I would like to know if there's a way to populate a WordPress site with some dummy content while installation process is going on. Let's say a few sample pages, a fews posts, taxonomy and that's it.

I'm not sure if this is possible since I haven't found proper documentation.


3 Answers 3


Searching for another thing, just stumbled upon this gem by @anmari :)

You have to put a Dropin plugin at the root of wp-content.

Should be named install.php and contain a new version of the pluggable function wp_install_defaults.

I used this gist for testing. And the only modification from the original function is the default category name and slug.

There's a similar Q&A at StackOverflow and Michael notice is worth copying:

Since a default category of some kind is assumed, it's a good idea to create a least one category

  • 1
    This isn't correct brasofilo, dropins are not the same as putting custom install.php into wp-content
    – Wyck
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 3:53
  • @Wyck, started to research, not much came up, and ended up opening a Question for that: What constitutes a Drop-in Plugin?.
    – brasofilo
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 13:40
  • Ya it is a bit vague, especially dropping an install.php into wp-config, cheers.
    – Wyck
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 16:38
  • To clarify I meant mu-plugins, they can both be considered "drop-ins".
    – Wyck
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 18:45

Use plugins like :


Easy generation and deletion of blog posts, pages, and sub pages for developers. Full site structure in one click.


Demo Data Creator is a WordPress and BuddyPress plugin that allows a WordPress developer to create demo users, blogs, posts, comments and blogroll links.

Well and of course this plugins will be installed after installation is done!


1.Your best bet is to use the theme unit test XML import after install, it can be found here: https://wpcom-themes.svn.automattic.com/demo/theme-unit-test-data.xml it includes images and tons of stuff.

  • You need to go to Tools -> Import

2.The option to do it during install is to use brasofilo idea and create you own install. script by creating the following file: wp-content/install.php.

3.A third option is to use mu-plugins http://codex.wordpress.org/Must_Use_Plugins which must be in the wp-content/mu-plugins directory by default (it can be changed) and can be named anything.

A better solution is to use a build system like wp-cli, phing, capistrano, etc, to run the install and include the needed data. For example I have a Phing script that deletes the default WP data on install and it would be easy to add data if you wanted to or drop in some mu-pluginsor just do it right in the script.

In fact I might just go ahead and do this, it's a good idea.

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