The WordPress customizer is a brilliant tool for styling and designing the layout of your website in a user-friendly manner. You can open the customizer by navigating to “Appearance > Customize” menu in your WordPress admin panel. The problem with customizer is that it does not offer any options to download your settings and import on another site. If you want a fast, efficient and convenient method of importing, exporting and even resetting your WordPress theme customizer settings, then this is the article for you.
Why Import and Export Customizer Settings?
WordPress customizer allows you to change hundreds of settings like typography, colors, layout, images and more across different sections on your website. The extent of customization varies based the theme you use. But for the most part, you will get at least the basic theme customization features. Recent days, it’s also a trend using customizer for theme settings instead of a separate theme panel which was popular in earlier days. For example, most popular themes like Astra, GeneratePress, Kadence and OceanWP all allows you to setup theme through customizer. In this case, replicating theme’s customizer settings from one website to the other can be an unnecessary chore.
You can save plenty of time by exporting customizer settings from one site and importing into another in the following situations.
- Let’s say you have purchased Astra theme Pro license which offers unlimited website usage. You are planning to build multiple sites for your own and clients with the same Astra theme. Here you want to start with the same design for all your site. After spending hours on your first site, if you feel like you have hit the nail on the head with your WordPress customizer settings on one website, then it makes sense to backup and use the same on all your sites.
- When moving from a site hosted locally to a live one, you need to migrate all customizer settings.
- Similarly, you need all customizer settings when moving from liver server to localhost setup.
In all these situations, you can use an additional plugin or option available within your theme to migrate all your customizer settings and finish your task quickly.
Import and Export Customizer Settings with Theme Options
As mentioned above, most of the latest themes heavily uses the default customizer setup. Since migrating those settings is an essential task, these themes also offer an integrate solution to export the settings as a JSON file. You can import the JSON file on any other site using the same theme to have similar setup. For example, you can go to “Appearance > GeneratePress” menu with the popular GeneratePress theme to import/export the settings. You do not need additional plugin for this purpose.
As you can see in the above screenshot, the theme allows you to export all settings or only colors or only typography related settings. This will be super useful when you only need colors or font settings on another site. Similarly, you can simply reset all the settings with a click and use the default settings. This is useful when you have messed up with the customizer settings by changing too many things and do not know how to set them back.
In addition, you have an option while importing the demo site to only import theme settings without demo content. You can make use of this to import the theme settings as per the demo and start building your content.
This is the same case with Kadence theme which offers import/export/reset functions in customizer itself.
And for Astra theme, you can go to “Appearance > Astra Options” and activate “Import / Export Customizer Settings” option. This will install an additional plugin which works only on Astra theme to import/export your theme’s settings.
Being explained with all the above theme examples, make sure to check if your theme provides any in-built option for import/export customizer settings. If not proceed further to understand how to do that with a plugin.
Using Customizer Export/Import Plugin By Beaver Builder Team
The great thing about the Export/Import plugin is that it lets you export or import your customizer settings from the theme customizer interface itself. The plugin is quite straightforward to use as well. First open your customization settings page, from “Appearance > Customize” menu. Now, if you look at the settings, you will find the “Export/Import” option added at the bottom of the list. Open the page, and you’ll be able to import and export settings applicable to the active theme you are using on the site.
- If you click on the Export button, the plugin will export the customizations settings in place for the theme in a .dat file. This file can be imported on another website to carry over the same customization options from old website.
- To import customizer settings, upload the file that you downloaded before. Make sure to mark the checkbox indicating “Download and import image files?” if you want to download and import images for your header and other sections. Click on “Import” and the plugin will upload the customizer settings from the file. You can always review the website and make sure if everything has been transferred across from the customizer before confirming the changes.
However, keep in mind that this plugin does have its limitations such as the fact that you will have to import other site data such as menus, widgets, and alike, as the plugin only exports settings saved via the theme customizer.
Using Customizer Reset – Export & Import Plugin
This is another great plugin that fulfills the purpose of importing and exporting customizer settings on WordPress. However, in addition to everything that the previous plugin accomplished, this plugin also provides the option to reset your customizer settings. For example, if you have made some changes to the customizer but now want to start from fresh again without impacting each setting individually, then the reset feature can come in handy.
Just like the previous plugin, Customizer Reset lets you export/import your customization settings from the WordPress theme customizer itself, making it the perfect plugin for migrating customizer settings to a different WordPress installation.
Upon activation, go to your theme’s customizer page from “Appearance > Customize” menu. As you can see from the image above, you will find a “Reset Customizer” button, an export/download button, and an import/upload button. The “Reset Customizer” function works as mentioned above, and the import and export functions perform the same roles that they did with the Customizer Export/Import plugin.
Limitations of Exporting and Importing Theme Settings
Remember the followings when importing/exporting theme settings to a new site:
- You will either get a JSON or DAT file containing all settings.
- Exported file only contains customizer settings, it will not import navigation menus, site title, tagline and sidebar/footer widgets. You need to setup these things manually or use additional plugins to import them.
- The file also does not contain any database or site content. You can use the default import/export options from “Tools” menu for this purpose.
- Make sure to use the same theme version on old and new sites.
- It is also possible to import and export Gutenberg blocks in WordPress using default option without additional plugin.
Putting it All Together
And that’s about it. Importing and exporting customizer settings of a WordPress theme can be a challenging process but with the right plugins such as the ones mentioned in this article it can be quite effortless and simple. If your theme offers this as a default feature, then you do not need to use additional plugins. In addition to moving the settings from one site to another, you can also check the demo import options to only import theme settings without content.
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