Fixing "This file should not be imported in this context." Layout Error

Having trouble exporting and importing Divi builder layouts? These tips might help.

Recently, while trying to export / import a Divi Builder page, I received an error I hadn't seen before:

This file should not be imported in this context.

A quick google led me to see that this was a problem others have been having. In reply to one such comment, Elegant Themes' advise:

This means you are uploading the file to the wrong place, or you are uploading the wrong type of file… Go to Divi > Divi Library and click the "Import & Export" button. Also, be sure to unzip the file first and upload the .json file inside.

I was trying to export from a page and import to a blank page on another site, so there didn't seem to be any particular problem with the place I was uploading the file to. While I could have tried uploading it to the Divi Library directly, I was pretty sure I should be able to import directly to the page, and it was something I wanted to do, so I figured I'd save the Divi Library upload as a last resort.

Looking at the file I had exported, it was of the right file type (.json), and was not zipped. However, when I opened the file, I realized it was completely empty. Clearly there was a problem with the export which needed to be sorted before the import could be expected to work. I tried reloading the page I wanted to export, and re-exporting it. However, the exported file was again empty.

Changing where you import the layout to

It seems that the json layout files record the "context" in which they were saved. If you open a json layout file in a text editor you should see that it starts with something like : {"context":"et_builder", …

When uploading, Divi checks to ensure that the context it is being imported to is the same as the one it was exported from. So if the layout was exported from a page / post (context = "et_builder") you need to create a new page / post and import the layout into that. If on the other hand the layout was exported from the Divi library (context = "et_builder_layouts"), then the layout will need to be imported into the Divi Library (i.e. at "Divi > Divi Library > Import & Export").

So if you get the "can't import in this context" error, try importing into both the library and in a new draft page and see if one of those works for you.

Changing the Filename

Another thing that I have found to affect whether or not the export works is the choice of filename for the exported layout. In one case, I noticed that if the filename I entered contained spaces or hyphens, the downloaded file would be empty. Simply changing the filename to a single word (e.g. "layout") resulted in the download working correctly.

Try different upload methods

I found this on ET's support forum. One user apparently had different results with the different uploaders in Divi. Here is what they found:

Apparently there are 3 ways to add the .json File.

From dashboard > Divi > Divi Library . Did not work
From Visual Editor > where import/export icon is. Did Not work
From Page editor > Where import/export icon is. This one did work.

Changing file permissions

As Joakim points out in the comments, a file permission error might also trigger the context error:

Make sure WordPress has the correct permissions to upload files.
Instead of providing a permissions error, it will give you a context error.

Set correct permissions to the upload folder and make sure the group is www-data (or Whatever WP is run under)

Thanks Joakim!

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  1. Joakim Nyström

    I had really should be added to the "checklist of possible fails" is: Make sure WordPress has the correct permissions to upload files.
    Instead of providing a permissions error, it will give you a context error.

    Set correct permissions to the upload folder and make sure the group is www-data (or Whatever WP is run under=

    • dan

      Thanks for this Joakim! I've added a section to the post with your advice. Cheers!

  2. Guy

    Thanks for this tip. I saved to the Library and exported from there and it worked fine!

  3. Erica

    I am still having the error even with all the solutions above. What else could I possibly do?

    • Carol

      I had this problem and it turns out I ran out of space in my hosting. Once it was increased, I was able to. Not sure if this would fix your problem…

      • dan

        Cool, thanks for sharing your solution, Carol!

    • Erica Warfield

      It seems like the biggest problem is that the exported file ALWAYS exports empty.

      • dan

        Hi Erica, I'm not sure what else to suggest – I haven't come across any other solutions beyond what I've already included in the post.

        If you're willing to send me login details to your site (via the contact form linked in the header above), I'll see if I can figure it out.

        Other than that, I'd suggest contacting Elegant Themes support and hopefully they can give you an answer. If so, I'd love to hear what solves it for you.

  4. June

    For me persistence seems to have paid off. I tried the various suggestions to no avail and then instead of importing in Divi library reverted to importing in page view. The first time it didn't work but then second time I clicked import and went into a new browser tab for a few minutes to do something else and lo and behold it uploaded! No clue why but the problem seems to be intermittent.

