Easier Theme Development with Sample WordPress Content


Developing a theme for public release isn’t an easy task. When you’re the only one using your theme you don’t have to worry about expanding it, but put it into the hands of other users and it better be ready for any content they throw at it. Blockquotes, lists, and floating images – there are plenty of elements that are common to blogs that need to be supported in every theme you release. Cue our new sample WordPress content.

Download our Sample WordPress Content

We put together a collection of posts, tags, categories, and pages into an XML file – perfect for importing right into a new installation of WordPress. Here are some of the things this collection includes:

  • Multiple posts with different elements in each
  • 12 Posts to force pagination
  • Blockquotes, lists – ordered and unordered – and floating images
  • Comments on a few of the posts
  • Parent, child, and grandchild categories and pages
  • Tags
  • Multiple months for the archives

Using this file is easy. Simply download the zip file and extract it. Then, log in to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to Manage>Import. Select the WordPress option from the bottom of the list, choose your file, and upload it. Within a few minutes you should have a ready-to-go development server.

Since this is the first release of this XML file, there are probably a few things we might have missed. If you think anything should be added to the collection, let us know in the comments and we’ll update it later.

Download our Sample WordPress Content

288 thoughts on “Easier Theme Development with Sample WordPress Content

  1. Pingback: WordPress Weekend Resources - September 12, 2008 | Theme Lab

  2. Perfect. Just what I need right now as I’m working on a theme and I am generally pretty lazy when it comes to sample posts for myself.

  3. Nice idea! It could save theme developers a lot of time when setting up a demo-site.
    I think an improvement could be:
    more than 10 posts (so the link to older posts shows at the bottom by default on an out-of-the-box installation).

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  6. Its great idea. I have been thinking of making something similar, but never thought about using the WP’s built in export/inport function…

    I will be quite intersted to add few posts in Japanese into this file. Don’t know about in Russian, but in multi-byte language like Japanese, it is bit different.

  7. If anyone finds the need to add language-specific posts to this collection go ahead and do so, but please link back to here and let me know so I can add a link to this post. Just don’t try and translate the lorem ipsum. 😉

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  9. Man, I was working on the exact same thing on my local dev server… then I wiped it accidentally when I was building a client site. I’m so glad you guys did this, saves me a good few hours of getting things the way I want. Yet another reason you’re so fan-freaking-tastic!

    -Brian Richards

  10. Excellent! Thanks for creating this.

    I made something similar a while back after I spent a few hours scouring the net trying to find a suitably large database/XML file to upload, but I never found anything.

  11. AWESOME! Downloaded it and will be using it a LOT since I set up all of my clients themes on test installs of their own. This will save a LOT of time 🙂


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  18. I’m just in the process of setting up a WordPress demo sites to test themes on…this couldn’t come at a better time! This will be super handy, so thanks for offering it!

  19. Fantastic stuff. We are about to start work on a big WP based site for a client, so this could not have come at a better time. Great thinking, a really useful idea. Thanks for doing and offering it.

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  25. @Matt I made that a LONG time ago for a tutorial for making flare artwork with that logo (by now it’s been used everywhere and then some), and just pulled it out of my images folder when I did this. I’ll put the “real deal” logo in the next update – thanks for pointing that out.

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  33. Thanks for making this available! I found it very helpful for testing my newest theme.

    A few things that might be nice additions:
    – Images with captions (a la WP 2.6)
    – Posts with comments/trackbacks in various states of openness, including a post with existing comments but where the comments have since been closed (many themes don’t display comments at all in that case)

    Thanks again for the great work!

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  35. Привет !!! 🙂 как вам вчерашний драматический матч между ЦСКА и Спартаком ? 😉 Очумелый Футбол !!!

  36. Thanks for this. It worked on my old wordpress local install (I had an old version of wordpress, one of the first 1.6 versions) but then I formated my mac, reinstalled wordpress locally (the newest version, 2.6.3 I think) and tried to import the xml file and it did not work. When I click on the WordPress link in the Import section it asks to browse for a “WordPress eXtended RSS (WXR) file”…
    If I upload the xml file I get this error:
    Sorry, there has been an error.
    Failed to write file to disk.

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  41. Would it also be possible to extend this set with threaded comment as currently is possible for 2.7.

    And can’t you add an exotic page with all kind of unsupported (from the text editor) tags, like: form, fieldset, input, select, table, thead, tr, td, th, tbody, tfoot, etc.?

