Hi I have a news website with a pretty big database full of posts and pictures, now for several reasons I'm creating a new WordPress website, and I want to import all the news, with the pictures from the old website.

These are the steps I tried:

  • export the wp xml from the old website, tools -> export
  • export the media library with DownML plugin

  • upload the images from DownML using Filezilla ( in the upload dir )

  • import the xml file tools -> import

But something is wrong, it shows all the old posts but there's no highlighted image. Why did this happen and how can I do that?

  • Welcome to WPSE! To be able to help we need more details: By "no highlighted" image you mean they are not set as featured images? But the images are imported?
    – kraftner
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 15:10
  • Thank you :) they are imported correctly in the ftp. if i write manually their url in the browser they are shown correctly. but i can't see them in the media library ( i know i can add them with addFromServer ). The main issue is that they are not set as featured. so i should add them manually and it's a crazy thing... it's over 2000 files
    – antowordp
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 15:14
  • If they are not shown in the media library something went wrong at the import. Any errors shown on import?
    – kraftner
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 15:17
  • no error. i read that using the ftp won't let you see the files in the media library. i should use "addFromServer" plugin... i tried to do that too... but it won't show them in the featured
    – antowordp
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


The way WordPress works is that the files need to be there, but they also need to be registered in the database to be listed in the Media Library.

I don't know the DownML Plugin, but it seems as this is only for backups, not for migrating data as you are trying.

What you apparently did is just upload those files, but WordPress doesn't know anything about them in its database.

But in the end you do not really need that. In case the old website is still online XML Import/Export should download all the media files on import.

If the old website isn't online any more this will get a bit more complicated. Comment if you need more help there.

  • i also have the pure sql db exported... the problem is that the old website had a different administrator and when i import that db, it asks me for the old admin password... how can i fix that?
    – antowordp
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 15:39
  • This would probably be better as a new question although I am pretty sure this has already been answered if you search a bit.
    – kraftner
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 17:42

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