WordPress Tools is one of the menu options on your WordPress admin dashboard. It contains several settings that allow you to perform website management tasks, such as importing, exporting and erasing site data. This is useful if you want to create a new website or simply move to another web hosting provider.
In the Tools menu, you can also find information about your site’s health, such as required updates, which helps you make data-driven decisions to improve your site’s overall performance.
Let’s break down each section step-by-step, as we’ll explain their purpose and how to use them. Shall we begin?
Here you can view the available tools and plugins you have installed on WordPress. Unfortunately, with continued WordPress updates, this section has been somewhat abandoned and only a few options will be shown here, such as a pre-installed Categories and Tags Converter or Press This plugin. If you have Jetpack, you’ll find the Website Verification Services here.
You can use the Import tool to transfer existing data, such as comments and posts, from your previous CMS to the new WordPress site. To do this, you need to choose your old platform from the list and install its prerequisites.
If the system you are using is not available on this list, try to find the appropriate plugin from the WordPress directory.
The Export tool enables you to send all your WordPress data to your new website. It compiles existing content into an XML file, which you will need later one when you’re about to import your data.
In this menu, you have two choices — first, you have the option to export all of your data, which includes posts, pages, comments, tags, categories, and custom fields. As such, this option is be easier and will save you a lot of time.
Alternatively, you can also pick one type of content separately. This might take longer to complete but gives you the freedom to choose what you really need. Just note that this option might come with additional configurations, which vary depending on the selected data. Here are few options that might require more context:
- Posts — you have to specify the category, author, start date and end date, and status of the posts that you want to export.
- Pages — requires you to select the author, start date and end date, and status of the pages.
- Media — requires you to specify which media to export based on its upload date.
Once you’ve chosen what to export, simply select the Download Export File button.
Site Health Status
This menu provides you with a general idea about your website’s health. At the top, you can see the overall status, which comes in the form of a score (0-100) or a text (e.g., “should be improved”).
Below the status, there are two tabs — Status, which you can see in the example, and Info.
If something is broken or outdated, a Critical Issue message will appear.
For example, WordPress will notify us that the website is using an old version PHP, which might be harmful for our website security.
What’s great, the tool also recommends some improvements that you can perform. For instance, it reminds us that we need to update our themes and plugins, or use HTTPS.
There is also an expandable section at the bottom, called Passed Tests. It lists all your website configurations that are working well.
On the other hand, the Info tab contains a lot of information about your website, such as your WordPress version, installed themes, server, database, file system permissions, and so on.
WordPress allows you to copy this information in case you want to imitate your configuration settings on your new website. To do this, simply hit the Copy site info to clipboard button.
Export Personal Data
Since version 4.9.6, WordPress released a separate exporting tool that allows you to archive personal data into a ZIP file and send it to your user’s email address. Here’s how to do this:
- Enter the email address where you want to send the data and click Send request. This request will appear on the table below and receive the Pending status.
- Wait until the owner of the email you’ve listed confirms the request. The confirmation email should look like this:
Hi, A request has been made to perform the following action on your account: Export Personal Data To confirm this, please click on the following link: [link example] You can safely ignore and delete this email if you do not want to take this action.
If you can’t find the email in your inbox, check your spam folder. Once the action is verified, the request status will change to Confirmed.
- Simply click the Email Data button on the right side. The user will receive a similar email:
Hi, Your request for an export of personal data has been completed. You may download your personal data by clicking on the link below. For privacy and security, we will automatically delete the file on 11th April 2020, so please download it before then. [link example]
Now the user can download the export file via the given link, which will be available for the next 48 hours.
Once they’ve extracted the ZIP file, two pieces of data will be given — export.json and index.html. The user must open the latter in a web browser to view their personal details. Here’s an example.
Note that such content will only be available if he has registered your WordPress site. If they are not, they can only see the following information.
As the WordPress admin, you are allowed to download the personal data of any user. Just hover the cursor on the desired email and select the Download Personal Data button.
Erase Personal Data
This WordPress tool is used to remove a user’s personal data individually. Just as the Export Personal data tool, it also requires email confirmation from the corresponding party. Here’s how it’s done:
- Insert the username or email address of a user whose data you want to delete. Then, click Send request.
- The request will be put in the queue on the data erasure table. Now, the user will receive this email:
Hi, A request has been made to perform the following action on your account: Erase Personal Data To confirm this, please click on the following link: [link example] You can safely ignore and delete this email if you do not want to take this action.
- Once it’s verified by the user, you can delete the data by clicking the Erase Personal Data button on the right side of the table. The last thing to do is to remove the request itself.
If you are the admin of your WordPress site, you don’t really have to wait until the request is confirmed. You can override the removal process by hovering your cursor on the requester’s email and select Force Erase Personal Data.
WordPress Tools is a menu on your dashboard page that provides useful options for website management tasks, including:
- Available Tools — displays compatible functions from WordPress plugins.
- Import — used to transfer data from a different source to your own.
- Export — compiles your WordPress data so it can be sent to another system.
- Site Health — provides an overview of your website configuration settings and how they affect site’s performance and security.
- Export Personal Data — allows you to send archived personal data to your users via email.
- Erase Personal Data — remove data of a specific user on your WordPress website
While you might not use these tools too often, it is still important to learn about them. They can come in handy when you really need to perform a specific task, like moving to a new website.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.