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How to import a Tumblr blog into WordPress

Posted on Dec 29th, 2010 by

Tumblr to WordPress

I feel like standing in front of a rail crossing, when the red lights just won’t go off. Is it worth driving to the next rail crossing, just a minute further down the road? Are the lights defective, or is the crossing closed for a true reason? The longer I wait, the less it will be worth driving off.

As a metaphor, that is how I feel waiting for Tumblr to get its act together after month’s of outages. I have a dozen blogs on Tumblr, many of them are aggregators, creating blogposts from imported RSS feeds. I know (the self-hosted version) has a cute aggregation plug-in that does the same job, so should I move to WordPress, or wait for Tumblr to solve its problems?

Each of my Tumblr blogs has thousands of posts, so migrating them won’t be a small feat. Plus I will have to install a new blog on my server, redo the theme-ing, install the plug-ins etc.. before the blog goes live. Maybe Tumblr will solve its problems tomorrow? Or the day after, or the next? Or maybe I will discover new problems with the WordPress aggregator tool that will keep me busy for days too…?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, after standing in front of the rail crossing for weeks, I decided to move one blog as a trial. The original blog (I left its remains on Tumblr) contained 20,000 blogposts ( ! ), and I did not want to lose those. So one of the main challenges to move my Tumblr blog to WordPress was to migrate all blogposts. All 20,000 of them…

Here is how I did it:

There are three steps in migrating your Tumblr blogposts to WordPress:

Step 1: Export your Tumblr posts
Step 2: Process your exported Tumblr posts (optional)
Step 3: Import the export file into WordPress

Step one. How to export your Tumblr blogposts?

Tumblr does not feature an “export function”. I found a list of possibilities, but none really suited me, until I stumbled upon  Tumblr2WordPress (by Ben Ward). And Ben saved my day.

Just run Tumblr2WordPress, enter your blog’s Tumblr subdomain (don’t use your custom domain), select if you want to export to (the WordPress hosted blogs) or (for selfhosted blogs) and … click export. The exported posts will be downloaded onto your PC, as an .XML file…
That should do it for most Tumblr blogs.

(Update March 1, 2010: Ben’s source code is still available, but the executable program is no longer available on this link. You can still run similar code from Tumblr2WP or Tumble2WordPress – With thanks to Aaron and Parneix for the updates)

If you get an error “Tumblr API Request Failed”, this means -once again- Tumblr is failing (as it does frequently in the past months), and the API request to export the posts gives an error. Try it out manually with a command like: – If you get an error, the only thing you can is “try again later”.
At the time of writing, it seems Tumblr is blocking API-calls during the US-day time (afternoon and evenings mostly)…

If you are a freak, like me, and have 20,000 posts in your blog, Ben’s routine might give a time-out. I had to download the PHP source code and install it on one of my servers, so I could dramatically increase the system resources. For the nerds amongst you, I put the PHP code in a subdirectory, and added a php.ini file to it, with the following parameters:

upload_max_filesize = 20M
post_max_size = 30M
memory_limit = 400M
max_execution_time = 600

… but again, 99% of you might not have 20,000 blogposts, so Ben’s hosted routine will do just fine.

Step 2: Processing your exported Tumblr posts

In normal circumstances, you can skip this step, but if you are a purist, like me, you might want to clean up the .XML file a bit to avoid some issues when importing the file in step 3.

You can edit the .XML file with a normal ASCII editor (WordPad does just fine for me, the simple Windows XP user). Each post is stored between <item>... </item> tags.

For each post, you will need to clean up two things with a simple search and replace:

One: Clean up the category tags
In some cases, the WordPress importer will create a single category for each imported post. Import 100 posts, and you will get 100 junk categories. While those are easy to clean up after importing the posts, it is better to avoid the problem than curing it.
The only thing you need to do, is to delete the two category tag lines, for each post:

<category domain="category" nicename="link"><![CDATA[link]]></category>

Two: clean up the date warnings.
Under some circumstances, you will get a date warning in the .XML file:

<wp:post_date><br />
<b>Warning</b>: date() [<a href=''></a>]: It is not safe (blabla)
2010-12-24 12:00:58</wp:post_date>

Just search for that string, and replace it with the date you find for each post, for example:

<wp:post_date>2010-12-24 12:00:58</wp:post_date>

Three: Split up the file in smaller chunks
Oh, and yes, there is a third thing, before I forget: WordPress can not import file larger than 8 Mb. So if your .XML export file is larger than 8 Mb, split it into individual small files.

