing WordPress Data — Advanced Topics

Considerations When Updating WooCommerce Variable Products

When you update WooCommerce variable products using an Existing Items import, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Variations cannot be added, removed, or updated using an Existing Items import.
  • You can update specific variation data by targeting the variation by its ID or SKU.
  • The following fields shouldn't be updated when handling variations with an Existing Items import: Parent post, Post type, Product Type.

You can learn more about the differences between New Items and Existing Items imports here: Import Types Available in WP All Import.

Update Data Found in Custom Database Table

It wouldn't be possible to update data stored in custom database tables out of the box, but you can leverage custom code (see Calling PHP Functions In Your Import Configuration) to do this. While providing custom code for your project is outside the scope of our support, we have an example snippet to share here: Import Data to Custom Database Table.

Update Existing WordPress Data — Frequently Asked Questions

How to Avoid Overwriting or Erasing Other Data?

You simply need to make sure that you're only updating data that has been mapped in the import template beforehand. This is done in Step 4 when telling the import what fields to update.

Some Data Is Not Updating. What Could It Be?

You should review the History Logs and see what shows there. For example, this could happen if there is no match being found or the wrong data is being imported.

If you're unable to discern what's wrong, replicate your import and everything else in our sandbox environment (https://www.wpallimport.com/debug/), then send us that site's URL along with more details on what's wrong. You can contact us via our support form or by emailing [email protected].

Update Existing WordPress Data — Related Docs

Provides instructions on how to import any file into WordPress using WP All Import.

Explains how to add and modify filters in WP All Import.

Explains the differences between New Items and Existing Items imports.

The best import export plugin for WordPress & WooCommerce.

Complete, granular control of your data with an easy to use drag & drop interface.
  • 90 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Unlimited Installs
  • Lifetime Licence
  • Fast, World-Class Support
Get Started
90 Day Money Back Guarantee

Unlimited Installs.
World-Class Support. Money Back Guarantee.

Packages
Standalone
Import
Pro Package
$199
.00
/yr
Save $494, 71% Discount
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Import Add-Ons
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  • Meta Box
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$299
.00
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$169
.00
/yr
Save $29, 15% Discount
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Import Add-Ons
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  • Meta Box
  • JetEngine
  • Gravity Forms
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$198 If Purchased Individually
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Lifetime License
$999
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/yr
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Packages
Standalone
Import
Pro Package
$16.58
per month, billed annually
Save $494/yr, 71% Discount
  • Import Pro
Import Add-Ons
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  • Meta Box
  • JetEngine
  • Gravity Forms
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Export Add-Ons
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$693/yr If Purchased Individually
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$24.92
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  • Import Pro
Import Add-Ons
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  • ACF
  • Meta Box
  • JetEngine
  • Gravity Forms
  • Users
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Export Add-Ons
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  • Meta Box
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  • Gravity Forms
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$1386/yr If Purchased Individually
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$14.08
per month, billed annually
Save $29/yr, 15% Discount
  • Import Pro
Import Add-Ons
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  • ACF
  • Meta Box
  • JetEngine
  • Gravity Forms
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  • Export Pro
Export Add-Ons
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  • ACF
  • Meta Box
  • JetEngine
  • Gravity Forms
  • Users
$198/yr If Purchased Individually
Buy Now
90 Day Money Back Guarantee
Lifetime License
$999
One-Time Payment
  • Import Pro + Export Pro
  • All Current Add-Ons
  • All Future Add-Ons
  • Lifetime Support
  • Lifetime Updates
  • No Renewal Fees
Buy Now
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$8.25
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  • Meta Box
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Export Add-Ons
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$14.08
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  • Meta Box
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  • Export Pro
Export Add-Ons
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$8.25
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