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 Wordpress.com 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 (Wordpress.com 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 Wordpress.com 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, Wordpress.com may delete or freeze it. They’re quite specific about this in their TOS: PUBLIC Wordpress.com blogs that are used as nothing more than mirror sites are prohibited. PRIVATE Wordpress.com 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 Wordpress.com 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, Wordpress.com 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 Wordpress.com 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 IFTTT.com. 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 Wordpress.com 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!