Synchronising a SharePoint List with a WordPress Site: A Detailed Guide

Mark Jones
June 5, 2023

A. Brief overview of SharePoint and WordPress

Welcome! In today’s digital age, one might often need to sync data between different platforms. This post will focus on two platforms: SharePoint and WordPress. SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. It is a secure place to store, organise, share, and access information from any device, predominantly used in business environments. On the other hand, WordPress is a widely used open-source content management system. It allows users to create beautiful websites and blogs with ease and flexibility.

B. Explanation of syncing data between SharePoint and WordPress

Syncing data between SharePoint and WordPress refers to automatically updating data from a SharePoint List to a WordPress site. This means that when your SharePoint list changes information, it’s automatically updated on your WordPress site. This process eliminates the need for manual data entry and reduces the risk of error, making your operations more efficient.

C. Objective of the blog post

This blog post will guide you through synchronising a SharePoint list with a WordPress site. We’ll explore the steps you need, the tools you need, and the best practices you should follow. By the end of this guide, you should be able to set up your automated sync between SharePoint and WordPress, enabling a seamless data flow between these two platforms. Whether you’re a business owner looking to streamline your operations, an IT professional wanting to enhance your skills, or simply curious about the subject; this blog post is designed to assist you. Let’s get started!

2. Prerequisites

A. Familiarity with SharePoint Lists

Before delving into the synchronization process, having a basic understanding of SharePoint Lists is beneficial. A SharePoint list is a collection of data that provides a flexible and consistent way for users and teams to create, collaborate, and maintain data. Lists can include simple text items, dates, numbers, hyperlinks, person or group assignments, choice selectors, and more. Understanding how to create, manage, and manipulate these lists in SharePoint is advantageous, as we’ll be using them as the primary data source for our WordPress site.

B. Familiarity with WordPress and its backend

Working knowledge of WordPress is equally essential for this tutorial. WordPress is an open-source content management system used by millions worldwide to create websites and blogs. Familiarity with WordPress’s backend will be critical, particularly in creating posts and pages, managing content, installing and activating plugins, and understanding the WordPress REST API. If you’re new to WordPress, don’t worry; countless resources are available online to help you get started.

C. Necessary permissions and access

Next, ensure you have the necessary permissions and access. You’ll need at least list-level permissions for SharePoint to access and export data. In WordPress, you’ll need admin-level access to install and configure plugins and set up data synchronization. Without the correct permissions, you may face roadblocks during the setup process.

D. Overview of necessary WordPress plugins and Power Automate

Lastly, this tutorial will utilise specific WordPress plugins and Power Automate from Microsoft. Plugins extend the functionality of WordPress and will be used for authentication and handling incoming data. We will cover which plugins you’ll need later in the guide. Power Automate, formerly Microsoft Flow, is a cloud-based service that makes it practical and straightforward for line-of-business users to build workflows that automate time-consuming business tasks and processes across applications and services. Understanding the basics of how Power Automate works will benefit our synchronization setup.

Please remember that this guide assumes some degree of familiarity with these tools. If you’re a beginner, you may need to spend some time learning these systems first. But don’t let that discourage you – the investment will pay off, and you’re learning some very marketable skills along the way!

3. Understanding SharePoint Lists and WordPress Posts/Pages Structure

A. Detailed explanation of SharePoint List structure

A SharePoint list is a collection of data that offers a flexible way to organize information across a business or team. This data is organized into rows and columns, similar to a spreadsheet, but provides more functionality.

Each row in a SharePoint list represents a separate item, while columns represent the properties or attributes of those items. Columns in SharePoint can be of various types, such as text, number, date and time, choice, person or group, and hyperlinks. This versatility allows SharePoint lists to handle various data types for different business needs.

A SharePoint list also includes Views, which are different ways to display the data in the list based on filters, sorting, and grouping settings. This is useful when dealing with large amounts of data.

B. Breakdown of WordPress Posts/Pages structure

On the WordPress side, content is generally represented as posts and pages. Both are individual pieces of content, though they serve different purposes.

A post in WordPress is an individual piece of content listed in reverse chronological order on your site’s blog. Posts usually have comment fields beneath them and are included in your site’s RSS feed.

On the other hand, pages are static and are not affected by time. Specific web pages that are included in WordPress pages are the About Us, Contact Us, and Home pages. They live outside of the standard blog chronology and, as such, are not displayed with the rest of your posts but are displayed individually.

C. Comparison between the two

Comparing the two, a SharePoint list item is similar to a WordPress post or page in terms of being an individual unit of content. The columns of a SharePoint list can be viewed as the different fields that make up a WordPress post or page, such as the title, body, and custom fields. However, SharePoint lists are more data-oriented, while WordPress posts/pages are more content-oriented.

