Lorem Ipsum: Top 5 WordPress Dummy Content Filler Plugins


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet ….

Shall I continue?

Many of you may know the phrase above well. For those of you who don’t, don’t worry. Even those who know the phrase couldn’t tell you exactly what it means because it doesn’t really mean anything.

Often referred to as dummy content, filler text, or simply lorem ipsum, it is a kind of pseudo-Latin that graphic designers have been using perhaps as far back as the 1500’s. The idea for such “sample content” is to fill the spaces of a design where text would normally be.

Because the text is indecipherable to all but a Latin scholar who might be able to piece together this “not quite Latin” text, it allows the viewer’s eyes to flow over the content without being tempted to read it (because they can’t, of course). When meaning is removed from the text, this allows the elements of design to be highlighted.

(Interesting Side Note: The lorem ipsum text you see all over the web is normally taken from a passage by the Roman philosopher Cicero, yet it is mangled and changed in such a way as to have no real meaning.)

WordPress Sample Content for Your Site

And so when you are setting up a new site or trying out a new theme, it can be very handy to have some of this sample content around. It sure beats writing, “This is a test.” over and over and over.

However, even copying and pasting this text can become a bore if you need to do it more than a few times. A perfect solution, then, would be a plugin that automatically adds it for you. And because we’re dealing with WordPress, of course you know that someone has already thought of it.

 

5 Dummy Content Plugin + One Bonus Option

Below we go over the pros and cons for five of the best dummy content plugins we could find. There is also a “bonus option” at the end that might be an even better solution for some.

1. Plugin: WP Example Content

Pros:

  • It adds six types of posts:
  • Multiple Paragraph Posts
  • Image Post
  • UL and OL Post
  • Blockquote Post
  • Post with links
  • Post with Header tags H1 through H5
  • Allows you to remove all the added content with one click
  • Formats posts with different styles

 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t add tags
  • Doesn’t add comments
  • Doesn’t add categories
  • Doesn’t add pages

 

2. Plugin: Better Lorem Ipsum Generator


Pros:

  • Adds comments
  • Adds categories.
  • Adds tags
  • Adds pages
  • Allows a little more control.

 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t add images
  • Doesn’t format posts with different styles
  • Doesn’t allow you to remove content with one click

 

3. Plugin: Lorem Ipsum Post Generator

 


Pros:

  • Posts comments (some with a number of paragraphs)

Allows you to control:

  • number of posts
  • minimum and maximum number of paragraphs per post
  • minimum and maximum number of comments per post

Cons:

  • Doesn’t add images
  • Doesn’t add categories
  • Doesn’t add tags
  • Doesn’t add pages
  • Doesn’t format posts with different styles
  • Doesn’t allow you to remove content with one click

 

4. Plugin: WP Lorem Ipsum Generator

This plugin is not like the others, and in fact, you may want to use it in conjunction with whichever other plugin you decide to go with. Instead of automatically generating a package of content, this plugin allows you to auto-generate Lorem Ipsum text directly into your editor.

Pros:

  • Allows you to insert a specified amount of dummy text into your editor on the fly.

Cons:

  • Not a completely automated solution like the other plugins.

 

5. Plugin: Demo Data Creator

If you are testing out a site with Buddypress and/or Multisites enabled, then the Demo Data Creator plugin is definitely what you’re going to want. This is the only plugin of the bunch that lets you add content for both of those set ups. It will add users, blogs, and BuddyPress content such as Groups, Messages, and Friends.

Pros:

Adds and lets you control the number of:

  • Users
  • Categories
  • Posts
  • Paragraphs in posts
  • Pages
  • Sub-pages
  • Paragraphs in pages
  • Comments
  • Links
  • *Lets you delete all data. However, as the plugins says, WARNING: This will delete ALL data except for data for user ID 1 and blog ID 1, making your site as it was when you first installed WordPress and BuddyPress. This will also delete all Buddypress groups and friend relationships.”


