Theme Submission Guidelines

Basic criteria

To be accepted, your theme should:

  • Support all post types.
  • Support note counts and the display of notes.
  • Use standard Tumblr template tags. Check out our documentation for a full list.
  • Use localized strings when possible.
  • Not rely on third party widgets.
  • Display well in all modern browsers.
  • Host all files, like style sheets and images, on Tumblr’s static file uploader.
  • Correctly link images and other assets.
  • Avoid spammy stuff like music players, blinged-out cursors, and weird scripts.
  • Be fully original. Don’t build off of, clone, or otherwise rip off another theme.
  • Never use any copyrighted material.
  • Avoid being gross or offensive.

Featured Free themes

While Tumblr accepts all themes that meet our basic criteria, our editors occasionally select outstanding themes to be featured in a theme category or a collection on tumblr.com/themes. Chosen themes share a few overarching qualities:

Elegance

  • Employ thoughtful typography to make text legible and beautiful.
  • Demonstrate good judgment with respect to padding, margins, and font sizes.
  • Use expressive interactions, like active states and transitions, to give life to the theme.

Purpose

  • Every element should be well-considered, nothing should feel random or haphazard.
  • Be discerning with appearance options. Don’t cram in extra options just to have them.
  • Have a clear audience or use in mind when designing your theme. Avoid trying to be everything to everyone.

Versatility

  • Use the latest Tumblr theme tags, like header image, title font, and color to make user preferences pass seamlessly from theme to theme.
  • Use responsive layouts to look good on any screen size.
  • Create options that let users make themes truly their own. Go beyond basic fields like color and font. Let users hide, show, and transform elements.

Inventiveness

  • Strive for a theme that looks and works better than anything else on the web.
  • Unique takes on existing features are good. Slight variations on existing themes are not.

Premium themes

Theme developers who have been featured on tumblr.com/themes have the opportunity to offer a theme for sale.

The same guidelines that apply to featured themes apply to premium themes. In addition to offering an exceptional product, premium developers must be able to provide support for users of their theme. For more information, send a note to:

themes@tumblr.com

How to Submit a Tumblr Theme

So you’ve tested your theme and it’s rock solid. Your stylesheets are the very definition of elegance. You are ready to submit your theme.

Here are the things you get to tell people about your theme when they’re browsing the theme store:

Title:

What is your theme called? Well, that’s what you should title it.

Tagline:

Give ’em the “quick sizzle” with something catchy and descriptive about your theme.

Thumbnail:

The face of your theme in tumblr.com/themes and within the Customize screen. Make sure people can get a good sense of it from this image. (375 x 250 pixels, please.)

Screenshots:

Tumblr allows you to upload up to eight screenshots of your theme in action. We suggest that you show off the things that make your theme unique, but please make sure to include the index page, permalink pages, and various post types. Screenshots should be 630 x 450 pixels.

Description:

Here’s where you get into the details. What are your theme’s features? What can a user do when they install your theme? What kind of options will they have in Customize?

Demo blog:

The best way to see a theme in action is to see it live on a Tumblr blog. We ask that you set up a dedicated demo blog for each theme you have in the theme store. The demo blog should show all of Tumblr’s post types (including asks, photosets, and reblogs) so a user can see how your theme will look with every kind of content. Post the things that will show your theme at its best, and clearly illustrate the design and functionality of your theme. Feel free to get adventurous, but all content should be safe for work. Specifying the URL for the demo blog will auto-install the theme at that location, and keep it current with any updates you make from the theme submission tool.

Support contact:

It’s inevitable that people are going to have questions about your theme. Be prepared with a dedicated support email address so you can streamline communication with your users (and with your potential customers). You may also want to include a link to an FAQ for your theme in the description and on your demo blog.

Approval Status

Once your theme is submitted, it will be queued for review by Tumblr staff. As it goes through the review process, you’ll see one of the following statuses on the theme management pages:

Live Your theme is live and ready to be installed by Tumblr users all over the world. May it travel far and wide.

Pending Your theme is waiting for review

Incomplete Our computers have detected something missing from your code.

Aesthetic Your theme doesn’t meet our aesthetic requirements.

Missing Requirements Your theme submission is missing required functionality or assets. See the guidelines.

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