How to back up your Tumblr to Wordpress

I’ve been meaning to write this for an age, and now that Tumblr is going around deleting blogs and messing with peoples’ content, it seems like now is the time. 

Note that this is not perfect, nor will it work for everybody.  Some people have so many Tumblr blog entries that it screws with the backup.  Also, I know that not everybody loves Wordpress.  BUT it’s the best option I’ve found, and the thing about Wordpress is that even if you hate it, it has the best functionality around for backing up a copy of your blog and saving it on your hard drive or taking it to a different site that you like better. 

So here are the steps:

1: Visit and set up an account there.  If you happen to own your own hosted webspace and can install a Wordpress blog into it, consider doing this instead–it provides you with more space ( offers you a 3GB limit unless you pay them monies), and gives you greater control generally.

2: Create your backup blog.  (You can create as many blogs as you like on your account, so you can back up multiple blogs if you want to.)

3: Set your backup Wordpress blog to PRIVATE.  The setting for this is in the WP Admin dashboard, under Settings>Reading.

Note: If you leave your backup blog public, may delete or freeze it.  They’re quite specific about this in their TOS: PUBLIC blogs that are used as nothing more than mirror sites are prohibited.  PRIVATE blogs that are used for mirroring or backup are acceptable.

4: Now go into Tools>Import.  Choose ‘Tumblr.’  You’ll have to follow some steps to connect your Tumblr account to your Wordpress.  Once that’s done, Wordpress will give you a list of your Tumblr blogs, and you can choose the one you want to back up.

It will begin to copy over your Tumblr entries, including graphics and tags.  It will keep active links, layout and date order intact to the best of its ability.  Give it a few hours to do this, if you have a lot of entries; it can take a while and if you poke it, you may have to start over which would make a mess.

Note the first: If you cancel the backup, and then try it again, you will probably end up with duplicate copies of your posts.

Note the second: If you wish to merge blogs, you can dump multiple Tumblr blogs into a single Wordpress backup blog. However…

Note the third: A free account provides you with 3GB of media storage space.  The import will copy over any graphics, audio and video files that are included in your Tumblr posts, and this will probably leave you with more than 3GB of stuff in your media storage.  As far as I can tell, will import all your media anyway, but then you may get a 'storage full’ error if you try to do another import or anything.

Note the fourth: If you have a hell of a lot of Tumblr posts, this may not work.  How many is 'a hell of a lot?’  I have close to 5,000 on my most active Tumblr, and that imported fine (though it took some time).  Another person I know has something like 15,000 and she couldn’t get this to work.

Possible workarounds: If you can host your own Wordpress blog, do that and you’ll have way more space.  It may also fix the problem with being unable to import blogs with huge numbers of entries.

You could also buy a paid account, but that’s pretty expensive since I think makes you pay up front for the entire year.

If you know somebody else with a paid account or hosted webspace, you might be able to have them set you up with a blog on their tab.  Because here’s the thing…

5: Now that you have backed up your Tumblr to your Wordpress blog, it’s time to back up all your data!

Wordpress has a uniquely fantastic ability to save, back up and transport the contents of a blog.  Go into Tools>Export, and choose “Create an XML file containing your posts and comments for you to save or import into another WordPress blog.”  This will download everything in your blog, including comments if you have any, and save it onto your computer as an XML file.  You can then run off with that XML file and upload your entire blog onto another site you like better, if you want, or you can just keep it so that you know you have everything anytime you want it.

You can ALSO set up a Wordpress blog on your computer only–not web-accessible, not confined by anything except your own dreams and hard drive space–so that you have a local copy of all your Tumblr stuff.  Although that is for another tutorial (or you can Google it).

6: If you want to KEEP your backup Wordpress blog up to date, I recommend  This is a web site that lets you plug in all your social media accounts, and then set up 'recipes’ so that you can, for example, forward copies of all your tweets to your email–or all your tweets to a specific account to your email.  You can use IFTTT to auto-copy each new Tumblr post you make to your backup blog.  

Notes:  First, this IS NOT retroactive.  It will only work for posts that you make after setting up the IFTTT recipe.  Second, this method of backup does NOT make copies of graphics and other media on your Wordpress blog.  You will still see the images in the Wordpress copy of your post, but that is because it’s using an HTML link back to the image where it’s hosted on Tumblr.

So.  Not perfect, but it’s something–especially when Tumblr is going around deleting blogs.  I hope it helps!

