Importing WooCommerce Products with Images

The Best Product Import Export Plugin for WooCommerce

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Often, while importing or exporting products, we would need the product images also to get imported or exported along with it. The default product import-export functionality embedded in the WooCommerce does not allow you to do this. Therefore, you will need to get an additional simple plugin that serves the importing and exporting of images along with the export and import of products.

Product Import Export Plugin for WooCommerce facilitates the importing of products along with their associated images. The main advantages of this plugin, with respect to images, are as given below:

  • Imports multiple product images.
  • Generates thumbnails for the product images.
  • Downloads the image from the provided URL in the CSV file to the server of your store.
  • Re-uses product images from the Media Library.

The URL of each product image must be entered in the image column of the CSV file which is to be uploaded. For importing multiple images of a product, the URLs must be separated by the vertical line character ‘|’. During import, the first image is taken as the Product image and the rest of the images are added into the Product gallery.

Note: The CSV Import file must be in UTF-8 format. For more information about UTF-8 encoding, See How to save CSV / Excel File as UTF-8 Encoded?

Now, let us get an understanding of importing a CSV file containing products with images.

Suppose, you have a CSV file with a variable product – T-Shirt, with product image, gallery image, and images for each variation of the product. In this file, the URLs of the product image and gallery image(s) of each product are separated by the vertical character “|”, as shown in the screenshot below:Product image import CSV

Note: Click Sample CSV of importing Images to download it.

Following are the steps to import products with images:

  • Move to Import Products in CSV/XML Format in the Import section of the Product settings tab. Further settings appear as shown in the screenshot below.
Product Import Export-Import Products
Product Import Export-Import Products
  • You can choose either of the methods for uploading the CSV file. In this article, we are selecting the first method. That is, uploading a CSV file from your computer.

  • Click Choose File to browse a required CSV file from your computer.
  • Select a mapping file, or click Upload file and import to move ahead and create a new one.
  • Enter a mapping filename and map the required WooCommerce Product Fields with column headers of the CSV file. Use Evaluation Field to fix/update the required value for a particular field.
Product Import Export-Import Products-Map Fields
Product Import Export-Import Products-Map Fields
  • Click Submit to start importing products into your WooCommerce store.  

Based on the CSV file imported, the products and its respective images get added to your store, as shown in the screenshot below:

Thumbnails generated successfully

The plugin generates thumbnails for products by using the URL of the image which is specified in the CSV file.

To view imported products, move to the WooCommerce Product page. The imported products with a respective thumbnail will be displayed as shown in the screenshot below:

Image thumbnail on product list

To view product image, gallery image(s) and product variation images, open the individual product page. The imported images will be displayed as shown in the screenshot below:

Image added on the Edit Product page

From the above screenshot, we can see the variable product – T-Shirt is imported to the WooCommerce store with four variations. The respective product image, gallery images, and product variation images are successfully imported with thumbnails.

Note: All the imported images are uploaded to the server of your store from the mentioned URL in your CSV. Make sure the image URLs are correct. If the images are already present in your WordPress Media Gallery, you can re-use the images. Read more about this process in the below section.

Re-using product images from Media library

There will be cases where you can re-use the product images from the media library. For instance, when you use the same image for different simple products or for each variation in a variable product. However, the exported CSV file will contain multiple image URLs. This will result in duplicate images on your server and slow download time while importing the products. See the screenshot below:

Sample CSV with multiple images

To overcome this, you can provide the respective image name (image-name.jpg) instead of the URL. That is, keep the URL once in the images column, and for the subsequent use of the same image, provide only the image name in the column.

A screenshot of sample CSV is as shown below:

Sample CSV for simple product

Though this is pretty straightforward in the case of simple products, it can get a bit tricky in the case of variable products.

Sample CSV with variable product image

For example, we have iPhone as a variable product on our store. Based on the attribute “color”, there are two variations: Black and White, which need different images. We have another attribute “storage”, which again creates three variations (16GB, 32Gb, 64GB), but can use the same image.

In this example, we used the same image for variations Black 16GB, Black 32GB, and Black 64GB.  Now you can see (above screenshot), we have used the URL only once for the Black variations. Whenever it is repeated in the CSV, we added the image name. And when a different image is used (for the white variations), we added the URL once and just the image-name.jpg in subsequent cases.

For more information on importing and exporting of products, read our setting-up documentation.

The Best Product Import Export Plugin for WooCommerce

#1 in WordPress Official Plugin Repository With 50,000+ Active Installs

#1 in Customer Satisfaction With Most 5 Star Reviews

WebToffee Guarantee: Get Your Money Back if You Are Not Satisfied With The Product

Buy Now!
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23 thoughts on “Importing WooCommerce Products with Images

  1. Victor says:


    Yuor plugin is nice (I am using a free version). However it has one problem related to reusing of the images from the Media gallery. The plugin does not search for an image file aver all subfolders (year/month) in the uploads folder (it searches only in the curent folder, so, right now, in the 2019/06/). So, all works fine if images were uploaded to the Media gallegy during the current month and do not generates thumbnails, if images were uploaded earlier than a month.
    Could you please fix an issue. Thank you wery much in advance.

