Back to Top

Dummy Data for WordPress

Previous Post:

Dummy Data for WordPress

If you are a developer (regardless of what you develop), you know that testing your product out is one of the most important steps in the development process. Apart from running functionality tests you might also need to run scalability as well as compatibility tests and that’s where dummy data come in.

For WordPress you will most of the time need dummy data for posts, users or categories, things that take times to manually create. It is, therefore, much quicker and convenient if you have a tool to automatically generate those data. Fortunately there are some ready-made ones out there that can help you with such task and you will know more about them after reading this article.

WordPress Plugins

The (possibly) easiest way to generate dummy data for WordPress is to use a plugin or any other tool that is designed specifically for WordPress because when you create a post, for example, you will also need some term relationships such as which categories the post belongs to or which tags the post is tagged with. As far as I know, there are two WordPress plugins that allow you to do this. Despite the fact that they are easy to use and designed for WordPress, I do not recommend using them at all… reason?

The first plugin is called WP Dummy Content and is located here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-dummy-content/. It is small and lightweight but is outdated and should only be used if you are still wandering around WordPress 2.5 to 2.8.3, which is not cool at all.

The second plugin is called Demo Data Creator (and Destroyer!!!) and is located here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/demo-data-creator/. If you look at this plugin’s description and screenshot you will know that it is quite feature-rich but there are some features that can actually destroy your blog if you are not careful enough. If you have the time to read one of those support questions about this plugin1 (well you NEED to read it if you are planning on using this plugin), you might be shocked that this plugin can revert your website to null, i.e. no post, no comment, nothing. You will find no warning about such behaviour in the Description, Installation and FAQ tabs on this plugin’s official page, which is a very bad thing (now that I’ve warned you, be safe ;)).

Other Tools

I don’t know about you but I’m not going to use the two plugins above because there are safer and (probably) better ways to do it.

Pre-generated data

There are some generous folks out there offering downloads of their own dummy data for you to use. You can download some following this link: http://wpguerrilla.com/download/, and this link: Church Crunch Dummy Data. Don’t expect a lot of dummy data, though. Those were simply made with the sole purpose of testing a theme’s functionality or compatibility with actual data.

Import Data into WordPress

WordPress Importer

In case someone needs it, I have created a larger set of data that is available in the attachment section below or you can just click here to download. It gives you 10 categories with 100 posts each (1000 posts in total) and about 1000 pages. Posts and pages are tagged randomly with approximately 100 tags.

This set also comes with more than 2000 comments posted randomly into each post and page. Post contents are generated randomly using a Lipsum generator. Since this set has about 1000 pages, it is recommended that you do not use the default WordPress’s navigation menu as it will show all of them, which will simply flood your computer’s entire screen.

Those dummy data you download are designed to be imported directly into WordPress using an importer, which you can find easily on the admin menu (as shown in the screenshot to your right). Please note that you will need to install a small plugin called WordPress Importer (since WordPress 3.0 it is no longer built-in) for the importer to work. There’s a somewhat lengthy documentation page on WordPress.org guiding you through how to use that as well. For the large set of mine, it will take from approximately 10 to 15 minutes for the import to complete, so please be patient :).

Database query generation tool

If you are an experienced developers and you would like to have more control over the dummy data, you can generate some yourself using this online generator: http://www.generatedata.com/#generator. Using this generator requires some knowledge of WordPress’s database structure and you will also have to run all the SQL statements2 this generator gives you using phpmyadmin (or similar tools). Running SQL using phpmyadmin is easy and there’s a guide here if you want: [Tutorial] How to use phpMyAdmin.

A small note about the Data Type you can choose for a field: if you want that field to be empty rather than null (some wp_posts fields, for example, need to be empty otherwise an SQL error will occur), you will need to choose the Custom List data type and then leave all the Options fields blank.

This generator is overall good and can be very useful if you know how to combine queries to generate fully-featured dummy data. The only limitation (or a bug?) is you can’t generate more than 200 results in one run so you should keep that in mind too. Anyway I hope you find this article useful and happy flooding your WordPress with dummy contents!

References

  1. http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-demo-data-cre ... do-not-use []
  2. http://www.w3schools.com/sql/sql_intro.asp []

Attached Files

  • Dummy Data for WordPress (ZIP) – 424.961 kB – 1 downloadsThis archive contains an XML file that can be imported directly into your WordPress installation. Unpacked file should be around 5 MB.
Print Article Trackback Trackback to this Article   Subscribe to Comments RSS Subscribe to Comments RSS
 Sponsor   Themes by Elegant Themes - $39 for unlimited access to 80+ WordPress Themes!

16 Opinions for Dummy Data for WordPress (4 Trackbacks)

  1. User's Gravatar
    1
    Susana March 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm – Permalink

    Excuse me, but how do I disable the default menu? I downloaded the large set and the dummy page flooded my test site! Thanks!