How to backup your blog if you are actually worried
  • Go to
  • Create a new website. Choose whatever category you think fits your blog best and whatever theme you like. You can just choose the free plan unless you want a custom domain for whatever reason. 
  • Click Settings on the sidebar. 

Then click import at the top of the page and go to “Other Importers”

From the list that appears, choose “Tumblr”

You should be asked to log in. Once you do, all your blogs will appear in a list. 

Simply click “Import this blog” and every single one of your posts, including all of their tags, will be imported into wordpress. It will take a very very long time but it should work. You will now have a wordpress website that contains an exact copy of your blog. I would recommend changing it to “Private” in the main settings if you don’t want people thinking that it is active, because at least I know I won’t actually leave tumblr unless it really does shut down, which I don’t think will happen.

Revert is shutting down its free Tumblr blog backups on Oct. 31, 2015. The new backup service, renamed ThisData, costs $23 per month (or $19 per month if you pay annually). If you use Revert for your Tumblr blog backups and you don’t want to pay for ThisData, you have until Halloween 2015 to export your data to Dropbox (if you have sufficient space there). In my opinion, Revert was the best free option for Tumblr backups. Unfortunately, I don’t know of another simple, free blog backup method to suggest.

blog backup time

so every now and then you see news along the lines of “Yahoo fucked up again”, “Tumblr hemorrhaging cash”, “everything going to hell”, etc. I just saw one go by, and it made me want to do a quick-and-dirty backup of my blog.

I figure a backup strategy is useless unless you have a specific goal in mind.  My goal is to protect against tumblr dying suddenly. I actually think this is a rather unlikely scenario, so rather than doing the backup perfectly, I want to just use as little effort as possible.

So I downloaded this:

It’s a python script. If you are running OS X, you have python already. If not, then you should get it and learn it, it’s a fantastic language! Anyway, I just search-and-replaced “bbolli” with “birdthatlookslikeastick” in all the “.py” files, and ran in a command shell. 20 minutes later, it had crawled through my entire blog and saved a passable copy of it on my computer, together with an index.html file which makes it pretty easy to browse it month-by-month with any web browser. It was super-easy.

i think it missed a bunch of images and videos due to timeouts, it didn’t get my theme, really, and it did get a lot of reblogged stuff / other people’s content. None of that matters. All I really wanted was the text in the posts, and now I’ve got it.

warning: it will try to download every image on your blog, which is a lot: I have about 18kb of html and 1gb of various media! If you just want the text, there’s probably a way to turn the image downloads off.  I didn’t bother: I’m on a pretty fat internet connection and so it was easier just to use the default settings and not muck around with it.


(Disclaimer: I have no idea how true the Yahoo/Tumblr stuff is, but this still has value and so I feel this post is worthwhile anyways.) (This post has a list of general options) (This page shows how to import from Tumblr into Wordpress.)

ignore my crappy graphics skills

since a lot of my followers like marvel AND dc, i’ve decided to open a marvel/dc family page!  :) (too lazy to make one for each)


  • mbf your local grape juice addict
  • reblog this :) (helps spread the word)
  • check here to see if your character is taken
  • send me an ask/message me saying what character you want (off-anon, i’ll answer it privately if it isn’t your main blog) and two backup choices
  • submit an icon (100x100)and a SHORT quote from your character after accepted

blacklist xia’s marvel/dc family if you don’t want to see these posts


Tumblr is apparently resetting themes to original states, taking away all the edits, headers, images, changes and what not you have done to your theme. So, if that is the case go to: and recover your theme (click on your blog, click view backups, choose revert on the one/date in which the blog edited) and don’t be like me who spends nearly 2 hours trying to fix it to how it was. 

So, recap, check your theme, go to that url if it’s reset and recover your lovely theme. :)

Awright, here’s the report, ‘case anybody’s interested.

Wordpress takes awhile to import. I’ve got it working on two sideblogs with a total of just over 500 posts between them (plus another 100 or so in drafts) and it’s about halfway done after about two hours. The posts are automatically back-dated. Your tags are transferred, but get alphabetized which sucks if you’re a conversational tagger like I know many of us are. I can’t tell if there’s a tag length or number limit. No replies or other notes seem to be preserved.

‘Keep Reading’ links on reblogs will still link back to the tumblr post of origin, but the original post will get transferred in full, without a cut.

The importing page also assures me that any duplicate posts will be skipped if you re-import. I don’t know what that means for posts that get edited between backups.

Just out of interest, do any of you guys backup the blog posts you write on the internet ? I always have, but I suspect lots of other people don’t. With Tumblr being acquired as part of Yahoo by Verizon, I just thought I would put the question out there…