Importing members can be a bit of a tricky process due to the fact that all of the data entered must be simple, clean text (no formatting, line breaks, or other things that can break a CSV file), and the data must all be in the proper columns in order to import properly.
To start, here are some files that will help the understanding of how the import process works:
- Import template with ALL fields and explanations of each field
- Import template with only the simple / basic required fields
- Example of a completed import file with ALL fields
- Example of a completed simple / basic import file
- Example of a completed file with subaccounts
The template and example files that have ALL fields included show all of the different fields that can be filled out for a member during import. However, not all imports will need to make use of all of these fields, so we also included a simple / basic version of each that has the most commonly used fields. Importing custom variables is also possible.
To import members to the site via CSV file, please follow these steps:
Prepare the import file
- Download one of the CSV import templates shown above.
In row 1 of this file, one will see all of the headers required to import the data. Make sure not to edit the spelling of any of these headers, as doing so will cause the import to fail. In row 2 of this file, one will see an explanation of what kind of text should be added into each column.
- Once understood the content that should be added into each column, delete the content of row 2 from the spreadsheet (if it is not removed, the explanations will be imported as a member of the site!)
- Enter all of the member data into the correct columns
- Delete any empty columns from the spreadsheet - for example, if no data is entered in the twitter column, one can delete this column from the spreadsheet completely. This will reduce the size of the import file and speed up the import process.
Add Categories to a CSV Import Spreadsheet
There are 2 columns on the far right of the spreadsheet- "profession_name" and "services".
Under "profession_name", please put the Top Level Category for the listing to be imported into. For example, if we were doing this for the Local Dessert Shops Directory (Categories seen here: Example of Top Level Categories), then I could add “Ice Cream Shop” in this column.
The Membership Plan Settings also allow to pre-assign the op level category to all profiles in that membership plan. For more information on how to do this, please refer to step 2 in the following article.
In the "services" column, please add a comma-separated list of Sub Level Categories and Sub-Sub Level Categories one would like the listing added into. For example, for the listing added the Top Level Category “Ice Cream Shop”, one could add the Sub Level Categories "Ice Cream,Ice Cream Cake,Ice Cream Cupcake" (since these are all Sub Level Categories of “Ice Cream Shop” that apply to this listing). If one would like a listing imported into ALL Sub Level Categories under the Top Level Category it is being imported into (as designated in the profession_name column), then one could simply put "all" under the services column.
Please note that all of the Top Level Categories and Sub Level Categories entered into this spreadsheet must be spelled exactly the same as they are in the category structure in the Directory Planner.
Tips for successful import file setup
- If any columns are blank in the import file, it is always best to delete the entire column. This is also mentioned above, but is a very common issue that people run into! For example, if none of the members which are going to import have any data for the "fees" column, it is best to delete this column entirely before import.
- Some US zipcodes begin with a zero or multiple zeros, which Excel and other spreadsheet programs sometimes remove automatically. Make sure all of the zip_codes are formatted as text and have all of the required 0’s at the beginning of the zipcode
- If one is entering data for the logo, profile_photo, website, twitter, facebook, linkedin, or google_plus fields, be sure to use full URLs including the http:// (EG: http://www.google.com/image.jpg)
- Make sure all listings have something entered into either the company or name field (or first_name and last_name fields) to insure that there will be a title for each listing.
- Make sure to enter either Company or Individual into the listing_type field for each listing (Entering "Company" will make the company name more prominent in the listing; entering "Individual" will make the name of the person more prominent in the listing) *Our variables are case sensitive so make sure to capitalize the first letter for these.
- Add the Top Level category for each listing into the profession_name column. Please note that this must be spelled exactly the same as the category is spelled in the directory, or they will not import correctly. (See the section of this article above titled "How to Add Categories to a CSV Import Spreadsheet" for more tips)
- (OPTIONAL) Add a comma-separated list of Sub Level Categories in each listing imported into in the services column (See the section of this article above titled "How to Add Categories to a CSV Import Spreadsheet" for more tips).
- The fields "name" and " first_name + last_name" will create a conflict if they are both populated in the file. Simply make sure that only "name" or "first_name + last_name" are populated. Either one will import the name of the listing successfully.
Import the file to the site
- Login to the Admin area of the site
- Navigate to Search Members section of the admin. On the upper right hand corner of the page there will be a dropdown selection called "Member List Actions" where one can select the import option from the dropdown as seen below.
- The Import settings will allow the user to select the membership plan the new listings will belong to. This is required to begin the import. A second option will allow the admin to determine the status of the listings upon import.
- The Advanced Options will allow the import to pass unique email checks or create new categories from the file if they ave not been added to the admin yet. This is left to the admin's discretion.
- The screen will prompt the user to select a CSV import file from the computer.
- Once the file is selected, simply select "Begin File Import" for the upload to begin.
- A variable selection module will display on screen with the list of all of the variable names present in the import file. When using the default import templates without any type of variable modification, we recommend to perform the import as is.
- If the import file includes custom variables which may have been added to forms prior to the import, the same module will display them on the left side of the columns with an example of a value next to it. There will be a dropdown option which will allow the admin to create the new variable name as an import field:
A list of existing variables will display from that dropdown, should the new variable be missing from the selection, the "Create New Property" will allow the admin to create the variable name for a successful import:
Type in the new variable name and click on Add to add the new variable to the system. Make sure to exclude spaces, uppercase letter or special characters:
Use the search box at the top to find the new variable and click on it to lock in the new variable name.
- An option to disregard a variable from being imported is also available:
- Click Continue with import, this will prompt one last verification for the import, simply click continue for the file to be imported.
After importing the members, please follow these steps in the link below:
Import Profile Images (optional)
To complete the import of member images and logos, please refer to the link below:
In this video we will learn how to properly add and import the member's websites so they are linked properly in the member's listing.
Get Personal Assistance
We understand that this can be a challenging process, even for some users that are more technically inclined. If one would prefer that someone on our team assists with the import of the members, we have Training Sessions covering importing members as shown on the Training Sessions page.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The files below should be downloaded to the computer and viewed in a spreadsheet application like Microsoft Excel, or another similar application.