    • User's Gravatar
      2
      OddOneOut April 1, 2011 at 12:18 am – Permalink

      I think there are two ways you can disable the default menu, but I will just tell you the easier way ;). Just navigate to Appearance > Menus and then choose to create a new menu, which should be blank by default. Now in the Theme Locations box, simply choose the empty menu you have just created as the primary one. This works for the default theme, but might work for other themes as well.

      • User's Gravatar
        3
        Susana April 2, 2011 at 1:27 am – Permalink

        Thanks, look ok now!

  2. User's Gravatar
    4
    Mike April 5, 2011 at 11:35 am – Permalink

    I agree that we should not use those plugins, but it would be better if we can generate data using a plugin, using an online generator or pre-made data can still be limited…

  3. User's Gravatar
    5
    Shelly King April 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm – Permalink

    woa… well randomized!

  4. User's Gravatar
    6
    Bambo April 9, 2011 at 7:48 am – Permalink

    There is a nice little related plugin though it does the opposite, WordPress Reset http://sivel.net/wordpress/wordpress-reset/ Might come in handy.

    • User's Gravatar
      7
      Bambo April 9, 2011 at 7:51 am – Permalink

      Oh yeah, absolutely 100% risky as some of those plugins can be – but also incredible useful. If people use such demo data and reset tricks on production sites I don’t know what to do ;)

      • User's Gravatar
        8
        OddOneOut April 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm – Permalink

        Hi Bambo!

        Thanks for your sharing, is that your plugin? :). These kinds of plugins are surely intended for use on development sites only, but some plugin authors simply neglect their tasks of giving users some words of warning, which is of course not a good thing.

        • User's Gravatar
          9
          Bambo April 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm – Permalink

          No no, that Sivel guy is a well known contributor to WordPress wellness :) Ever heard of Shadowbox? That is him. No nonsense type of guy. Believe he is a long time master of WordPress IRC channel but don’t quote me on that. I am just a user with no know-how worth mentioning.

          Yep, documentation often sucks. That is how you separate sheep from wolves and partly why I post here. Have just just installed and tested your syntax and external links thingys. Great stuff and well explained. There is so much junk, also including the more popular WordPress sites, that it is nice to see someone who know what they talk about AND not afraid to link to references. Some developers are brilliant but have low “social” skills – to say it nicely ;)

          • User's Gravatar
            10
            OddOneOut April 9, 2011 at 11:44 pm – Permalink

            And ‘arrogant’, to say it harshly? ;)

            I know Shadowbox but didn’t know the guy behind that popular media viewer is actually a WordPress contributor, a little surprise for me there :).

            And thanks for your compliment! I did try my best with my plugins. You know, once you use my plugins, you become my customer, and my task is to make my customer feel satisfied, isn’t it ;)? If you have any feature request or question, please feel free to ask, I’m all listening :).

  5. User's Gravatar
    11
    Julian August 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm – Permalink

    Hi,
    I have been working on a plugin that might be useful for this purpose. If you need to generate dummy data you can use Magn WPSync plugin to import content from a Google Spreadsheet into separate posts. I have created this for my own usage but recently decided to open to the community since I got some positive feedback from colleagues. The idea behind this plugin is simple, just create a quick spreadsheet in WordPress (with Title, content, post type, date, etc.) and then do a bulk synchornization with WordPress to import these entries into post. Is a quick way to generate niche sites in WordPress blog. Here is an example: http://www.netvivs.com/wpsync/ or here you can access the WP plugins page http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wpsync/

    • User's Gravatar
      12
      OddOneOut August 29, 2011 at 10:21 pm – Permalink

      Thanks for your plugin, Julian! I will review it shortly and put it in the list above afterwards. Just a note though, the title of the post on your blog seems wrong: WPSync to import your posts from WordPress, should it be into WordPress instead?

  1. WordPress Sample Content For Testing | W-Shadow.com

    [...] Dummy Data Pack by BetterWP.com [...]

  2. Snow White | My Design

    [...] not careful enough. If you have the time to read one of those support questions about this plugin1 (well you NEED to read it if you are planning on using this plugin), you might be shocked that [...]

  3. Greatest Video Sites – Ian L Gordon

    [...] not careful enough. If you have the time to read one of those support questions about this plugin1 (well you NEED to read it if you are planning on using this plugin), you might be shocked that this [...]

  4. WordPress Plugins | Plus2digital

    [...] not careful enough. If you have the time to read one of those support questions about this plugin1 (well you NEED to read it if you are planning on using this plugin), you might be shocked that this [...]

Speak Up Your Mind!

An asterisk (*) indicates a required field and must be filled.




  • Web page and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Wrap codes in: <code lang=""></code> or <pre lang="" extra="">
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Next Post: