With today’s news that Yahoo bought Tumblr, tremors shook the social media world. Many people were excited and happy for Yahoo, yet others were nervous for the future of their favorite blogging platform. Regardless of your opinion on the change of ownership, we can all agree that things are bound to change. The depth and breadth of these changes remain to be seen.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer promised Monday not to screw up Tumblr, the blogging site Yahoo purchased for $1.1 billion.
Regardless of how you feel about the acquisition, you may consider moving your blog to another platform.
In this post, I’ll go over how to transfer your Tumblr blog to a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Setting Up WordPress
The first thing you’ll need to do is determine a domain name if you don’t have one already. If you already use a custom domain for your Tumblr blog, you’ll need to point it to your new hosting server. If you are buying a domain, determine what domain name fits your blog.
The next step, is to choose a hosting company. There are several hosting companies, and it really depends on your budget. If you are looking for a cheap hosting option, look at Bluehost. There are several other hosting options out there, and generally speaking you get what you pay for. If you have a slightly larger budget, you may consider WP Engine, which I have a link to in the side bar. WP Engine is one of the best in the business when it comes to WordPress hosting.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Do a little research, read some reviews, define your budget.
The final step in setting up WordPress is to install WordPress. Many hosting companies offer easy one-click installers, or you can install WordPress yourself. WordPress offers great installation help for this process.
Transfer Content From Tumblr to WordPress
To migrate your Tumblr content over to WordPress, start by clicking on Tools > Import in the WordPress admin.
On the Import page, click Tumblr to install the Tumblr Importer plugin.
Install the plugin from the popup menu, and click Activate Plugin & Run Importer on the next screen.
Clicking the link will land you on the Tumblr import page. Make note of the default callback URL on this page – you’ll need it for the next step.
Before importing your content to WordPress, you’ll need to create an application using the Tumblr API. Head over to the Tumblr Applications page.
Click the +Register Application button. A form will appear, in which you need to fill out the Application Name, Application Website, and Default Callback URL you noted earlier. For the Application Name, enter your WordPress blog’s name. The rest of the fields can be left blank, or filled in so you can more easily identify the application should you ever need to come back to this screen.
When you’re done filling out the form, click the Submit button at the bottom.
The next screen will show you your OAuth Consumer Key and Secret Key. Go back to the Tumblr Import page in WordPress and enter these two values.
After entering your keys, click Connect to Tumblr. On the next page, click Authorize the Application.
You’ll be brought to a Tumblr page that asks if you are giving Read and Write permission to this application. Click Allow.
You will be brought back to the Tumblr Import page. You’ll see the name and URL of your Tumblr blog, as well as how much content will be moved over.
The final step is to click the Import this Blog button on the far right.
Depending on how much content you had on your Tumblr blog, the import could take a very long time. As a frame of reference, the 1800 or so Tumblr posts that I migrated over took the entire length of time it took to write this blog – from research, screen shot taking, typing, image editing, and posting. Yes – it can take a long time. If you’ve been blogging on Tumblr for years, you might want to let it run over night.
The Tumblr Importer plugin will attempt to import your content into the correct post formats automatically. Text will be imported as text, quotes will be imported as quotes, and images will be imported as galleries. Of course the system isn’t perfect, but it sure beats importing each post one by one.
Redirecting old Tumblr URLs to WordPress
If your Tumblr blog had a custom domain, redirecting to your new WordPress site will be relatively easy. If you ran a tumblr.com blog (for example, your blog was myblog.tumblr.com), then you’ll need to perform a few extra steps.
If you are familiar with
.htaccess redirects, you’ll want to set up redirects using regular expressions to redirect your old post format to your new post format.
If you’re not familiar with
.htaccess you can install a plugin like WordPress Redirection.
Make sure you set your WordPress permalink structure to postname in order for the redirects to work properly. Go to Settings > Permalinks.
Ultimately, you’ll have to work with some form of regular expression if you want to redirect your old posts to your new ones. If you need help, check out Stack Overflow.
If your Tumblr blog was on the tumblr.com domain, then head over to your blog and go to the Settings page. Click on your theme, then click Customize.
On the right side, click the Edit HTML button.
Enter the below code (or something very similar) in the
head section of the HTML.
Then paste this code in the
body section of the HTML.
That should be all you need to do to redirect your old posts to your new ones.
This entire process could take several hours, maybe days. Make sure you are prepared for the move, and notify any die-hard followers you have. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave me a comment below.