Our most popular blog post, by far, is called How to Make Your Tumblr Look Like a Website. Every day, for years, people search for this information and find our post. This year instead of updating it, we want to help you take some pro-active steps to help you get this done.
Making your Tumblr look more like a website is not hard with today’s modern Premium (paid) Tumblr themes. We’ve assembled a hand-picked collection of themes that we recommend for different types of needs, plus a process you can follow step-by-step to get closer to what you want to achieve with your Tumblr site. Let’s get started!
STEP 1 | Select a theme that you like.
We have many different choices here to help you get started, in different categories. Don’t purchase it yet, just find the one that looks like what you want to accomplish.
Business or Startup
Focus on Images
STEP 2 | Assess theme customization.
Look for screenshots of the theme options or a solid list of features in the marketing copy about the theme. Be sure and go through the Live Previews and look at what is included. Some key things you may want to have out of the box are Social Sharing, Disqus for Comments, Sidebar Menu, Footer Widgets, Google Analytics, Logo Upload, Google Fonts/fonts you can change, Menu/Navigation coded that you can add to or change, Color customization or particular special effects.
Look at the list of features at the Dining Around theme and you will see how well they describe what is included in the options. If the theme you like doesn’t have a detailed list, send them a Message or leave a Comment about the theme and ask what it includes… this stuff is important because it helps you determine what you may have to have custom-coded by a professional Tumblr developer (we can do this for you… we will get to that later.)
STEP 3 | Purchase your chosen theme and download it.
The developer usually has instructions about how to upload the theme into your Tumblr account. If they don’t, this guide might help.
STEP 4 | Populate the theme with your content.
Depending on whether or not this is a brand new site or something that currently exists in WordPress that you want to change to Tumblr, you may want to import posts from another blog into this Tumblr theme. Here is a guide for WordPress-to-Tumblr – you can find a lot more posts online for help with this part of the process.
STEP 5 | Replace or add graphics to make your theme unique.
At this point in the process you may be able to replace and create your own graphics for the site, or need help. Some things may be easy to update, depending on your theme – like the logo. Others may require you to edit the HTML to make changes. It just depends on how detailed the theme developer was in terms of customization options.
STEP 6 | Have features custom-coded that aren’t in the theme you purchased.
Sometimes a theme just needs some tweaks to the design or needs one or two custom/advanced features coded to meet a need or have you feel happier with it. If this is the case you may need to hire a developer to make it just right.
STEP 7 | Assign a custom domain name to your Tumblr.
For the final finishing touch, we highly recommend you use your own custom domain name with your Tumblr blog. This guide will help you.
If all of this sounds like too much work for you, or you want a custom-designed theme and you have some budget, contact us! (Expect $250-1500 depending on what you need.) We can help you customize a theme to make it more unique, design a custom theme, or code advanced features to meet your needs.
If you’re not sure whether you should go with WordPress or a Tumblr, we have an old post here that may help you decide.