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not sure if this is the correct place to ask, but I'm scratching my head at this.

We're making a demo wordpress site with a forum, and because the old site has a locked down forum, we can't export any of the topics and replies. Totally inefficient but the client wants it.

So we're creating all kinds of new topic and replies and backdating them to the previous year. We want the forum to display topics based on PUBLISHED date and not the date updated.

Example: topic is dated September 12 2018. I cut and paste it into the demo WP site yesterday, March 4 2019. Clicking on the forum topic I see the correct published date of Sept 12 2018. But when I view the list of topics in the forum, I see this topic on the first page because it's considered to be new even though the published date is older than many other topics and replies.

What can I do? Any help much appreciated.

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You'd need to write a bit of Python (or something) to connect to the live database, read the import data, match to the WP topic, then update the "date created" field (whatever that is exactly... "post publish date" ?) in WP and update it with the value you want from the loaded data.

If you look in the live WP database and find the post ID of the first post of your loaded data you can match each post sequentially in order to update it.

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