When syncing data from SharePoint to WordPress, we take list items and their column data from SharePoint and translate them into posts or pages in WordPress with corresponding fields. Understanding this correlation between SharePoint list items and WordPress posts/pages is crucial for a successful synchronization setup.

4. Use Cases for Syncing SharePoint to WordPress

A. Publishing SharePoint news updates automatically on WordPress

One of the most common use cases for syncing SharePoint to WordPress is automating news updates’ publishing. If your organization uses SharePoint as a hub for internal news, you may want to have those updates on your WordPress site for external stakeholders. By syncing SharePoint lists to WordPress, news updates can be published in real-time on your website as they’re available in SharePoint, keeping all stakeholders informed.

B. Sharing company-wide announcements or updates

For organizations that use SharePoint for managing company-wide announcements or updates, syncing these updates to a WordPress site can be a powerful way of disseminating this information. This is especially useful for organizations with a large, distributed workforce or customer base or for organizations that want to share such updates with the public.

C. Showcasing SharePoint List data on WordPress for analysis or reporting

If your organization uses SharePoint lists to manage data that could be interesting or valuable for analysis or reporting, syncing this data to a WordPress site can be a great way to make this information more accessible. For instance, you might have a SharePoint list that tracks project progress, sales data, or customer feedback. Syncing this list to WordPress allows you to create a dynamic, interactive dashboard or report that automatically updates as the SharePoint list changes.

D. Other potential use cases

The potential use cases for syncing SharePoint to WordPress are vast and depend heavily on your organization’s unique needs and how it uses these platforms. Other possible use cases include:

  • Syncing event calendars or schedules from SharePoint to WordPress.
  • Sharing resources or documentation stored in SharePoint with a broader audience via WordPress.
  • Making data from SharePoint-based forms or surveys available in WordPress for easy viewing or analysis.
  • Automating the creation of WordPress posts based on SharePoint list entries, like blog post schedules or content calendars.

Remember, syncing SharePoint with WordPress aims to enhance your data accessibility and management, streamline operations, and improve transparency. You’ll want to identify the use cases that best fit your organization’s needs to make the most of this synchronization process.

We use this exact process to populate the content on our really popular Collab365 Today site. Want help setting this up? Contact us at [email protected].

5. Setting up Your WordPress Site for Synchronization

A. How to install and configure necessary WordPress plugins for authentication and data handling

We’ll need to install and configure a few plugins to ensure that our WordPress site can communicate effectively with SharePoint.

  1. Authentication Plugin: This plugin is necessary to establish a secure connection between your WordPress and SharePoint sites. Several options are available; a popular one is “Application Passwords”, which provides robust and secure authentication.
  2. Data Handling Plugin: This plugin will help translate incoming SharePoint data into a format that WordPress can understand and display. One commonly used plugin for this purpose is “WP All Import”, which allows you to import XML and CSV files into WordPress posts and pages.

The installation process is straightforward:

  1. Navigate to your WordPress admin dashboard.
  2. Go to the “Plugins” section.
  3. Click “Add New”.
  4. Search for the required plugin.
  5. Click “Install Now” and then “Activate”.

Each plugin’s configuration will differ, so carefully follow the documentation provided by the plugin developers.

B. Explanation of WordPress REST API and its role in syncing

The WordPress REST API is a feature of WordPress that provides a standardized way of interacting with WordPress data. It allows developers to interact with sites remotely by sending and receiving JSON objects.

When syncing SharePoint and WordPress, the REST API plays a crucial role. It provides an interface through which SharePoint can send data, and WordPress can receive it. The REST API allows us to create, read, update, and delete posts, pages, and other types of content.

C. Securing your WordPress site for data transfer

Security should be a top priority when setting up this synchronization.

  1. SSL: Ensure your WordPress site is SSL protected. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser. It helps protect the data being transferred from being intercepted by unauthorized parties.
  2. Permissions: Be careful with permissions when setting up plugins and API access. Only give necessary permissions and restrict who has access to these settings on your WordPress site.
  3. Regular updates: Keep your WordPress site, including themes and plugins, up to date. Updates often include security patches that protect against known vulnerabilities.

By taking these steps, you can significantly increase the security of your WordPress site and the data being synced to it from SharePoint.

6. Exporting SharePoint List Data for WordPress

This section aims to streamline the process of exporting data from SharePoint Lists for use in your WordPress site. The method comprises three main steps: exporting the data from SharePoint, preparing the data for WordPress, and addressing any data compatibility issues.

