How to move from Tumblr to WordPress

How to move from Tumblr to WordPress

Summary: Yahoo's Tumblr has hidden 10% of its blogs from search after a content policy change, and has no export feature. Here is how to move from Tumblr to WordPress.

TOPICS: DIY, Apps, Censorship

Tumblr has implemented policy on its adult blogs, estimated at 10% of its 125 million userbase, to de-index them from every kind of search possible. At the same time, Tumblr has removed results for LGBTQ tags such as #gay and Tumblr staff has stated it is to prohibit pornographic content.

tumblr to wordpress

Tumblr is not being clear to press or users about these changes or when they occurred, and users are rightfully confused, upset, angry and worried about the content they trusted to keep on Tumblr.

Also upsetting to users is having Tumblr cut them off from the Tumblr community, other like-minded bloggers, and the outside world. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to put people whose Tumblrs have been maked (fairly or not) as "adult" back into the Tumblr community. For these 12.5 million bloggers, it's over and gone.

Tumblr does not provide its users a way to export or back up their Tumblr.

Here is how to move from Tumblr to a self-hosted Wordpress website.

Remember, this is different than moving to, which prohibits adult content.

A self-hosted website is the safest thing that a content creator or businessperson can do - you will have full control over your content and the functionality of your blog. 

Step 1: Get your own domain name and hosting

There are a few domain hosts that are sex-positive and don't have a problem with adult or racy content. 

DreamHost reached out to me on Twitter to say they're simple to use and sex-positive, and are totally happy to take all the business that Blogger is about to throw away — because you know that if given the option, tens of thousands of people would pay Blogger for a premium account to avoid the hassle of packing everything up and moving out by Monday.

DreamHost is very sex-positive, and has a one-click WordPress installation.

The same goes for the easy, one-step Wordpress install at Hostgator.

GoDaddy is also an option, with one-click WordPress installs and pricing plans with customer support, but keep in mind that sometimes it's a Bad Daddy.

If you have bought a domain at another registrar like Dotser, you just need to do a DNS Transfer. Follow the instructions at both your registrar and your new domain host (HostGator, DreamHost, GoDaddy).

Step 2: Set up your WordPress

Log into your new account at DreamHost, HostGator, or GoDaddy and follow the WordPress setup instructions; the set-up will take you about five minutes.

Click to install WordPress on your site: you will see entry fields where you will enter your blog’s URL and place to enter your name, your email address and the title of your blog. Fill these in and click ‘install now.'

Check your email for a confirmation, and then log in to your new WordPress blog. That's it!

Step 3: Import your Tumblr

Inside your WordPress dashboard, go to Tools > Import and look for the Tumblr Importer.

Click on it. You will be prompted to enter the email address you used to sign up for Tumblr and your Tumblr password. Click Connect to Tumblr.

The importer automagically fetches your Tumblr blog; you'll be able to watch the progress of the imports on the import page. It also gives you the option to import as many of your Tumblrs as you want by clicking Import This Blog. 

When your import is done, the system will email you to let you know.

Custom Domains

If your Tumblr has a custom domain ( instead of, you'll need to disable the custom domain while the import is being processed. Go to your Tumblr dashboard, click Settings and un-check the Use a Custom Domain checkbox.

Step 4: Make yourself findable again

Set up Sitemapping so users can find you - this will never be out of your control or taken away from you again.

Now, go tell all your friends where you are. You can set up auto-posting from WordPress to your Tumblr as well, so your followers left on Tumblr don't miss a single post.

I use IFTT to do a number of auto-post functions with different social networks (like posting my Foursquare photos onto my Flickr), and while I haven't tried WordPress to Tumblr, you might want to give it a shot.

WordPress has thousands of plugins (they're like apps you can add to your blog for features like galleries, sharing, and more), most of them are free, and more plug-ins are created by WordPress developers every day. There are also about a million themes to choose from, with lots of great free ones and themes for Tumblelogs.

The only thing you won't have anymore is a Tumblr 'reblog' button.

There are also WordPress mobile apps for blogging, and they have more features that Tumblr's.

On a closing note, I'm beyond disappointed with what happened between Yahoo's purchase of Tumblr and the de-indexing of adult blogs (and I'm livid about the abysmal way Tumblr has handled the #gay and #lesbian tagging debacle - I've seen many angy tweets form LGBT people saying 'hey Yahoo/Tumblr, my existence isn't porn.')

De-indexing blogs and taking steps like removing the Erotica category is the next best thing to banning adult content and deleting adult blogs altogether.

The anger and disbelief around the Internet, and around the world on this topic shows that the Internet is just fine with human sexuality, porn and adult content - so why can't Yahoo, Facebook and Google?

