I want to import existing users with their passwords from an old WordPress site to a new one. The new WordPress installation has also existing users. Therefore I couldn't simply export/import the database tables from the old site.

Is there any other way to import the old users with passwords to the new site?

  • As long as you turn off the "create tables" option you can indeed export and import, and this will preserve both your new-site users and your old-site users on the new site. I would first take a backup of both sites, just in case. – WebElaine Sep 20 '17 at 14:09
  • and what happens if they have the same id's? – Cray Sep 20 '17 at 14:09
  • I'd expect them to be skipped. You would need to manually change IDs. There may also be a plugin available for this type of migration - I'd check for that first as preferable to rolling your own solution. – WebElaine Sep 20 '17 at 14:18
  • thanks for your comment. but there are to many IDs to change. And I also don't know what to do with the field "umeta_id". This is auto-generated and I don't know if and how I should change that. Unfortunately I couldn't find any plugin to do the job (with importing the passwords too). – Cray Sep 20 '17 at 14:21
  • umeta_id is a random number. As long as you don't have duplicate umeta_ids you can leave it alone. The other columns reference which user the meta belongs to, so it's completely arbitrary. – WebElaine Sep 20 '17 at 14:32

Changing the user IDs could be problematic. Other tables reference those - including wp_usermeta but if they are authors, customers, etc. then any tables that hold those items - like wp_posts - reference the author by user ID.

Changing the umeta_ids should be safe, because that value isn't referenced elsewhere that I'm aware of. It wouldn't hurt to check your particular plugins and other tables to see if they are indeed referenced somewhere.

It would be safest to use a plugin to migrate the users. It does appear that you'll have to have your old users reset their passwords, but that's a smaller price to pay than getting customers, authors, etc. all confused.

A couple of possible options: Importing Users into new WordPress site and importing users where password is provided as md5 + much metadata.

  • thanks, i will do it this way and let the users set new passwords – Cray Sep 20 '17 at 15:18

You can do that with this simple WordPress user import export plugin, can migrate your password as well

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