Buddy Press

Adds and lets you control the number of:

  • Groups
  • Max number of groups per user
  • Wire Messages
  • Max number of wire messages per group
  • Member Statuses
  • Friends

Multisite / Network Blogs

Adds and lets your control the number of:

  • Blogs on a Multisite set up
  • Categories on different blogs
  • Posts on different blogs
  • Paragraphs in posts
  • Pages
  • Sub-pages
  • Paragraphs in pages

 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t add images
  • Doesn’t add tags
  • Adds different styled posts; however, they are randomly added. Therefore, it’s hard to know if you are getting all styles or not (especially if you only add a few posts).
  • As mentioned above, there is a button to remove all the content, but it removes ALL the content, even content it didn’t add (as long as it’s not the admin’s content).

 

One Final Option -Theme Unit Test from WordPress

There is one more option I’d like to mention here. Even though it isn’t technically a plugin, it acts like a plugin. It is an XML file provided by WordPress.org itself. When you upload this file to your site, it will fill out your blog with content of every color and stripe.

A link for the file can be found on the Theme Unit Test page or you can download it directly from this link.

The Theme Unit Test page also has a rundown of everything you might want to check out once you start testing your theme. (Be warned – this is a fairly extensive list designed primarily for theme designers.)

Pros:

This file tests pretty much EVERYTHING. And when I say everything, I mean everything: drafts, sticky posts, gallery posts, video posts, audio posts, images attached, images linked, a post with many categories, a post without a title, a password protected post, posts with an image centered, post with an image aligned left, posts with an image aligned right, adding categories, adding sub-categories, adding different authors, etc., etc., etc. … EVERYTHING.

Cons:

The XML file completely loads up your site with LOTS AND LOTS of stuff, and it appears that the only way for a non-database-guru to get rid of it all is to go in and either manually delete it section by section, or either delete the site completely and install it again.

Unless you are making your own theme, it’s doubtful that you will need to do all this testing. However, if you would still like to, this XML file will certainly push and stretch and hammer on your theme from every angle so you can see how it responds.

Suggestion: Set up a separate test environment. If you would really like take advantage of a full test such as this, you might make a separate WordPress install from the beginning. For example, set it up at yoursite.com/test-site/.  Block off the search engines and make it your test site.

How To Import the XML Test Content File

Download the XML file to your computer. Then go to your Import tool (Tools >> Import). On the Import screen, choose “WordPress.” If this is your first time importing a WordPress file, you will need to download a plugin in order to do so. The download link for the plugin should pop up automatically for you. Just follow instructions from there to activate and upload your XML file.

Load Up and Test Away

These dummy content plugins can be a great way to get an idea about how things are going to look when your site goes live. They each obviously have both advantages and disadvantages. But of course there’s also no rule against installing more than one until you find just the combination that suits you.

 

 

(Thanks to Luis Vieira for the image.)

Comments (7)

  1. Thanks for featuring my Demo Data Creator plugin. I’ll look at improving the plugin based on your cons, but can you explain what you mean by this:

    > Adds different styled posts; however, they are randomly added. Therefore, it’s hard to know if you are getting all styles or not (especially if you only add a few posts).

    By “styled” do you mean lots of different HTML (tables, quotes, lists etc)?

  2. Hey, Chris,

    Yes, that’s what I mean. It seems the plugin does add posts with different styles, and there may be a logic behind what it adds, but it’s hard to see what that logic is. For example, if you decide to only add ten posts, are you guaranteed to be getting the most common styles with those ten posts? That’s a question I had when I was checking it out.

    The WP Example Content plugin, for example, clearly tells you what you’re getting ahead of time.

    The one thing that would really be nice to see added to the plugin is images.

    As I mentioned in the post, however, I really like this plugin. In fact, I have been using it myself the last week or so on a project I’m starting. It’s the only plugin I came across that adds all that content for BuddyPress and Multisites. Excellent idea (and execution)!

  3. Love these options, several of which I was not yet aware of.

    I find myself constantly using the Theme Unit Test for sites, even small ones, and the one thing that annoys me is it tries to pull in several additional users, which I dont need, and therefore must reassign during import. Another “con” in my opinion.

    Many times, I just use html-ipsum.com and then cut and paste.

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