Beware: Each file should contain the header section, which starts with

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>

and ends with:


and each file should end with:


In other words: create a series of small files, which contain all posts (between <item>... </item> ) and paste the file header and end tags.

Hey, and forget all of this, if your .XML file is smaller than 8 Mb !

Step 3: Import your .XML file into WordPress

Now for the fun (and easy part): Import your .XML file with the WordPress Importer utility ( Dashboard > Tools > Import ).

The importer gives you a series of input formats. Select “WordPress”. And if you don’t have that plugin, you will have to install it first, with one click (don’t you just love WordPress? In Drupal, that would cost you four hours of work.. :) )…

Now you are ready to import your .XML file:

WordPress importer

Ready for the WordPress magic?

WordPress will give you the option to define the “blog user” name you want as the author for the imported posts, chew on things for a while, and in the end, list you the names for all the posts it has imported.

And ready you are…

In my case, I converted this Tumblr blog into this WordPress blog in a day, including the import of 20,000 blogposts, the theme-ing and all other WordPress goodies involved in starting a new selfhosted blog…

Pretty neat, no?

Update Jan 18, 2010:
Important remark (as per comment from Parneix below):
Unlike WordPress to WordPress import where media (video, pictures) which are in the input blog’s media library are also imported into the new blog’s media library, images in posts exported from Tumblr and imported to WordPress will be “hotlinked”. This means they won’t be copied into the new WordPress blog’s media library, and will actually continue to link to the Tumblr media library.
As long as you keep your old Tumblr blog alive (don’t delete the Tumblr blog nor any of the posts), that should not be a problem, even though it is a bit of a drag…
The workaround is to automatically import hotlinked images to your local media library using this plugin for instance.

Thanks Parneix for the rectification!

Update March 1, 2010:
Ben’s source code is still available, but the executable program is no longer available on the link I provided in this post. You can still run similar code from Tumblr2WP or Tumble2WordPress.
- With thanks to Parneix and Aaron for the updates

76 Comments to “How to import a Tumblr blog into WordPress”

  1. John says:

    Nice tip, thanks!

  2. Susan Dee says:

    I am also getting tired of Tumblr problems. Thanks for giving me the courage to change over.

  3. Matthew H says:

    Excellent post. Tumblr was good while it lasted, but now it is time to say goodbye.

  4. Leon says:

    Thank you for a great Blog and some superb posts. As a new Blogger, I know that I have a lot to learn, and who better to learn than from someone like yourself who has achieved so much? Your Blog is a true inspiration, and I have subscribed to your RSS in order to continue the learning from someone as passionate about Blogging as yourself. My wish for 2011 is to have a mentor of your caliber to guide me to achieve my dreams of being a better Blogger. Have a great day.

  5. i’ve just known about it from here and a question for you, how to auto tumblr my blogspot posts? Thank you

    • Peter says:

      I used autotumblr to import RSS feeds into my Tumblr blogs for the past two years, but the past month, this no longer worked.
      That is why I decided to pull away from Tumblr to WordPress…


  6. Parneix says:


    It worked well for you because you gave a title to each one of your Tumblr post. Most Tumblr’s post type don’t make use of title and this is a major problem when importing into WordPress. Plus, it worth noting that Ben’s script won’t import media: it will hotlink pictures to Tumblr’s servers. You’ll need to use a plugin to automatically import the hotlinked pictures.

    Thanks for the detailed steps and instructions!


    • Peter says:

      - you are fully correct that the script won’t import media, and will hotlink (which is not a problem for my imported blogs as they were hotlinked anyway, but could be a problem for other people)…. Do you know of a plugin that will import the hotlinked pictures?

      - on the lack of a post title: that should not be a problem, if you import with the default option to use the Tumble Post ID as your wordpress blogpost title.
      In my case, “″ became “″
      just like
      “” became “″ (post title dropped).

      or is there something I did not get?


