Follow Hook is designed to support large record imports on a variety of hosting platforms, including shared hosts such as GoDaddy and Bluehost. See Step 7 below for important information on tweaking the WP Cron import setting if you’re on either of the above mentioned shared hosting providers.
1) Create a CSV File
You can import contacts from any CSV file. If you’re not sure what a CSV file is, don’t worry! Any spreadsheet application can export a CSV file (Examples: Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, Google Sheets, etc). Simply organize your data by column as shown below. Here’s a sample CSV.
*Note: If you’re exporting contacts from another system, they will typically export as a CSV file.
2) Create Custom Fields (if needed)
One of the killer things about Follow Hook is the ability to create custom fields. This allows you to keep the data that’s pertinent to your business or customer base. Navigate to Follow Hook > Custom Fields and add the fields required to store the data you’re about to import. Read more about custom fields here.
3) Upload CSV File to Follow Hook
From your WordPress admin, navigate to Follow Hook > Import People. Select and upload your file. Click Continue.
4) Choose Pod & Fields
When you import your CSV file you’ll see a screen similar to this one:
Here you can select a Follow Hook Pod to import people to. If you don’t want to add them to a pod, leave it at the default setting (pods are “groups” in Follow Hook – a way to organize people)
You can also match the columns of your CSV to fields in Follow Hook. For example, maybe you have a custom column called “Favorite Movie” that you want to import to Follow Hook. First you would create the custom field in Follow Hook and then import the CSV file. Then you can match the incoming “Favorite Movie” column to the “Favorite Movie” custom field!
5) Import Successful
The import will work behind-the-scenes. On shared hosts with default settings in Follow Hook, this can take some time. If you are importing large CSV files (10,000+ rows) it could take 30 minutes on shared hosting. If you’re on a dedicated server or VPS, you can set the import settings higher. See notes on this below.
6) Changing Import Settings
Follow Hook is designed to work with a wide range of hosting solutions. The default import settings are geared for heavily saturated, locked down hosts such as godaddy.com or bluehost.com. In order to successfully import large amounts of contacts (10,000+), we had to build the import engine to work at a slow base so the shared web hosts wouldn’t shut it down. This means an import of 10,000 records could take 30 minutes.
You don’t have to remain at the import screen, as the Follow Hook import engine runs in the background. However, you do need to verify an import is complete before attempting to import another CSV file.
If you’re not on shared hosting, you can tweak your import settings so it executes faster.
Follow Hook > Settings Tab.
1) The Max file size will default to 4K. Try increasing this in multiples of 4.
2) The Chunk File Length can increase. Try 750 as the next step up.
7) WP Cron Issues
Cron is an engine that WordPress uses to do things in the background – like large imports. However, the default WordPress Cron (WP Cron) is disabled on some shared hosts such as Godaddy and Bluehost. If you’re having trouble importing people, or if you’re on either of these two hosting providers, switch to Follow Hook Cron.
Follow Hook > Settings Tab
Change to Follow Hook Cron and click Save Cron Settings. You’re now ready to import your contacts!