How to Import Tumblr to WordPress (Quick and Easy)

Updated on June 18, 2018

Have you been blogging on Tumblr? While it’s no doubt a great platform for microblogging, it’s somewhat limited, especially when you compare it to most other content management systems and blogging platforms out there. If you want to take your blog to the next level, then we recommend moving it to WordPress.

Tumblr gained a lot of traction when it was first released. And it’s still used by popular sites such as The Industrialist. But according to Google Trends, it has been on a decline for the past five years. It’s only used by 0.1% of websites according to W3Techs, while WordPress is used by over 31% of the web.

Tumblr Google Trends

Tumblr trends (Image source: Google Trends)

WordPress is an excellent option for bloggers due to the fact that it’s an easy platform to learn, there is a lot of support available, and you own your content. Not to mention the fact that you can do pretty much whatever you want to do with thousands of third-party plugins and themes.

If you’ve been blogging on Tumblr for a while, you’ve probably built up a large blog archive. Don’t worry, you don’t have to lose any of your work as you transition to a more advanced blogging platform. You can easily import Tumblr to WordPress.

Import Tumblr to WordPress

Importing is an easy process, usually only takes a few minutes, and you can start building your blog on your own platform. Here’s how to do just that, step by step.

We always recommend taking a backup of your WordPress site before proceeding with any type of import job. This way you can easily roll back if there is a problem.

Step 1

From the WordPress dashboard, go to Tools → Import. From that page, you have the option of importing several different platforms. Click on “Install Now” under the Tumblr option. This plugin is actually developed by the WordPress team and contributors. It imports posts, drafts, pages, and media (audio, video, and image posts).

Tools import Tumblr

Tools import Tumblr

Step 2

Then click on “Run Importer.”

Tumblr run importer

Tumblr run importer

Step 3

Before you can import your Tumblr blog, you have to create a Tumblr app to act as the connection point between your WordPress site and Tumblr’s servers. The Import Tumblr page will prompt you to visit the following URL: http://www.tumblr.com/oauth/apps.

Import Tumblr settings

Import Tumblr settings

Step 4

To create an application, go to your Tumblr Applications and hit the big green “Register application” button.

Register Tumblr application

Register Tumblr application

Step 5

To register, you need to fill out the following information:

  • Application Name
  • Application Website
  • Default Callback URL
  • Application Description
  • Administrative contact email

The rest of the fields can be left blank. The instructions on the Import Tumblr page in the plugin will give you the URLs for both the application website and the default callback URL (typically just your full domain name). After filling in the info, click on Register at the bottom of the application.

Tumblr application

Tumblr application

Note: Newly registered applications are rate limited to 1,000 requests per hour, and 5,000 requests per day. If your application requires more requests for either of these periods, you will be able to request a rate limit removal after completing the registration process.

Step 6

The page you get redirected to will have both your OAuth Consumer Key and the Secret Key on it. Add these back in the Import Tumblr page in your WordPress dashboard and click on “Connect to Tumblr.”

Tumblr application keys

Tumblr application keys

Step 7

Click on “Authorize the Application.”

Tumblr authorize the application

Tumblr authorize the application

Step 8

You will then be redirected to Tumblr. They will ask you “Is it alright for this application to access some of your data and make posts to your account?” Click on “Allow.”

Authorize Tumblr

Authorize Tumblr

Step 9

You will then see the Tumblr blogs that are associated with your username and email address, along with how many posts will be imported. You can then assign a different author if you want. When you’re ready to import your Tumblr blog posts, click on “Import Blog.”

Tumblr import this blog

Tumblr import this blog

Importing your Tumblr blog can take a while depending on how large your archive is. The importing process happens in the background so you can back to the “Import Tumblr” page to check on the importer’s progress. Once all your blog posts have been imported, they will be listed in your WP Admin → Posts dashboard.

Tumblr import progress

Tumblr import progress

WordPress also allows you to clear your Tumblr account information once finished. Simply click on “Clear Account Information.”

Finished Tumblr import

Finished Tumblr import

This will not affect any posts you may have already imported, but it does let you start over or import another blog. If you try to import the same blog, any duplicate posts will be skipped. And don’t forget about your SEO. If you changed domains our URLs, you’ll want to setup 301 redirects from Tumblr to WordPress.

Alternative Tumblr to WordPress Importer Plugin

If you’re having any issues with the above method, or you need more advanced mapping options, we recommend checking out the premium Tumblr to WordPress migration plugin from CMS2CMS. These guys do nothing but migrations between various CMS platforms, so they’ve experienced just about every odd thing that could go wrong.

CMS2CMS Tumblr to WordPress Import plugin

CMS2CMS Tumblr to WordPress Import plugin

The plugin is actually free and will allow you to complete a demo migration to see how it works before completing the data migration. The price depends on the amount of data your moving from Tumblr to WordPress. This plugin has many more features over the default importer, such as:

  • Data mapping option which lets you choose what content to move.
  • Migrates over pages, posts, attachments (images and videos), along with images included in the content body.
  • You can utilize SEO friendly URLs.
  • Migrate over keywords and metadata/meta descriptions.

They will even setup 301 redirects from your existing Tumblr site to your new WordPress site. This is an important step in retaining your SEO link juice.

Summary

Tumblr can be great for starting out, but once you get serious you’ll want a platform you can control. Check out these 10 additional reasons why you should use WordPress.

Now that you’ve imported all your great Tumblr posts into your new self-hosted WordPress website, you can focus on building up your blog. You own the content and you control the site. Now go do something awesome with all that content from your Tumblr blog.

Have any questions? Run into any issues importing your Tumblr blog? Let us know below in the comments.

This article was written by Brian Jackson
Brian is the Chief Marketing Officer at Kinsta. He focuses on everything from developing new online growth strategies, content creation, technical SEO, and outreach within the community. He has a huge passion for WordPress, has been using it for 8+ years, and even develops a couple premium plugins. Brian enjoys blogging, movies, and hiking. Connect with Brian on Twitter.

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  1. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Veronica March 28, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I followed all of these steps with the Tumblr to WordPress Importer. Unfortunately, it has only imported the TEXT from my Tumblr, and not the photos and videos. Do you have an answer for why that is?

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson March 30, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Hey Veronica,
      So sometimes the free plugin from WordPress doesn’t always import images correctly. Did you try the premium option at the bottom? They let you preview the migration beforehand. The premium option should definitely pick up more than the free version.

  2. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Catur Semesta Solusi March 30, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Nice post dude :)

    But I usually use IFTTT service to do that

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson March 30, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Hey Catur,
      Yes IFTTT is great! Although I think you might be referring to auto-posting? The tutorial is about migrating your entire Tumblr site over to WordPress in one fell swoop.

  3. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Ab June 9, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Does anyone know if the notes (likes, comments etc.) transfer as well?
    Sorry if it’s a dumb question.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson June 18, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      Hey Ab,
      Unfortunately, I don’t think likes or comments transfer over.

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