How to avoid 500 Internal Server Errors when using the WordPress Importer
I’ve used the WordPress Importer on many occasions – most of which gave me more grief than results. Usually I end up with a white screen telling me that there was an “Internal Server Error”. It basically means that something went wrong, but nobody knows what it was – and there is no way to find out.
While entertaining ideas of finding another hobby, I searched the web one last time to sift through the hundreds of posts by other users sharing the same woes – until I came across this forum post by Anon who had the same problem:
Anon did not give up so easily and found a solution which WORKS GREAT – even though it doesn’t make sense, or is in any way documented:
Rather than simply importing the XML file you receive from Tools – Export, turn this file into a GZIP file, and then import it.
I have no idea why this works, but I’ve just tried it with WordPress 3.9.1 and it works like a charm. On a Mac, simply
- open Terminal
- type “gzip ” (with a space)
- then drag the file in question into the Terminal session
- this will paste the full path of that file
Hit return and you have a .gz file. The original file is deleted automatically.
You can also do this from the command line like this:
Anon suggests that if you’re a Windows user you can use 7zip to create a .gz file.