A. Instructions to Export SharePoint List Data

Exporting data from a SharePoint list is straightforward, thanks to the built-in features of SharePoint.

  1. Navigate to the SharePoint list you want to export.
  2. Click on the ‘List’ tab at the top of the page.
  3. Then, click’ Export to Excel’ in the ‘Connect & Export’ section.
  4. Open the query.iqy file that gets downloaded, and Excel automatically loads the data from the SharePoint list.

Your SharePoint data is now in an Excel spreadsheet, ready to be prepared for WordPress.

B. Preparing Your Data for WordPress

Once you’ve exported your data, the next step is to prepare it for use in WordPress.

  1. WordPress primarily uses text data, so you may need to convert your data to text or HTML. You can use Excel’s built-in data tools to help with this conversion.
  2. Check your data for any inconsistencies or errors, such as missing values, and correct them before moving on.
  3. Save your Excel file as a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file. This is a widely accepted format for importing data into WordPress.

C. Addressing Data Compatibility between SharePoint and WordPress

Data compatibility is key when transferring data from one system to another. There are several factors to consider to ensure SharePoint data works well with WordPress:

  1. Data Types: Ensure the data types in your SharePoint list are compatible with those WordPress uses. For example, SharePoint’s ‘Multiple lines of text’ field is equivalent to WordPress’s ‘Text Area’ field.
  2. Field Names: Field names in SharePoint and WordPress should match to ensure data is correctly mapped during import. If not, you’ll need to adjust your CSV file accordingly.
  3. File URLs: If your SharePoint list contains files, ensure that they are stored in a location accessible to your WordPress site and that the URL for each file is included in the exported data.

This process ensures that your SharePoint data is ready to be imported into your WordPress site with minimal issues. The following section will guide you through setting up Power Automate to push your SharePoint data to WordPress.

7. Using Power Automate to Sync SharePoint and WordPress

Power Automate, formerly known as Microsoft Flow, is an online workflow service that automates actions across the most common apps and services. It is particularly adept at connecting SharePoint and WordPress through its rich set of connectors and a wide array of available actions.

A. Overview of Power Automate and its Role in the Process

Power Automate creates ‘flows’ – sequences of steps that take data from one service (SharePoint, in this case) and perform actions on another (WordPress). Power Automate’s primary role in this guide is to monitor SharePoint for any changes in the list data and then push these changes to WordPress.

B. Detailed step-by-step guide on setting up a flow in Power Automate to push SharePoint data to WordPress

To set up a Power Automate flow for syncing SharePoint with WordPress, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Power Automate and create a new automated flow.
  2. For the trigger, select ‘When an item is created or modified’ from the SharePoint triggers. Enter your SharePoint site and list details.
  3. The next step is to make a HTTP request to WordPress REST API. Select ‘HTTP’ action and use ‘HTTP POST’ or ‘HTTP PATCH’ method. The choice between POST and PATCH depends on whether you want to create a new post or update an existing one in WordPress. POST is for creating a new item, and PATCH is for updating an existing item.
  4. For the URI, enter your WordPress site’s REST API endpoint. This would typically be something like:, with ID being the id of the post you want to update. You don’t need to specify an ID if you create a new post.
  5. Headers should include ‘Authorization’ and your Basic Auth string. For ‘Content-Type’, enter ‘application/json’.
  6. In the Body, map the fields of your SharePoint list to the fields in your WordPress post. This will look something like {"title": "@{triggerBody()?['Title']}"}.
  7. Finally, save your flow. When a SharePoint list item is added or updated, the corresponding WordPress post will be updated or created.

C. Troubleshooting common issues in Power Automate

Like any software, Power Automate may run into issues. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  1. Flow Fails: Check the flow run history for errors if your flow fails. The error messages can often give a hint about what’s going wrong.
  2. Data not syncing: If your SharePoint data is not syncing with WordPress, make sure the field names match in SharePoint, the flow, and WordPress.
  3. Authentication issues: If you’re getting authentication errors, ensure your WordPress REST API credentials are correct and have the necessary permissions.

This guide is a general overview of the process. Depending on the specifics of your SharePoint list and WordPress setup, you may need to adjust specific steps. As always, thoroughly test your setup to ensure everything is working correctly.

8. Validating the Synchronization on WordPress

After successfully setting up the Power Automate flow, validating the synchronization on your WordPress site is essential. This will help you ensure the data syncing from SharePoint to WordPress is accurate and consistent.