  42. Excellent! Thanks very much, this is a whole lot better than waiting until people start posting comments to figure out styling. 🙂

  43. aeimbmlskivfvmxawell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch 😉

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  45. Thanks so much. Its always a pain in the a** to work on the default content and then accidentally miss on something vital. You guys are great

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  53. Hello and thank you for this valuable tool.

    I think there is one problem with the xml file you have available. It seems that the posts with pictures in them have invalid markup. I am unable to validate to XHTML 1.0 Strict because the align=”right” variable is deprecated:
    there is no attribute "align"

    This is still an extremely valuable package and it WILL validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Thanks!

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  62. Nice idea. I used to develop WordPress theme either using local web server. It will be more easier to focus to the theme rather than the contents by importing our existing post 🙂

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  90. Thank you very much. i was looking for this from months and find this. I always want a sample posts structure to test my wordpress themes and find it here. thanks

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  99. You’re spot on. There are definitely a lot of things to think about when releasing a theme to the public. I can’t emphasis organizing and documenting enough!

    Great post.

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  105. Thank you for this sample content. As I am just starting out with theme development, this will save a lot of time.

    For those importing to WordPress 2.8 and can’t find where the import link is from the dashboard (like me), I would like to add that to import files, go to Tools in the admin panel. Under Tools will be Import. There is a list of about fifteen types of files to Import. choose WordPress and navigate to the sample content file on your computer to import.

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  124. It’s not a WXR File to import. For all having problems importing the XML file on a newer WordPress installation, goto: tools -> import -> import Rss Feed ….

    its the same! Have fun

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  126. Thanks, This is the greatest thing that I have recently found for wordpress. I have been adding my own content when developing. This is such a huge time saver.

    I have it always on my desktop to use with my local test server.

    Thanks Again!

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  132. This is an absolutely fabulous idea. I am not a developer – I am just creating one site. But this is perfect for me as I am struggling to imagine what the site will look like with content in it. Problem solved. I can explore and create with all of this!!

    many thanks

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  139. I am amazed this is not in the core of wordpress yet. It is so useful to install and have the option of sample content. But ah well, we already know about it so it does not matter.

    Been using it for a while, but thanks really is deserved 😀

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  154. Thank you,

    But I tried to import these files into a brand, spankin’ new WP installation just now, and only 1 post, 2 pages and no comments were imported. Tags and categories seem to be okay, though.

    Is there something wrong with the file, perhaps? Or maybe it is a compatability issue with WP3? I hope it is fixable, though, because it would be a shame to let such a great little piece of work go to waste. 🙂

  155. I tried to install on wordpress 3.0.1 , seems not working. am i missing something? i received below error:

    Please upload a valid WXR (WordPress eXtended RSS) export file.

  156. Hi, I’m having problems with the import.

    Most content does not appear in the backfofice and I get errors when clicking in the example menus like our staff.

    Is this compatible with current wordpress instalations?

    • Thanks for the sample content.
      @ RM – It’s best to unzip the .xml file and login to WordPress adminstrator. Then go Tools > Import, select the .xml file and presto.

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  160. is there any way to delete the file? I added it in to see some test coding, but now I don’t need it anymore. the names of the posts are still showing up in my recent posts widgets although i’ve already deleted the posts. i looked everywhere on my FTP for the posts.xml file but couldn’t find it. any suggestions? thanks!

    • nevermind – i went through and deleted them once and they didn’t disappear, but i went back and deleted them again and they disappeared this time. thanks!

  161. This is such a great idea! I really should have thought of this myself.. thank you for providing this database its already been a huge help with formatting my css/html. cheers!

  162. Create a separate test database:
    Just backup your db, delete all posts/comments, then upload test data. Save this as a test db, then when done, point your config file back to your original db.

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  164. I am attempting to test this on my wp site, but your links are not clear. There is no Manage link anywhere on the dashboard. Is there another term it may be using? I cannot upload if I don’t have the link for it. Please advise.

    Lola Vanslette

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  166. Fantastic! It not only saved me a lot of time while developing a new theme for my WordPress site but it was also useful to showcase to client for testing. Thank you for creating such a useful thing.

  167. Your demo contents are very helpful to start developing WordPress theme. I just create demo data in my newly installed WordPress using your file.

  168. Not sure if it`s compatible w/ version 3.5.2, generating this error, “This does not appear to be a WXR file, missing/invalid WXR version number..”

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