  7. Parneix says:

    Hi Peter,

    1) Yes, there is a plugin just for this: Hot Linked Image Cacher. You’ll need first to import your Tumblr blog. All images will be hotlinked. Then you run the plugin and it will download everything (that is every images) on the server where your WordPress installation is located.

    2) Hum. Are we talking about the same thing? I’m aware of Ben’s script options to control the way URL’s are imported. But what about the actual post title (not the slug, nor the URL)? There’s no easy solution for this problem if your posts in Tumblr do not have title: they will be imported into WordPress without a proper title. What Ben’s script needs is a title extractor. He’s aware of the issue (according to his GitHub page) and is working on it (I hope).


    • Peter says:

      Point 1) I found a similar plugin for the hotlinking problem. Cool.

      Point 2) Sorry, sorry. My mistake. Thought you meant the URL. How is WordPress dealing with it when the imported posts don’t have a title?


      • Parneix says:

        Hi Peter,

        Well, Tumblr and WordPress are two very different blogging platform. WordPress was not build to work without title.

        However, that’s exactly what will happen if you import posts without title from Tumblr to WordPress (like picture posts and quote posts): they will be imported OK… but they won’t have any title.

        What does it means? For one, if the theme you’re using, like most WordPress theme, uses the title to link the post to its unique URL, well you won’t be able to click anywhere to get to this specific post page. You’ll have to change the theme and create something like a “Link” or “Permalink” mention somewhere (alongside the tags of the post for example) to be able to display the link to the unique URL of the post.

        Then although I’m not a 100% sure about this point, something tells me it wouldn’t be a great SEO decision.

        On the administrative side (when working from the dashboard), WordPress will use the post slug to identify it. Which can become quite confusing if you get a thousand posts with slugs that display only numbers (non-descriptive URL).

        I guess some won’t mind. For those who mind, the solution lies in the implementation of a title extractor within Ben’s script. There are a couple of issue at stakes: Where and what to extract (where to stop the extraction: at a certain number of words, or characters?)? How to get rid of HTML coding and special characters (if any are extracted in the process)?

        Another point worth mentioning: Tumblr is able to automatically generate title for each and every posts published on its platform. That’s right: even picture posts and quote posts can display a title. Confusing? Check out the RSS feed of any Tumblr blog, you’ll understand what I mean: they all have titles. How is that possible? Tumblr is using the very trick I described above: they are using an extractor to produce a title (not a cute one though) from the first few words of any kind of post.

        “Wait, then it means I can import those titles? Problem solved?!” Unfortunately not. You can use the function in your theme if you want to (it’s the function {PostSummary} ) but it’s not readable by Tumblr’s API. Ben’s script, which fetch Tumblr’s API, wouldn’t be able to make use of it. Kind of lame, but it was confirmed to me in an email by Tumblr support team a couple of weeks ago. Until they make this function readable by the API, we’ll have to figure out something else.

        I wrote a small post about it on StackOverflow :

        Hope it helps,


  8. David Merritt says:

    How long did this entire process take you?

    • Peter says:

      Once I got the hang of it, it takes no more than half an hour, maximum, if there are no more than 5,000 blogposts to be migrated from Tumblr to WordPress… If there are more, they had to be split up, which took more time…


  9. Z says:

    Many thanks for the article. Ben’ exporter seems like just the ticket, but I’m having an issue that I’m wondering if anyone else has encountered: a vast majority of my tumblr posts are chats, and I’m getting no xml data from them. All I get is:


    Seems like I should have something within that content tag! Anyone have any bright ideas? Many thanks –

    • Peter says:


      No idea.. Have never used the chat post feature on Tumblr… You might ask the author of the plugin, or post a question on the WordPress user forum…


  10. Z says:

    Sorry, my code was stripped from that last comment. The xml is:


  11. Parneix says:

    Big news: apparently Ben Ward and Hao Chen had been working together on the Tumblr-to-Wordpress importer. It’s available and it’s working: 1) It does create title on the fly (I’ll need to check the XML file to see exactly how it works: I don’t know if it takes the first words of the post or if it looks for headers tag); 2) And it has the ability to import media on the fly as well. It’s here:


  12. Parneix says:

    I think I may have been wrong. This new exporter offered by the guys running the Woo Themes Project (premium paying theme for WordPress) was build by Pete Mall (a WordPress developer) using Hao and Ben script (they are rightfully credited, but not as “authors”). However, Pete Mall’s script doesn’t seem to be opensource: you won’t be able to mess with it, to modify it or to tweak it.

