How to import csv data into Contentful

12th February, 2018 - 2 min. read - in Tutorials - Go to Index

Developing a CMS is hard.

This is why Contentful, or any other equivalent white-label and generic CMS, is a very interesting option when a project requires a way to manage contents maintaining a clear separation with the possible end-points (website, mobile-app, installation, etc).

It doesn’t come for free (but there’s a free tier, though), nevertheless, it’s affordable enough for most small/mid size project in our field.

Recently, I had the necessity to import a consistent set of information into Contentful.

While it comes with a layer of API in order to both read and write information, there’s a quicker way to handle this specific task with ease.

Using a specific module for Node.js, it’s a matter of few lines of javascript to read a file in order to put it into the database of the service.

First thing, let’s include the required modules (remember to install them first with npm):

const contentful = require('contentful-management')
const d3 = require('d3')
const fs = require('fs')

Then, read the local dump, assuming it’s a csv formatted file (yes, I’m using D3.js just to parse the file because I feel at home with it):

var raw = fs.readFileSync('db.csv', 'utf8')
var dsv = d3.dsvFormat(';')
var db = dsv.parse(raw)

Now, let’s create a connector with the Contentful backend:

const client = contentful.createClient({
  accessToken: '<your-access-token>'

You can create the access token in “Space settings/Content management tokens” tab, remembering that you can see it just one time during the creation process (so, copy it before close the modal).

Now it’s time to perform some data munging in order to be compatible with the Contentful space structure.

Suppose you have this csv file:


and want to map each csv column with the right field name in the content-model:

    .then((space) => space.createEntry('<content-type-name>', {
        fields: {
            name: {
                'en-US': d.TheName
            age: {
                'en-US': d.TheAge
    .then((entry) => console.log(entry))

You see, you have to properly fill the space-id and the content-type-name as well as respecting the same field structure you gave on your content model.

Now it’s a matter of include tha above snippet into a function and call it for each row parsed from the csv.

Spotted a typo or (likely) a grammar error? Send a pull request.