It's just interesting, as a citizen of the Internet, to see the Internet evolve into a state where our biggest trolls are companies and governments.

UPDATE: See also: How to Build a Tumblr-style Blog with WordPress by Brian Gardner (via Ms. Naughty; her Twitter account is NSFW).

Topics: DIY, Apps, Censorship

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  • Great article, Violet...but some clarification is in order. is the selfhosting mechanism for those wanting to host their blogs through such webhosts as HostGator, DreamHost, WebAir, etc. is their standalone blog hosts, and they are the ones who restrict adult content (ads and affiliate linkage are strictly forbidden; though adult content is not prohibited, just marked as such).

    Also, domain mapping as your link defined it is applicable only to blogs hosted by WP through

    The only issue I could find with transferring to is that your linkrolls may get lost in the it's a good idea before you do anything to back up all data on your old Tumblr blog, including all pics and links to embedded videos, and especially your blogroll/linkroll. Once you jump over the fence, you can rebuild it manually.

    I've selfhosted my blogs via for the past 4 years, and I've never been happer.
    • Link to no porn policy

      I really appreciate the comment, but (as seen in comments below and what I sent you on Twitter), according to its Terms does not allow adult content. They may or may not police it, and they may decide to crack down at any time - it's a risk.

      "not pornographic" is under "Responsibility of Contributors" >

      I often see people saying that allows adult content, and it's troubling. I'm doing what I can to clear this myth up. It's really a shame that they don't, because as we all know, adult content isn't always commercial porn. (Though there's nothing wrong with that, I do understand the drag on bandwidth and legal issues that many hosting services would just rather not deal with).

      As for domain mapping, I corrected myself to site mapping, which was what I had intended to write - it's fixed and I really appreciate the correction. Thank you!
      Violet Blue
      • Still mixing things up

        You have said wordpress.ORG does not allow adult content, but linked to the TOS for wordpress.COM. They are two different entities. You can use wordpress.ORG on your own server.

        Surely, you aren't suggesting that wordpress.ORG has control over your own server. That would be a large security flaw and quite the breaking story.
  • Azure is great for Wordpress
  • tumblr

    thanks for such great and informative steps.

  • Wordpress

    Thanks for the informative article. Sitemapping and IFTT helps.

    As mentioned above, Wordpress's own hosting ( actually does allow adult content and there are very many sites already. It seems popular among erotic artists/illustrators.

    The official TOS seems to indicate otherwise but here is the official statement:

    "Blogs with legal adult content are not removed, so please do not report these as spam or expect us to suspend them. They are flagged as Mature so that they become less visible to general audiences throughout by being excluded from Top Blogs, Recent Posts and Global Tag Listings."
  • However, there are limitations to the mature content permitted

    However, there are limitations to the mature content permitted on our service. Please don’t:

    Post explicit sexual materials that can be considered pornographic, such as explicit images or video of sexual acts or close-up images of genitalia;
    Post links or banner ads to adult-oriented affiliate networks, such as pornography site signups;
    Post links, text, or images promoting or advertising escort services;
    Post images of extreme violence or gore without associated context or commentary;
    Post images of child pornography;
    Post content that promotes pedophilia, such as blogs with galleries of images of children where the images, content surrounding the images, or the intent of the blog is sexually suggestive.
  • Would like to have overheard that conversation!

    I like how Dreamhost called you up to declare themselves sex positive! Nice...
    But if people really want to go with Dreamhost, use this coupon code: 'exclusivedream'. It'll save them $75 off.
  • Tumblr to WordPress migration

    Hi Violet,

    you did a great job, nice instruction!
    I just want to start my migration, so I have a question. If I have both Tumblr and WordPress sites with the repost function you've mentioned,won't this influence on the google indexation, ranking, or traffic? Also, there's a tool that makes the switch from Tumblr to WordPress automatedly - cms2cms, have you heard about it? Is it worth trying?
    • SEO

      Katherine, did you ever get a response to this? I have the same questions. How did everything go for you?
  • Tumblr To WordPress Migrate

    Awesome tips suggested, although I believe these are somethings that have to be done even if you migrate form any other platform to WordPress(not only Tumblr). There are also couple of other things that need to taken care of so that the SEO juice is not lost after the migration which you can find in this tutorial :
    Apart from this with the acquisition by Yahoo, all we can expect is Tumblr to remain innovative as it is and not not turn to a useless product(we all know Yahoo).
  • Question about links and SEO

    1. After converting, is there a way to forward all the links to my tumblr posts to their corresponding Wordpress post? In other words, if someone has an old link to, can I make it direct to

    2. By converting, will I be cannibalizing my SEO?