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Phplist Documentation » List and User functions » Import users

Import Users - Walkthrough


This page provides a step-by-step walk through of the import process. The text has been contributed by sing1ejack (User Manual - How To Upload New Users via CSV File.


There are a few ways to import new users to PHPList, but by far the most simple is to get them in a CSV file and import that using PHPList's import tool.

Get Your CSV Files
who to get the csv files from



Login to PHPList
URL to admin page & login info



Create a New User List

In case there is some kind of trouble importing the users, it is a good idea to import them into their own list. Then you can check the list and dump it into the customer list.

1. On the sidebar click 'lists'. In the bottom left corner there is a small link that say 'add a list' – click it.

2. Give the new list a name; 'import list' for example.

3. There is a checkbox labeled 'Check this box to make this list active'. Make sure it stays empty. None of the other options matter much. Go ahead and click the 'Save' button


Import the CSV File

1. On the sidebar click 'manage users' then click 'import users'.

2. Click on the first of the four links. The one that reads “import emails with different values for attributes.”

3. Select the list you just made from the column of lists.

4. Use the 'Choose..' button to locate the CSV file on your local machine.

5. PHPList needs to know what delimiter you use in your file. If you don't know off hand, you can just open the file in any text editor and look for it. Common delimiters are semicolons (;), pipes (|) and tabs (\t). CSV files actually rarely use commas since they're so common in normal text. Anyway, enter the delimiter in the field provided.

6. You'll have to do basically the same thing for the record delimiter. This is the character that marks the end of a row. Typically it is a line break or return and that's the default value. If your CSV file uses something else go ahead and enter it.

7. The rest of the options on the page are well explained, but for the most part you can just check all the boxes and select the 'confirm immediately' radio button. The next several steps assume that you checked 'test output'.

8. Click the 'Import' button.
Warning: If you need to restart the import process after you click the 'Import' button, you cannot simply click the 'back' button on your browser and start over. PHPList is holding the imported data in memory and is likely to jumble the current data with re-imported data. To restart the import process, you must click the 'reset import session' link available on all subsequent pages.








9. The next step in the import process is PHPList's attempt to match the data fields in the CSV file with known attributes (such as Name, City, etc). If it successfully matches all the fields you will either see a page saying everything matched up correctly, or skip this step entirely.

However if the field names do not match PHPList's attribute names, you will be asked to match them up yourself. For each unmatched name a row will be displayed with that name on the left and a drop down menu on the right. Select the drop down option that matches the field name (for instance, the field name 'First_Name' was probably intended to match the PHPList attribute 'FirstName' so you would select that option from the drop down menu).

If the field name does not match any of the attributes (perhaps it is a superfluous field accidentally included in the CSV file), you can choose '--skip column' from the drop down menu and it will not be imported. Similarly, if you have a field that you want to include but is not a current PHPList attribute, you can select '--create a new one' and a new attribute will be created for that field in PHPList.

10. Once you have selected options for any unmatched field names, click the 'Continue' link on the bottom of the page.

11. Assuming you checked the 'test output' option earlier, next you will see a page that shows how the CSV data will be imported. So far nothing has actually been imported into PHPList. Under the heading 'Test Output' you will see groups of attribute names pointing to sample data. Verify that the data matches the attribute (the attribute 'Date' should not point to 'Coco Puffs').

12. Once you are sure that PHPList is going to read your CSV file correctly, click the link reading 'confirm import'.

13. The next page will give you some stats on how the upload went. It will tell you how many emails were imported to the database (this may be less than the number of rows in your CSV file if the file contains email addresses that already exist within the database since PHPList will not import the same email twice). This is the end of the import process. If you want to upload another file, there is a link at the bottom, 'import some more emails,' that will take you back to the beginning.


Verify New Users & Add to Final List

1. Now we have all the data in the CSV file converted to users and added to our 'import list'. Click on the sidebar button called 'lists'.

2. Find the list 'import list' and click on 'view members'.

3. This page will let you browse through the users by email, 50 at a time. If you click on the email you are taken to that user's profile. Do this to one or two to make sure that everything seems to be in order.

Note: If you want to add a single user to a list, it is most easily done by visiting this same page and using the 'Add a user' form. If the email already exists in PHPList, then the user will be added to the list. If not, you will see a form that lets you add all the information about the new user.







4. When you are sure that the users in the 'import list' were imported correctly, it's time to add them to whichever list you want them in. Down at the bottom of the page there is a form that allows you to alter all the users in the current list. Just select the 'Move' radio button, then from the drop down menu select the list you want to move them to and click the button labeled 'do it'.

Warning: Do be careful here, there is no way to undo this step except to move individual users by hand. Make sure you have selected the correct list from the drop down menu.





5. If you want to delete the 'import list', click 'lists' again on the sidebar. One of the options for the list is 'delete'. Just make sure the list is actually empty before you delete it.





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