One of the best parts of my job is doing “customer interviews” and getting to know those of you using iThemes Security Pro to secure your sites. While I like hearing the things you guys love about iThemes Security Pro, I love learning what pain points you run into while using the plugin.
The mission of iThemes Security is to make it easy for everyone to secure and protect their WordPress websites. As we’ve learned more about how you use the plugin, we’ve made progress toward making iThemes Security Pro the easiest-to-use WordPress security plugin. However, executing the goal of making security simple required a significant update to the plugin’s code and settings.
Because of the significant changes in version iThemes Security Pro 7.0, the existing way to export and import your security settings was outdated and had to be removed. Now, with the release of iThemes Security Pro 7.1, the ability to export your settings is back and better than ever!
The New, Improved Settings Export & Import Experience
With iThemes Security Pro 7.1, we continue on our mission to make iThemes Security Pro the most user-friendly security plugin for WordPress. We didn’t want to bring back exporting and importing your settings with the same feature set. Because you have been so generous with your time and feedback, we knew there were some opportunities for improvement for the feature. So before we reintroduced the ability to export and import your security settings, we wanted to use your feedback to improve the process.
To take advantage of this update, you’ll need to be running WordPress version 5.8 or above and Themes Security Pro (v 7.1). Current iThemes Security Pro, Plugin Suite and Toolkit customers will find the 7.1 version update available now as an automatic update from the WordPress dashboard (for licensed sites) or as a manual download from the iThemes Member Panel. Save time updating all your sites at once from the iThemes Sync dashboard.
Highlights of The New Settings Export & Import Feature:
- You are now able to download the export file directly from the WordPress dashboard.
- You can now connect directly to another site to copy the security configuration.
- You now have more control over what is included in the export.
- You can now review and modify what will be imported before any changes are made.
Let’s take a closer look at iThemes Security Pro 7.1 and the new and improved way to export and import your security settings.
How to Create an Export of Your Security Settings
To create a new settings export, from the iThemes Security Pro settings, click the Exports icon, and then click the Create New Export button.
Next, you will choose a name and what to include in the export.
Before version 7.1, the only option was to export everything. The export is now separated into 5 different elements of iThemes Security Pro.
When selected, a list of the Login Security, Lockouts, Site Check, and Utilities features you have enabled will be included in the export.
2. Banned Users
When selected, a list of the site’s banned IPs will be included in the export.
3. User Groups
When selected, a list of the site’s User Groups will be included in the export.
4. Security Dashboard
When selected, a list of the site’s Security Dashboards and their Security Cards will be included in the export.
When selected, the settings configurations of the Login Security, Lockouts, Site Check, and Utilities features will be included in the export.
You can include all elements by checking the box next to the Include All Data. However, you can exclude elements from the export by clicking the arrow to the left of an element and unchecking the “Include in Export” box to exclude the element from the export.
In the Settings section, you can choose which export the settings configuration for every feature of iThemes Security Pro, or only a few. In version 7.1, the choice is yours.
After naming and choosing what to include in the export, click the Create button.
Managing Your Export Files
When you create a new export of your security setting, it will be saved to the
wp-content/uploads/ithemes-security/exports directory and the list of export files on the Manage Exports page.
From the Manage Exports file list, you can:
- Download – Select an export file(s) and download a copy of the export.
- Delete – Select an export file(s) and remove it from the site’s upload directory and the Manage Export list.
- Name – View the name of an export file.
- Date – View the date the export files was created.
- Content – View the security data included in the export.
How to Import iThemes Security Settings
There are two different locations you can start the import process. On sites where iThemes Security Pro hasn’t been configured, click Import from the Onboarding Menu to begin the process. On sites where iThemes Security Pro has been configured, click Import from the Manage Exports page.
After clicking Import from either location, you will choose an import method of either uploading an export file or connecting to another website. Let’s take a closer look at both methods of importing a settings export file.
Method 1: Connect to another WordPress Site
How would you like just to enter the URL of the site you want to import the iThemes Security Pro settings from? If you answered yes, you will want to select the WordPress Site method.
On the next page, enter the URL of the site running iThemes Security Pro and click Connect.
iThemes Security Pro will connect to the site using the WordPress REST API. You will authorize and approve iThemes Security Pro connecting to the site on the following two screens.
Now that iThemes Security Pro is authorized and connected click the Select Export button to choose a file to import.
From the Pick from WordPress page, you can select an existing export or create a new one. If you choose the Create Export option, you will run through the new export flow that we covered in the previous section. For this post, we will select an existing export and click the Select Export button.
The New & Improved Settings Import Flow
After selecting an export file, you will see a summary of what is included in the export.
The export Summary is broken down into 3 sections:
- Export Data – Display the elements of iThemes Security Pro included in the export. You can deselect any element and its data won’t be imported.
- Replace Users – These are users from the export that are associated with an element of the export. If there is an equivalent user on the new site you can select them in the drop down menu. Otherwise, you can leave it blank. For example, in the screenshot above we can see two users in this section. The user Tom, is a client and this new site isn’t for a client. So, I will not select a user to represent Tom. However, the user mmoores is the site admin and will be represented with the new site’s admin mmoore.
- Replace Roles – These are user roles from the export that are associated with an element of the export. Select the user role from the new that best represents the user role from the export.
When you are finished reviewing the Import Summary, click the Continue button.
Now you will have an opportunity to review each section and configure site-specific settings. To apply the settings to your new site, click the Secure Site button on the final page of the import flow.
After the settings are applied, your site will be more secure than ever!
Method 2: Upload An Export File
Before using the Upload File import method, you will need an export file to upload. From the Manage Exports page, download a settings export to use on a new site.
After downloading the appropriate export file, navigate to the iThemes Security Pro Import page. Now select the Upload File method and upload the export file you downloaded earlier.
After uploading the export file, follow The New and Improved Settings Import Flow shown in the previous section.
See What’s New in iThemes Security 7.1
With the new and improved Import & Export feature, it is now simple to quickly export your perfect iThemes Security configuration to a new or existing WordPress site. In this webinar, we will take a deep dive into the new way to import and export your iThemes Security Pro settings.
Smart Import/Export and Everything Else You Need to Know About iThemes Security Pro 7.1 – Free Webinar
Wednesday, February 2, 2022 @ 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CT
Wrapping Up: Get iThemes Security Pro Today!
With iThemes Security Pro 7.1, we continue to make all aspects of WordPress security easy. Version 7.1 makes importing the iThemes Security settings from another website as simple as entering that site’s URL.
iThemes Security Pro, our WordPress security plugin, offers 50+ ways to secure and protect your website from common WordPress security vulnerabilities. With WordPress, two-factor authentication, brute force protection, strong password enforcement, and more, you can add extra layers of security to your website.
Each week, Michael puts together the WordPress Vulnerability Report to help keep your sites safe. As Product Manager at iThemes, he helps us continue to improve the iThemes product lineup. He’s a giant nerd & loves learning about all things tech, old & new. You can find Michael hanging out with his wife & daughter, reading or listening to music when not working.