I am trying to import 55 members into a new site. I am using the following format:

  <screen_name>First Last</screen_name>
  <password type="text">Password</password>
  <email>[email protected]</email>

for the file location I have uploaded the .xml file to the root of the site and listed the name of the file without the server path.

Unfortunately the EE documentation on this topic is woefully thin.

Any suggestions as to what might be missing here?

  • What errors are you getting ? Jun 27, 2014 at 1:39
  • Unable to parse XML is the only error I get.
    – forrest
    Jun 27, 2014 at 3:42

1 Answer 1


EE's built in Member Importer can be a bit fickle from time to time and the error reporting is.... well it is anything but useful. So I have a list of things that you can try

  • Upload the file to the root of your server and try both ../member-import.xml or member-import.xml I have had various results depending on the server environment.
  • EE requires username, email, and screen_name to all be unique. This is not only for the members you are importing but existing members in your DB.
  • Usernames need to be at least 6 characters (unless you are forcing longer in your config) and can not start with a number.
  • If you have any custom member fields setup in your install either make sure that they are all not required or alternatively make sure the required fields are included in your .xml file and that they contain content. For example if other_app_id is a required field you need to include <other_app_id>Something here</other_app_id> in every record you are importing.
  • If your original data was created in Excel and you exported it as CSV file it often creates a funky breaking space that looks like a normal space in most text editors but if you open it in Terminal (Mac) or Notepad Plain Text (Windows) you will see it actually creating a new line. Exporting the original excel file in OpenOffice (Windows) or the latest version of Numbers (Mac) should fix the issue.
  • Make sure that your data has been sanitized to remove any special characters that are not valid in XML. From the top of my head I believe they are &, <, >, ", and '. These characters will have to be converted into XML entities.
  • Justin, thank you for the detailed response. I'll give it a going over in the morning and see what results I get. I'll reduce it to a very simple dataset to narrow the range of possible errors. Thanks again. I'll be back.
    – forrest
    Jun 27, 2014 at 3:44
  • Justin, to follow up. I went back and tried doing small imports and it worked fine if I kept it at 5 entries per import. Beyond that it croaked. I do believe this is one of the least robust tools in the EE toolbox. Thanks again for your help.
    – forrest
    Jun 27, 2014 at 19:44
  • 1
    Glad that you were able to get it sorted. The default member importer is not the best. Usually I have a need for a more robust importer or the ability to import things on a regular basis so I can use DataGrab or Solspace Importer instead of the default one. Jun 27, 2014 at 23:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.