A. Steps to confirm if the data is correctly synced on the WordPress site

  1. Check the posts: Navigate to the WordPress dashboard and inspect the posts. If the synchronization works correctly, you should see new posts reflecting the data from the SharePoint list.
  2. Verify the data: Check the content, title, categories, or any other data points you’re syncing from SharePoint. The information should be the same as what’s in your SharePoint list.
  3. Perform some tests: Add or modify an item in the SharePoint list and verify if the changes reflect on your WordPress site.

B. Understanding how updates in SharePoint will reflect in WordPress

When you update a list item in SharePoint, the Power Automate flow should trigger, and the corresponding changes should appear in the WordPress post. Remember, this is determined by the specific fields you’ve set up to sync in your Power Automate flow.

C. Handling errors or inconsistencies

If the synchronization isn’t working as expected, here are a few troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check the Power Automate flow: Go to your Power Automate dashboard and check the flow’s history. Look for any errors or issues.
  2. Verify the data: Make sure the data in SharePoint is correctly formatted and doesn’t contain any unexpected characters or values that might cause issues.
  3. Examine your WordPress setup: Ensure your WordPress site is correctly configured to receive and display the synced data. Check your WordPress REST API, plugins, and theme settings.

Remember, data synchronization can sometimes be complex, especially when dealing with larger SharePoint lists or complex WordPress setups. If you encounter any issues, staying patient, troubleshooting systematically, and testing thoroughly is essential.

9. Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Once your data sync is up and running, maintaining the synchronisation becomes ongoing. Here are some recommended practices for ensuring that your sync stays operational and secure and for resolving any issues that may come up.

A. Routine checks for maintaining the synchronization

  1. Regularly monitor the Power Automate flow: Regularly check the flow run history in Power Automate to ensure there are no issues or failures that might disrupt your sync.
  2. Review your WordPress posts: Make sure the data is still syncing correctly by occasionally reviewing posts on your WordPress site for consistency with your SharePoint list.
  3. Test your sync: Periodically test your sync by modifying data in SharePoint and checking whether the changes reflect correctly on your WordPress site.

B. Common troubleshooting steps if the sync stops or errors occur

If your sync does stop, here are some first steps for diagnosing and resolving the issue:

  1. Check your Power Automate flow: Check the run history and address errors. Sometimes the problem can be a simple fix like re-authenticating your SharePoint or WordPress connections.
  2. Check your SharePoint list: Ensure the list data is correct and well-structured, and the list’s permissions haven’t changed.
  3. Check your WordPress setup: Ensure your plugins are updated and configured, and your WordPress REST API functions correctly.

C. Tips for ensuring data accuracy and security

Maintaining the accuracy and security of your synced data should be a top priority. Here are some tips:

  1. Validate your data: Regularly check a sample of your WordPress posts against your SharePoint list to verify accuracy.
  2. Secure your connections: Ensure the security of your data by using secure, encrypted connections between SharePoint and WordPress.
  3. Limit permissions: Only grant permissions to users who need them to reduce the chance of unauthorized access or changes.

Remember, maintaining a data sync is an ongoing process. Staying vigilant and proactive in monitoring and keeping your sync will help ensure its long-term success.

10. Conclusion

A. Recap of the process and its benefits

Throughout this guide, we’ve looked at synchronising SharePoint List data with a WordPress site. Starting from understanding the structure of both SharePoint Lists and WordPress posts/pages, we’ve delved into the many use cases this synchronisation can have in improving communications, streamlining operations, and enhancing data visibility.

By leveraging the power of Power Automate, we’ve created a flow that triggers every time a new item is added or updated in the SharePoint List. The data is then prepared and exported to WordPress using the WordPress REST API. In the event of an update, we ensure that the corresponding WordPress post is updated, maintaining data integrity across both platforms.

B. Encouragement for further exploration and customisation of the sync process

The process detailed in this guide is not the be-all and end-all of SharePoint-WordPress synchronisation. As you become more familiar with both platforms and Power Automate, I encourage you to explore more complex scenarios and customisations. You may want to sync multiple SharePoint lists to different sections of your WordPress site or use conditional logic in Power Automate to manipulate the data in specific ways during the sync process. The possibilities are vast, and the power is in your hands.

C. Closing thoughts

Synchronising SharePoint and WordPress can open many opportunities for better data management, communication, and operations efficiency in your organization. Although setting up the sync may require time and resources, the benefits of having real-time, automated data updates across your platforms will pay dividends in the long run.

I hope this guide has been a comprehensive and helpful starting point for your SharePoint-WordPress synchronisation journey. With some patience and exploration, you’ll be a sync wizard in no time. Happy synchronising!

Join 11,000+ in the Collab365 Academy

Master Microsoft 365, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, SharePoint with Exclusive Access to 450+ Hours of Expert Training and a Wealth of Resources!