Migrating from Tumblr to WordPress

Don’t get me wrong, Tumblr is great. But with my so many experience with the different blogging engine and even other CMS’s, I always find myself going back to realizing that WordPress is way better.

It had been said many times that it is very important to choose the right blogging platform from the very start. But what do you do when you find yourself making the same mistake as others when they started out their blog?

Here are two ways you can import your posts from Tumblr to WordPress. For purposes of our test, I had more than 1,300 posts at my Tumblr blog that I tried migrating.

Tumblr2WordPress Utility

The process basically involves visiting the utility page over at benapps.net, key in your tumblr url, tweak some settings, and download the WXR (WordPress eXtended Rss) file (in .xml extension) —which by the way is the same format when you export a WordPress blog.

Then heading over to the WordPress blog you want to migrate your posts into, you would import the same just as you would a regular WordPress WXR file.

The results:

  • 1,218 posts were successfully imported, that leaves me missing with more than 100 posts — more or less 90% successful import;
  • As expected, comments were not imported. But that is something we can have a work around later with the Disqus plugin for WordPress (I was using Disqus as well in my Tumblr blog);
  • Posts like photos, audio and videos (which don’t really have post titles by Tumblr standard) have blank titles — that leaves too many polishing yet to be done;
  • Media are still hosted at Tumblr — media files weren’t imported;
  • Tags are properly reflected in the new WordPress blog;
  • WordPress can very well handle post redirection from the original Tumblr permalink structure;

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The Posterous Route

If you have not yet known, Posterous has a feature that can import your whole Tumblr blog. On the other hand, WordPress.com has a feature to import from a Posterous blog. Using this route, and the same Tumblr numbers from above, we have noted:

  • Only around 700 posts were successfully imported — a dismal 50% turnout;
  • Comments were not as well imported;
  • Posts like photos, audio and videos (which don’t really have post titles by Tumblr standard) have common post titles, i.e., “Untitled” — that leaves much more polishing to be done;
  • Media files were actually imported into WordPress.com servers;
  • Actual tags were not imported. Instead, posts were categorized accordingly as Photo, Audio, Video, etc.
  • A new permalink structure, different than the original Tumblr structure that included post ID’s — this would surely lead to bad links;

Conclusion

So far, these two are the only viable solution to migrating from Tumblr to WordPress. Either way can be a pain, especially if you already have a huge blog at Tumblr. Either way, you pay a price for not starting out with the right blogging platform — charge to experience. But in the end of the day, you have to do it if you really need to.

We just hope someday there’ll be a better and smoother solution to help us Tumblr users out migrating to WordPress.

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6 thoughts on “Migrating from Tumblr to WordPress

  1. Tumblr2WP: A WooThemes Tumblr Exporter | Deuts.NET

  2. Rubbish! WordPress isn’t better or worse than tumblr. It’s a completely different service. Tumblr doesn’t have an open source platform for once. Guess why?
    Because it’s a social media platform…

    • I don’t think this post is about WordPress vs. Tumblr. Exactly your point, what do you do if you want to get away from the social media that is Tumblr and get going with the more customizable WordPress. 😀

  3. “Exactly your point?”

    What do you mean?

    The rubbish I spotted was this:

    “I always find myself going back to realizing that WordPress is way better.”

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