    Ben Ward did update his own script a couple of days ago (Feb. 16). But the title generator is an issue postponed to version 0.5 (we’re now at version 0.4):

    Anyway, for the moment at least it’s one more solution to move from Tumblr to WordPress and the solutions are getting better.


  13. FYI, seems like Tumblr2WordPress has moved from the links you provide to:
    (as linked from the repository)

    Cheers, thanks for the detailed write-up, now let’s see if I can get this to work…


  14. Myst says:

    Thank you for the sites although they seem very selective with tumblr. Since I could only get 1 of my url’s to download as a xml & it’s not even my primary blog. Keep on getting Error Fetching Tumblr Posts. Anyone else getting this?

    • Peter says:

      Tumblr’s API seems to be disabled in the US afternoon and evening.. Give it a try early in the morning US time.

  15. Myst says:

    @Peter: Though that doesn’t make sense if only one tumblr url went through & it wasn’t even the first url I tried.
    I tried with my primary a few times & got the same message, I gave up trying with my primary [] and tried my 2nd [] and had no problems.

    My 2nd url is connected to my 1st, it’s just a group blog.

    All I get is the following:
    Warning: file_get_contents() [function.file-get-contents]: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: No such host is known. in C:\web\vhosts\\httpdocs\tumblr\index.php on line 76

    Warning: file_get_contents(http:// [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: No such host is known. in C:\web\vhosts\\httpdocs\tumblr\index.php on line 76

    Fatal error: Uncaught exception ‘Exception’ with message ‘String could not be parsed as XML’ in C:\web\vhosts\\httpdocs\tumblr\index.php:77 Stack trace: #0 C:\web\vhosts\\httpdocs\tumblr\index.php(77): SimpleXMLElement->__construct(”) #1 {main} thrown in C:\web\vhosts\\httpdocs\tumblr\index.php on line 77

  16. Fernando Pizarro says:

    This was really useful! I only had a few posts in Tumblr and was already feeling trapped…

  17. max says:

    I have a ton of tumblr posts (around 25K) and am not tech savvy enough to set up the custom script you ran. Any chance the script is still running on your server?

  18. cj says:

    I tried using the but It only exported 1 post and I have about 30 plus posts. I don’t have an experience with programming or php so I’m afraid that link is the only solution for me but it is not really.

    I hope you can guide me on this or help me Peter.


    • Peter says:

      can you give me the URL of your tumblr blog? Let me have a go at it.


      • cj says:

        This is one of my client’s site
        Thanks Peter

        • Peter says:


          Yeah, I can see is crashing at the moment.. I dunno what’s wrong.

          I have my own hosted exporter. I exported your site, emailed it to you just now.

          If anyone else needs help, just drop a comment or email me.. I’d be happy to help.


          • Cj says:

            Hi Peter,

            First of all, thank you for this effort. I appreciate your help bigtime.

            I just received your email with the attachment. I tried importing it but it only import the first or latest article (1 article only). Do you happen to know the reason?

            Or maybe I did something wrong which I don’t know?

            What I did was I go to Tools >> Import >> WordPress and uploaded the xml file.

            Hope you can help me again.


          • Cherelle says:


            I see that you were able to help the user who attempted to export his site using tumblr2wp when the program only exported one post. Unfortunately, I am having the same problem. Would you be able to help me as well? I would appreciate it immensely!

            Thank you so much!


          • Peter says:

            (maybe I should do this for a living :-) )

            Contacting you via email, Cherelle!


          • Peter says:

            The export issue was solved, though Cherelle seems to still have an “WP import” problem (which did not occur on my test blog,… )

            I am not sure why so many people seems to have issues with importing.. (Version of WordPress? Version of the Import plugin?)

  19. Cj says:


    I’m using by the way, (selfhosted blog).
    If you want the login details then I can send it to you in private.

    Just let me know if that helps.

    Again thanks

    • