Can I create Wordpress users from existing CiviCRM contacts?
June 25, 2012 5:28 AM   Subscribe

Can I create Wordpress users from existing CiviCRM contacts?

I have a CiviCRM database with contacts in it, which is connected to a Movable Type site. In the future this site will be phased out and replaced with Wordpress. I would like to create as smooth a transition as possible for the end user.

The contacts are used to logging-in to our current Website with a username or email address and password. I would like to transfer those contacts to Wordpress in such a way as to minimize the onus on the end-user - e.g., so that they don't have to create a new login and/or password.

Is it possible to create new Wordpress users based on those contacts in CiviCRM? If so, and I wanted to test this, what approach could I take (with dummy data first...)? What approach can I take to make this as pain-free for my users?

An approach I was thinking was to export contacts & email addresses from CiviCRM's database (the contacts), then use a CSV import plugin from Wordpress (

posted by radiocontrolled to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How many users are you talking? If it's just a dozen or two dozen I'd probably just create new accounts for them all by hand, with a default password they have to change. It wouldn't take more than 30 minutes. If you have a bunch of users then the import plug in is probably the way to go. Although instead of dummy data, I'd probably put up a test copy of Wordpress and work out the import issues with the real data.
posted by COD at 6:01 AM on June 25, 2012

Hi COD. It's roughly 50,000 contacts, as it's a members-only site.
posted by radiocontrolled at 6:10 AM on June 25, 2012

Your logic is sound. One gotcha is that WordPress users sign in using a username, and not an email address. If CiviCRM uses the same technique, I think what you're describing will work fine. If CiviCRM users use their email address to sign in, then you have a problem.
posted by artlung at 7:02 AM on June 25, 2012

I was part of a team that used a bulk-importer to set up about 400 Wordpress accounts, just as you describe. In fact, I think it was the same plugin you mention.

The way we did it was to e-mail everybody who was going to have an account added "hey, we're going to be setting up an account for you, and you'll be getting a cryptic e-mail with your username and password" along with further instructions. When we ran the import, Wordpress sent them an e-mail message that consisted of only their username and password.

Although WP does use usernames, not e-mail addresses, you can use an e-mail address as a username, and in fact that's exactly what we did.

One other thing that we did was to generate randomized passwords for each account. One guy on the team wrote a script that did that, but I think you could cobble something together in Excel that would work.

Everything worked OK. The fact that WP has a completely different admin interface from its front-end interface was confusing for some of our users, and we did a lot of pre-emptive hand-holding in the form of adding help text to the admin interface. I know there are plugins that let you expose a subset of admin features through the front-end interface, but we didn't have time to mess with that.
posted by adamrice at 8:00 AM on June 25, 2012

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