How to Import a WordPress Taxonomy

Here at TaxoPress, our plugins help you organize your WordPress taxonomies. The TaxoPress and Tag Groups plugin help you create, manage, and display your Tags, Categories and more.

However, we don’t have a plugin that can import taxonomy terms. This is because there are already some good plugins available that can do this for you.

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to import terms into an existing WordPress taxonomy. A good example of this would be to import a list of terms to WooCommerce Product Tags or Categories. The taxonomy already exists, and you want to upload your own system for organizing products.

Before you start importing your terms, I recommend you prepare these two items:

  1. A WordPress test site with the taxonomy you want to use. It can take some experimentation to get the right settings for any import. Please don’t do this for the first time on a live site.
  2. A CSV file with your WordPress terms

Now you can log into your WordPress site and start the import process.

Install the "WP Import Export Lite" plugin
  • Go to “WP Imp Exp” in your WordPress admin menu, then click “New Import”.
  • Click “Upload from Desktop” and select your CSV file:
Upload taxonomy terms from your desktop
  • Click “Continue to Step 2”.
  • Choose “Taxonomies | Categories | Tags”.
  • Choose the taxonomy you want to import to.
  • Choose “Import new items only & Skip Existing Items”.
Choose where to import taxonomy terms
  • Click “Continue to Step 3”.
  • Click “Continue to Step 4”.
  • Look for your imported data in the right sidebar. Drag-and-drop the name into the “Field Mapping” area. In the screenshot below, I’m dragging-and-dropping the name of the taxonomy term onto the “Name” field.
Field mapping for taxonomy terms import
  • If you are importing a hierarchical taxonomy, you can click “Other Category Options”.
  • Enter the name of the parent term into the “Parent Term” field. Ideally this a term that already exists. In the screenshot below, I’m going to import all the new terms as children of a term called “Parent Term”.
Parent term for taxonomy import
  • Click “Continue to Step 5”.
  • Choose “Update all data”.
Update data for taxonomy import
  • Click “Continue”.
  • You will see a preview of your import.
  • Click “Confirm & Run Import”.
Confirm your taxonomy import
  • You’ll see a message saying “Import Complete!”
  • Go to your taxonomy and check that final import worked successfully. If the import wasn’t successful, you can delete the terms and try again.
Completed WordPress taxonomy and term import

What’s next after the import?

After you have imported your terms, you can start using them immediately on your site. If you have a site with existing content, you can add your new terms to that content. Click here for our guide on adding terms to existing posts.

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