How to Add Dummy Content for Theme Development in WordPress

Do you want to add dummy content for theme development and WordPress testing?

Adding dummy content allows you to fill up an empty WordPress site with placeholder content. This allows you to see how a website will look and how your plugins would work with content.

In this article, we will show you how to easily add dummy content for theme development in WordPress.

Adding dummy content in a WordPress website for theme development and testing

What is WordPress Theme Unit Test Data?

WordPress theme unit test data is an XML file containing dummy data for testing and development purposes.

It is maintained by WordPress.org’s theme review team, which also uses it to test themes submitted to WordPress.org theme directory.

You can use this WordPress dummy data generator to easily generate blog posts, pages, import images, and more. Following are a few scenarios where you may find this dummy data very useful:

  • You want to learn WordPress theme development or make a custom WordPress theme
  • You want to practice on a WordPress starter theme
  • You want to tweak an existing theme using WordPress theme cheat sheet guide
  • Test a website design on local host before pushing it live
    • We regularly use this WordPress dummy content generator during our WordPress hosting reviews where we test actual hosting accounts for performance.

      Method 1. Adding Dummy Content Using WordPress Theme Unit Test Data

      First, go to the Theme Unit Test project on GitHub and then click on the ‘Code’ button to download the zip file to your computer.

      Get Theme Unit Test XML file

      After downloading the file, you need to unzip it to your computer. It will extract the files in a folder called ‘theme-unit-test-master’.

      Inside this folder, you’ll find three files including the ‘themeunittestdata.wordpress.xml’ file which contains all the dummy data that we need.

      Dummy data XML file

      Now that you have the dummy data file, you can import it into any WordPress website.

      Ideally, you would want to import it into a test site on your computer running a local server. You can also do the testing by creating a staging WordPress site.

      Simply login to the WordPress dashboard on your test site, and then go to Tools » Import page. From here, scroll down to the WordPress and then click on the ‘Install Importer’ link.

      Install the WordPress importer

      Once the importer is installed, WordPress will automatically activate it. You now need to click on the Run Importer link to launch it.

      Run importer

      On the next screen, you need to click on the ‘Choose File’ button to select the Theme Unit Test XML file you downloaded earlier.

      Choose dummy data XML file

      Now click on the ‘Upload file and import’ button to continue.

      WordPress will now examine your import file and will ask you whether you want to import the existing authors or assign their articles to another user on your site.

      Importing dummy data in WordPress options

      You can choose to import authors and WordPress will create dummy user accounts for those authors. You can also assign the imported content to an existing user on your site.

      Lastly, you can check the box to import attachments. Doing this will allow WordPress to download and store the images into your WordPress media library.

      Finally, click on the submit button to run the importer.

      WordPress will now import the dummy data into your website. You’ll see a success message when it is finished.

      WordPress dummy data generated successfully

      You can now visit your website to see the imported content in action.

      What’s Included in Theme Unit Test Data?

      Everything that you would need to test your WordPress theme is packed in theme unit test data.

      Dummy data generated in default WordPress theme

      It has categories, child categories, menu items, nested comments, pages, sub-pages, images of different sizes, image alignment, etc.

      There are lists, blockquotes, links, code, and other HTML tags that you should style in your themes.

      For the block editor, it comes with cover blocks, buttons, galleries with various layouts, columns, and other common blocks that you may want to test.

      Dummy gallery block

      It is a comprehensive set of dummy data which is far better than using a dummy content generator plugin for WordPress.

      Method 2. Generate Dummy Data in WordPress using a Plugin

      If you want more control over how much dummy data you want to generate, then you may want to use a dummy data generator plugin for WordPress.

      First, you need to install and activate the FakerPress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

      Upon activation, you need to visit the FakerPress &raquo: Posts page to generate dummy posts.

      Generating dummy posts in WordPress

      The plugin allows you to generate posts and pages as well as any custom post types.

      First, you need to select a range of posts you want to generate.

      After that, you can select the date range, post type, author, and other options. You can also choose to import images from dummy placeholder image sources, use HTML inside your posts, and set the number of comments for each item.

      Content settings for fake data generator

      Once you are satisfied simply click on the Generate button at the bottom.

      The plugin will now generate dummy content for WordPress using the settings you provided. You can now visit your site to see it in action.

      FakerPress also allows you to easily generate dummy WordPress comments, add dummy user accounts, or create categories, tags, and other custom taxonomy terms.

      We hope this article helped you learn how to easily add dummy content for theme development in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate list of the best free WordPress themes for some theme development inspiration, and our comparison of the best WordPress page builder plugins to create drag & drop content layouts.

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