    Best regards,

    • Alan
      Alan says:


      You can import an already existing image in the media library to a product by specifying the image name in the CSV file. Please reach us via support if you are having issues with importing the image.

  2. service25
    service25 says:

    I have uploaded all my images and set a proper alt and title tag in the media libary.

    Now when I import (with just the jpg file name without full url) it does create another image in the media libary.

    The image created during the import has the same file name but it adds “1” at the end of the image title.
    So I dont have more files – but I do have duplicates items in the media libary.

    how can I avoid this?


    • Mark
      Mark says:


      If you are trying to link an image that is already present in the media library to products thumbnail will be regenerated in the media library. So when you upload an image via CSV, an entry of the image for the product is added to the media library resulting in the duplication of the image. However, the images are not duplicated on the server.

  3. James says:

    Is there any way to serve the image from external server and not import to media library. Because I saw some site have their image not on the local server.

  4. Kelsi
    Kelsi says:

    I am trying to import but your tool doesn’t include meta:_purchase_note ( I assume this maps to postmeta table ) Did I miss something in the documentation, or is this legitimately not there?

    • Mark
      Mark says:


      You can import purchase notes by specifying the data in the meta:_purchase_note column of CSV. To include the purchase notes in the exported CSV you may please enable the option include hidden metadata during export.

  5. Dennis
    Dennis says:

    Can you also upload images from the same location as the SFTP where the import file resides? Basically we have the testimport.csv file in the root folder of the FTP and another folder named /images. Can the upload be done in that way?


    • WebToffee
      Mark says:


      If you have the image URLs in the CSV, it will be fetched from the location and added to the product, as long as the URLs are accessible.

      If you are keeping only the image file names in the CSV, kindly keep the images somewhere inside the directory /wp-content/uploads/.

  6. qvanoman
    qvanoman says:

    Hi. I need to upload a few thousands of products and images for them on the site. Images are stored on my PC – there are not any of them on the Internet, so I can’t use the URL method to upload them. What is the quickest way to add them to the products? As I read here, there is a oppotunity to use only the name of the images, whithout URL. So as “Veeresh” answered earlyer, I need to upload images to Media Library and just use the name of the image to import. But I try import a few images from the Media Library that I upload manualy earlyer and it’s did’t work. It worked only when I used URL once in the images column. But I can’t mantion URLs of all my images – they all are different.
    So – can I use images names for uploading whithout mantioning any URL? I mean, by using only names in the images column. If not, how I should upload thousands of different images?

    • WebToffee
      Mark says:

      Hi qvanoman,

      Just as mentioned in the other reply, you can upload the images to the media library and just specify their correct image file name (eg: filename.jpg) in the images column in the CSV and import it. Images will connect with the corresponding products if the image with the filename specified exists in the media library. You don’t have to specify their URL.

      Please reach us via support if you still have issues.

    • qvanoman
      qvanoman says:

      I desided to try upload old images from the Library again and add them names to images colomn, and it works. Thank you for answering and good working plugin.

  7. Julia
    Julia says:

    How is the url created – this is where I am stuck ? The image files are on my pc, what url do I create ?
    Am I supposed to upload them as media files first ? Please can you advise

    • Veeresh
      Veeresh says:

      Hello Julia,

      If you want to use images which are saved on your PC, you need to upload images to Woocommerce Media Library and just use the name of the image to import. If the image is on another server, you need to use full URL of the image to pull Image to your site.

      Hope this help.
      Let us know if you have any queries.


  8. MakeOnlineShop
    MakeOnlineShop says:


    Can you explain me why do I need a plugin to import products and images when WordPress already has the function ?

    Is it better to use this plugin ?


    • Anindo
      Anindo says:


      Our import export plugin has distinct advantages over the wordpress import feature.
      Among them, the chief features are :
      1. Our plugin helps you to import products from any platform and export them to any platform via csv.
      2. You can schedule the imports or exports to your remote location via FTP.
      3. The Import/Export can be seamlessly done by mapping the fields of your external system with that of woocommerce.
      4. It is simpler than the existing wordpress import. The wordpress import feature allows you to download the data in XML format. We do it in csv which makes it simple to view and edit.

  9. Nea
    Nea says:


    You can import multiple images for a product, separate URLs with ‘|’.

    During import, the first image is taken as the Product Image and rest of the images are added into Product Gallery.

    Hope that helped.

    Let us know, if you have some query.

  10. Gonzalo
    Gonzalo says:

    It is possible just to put the image name of a media uploaded before in WordPress?

    For example, If I uploaded a image with the name “image-product.jpg” before in the media library. Can I put in the .csv “image product.jpg|” ? Thanks!

    • Nea
      Nea says:

      Hi Long,
      While importing multiple images for a product, , separate URLs with ‘|’.
      Also, during import, the first image is taken as the Product Image and rest of the images are added into Product Gallery.
      Hope that helped

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