How to move from Tumblr to WordPress

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.
Written by Violet Blue, Contributor

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 Wordpress.org, 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 (sample.com instead of sample.tumblr.com), 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).

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