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How to Retrieve Lists of All WordPress Users (And Their Metadata)

May 21, 2024

User metadata is important for managing registered visitors on your WordPress site. It contains information about users, from basic data like usernames and email addresses to complex details like site activity and browsing patterns, helping you understand your audience and make data-driven decisions.

However, WordPress’s built-in functionality for accessing and managing metadata provided for existing users is limited. Its default user management features are enough for basic administrative tasks, but for more complex analysis or insights, you’ll need to look beyond the core WordPress feature set. 

In this article, we’ll explore ways to retrieve user metadata in WordPress and curate user insights with Admin Columns

Managing WordPress user lists

The way you manage a user base mainly depends on the purpose of your website – whether it’s eCommerce, personal blogging, or eLearning – as that defines the specific data you’ll want access to.

For example, for an online store, you’ll probably need information about a person’s purchase history, most frequently bought products, and abandoned cart information. An eLearning platform, on the other hand, will hold information about the student’s courses, grades, and homework. 

In WordPress, you can find the Users tab easily, but once you get there, you’ll see that the type of information you get is very limited. 

It includes:

  • Usernames
  • Names
  • Emails
  • Roles
  • Number of posts each user has created
Default users view in WordPress

You can filter users by their roles and sort them alphabetically by username or email address.

As you can see, you can perform basic actions like deleting users, sending password reset emails, or changing user roles directly from the list table, individually or in bulk. However, there are limitations to this default functionality.

  • There are no options to add more specific user metadata to the list table, so if you need to access that, you must go into each user’s profile. This process can be time-consuming, especially for larger sites with numerous users.
  • The default user list table only allows filtering by user roles, which is insufficient for more nuanced segmentation of user data. 
  • You can’t export data directly from the list table, which is an issue if you need to analyze or integrate user data with third-party software for email campaigns, your CRM software, or targeted marketing.

To overcome these limitations and streamline your user list management process, you’ll need to explore solutions beyond WordPress’s default functionality. Fortunately, Admin Columns provides the ideal solution for enhancing user list management directly within the native WordPress admin dashboard.

Mastering user list management with Admin Columns

Admin Columns Homepage

Admin Columns is the ultimate plugin solution for creating and managing dynamic user lists in WordPress. With its powerful features, you can customize, update, and segment your Users list table effortlessly, ensuring that you have access to the data relevant to your needs at a glance.

Customizing user metadata views for better management

Tailoring your user metadata views is crucial for efficient user management on your WordPress site. By customizing these views, you ensure that the most relevant information is readily available, streamlining your workflow and enhancing productivity.

Admin Columns can do just that! You can add, remove, and rearrange columns according to your specific needs, ensuring that essential data is front and center for quick access.

Example of a table view and its columns

Admin Columns supports a wide range of field types, including custom fields, allowing you to display precisely the user information you require. For instance, if you run a WooCommerce store, you might prioritize columns such as customer lifetime value, last purchase date, or total orders.

Example of WooCommerce columns users can add to a table view

Similarly, for membership sites, you could focus on columns like subscription level, renewal date, or membership status.

Moreover, Admin Columns enables you to create unlimited distinct Table Views.

Switching between different table views

This feature is invaluable if you work with different data sets for various purposes. For example, you might have one view tailored for managing customer accounts, another for handling support tickets, and a third one for exporting customer information for third-party analysis. Additionally, you can restrict certain views to specific users or roles, ensuring that team members access only the data relevant to their responsibilities and can only perform the actions required for their jobs.

Table view settings

Streamlining user data updates and edits

Efficiently managing and updating user data is crucial for maintaining a well-functioning WordPress site. Admin Columns simplifies this process with its inline editing and comprehensive bulk editing features.

Inline editing allows you to make minor adjustments to various data types directly from the list table, eliminating the need to navigate to individual user profiles for each change. For example, you can quickly update a user’s email address or role without leaving the user list view.

Inline editing a user email address

Additionally, Admin Columns’ bulk editing functionality empowers site owners to efficiently update specific metadata fields across multiple records. Unlike the default WordPress bulk editor, which is limited by pagination and only allows up to 999 items per page, Admin Columns imposes no limits on the number of records you can edit at once. This ensures you can manage user data swiftly and effectively, regardless of your site’s size or complexity.

Some examples of this useful functionality include: 

  • Updating the subscription status of multiple members on a membership site. With Admin Columns, you can easily select the relevant users and update their subscription status in bulk, saving valuable time and effort.
  • Assigning a new role to a group of users based on specific criteria, such as their registration date or activity level. In that case, Admin Columns’ bulk editing feature allows you to accomplish this task seamlessly.

If you want to learn more about using these features effectively, check out our in-depth tutorials: 

Optimizing user list segmentation and retrieval

Effective user list segmentation is very important for targeted management and communication. By dividing your user base into specific groups based on shared characteristics or behaviors, you can tailor your engagement strategies and improve the relevance of your interactions. Thankfully, Admin Columns’ smart filtering capabilities make it easy to segment your user list by a wide range of field types and conditions, including custom field data. 

You can add multiple filters related to any column in that specific table view and segment your data to show only the information you need.

Example of applying multiple filters to a customer list

If you have a combination of filters that you use often, you can save it for future use in seconds!

  1. Click on the little arrow next to Add Filter > Save Filters.

    Save Filters button in Admin Columns
  2. Name the filters so it makes sense and decide whether this can be available to all users.

    Saving a combination of filters for future use
  3. Click Save, and you’re done!

This is especially useful if you frequently need to access or update metadata for a specific segment of your user base, such as users who have made a purchase in the last 30 days or those who have a specific user role. By saving these filtered views, you can quickly retrieve the relevant data without having to recreate the filter combination each time. 

In addition to filtering, Admin Columns also supports sorting by almost any column, making it easier to organize and retrieve specific data. Whether you want to sort your users alphabetically by name, by registration date, or by a custom field value, Admin Columns makes it simple.

Sorting usernames by alphabetical order

These powerful segmentation capabilities are easily combined with the exporting feature, meaning you can filter your users and then export the results directly from the list table. 

Exporting user lists with Admin Columns

With a few clicks, you can export user data in a nicely formatted CSV file, perfect for analysis, reporting, or use with third-party software like mailing platforms or CRM systems. You have full control over which data is included in your export file, ensuring that you only retrieve the information you need.

For more detailed guidance on these features, check out the following resources:

Take your WordPress user management to the next level

Effective user list management helps WordPress site owners improve their operational workflows and create personalized user experiences. But unfortunately, the default WordPress functionality falls short when it comes to accessing, managing, and updating anything beyond basic user data.

Admin Columns is the ultimate solution for enhancing WordPress user list management. With its customizable Users list table, powerful data segmentation, and editing capabilities, Admin Columns empowers you to tailor your user management experience to your needs.

Don’t settle for limitations – take your WordPress user management to the next level with Admin Columns today. Customize, segment, and streamline your user data effortlessly.

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