  5. Rob

    Has anyone found a solution to this 1% sticking issue. I have tried everything i have read online to sort this but im having no luck at all. Really starting to pull my hair out trying to sort this

    • dan

      Hey Rob, there seems to be a few people having trouble with this. I haven't personally experienced it, so haven't been able to look into it myself.

      Taking a look on ET's support forums, they have some suggested settings for memory, upload file sizes, etc, though it's not clear if these actually solve the issue. See here for those settings if you haven't tried them out already:

      Interestingly one of the comments in that thread suggests that if you wait long enough (i.e. 15 mins), the import may complete.

      I've also added an additional section to the post about the three different upload methods. Perhaps one of the others will work for you?

      If you're interested in having me take a look (e.g. by logging into your site and trying it myself), please drop me a message via the contact form linked in the header. I'd be keen to see this issue in action.

      • Rob

        Hi Dan. Many thanks for your help, iv dropped you a message through contact form for you to log in and take a look. I really do hope you can find the answer as its driving me INSANE

  6. Bob

    I too have experienced this problem; the fix here worked. But, now a new problem actually two more has arisen. The up-loader hangs at 1% then locks the screen and then I had an upload stop show a red x in a circle and then close.

    This is becoming really irritating. What good does it do to save time by portability if it takes hours of research and trail an error.

    Another frustrating is the lack of an answer for the ability to upload json files via FTP. Countless customers have asked with no response. If it can't be done then say so, if it can, please give us the info so we can all move on.

    I don't like leaving on a negative note. I love Divi, it's an awesome theme with no more bugs than any other theme. It helps supplement my retirement income, so for that I thank you for a cost effective means to make extra income. But, please fix this bug!

    • dan

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I'll just start by clearing up that I'm not part of the Divi team, or associated with Elegant Themes in any way. I'm just a regular Divi user and independent developer of Divi add-ons, and share solutions I've found to my own / my reader's Divi questions. The Elegant Themes' support forums are the best place to get in contact with ET themselves.

      I don't think there is any way to upload json files via FTP. I believe the uploaded json files are processed and stored directly into the database, so there's no place storing the layouts as json files. Plus, I'm not aware of any code that will process the json files from any location on the server – only through the uploader interface itself. So I suspect this is one to move on from for the time being.

      I'm not sure what is causing the uploader behavior you're seeing (as I haven't encountered that before), but if you'd be willing to let me login and take a look, or try out your .json file on my own site please let me know. Please send any login details, etc, through the contact form (linked in the site header).


  7. Nik

    I'm having this issue as well, annoyingly! Saving it to the library is not working for me, neither is changing the file name.

    • dan

      Sorry to hear it got you too, Nik! I'm not sure what else to suggest, but if you'd be willing to let me log into your site and take a look I might be able to figure it out. If you do, send me the URL / login details through my contact form, along with details of the page you're trying to export. Thanks!

  8. Alejandro Flores

    Sorry for my bad english,
    If you have this same problem and you already have wordpress on a server, try giving write permissions to the wp-config folder, if you use linux navigate to the folder you want to give permission and use this command

    Chmod -R777.

    I've been searching for the solution for a few days and this worked, I hope it helps

    • dan

      Thanks for sharing, Alejandro. I take it you meant the "wp-content" folder, right?

      One thing, I'd be wary of setting the permissions on the folder to 777. WordPress recommends avoiding 755 as the default permission for folders, and avoiding 777. If you do need to set it to 777 to get this to work, I'd change it back to 755 as soon as possible.

      • Peter

        Many thanks for that solution, after Chmod 777 the "wp-content" folder it worked fine. After hanging 15-20sec at 1% it loaded up the file, afterward, Chmod back to 755 to avoid security risk.


      • dimitri visser

        The problem here is a missing or not writable /wp-content/uploads folder. When the uploads folder is missing (after a new WordPress install) and WordPress cannot create it because it cannot write or create anything in the wp-content folder it can help if you make the wp-content folder writable with "chmod -c 777 wp-content".

        After importing the Divi templates you can change it back to how it was. But you will keep problems every new month if you upload for example photos for posts. Because every month a new folder must be created in uploads/2017/xx.

        These problems are caused by write permissions of the webserver for files and folders. I think the solution was to give the webserver the right permissions.

        Leaving anything with 777 rights is very dangerous and makes your system vulnerable for hackers!

        • dan

          Thanks for sharing this, dimitri. I'm sure others will find it useful. Cheers!


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