Best Tumblr alternatives: WordPress and other replacements for Tumblr

Are you looking for a list of Tumblr alternatives? I’ve listed and reviewed the best blogging platforms you can use instead of Tumblr.

Tumblr has been on a dramatic downhill slide over the last few years and many users are looking for better alternatives.

On August 12th 2019, it was announced that Tumblr will be sold to Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, for a nominal amount. It will be interesting to see what changes they will make.

Let’s get started with the list of alternatives to Tumblr.

  1. WordPress.org
  2. Mastodon
  3. Reddit
  4. Newgrounds
  5. Ello
  6. MeWe
  7. Swarmr
  8. Pixiv
  9. Twitter
  10. Ghost
  11. Posthaven
  12. Listed
  13. Write.as
  14. WordPress.com
  15. Medium
  16. Blogger
  17. How to move your Tumblr content to WordPress
  18. Steps to using Tumblr to complement your main blog

WordPress.org

The recommended Tumblr alternative

WordPress is a powerful, open-source alternative to Tumblr. With WordPress, you’re entirely in charge. You completely own and control your blog.

I run all my projects on WordPress, and more than 75 million other bloggers and brands do so too. It’s the most used blogging platform with over 35% market share.

How to set up your WordPress blog

WordPress is open-source and free to use. You do need a domain name (address people will type to get access to your site) and space on a server (computer that delivers your content when requested by a visitor) to make your site accessible on the Internet.

WordPress hosting provider that I use and recommend

My site is reader-supported. If you make a purchase using my link, I earn a commission at not additional cost to you. This helps keep my site advertising free.

There are so many capable and affordable WordPress web hosting providers. I recommend GreenGeeks. I pay them to host my site and they have everything you need for a great WordPress user experience:

  • GreenGeeks is an independent company based in Los Angeles, California. They are specialized in WordPress hosting with more than 10 years of experience, more than 40,000 customers and are home to more than 500,000 sites.
100% server uptime and fast loadtime

You get a free domain name, fast loading site, automatic updates, automatic backup and top security. There’s a 99.9% uptime guarantee. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee just in case.

  • Unlike most providers, their servers are environmentally friendly and your site will be 100% carbon neutral. They use energy-efficient hardware and purchase wind energy credits for 3 times the amount of energy they consume.
  • They provide 24/7/365 customer support via chat, email and phone. I’ve never had to call, but I’ve emailed and chatted multiple times. They’re fast, responsive and unlike some other providers I’ve dealt with actually solve any issues.

11 steps to register your domain name and install WordPress

It will take you 10 minutes to get your WordPress site up and running. Here are the step by step instructions:

Step 1: Visit GreenGeeks and choose your plan. I pay for the Pro plan at $5.95/month as I run more than one site. The Lite plan at $2.95/month is the best value for those with one site only. Click the big green “Get Started” button.

Choose your green hosting plan

Step 2: Now you need to register your domain name or transfer an existing domain name. GreenGeeks provides you with your chosen domain name for free. Type your domain name and click on the “Check Availability” button.

Green hosting order form

Step 3: Fill in all your details in “Account Information“.

Your account information

Step 4: In “Package Information” you see the summary of your chosen plan. To get the best value monthly price you need to sign up for 3 years.

3 years of hosting on the Lite plan is billed $106.20 total. If you wish to purchase one year only, the total price will be $59.40.

You can choose your “Server Location“. Options are the United States, Canada and Europe. Pick the one closest to where the majority of your target audience is.

Coupon Code” with the highest value is automatically applied. You always get the best possible deal so no need to take any action.

Domain WHOIS Privacy” at $9.95/year is selected by default but it’s possible to deselect it if you wish.

Every domain name registered has a publicly viewable database which includes the contact info of the domain name owner. This option protects your personal information with an anonymous registration.

Package information section

Step 5: Fill in your credit card details and click on the “Create Account & Get Started” button. Then wait for an email with your GreenGeeks account login details.

Payment information

Step 6: Log in to your GreenGeeks account and click the “CPANEL” button. Search for “Soft” in the top box to locate the “Softaculous Apps Installer“. This is an easy way to install WordPress.

Look for Softaculous installer

Step 7: Click on WordPress and on the next page click on the “Install Now” button.

Install WordPress now

Step 8: In “Site Settings” type your Site Name and Site Description. You don’t want your site to be “my WordPress blog” or “just another WordPress site”.

That doesn’t tell your visitor much about what you care about. Fill in your title in “Site Name” and explain what your site is about in the “Description”.

