Import From Ning now imports Ning content into BuddyPress

[IMPORTANT: I am no longer supporting this plugin. You may contact me for a list of consultants who may be interested in providing Ning import support.]

Back when Ning announced that it’d be cutting off previously free accounts, I took a weekend and developed Import From Ning, a plugin that helped users pull their Ning user and profile data into a WordPress or BuddyPress installation. It was my own little BuddyPress-fanboyish way of helping all those Ningsters.

Several weeks ago, Ning released its Ning Network Archiver, which (finally) allowed network admins an easy way to take their content with them. On the heels of this release by Ning, today I am releasing version 2.0 of Import From Ning, which imports the content from a Ning Network Archive.

Read more about the updated plugin here. And to those Ningsters who are coming over to WordPress and BuddyPress: good on ya!

Import From Ning now imports Ning content into BuddyPress by Boone Gorges, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

73 thoughts on “Import From Ning now imports Ning content into BuddyPress

    1. Boone Gorges Post author

      Brian – Stupid question, maybe, but are you going through the rest of the import process? Groups are created first, and only two steps later does the plugin attempt to import discussion/forum topics for that group.

      As for your mysql_get_server_info() errors, I am a bit perplexed. I looked at the line in question (1582 in wp-includes/wp-db.php) and, weirdly, it’s in the method db_version(). It’s possible that you might be able to work around the problem by manually changing the way that that function returns a value, maybe something like this: It’s a hack, but it might get around the errors. As for the cause of the errors, the fact that it’s only happening on the second page of imports makes me think that it’s a problem with the data you’re putting in. Either the data is not properly formatted (which I’ve seen several times in Ning exports), or there’s something unexpected in the content that the plugin isn’t designed to handle.

  1. Geert-Jan


    You have to replace all the appearances of <? at the beginning of each codeblock with <?php and it should work. First one is at line 1163 and then on. It solved the problems I had at least.

  2. Geert-Jan

    I’ve now imported everything, but had to make a change again. I fetched a fresh update from Ning and still no -local.json files for anything but members. I changed line 91 in bp-functions.php to

    $json = WP_CONTENT_DIR . ‘/ning-files/ning-‘ . $type . ‘.json';

    so the import wouldn’t look for the -local.json files. Everything is imported now, except for the avatars and other graphics…

  3. Boone Gorges Post author

    Geert-Jan – Thanks so much for the comments, they’re extremely helpful.

    I’ve replaced the

    Very strange that your Ning export had no -local.php files. The reason I use the local ones is because that way I’m able to import things like avatars, as the only difference between the -local.php files and their non-local counterparts is that the -local.php files contain URLs that are relative to the export directory. Eg avatar paths go to the local members/ directory rather than to the Ning URL. Every Ning export I’ve seen to date (probably about 10 of them) has contained those -local files, but then again in my experience they’ve been inconsistent in a number of other ways, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. Anyway, changing line 91 in the way you did is a better solution than nothing, since at least it gets you your content.

  4. Geert-Jan


    That’s explains why the avatars are not loading for me. I do have a members-local.json and the avatar images in the export, but for pages, posts, etc… there’s no local. Maybe it’s because they do not contain images originally in Ning, as in my case? You could make line 91 conditional: first look for local and if it’s not there fetch the default one. That way it should always work. Great plugin anyhow!

  5. Brian Hanifin


    I should point out that the network admin uploaded all but the discussions file(s) for this test site. Are the comments from each group stored in the groups json file, or are all comments and discussions in the discussions file? If so then that is my problem.

    1. Boone Gorges Post author

      Aha, that’s the problem! Group discussions are stored in the discussions json files. If they’re not uploaded, Import from Ning will have nothing to import.

    1. Boone Gorges Post author

      So group “comments” are different from group discussions? I didn’t know there was such thing as group comments, so I didn’t write anything in the plugin to import them. That would certainly explain it!

      1. GlowPotion

        @Boone: Groups and Forum importer from Ning keeps failing due to lack of ‘forum-id’. This does not make sense. I’ve got buddypress, bbPress, each one seems to have its own forum feature – ive created forum landing spots for both. Are these what we should be using to import the groups and their forum posts? Also, exactly half of my images are not attaching to their respective blog posts. I would pay to get this plugin functional, especially since the Ning Nazis are so inhumane with their pyramid prices.

  6. Boone Gorges Post author

    OK, thanks for that. None of the exports I had access to contained group comments like that. I’ll try to dig one up so that I can add that import functionality to the plugin.

  7. dmikam

    @Boone Gorges !
    Hi there ! Your awesome plugin saved my life :)

    I have done some modification to this plugin to import Albums photos and create albums. It doesn’t import existent albums, beacause I don’t fount any information about them. Only photos.

    Also now it imports group avatars but I don’t realy shure that it works well… but it works in my case.

    I can pass you a code if you want but I wish you to plase me in developers list or thanx list.

    What do you think about it ??
    Whire me on my mail.

  8. tom

    Hii guys I tried the plugin, I installed it but it did not work. I followed all the instructions and it didn’t show any mistake. thanks!!



    I am getting multiple errors as well as no photos showing up. Here are the errors I am getting.

    Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home6/manlands/public_html/wp-content/plugins/import-from-ning/bp-functions.php on line 534

    Warning: file_get_contents(/home6/manlands/public_html/wp-content/ning-files/ning-discussions-local.json) [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home6/manlands/public_html/wp-content/plugins/import-from-ning/bp-functions.php on line 92

    Any ideas?


  10. Vishal


    I have a problem with the importer, it gets stuck at group import giving message 0) created group and no continue button. I have tried 100 times without any results.

    Both Wordrpess and Buddypress are the fresh installs and latest import from ning plugin version.

    Another problem it the members are imported but when i click on their profile link it give me 404 error.

    Pls let me know what needs to be done here.


  11. Daniel Lueders

    When trying to use 2.0.6, my import always stops on the Group import. I will get one group imported with no name and a 1970 year without the other groups importing and no continue button to continue importing the rest of my data. Do you know why this might be or how I can resolve? Thank you


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