Magmi – the best way to import products into Magento

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A few years back I used to do a lot of work with Magento e-commerce based websites. You’ll find a few posts in the archives about wrestling Magento to do certain things.

Recently I have been working with Magento again (v1.7.0.2) and one thing that is still incredibly limiting in Magento is the import facility. If you’ve ever had to try and import products through the Magento Dataflow profiles you’ll know what a world of pain it is:

  • No ability to import multiple images (for gallery images and the like)
  • No ability to import categories
  • No ability to import cross/up-sells and related items
  • No ability to include tiered pricing (dependent upon customer group)
  • Plus it runs like a sack of loose shit…

Thankfully a year or more ago I discovered Magmi. If you want to import anything into Magento, use Magmi. It’s brilliant. Seb Bracquemont, the developer of Magmi, please take a bow…

The homepage for Magmi is: and quite why Magento don’t just buy the project and its developer I will never know. Have a good look at the docs. It might seem a little complex at first but believe me, this will make life with Magento a whole lot easier. Need to import from a remote CSV? No problem. Need to update image options? Magmi can do that. Want to create all your categories on the fly and activate them in one fell swoop? Yep, that too!

Magmi still seems to be a tool few people use. I’m hoping that this post will do three things: 1. Raise awareness of Magmi as it deserves more recognition 2. Make life easier for you when you need to import into Magento 3: Persuade people to support the project as it’s superb!

How does it work? From a technology perspective I’ll confess I have no idea; some SQL injection interface jiggery! However from your point of view as a developer building a Magento store, it means you can create a CSV with the kind of structure you want and overcome all the problems mentioned above. Easily. Now I’ll be the first to admit that the interface can be a little daunting but if you take the time to read the docs you will realise you can import just about anything.

Here’s an example CSV format:

When making a test CSV for Magmi import, just make sure you have the ability to enclose all values in double quotes. Excel can’t save to CSV doing this (surprise surprise) but OpenOffice can. From the menu go File, Save As, select ‘Edit filter settings’ and click Save. Then choose ‘Keep Current Format’ and ensure ‘Quote all text cells’ is selected.


You’ll notice there’s a few things in there you can’t easily do with Magento, namely gallery images and product options. A breeze with Magmi! Another killer feature is you can specify the categories you want a product to live in like this in your CSV:

"My category/sub category;Another cat/another sub category"

Not only will that put the product in those two categories, if they don’t already exist, it will make them on import!

The best bit? It’s lightning fast! If you are used to watching Magento trundle through product imports a line at a time you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Magmi does it in seconds.

In case you hadn’t already gathered, I’m a bit of a fan. If you do any sort of product importing for Magento, do yourself a favour and get acquainted with Magmi. It will make your life a lot easier!

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19 Responses to “Magmi – the best way to import products into Magento”

  1. Alex

    Magento has changed since the last time you worked with her. Magento has quick import/export. You can find it in System > Import/Export > Import and System > Import/Export > Export. It works directly with DB, allows you to add imageS, cross/up-sells/related items… And it is provided by Magento Team with correct data validation. I also worked with MAGMI, wrote plugins for it. The only thing Magento does not have is category import/export. So your article is not objective, it is untruthful.

  2. Nguyen

    Hi Ben

    How to set base image when import product by magmi?

  3. dj

    Hi Team,

    Hey will you tell us how to set product images

    When we use the advance data flow profile for import product


  4. Laura

    Each and every import method has its strong and weak sides. As I know, Magmi is still lacking some import functionality. As to Store Manager for Magento it handles import of all product types with relations. It has no specific requirements to file structure, imports attributes and attribute sets and allows not to overload server due to PC resouces usage rather than server ones. If you are interested in this application you can find detailed information at:

  5. Vinícius

    Alex, what is quick for you?

    In my case (CE, Magento import took ~20 hours to import 10500 lines of products…

  6. Alan

    I have a website with 73,000 line items and MAGMI is the only way to import the database in a sensible time (60mins), Magento took 24hrs!! I would not agree with the statement that Magento has quick Import/Export.

  7. Joshua

    The only thing untruthful is Alex’s comment… I have used Magmi and Magento for importing one large and small data sets.. Using the LATEST magento code.. Even on enterprise, not just CE, the import process is miserably slow compared to Magmi… Magmi IS the fastest and most efficient way to import

  8. alberto

    I’m sorry Alex but we tested mage import/features but we found a lot of problems and magmi was fine since first attempt, I cannot guess why magmi is not more popular…

  9. Robert-jan

    I think the options above sounds not very hopefull to me. My question: is there any import functionality within magento or other extensions where you can put businessrules or make your data more usefull. I have several magento Webshops that synchronize daily. I have a lot off extended attributes that a webshop user likes to find the correct data and also different categories and remote images. There is no import functionality that can add new attribute values or import some redundant attribute ranges like f.i. Biztalk can as a true interface server. So the only way to do this is to write your own code based on the meta-datadictonary from magento. Then, and i use only 1 stored procedure, you have all flexibility for making your data rich and very powerfull.


  10. Dave Lyons

    @Alex, what utter nonsense, the import/export facility in latest version of Magento is absolutely littered with flaws, issues, incompatibilities etc etc. It makes a complete hash of importing data in the same format it spewed out via export in many instances.

    Fine if you’re importing / exporting 10 simple products with no attributes/options. But this is rarely the case for any serious ecommerce stores.

    We’re trying Magmi for the first time and hope to solve a lot of issues we often encounter with Magento builds.

  11. shailesh

    Even if Magento’s import/export work well with say 100-500 products it cannot beat the features Magmi offers!
    My fav feature is remote image upload. Been using Magmi from 8 months. Never had a problem and it gives good debugging info.

  12. Max

    Hello, I am using magmi for multiple image upload, but I am unable to upload images, there is only one image uploading. Please help me with example.


  13. Jon

    This is probably a stupid question, but I haven’t had any luck figuring this out. How does MAGMI add products to the `manufacturers_products` table? Right now, it is not doing this so products are not displaying on the frontend when browsing by manufacturer unless I open the product in the backend for edit then click “Save”…which is obviously not a solution. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks all!

  14. Help

    Ok well, are there any clearly laid out terms that tell you how to “launch” or “turn-on” or beging an import… Sorry guys, but the wiki and the UI is all greek to me… I have added the image util, can’t find it, I have inserted db credentials and now we just sit here staring at each other… Magmi sounds great, if someone could write something up with screenshots it would be really helpful.

  15. Parwez

    Hi everyone.

    My name is Parwez and I have a web store on magento CE and I am trying to use magmi but I am not familiar with it and also not found any good tutorial, how to use magmi step by step. can anyone please help me to use magmi.

    Thank you

  16. dweeves

    An amazing suite of magmi video tutorials are available at .

    Even more than this, the understandinge team made a custom magmi installer & revamped the UI to make it more user-friendly & secure (including login system)

    For anybody that is more a “shop owner” than a “developer” You should definitely have a look a their work so you can get the best out of magmi.

  17. Matthew Ogborne


    Just saw the incoming link to our site (UnderstandingE), thanks for the kind words Seb.

    That’s the best way of describing the UE themed version of Magmi, it’s meant for non-developers along with the video guides :)


  18. Tom

    i think there is some confusion in the comments above – the magento dataflow profile import/export is miserably slow, but the normal import/export routine that is also available is much much quicker. If does not do a great job of multistore imports though.

    Magmi should be standard magento code base if you ask me. It’s the missing link for Magento management


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