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Export Your Website’s Content

Using the Export tool, you can move your site’s content to a new home on the internet. This guide will explain the step-by-step process for exporting your site’s content.

Before You Get Started

Before exporting your content:

About Export Files

Your site’s content is downloaded into an XML file (a type of file used to transport data) that you can import to another site or a WordPress site with any other host.

Many non-WordPress platforms support XML files, too. If the service you want to move to can accept XML imports, you can migrate your site’s content to a non-WordPress site by exporting it using the same process described in this guide.

This XML file (also referred to as a WXR file) contains your posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags. It does not include the site’s design, themes, and plugins, so if you would like to move an entire site, you can follow these steps to use a migration plugin.

An XML export will also move your images and other media. However, XML export files contain no actual images or media files. They contain links to images and other media, which will transfer to the new site after you import the XML file to that site. For this reason, the site you exported from must remain publicly accessible until all images are present on your new site.

Export Your Content

To create an export file with all of your site’s content, follow these steps:

  1. In your site’s dashboard, navigate to Tools → Export:
Sidebar menu with the Tools section expanded and the Export item highlighted
Tools → Export
  1. Download your export file by clicking the appropriate button, which is different depending on the type of site:
    • Sites without plugins: Click the “Export All” button or click the downward arrow to select specific content to export.
    • Sites with plugins: Select all content or specific types of content, and then click the “Download Export File” button.
An arrow points to the Export All button.
Export All button
An arrow points to the Download Export File button.
“Download Export File” button in WP Admin view (plugin-enabled sites)
  1. Wait a few moments for the export to process. You can then access the download file, which will be different depending on the type of site:
    • Sites without plugins: The following message will appear: “Your export was successful! A download link has also been sent to your email.” You can click the Download button in the message or download the file from your email inbox (the link will remain active for 7 days.)
    • Sites with plugins: The download will begin automatically.
  2. You will receive a .zip file to save to your computer with the .xml file inside of it. This file contains your posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and references to your site’s images.
    • Larger sites may include more than one XML file. When importing into another site, you’ll need to unzip the file and import each of the .xml files individually.
  3. Import your file to the new site. If you’re importing to another site, you can follow the steps in this guide.

After the Export

If you intend to delete your website after exporting it, it’s important to wait until after media files have been successfully imported into the new site, which may take up to several hours depending on the size of the site. You’ll know when all images have been copied over when the number of items in Media is the same on the new site as what you had on the original site.

If you’re moving away from to another host and no longer plan to use your website, you may wish to:

Export as a Backup Tool

If your site is hosted here at, we handle all necessary backups. If a very large meteor were to hit all the servers and destroy them beyond repair, all of your data would still be safe, and we could have your site online within three days (after the meteor situation died down, of course).

If you still want to back up your site content manually, you can use the Export option described in this guide. After downloading the export file, import the file into another WordPress site such as another site or a local site. This will ensure images are backed up and you can access your backup site.

If your site has a plugin-enabled plan, you can download entire site backups and restore your site to any previous point in time. Learn more about these backups.

Export Errors

There may be times when you get an error message when attempting to export your site content. The most common reason for this is very large files. To resolve this, you can export smaller sections at a time. You can export content in smaller groups organized by date, author, status, or category, as explained in Step 2 above.

If you’re still having any trouble, it can help to deactivate plugins on your site (which will not be in the export file anyway) and delete any spam or pending comments to clear out anything you don’t need.

Exporting the Media Library

If you wish to download your images and other media files to your computer, you can use the Export Media Library option located at Tools → Export.

Export Media Library option on the Export screen

Your media library will be downloaded as a .tar archive. On Mac OS X you can unpack this archive by double-clicking on the icon. For Windows you might need to download a program like 7-Zip to allow you to do this.

If your media library is very large and/or you have a slower connection, the download might time out before it completes. If your browser supports resuming a failed download you can resume it without starting over completely.

Media files downloaded in this way cannot be imported to another WordPress site. If you want to move your media to a different site, it’s best to use the regular export option described above.


This feature is not currently available on sites with plugins installed. Instead, you can download a backup of your site which will contain your media files.

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