Don’t worry about making this perfect as you can change it at any time in your WordPress dashboard.

Choose your site name and description

Step 9: In “Admin Account” select a new personal username and a strong password. These will be the login details you will use to enter your WordPress dashboard.

Don’t use the default admin username as it makes you a target of brute force attacks. Create a new and unique username for yourself.

Choose your admin username and password

Step 10: Click on “Advanced Options” and choose to Auto Upgrade WordPress to “Any latest version available”. Auto upgrade plugins and themes too. Set “Automated backups” to “Once a week”. These are the best practices to secure your WordPress site.

Choose to auto upgrade and auto backup

Step 11: Now you can “Select Theme” that you like. By default, you’ll get the great and modern looking Twenty Twenty theme.

You can change to a different theme with one click in your WordPress dashboard at any later stage so don’t worry about making a perfect choice now.

Click “Install” and wait until your site has been set up. You can now log in on yourname.com/wp-admin/ with your WordPress username and password.

Select a theme and click install

Mastodon

Price: Free.

What is it: Open-source and decentralized social network. No ads, no tracking, and no censorship.

Reddit

Price: Free.

What is it: A very popular social network with a large and loyal audience.

Newgrounds

Price: Free.

What is it: A social network for artists where you can share your content and follow others.

Ello

Price: Free.

What is it: Global community of artists and creators. Built by artists, for artists.

MeWe

Price: Free.

What is it: A social network without ads and spyware. Your personal data and content are yours and only yours.

Swarmr

Price: Free.

What is it: Community committed to free speech, gender equality, and privacy rights.

Pixiv

Price: Free.

What is it: Online community for artists and other creatives.

Twitter

Price: Free.

What is it: You probably already have an account at this social network.

Ghost

A good blog alternative to Tumblr

Price: Free to self-host.

What is it: Open-source, non-profit, transparent and independent blogging platform.

Posthaven

Small, self-sustaining blogging platform

Price: $5 per month.

What is it: From the founders of blogging platform Posterous which was acquired by Twitter and shut down.

It’s a simple blogging platform with a pledge that they will last forever, are not looking for investors and have a self-sustaining business model.

Listed

Privacy and cryptocurrency integration

Price: Free. Needs a premium subscription of $34.99/year if you want to connect your own domain name.

What is it: Open-source, minimal and no-interface blogging platform using the end-to-end encrypted privacy writing app Standard Notes to post your articles.

Write.as

Built with strong privacy principles

Price: Free. $0.83 per month for the ability to add your own domain name.

What is it: Ad-free, distraction-free and independent blogging platform funded by its customers. It’s built around privacy with strong principles and your identity as a blogger is being kept confidential.

WordPress.com

Price: Free.

What is it: The hosted version of WordPress.org software. Feature restricted and ad-based free version.

WordPress.com and its parent company Automattic are the new owner of Tumblr. Automattic has announced that they see Tumblr as a complementary platform and they don’t plan to change it.

Medium

Price: Free.

What is it: Commercial platform launched in 2012. A place to publish your writing.

Blogger

Price: Free.

What is it: Commercial platform.

Blogger is one of the early blogging platforms later acquired by Google. Easy to start, easy to use with a decent selection of design themes.

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? See also my list of 40+ of the best blogging platforms.

How to move your Tumblr content to WordPress

For people who are ready to switch their main blog from Tumblr to WordPress, there is a free Importer plugin that migrates all your posts and content.

The process is all done in the browser, takes only a few minutes of your time and you do not need any tech know-how. This is the step-by-step process:

  1. In your WordPress admin go into Tools – Import
  2. Click “Tumblr” to install the “Importer” plugin that imports the content from your Tumblr
  3. In the “Install Importer” pop-up click “Install Now”
  4. “Importer” is now being installed. When done click “Activate Plugin & Run Importer”
  5. Type in your Tumblr login details and click “Connect To Tumblr”
  6. Select which WordPress user should be listed as the author of imported posts and click “Import This Blog”

The process of importing your Tumblr content to your WordPress has now started.

It will take few minutes depending on how much content you have, so do wait a bit and click on “Refresh View” to see the status of how many posts, drafts, and pages have been imported from Tumblr.

When the import has finished you can see all your Tumblr posts on your new WordPress blog.

Note that your old likes and reblogs won’t be imported as that is part of the Tumblr network and cannot be replicated on your new home.

Tumblr – summary of pros and cons

Tumblr looks and functions more like a social media network than a content publishing platform.

It makes it easy for people to follow other people and post their own short updates, pictures, videos, and quotes in a very simple interface.

  • Tumblr is all about the curation of content – you go to explore, like, repost and share content other people have created
  • Posts are normally short, don’t have too many words but include a lot of visual and multimedia aspects such as images and videos
  • It allows you to follow and connect with like-minded people
  • Your domain name is something like yoursite.tumblr.com. The process of buying and setting up your own domain name cannot be done directly from. Tumblr interface but can be done via a domain registrar
  • There is a decent range of different design themes – some free, some premium
  • There are no plugins for you to add additional features and functionality
  • In case you’re into HTML or CSS you have the option for limited customization of the themes
  • There are very limited options for monetizing your blog. You can use Google Adsense. Including affiliate links in your content will get you banned as Tumblr terminates blogs with “affiliate marketing”

WordPress – summary of pros and cons

WordPress is a very flexible platform that gives you full control and ownership in everything from the look and feel, the way you publish and present your content and to the way you monetize it.

The brilliant thing about WordPress is the large community of people modifying it and adding to it. Open source thrives on ideas from the community and WordPress benefits from that.

There is a hosted and self-hosted version of WordPress. WordPress.org (self-hosted) is the home of the platform, while WordPress.com is the hosted version.

The difference between the two is like owning or renting a house. See my WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison for full details.

I use and recommend the self-hosted WordPress.org where you actually own and control your blog.

  • WordPress is all about the creation of content – it’s mostly used for the creation of new and original content
  • You have the complete control and ownership of your blog
  • You need to get your own domain name and a hosting server
  • You can monetize any way that you wish
  • Access to thousands of free designs that can help you create a unique looking blog
  • Access to thousands of free plugins that help you add any feature and functionality
  • Several Tumblr-styled designs and plugins to turn your WordPress into Tumblr-like blog

Steps to using Tumblr to complement your main blog

Tumblr is more of a social media network rather than a blog publishing platform and it can be used to find visitors and build an audience for your main blog.

Instead of choosing Tumblr vs. WordPress, you should get both of them to work together. This combination could be more powerful for you than using either of them on its own.

Tumblr might not be up to WordPress standards in terms of content control, ownership, and freedom but its positives can still be used to complement your main WordPress blog.

People rightly consider Tumblr not as a publishing platform but more of a social network.

You may have similar issues with other hosted platforms. Take a look at my Blogger vs. WordPress comparison post for details.

You should see Tumblr as another distribution platform. Get the most out of its social properties to attract attention and traffic to your content.

Setup your Tumblr profile

  • Create your Tumblr profile
  • Fill in your full details
  • Find a nice looking design
  • Make sure to include a link back to your main WordPress blog and your other social media profiles from your Tumblr sidebar and biography section

Follow and interact with other curators

The first part of getting an audience on Tumblr is following other sites.

  • Find people who curate content about things relevant to what you are doing, explore their content and follow them
  • Don’t just follow but interact as well
  • “Like” the content that you love, “reblog” posts that you find interesting. This way you will be getting attention from Tumblr users that you have shared content from

Publish visual post excerpts with links to your main site

Publish your post excerpts, interesting facts and quotes, and pictures on Tumblr and link back to the full article on your main WordPress blog.

Tumblr content is generally very visually appealing. It has to look good and be eye-catching to grab the attention. Use images, GIF’s, quotes on images, infographics, and videos.

Tag your content properly

Tags are key to getting your content discovered by a wider audience on Tumblr. Tag everything you do and do not be afraid to tag each post with a large number of relevant keywords.

Collect popular keywords by visiting the “Explore” section, seeing what tags other people are using and searching for different keywords.

There you can discover trending searches, trending blogs, content that’s trending, staff picks and so much more.

Aim to publish content that’s tagged with the relevant and trending tags that you have discovered.

Use a WordPress plugin to automate this process

If you prefer to save some time steps 3 and 4 can actually be automated thanks to one of the great WordPress plugins.

The plugin you should activate is Tumblr Crosspostr. It allows you to automatically cross-post your WordPress blog posts to your Tumblr blog.

The plugin fits perfectly for this strategy as it also optimizes your posts for Tumblr by either importing your existing WordPress tags or by allowing you to choose which tags to add to your post on Tumblr.

An easy option that will make you more productive.

This is it. Everything you needed to figure out about Tumblr vs. WordPress. Plus why WordPress is a great Tumblr alternative and the right choice for your blog.

By Marko Saric

I’m on a mission to help you share what you love, get discovered by people who love the same things too and make the web a better place at the same time.