What Does The Caldera Forms Error “Form could not be imported.” Mean?

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When using the Caldera Forms import/export form feature, you may receive an error message.


What To Do When Caldera Forms Import Fails And The Error Is “Form could not be imported”.

There are two versions of this error:

  • Form could not be imported
  • Form could not be imported. File type must be JSON.

The first error “Form could not be imported” indicates that the contents of the JSON file could not be decoded by PHP’s json_decode() function. This error generally happens when the export file is created on a site with a different character encoding than the site its being imported to.

The second error message “Form could not be imported. File type must be JSON.” was added in Caldera Forms 1.7.5. It indicates that the file you are importing is not considered a JSON file by WordPress. The way WordPress checks this changed in WordPress 5.0.1 in a way that was not backwards compatible. If you experience this error, please try exporting again. Most likely this will happen if you created the JSON file manually. This error will not happen if you create the JSON file in Atom or VSCode.

Another reason for you may get either of these errors is that your import file is not a JSON file. While you can export a form as PHP, it is not possible to import that export file using the import button.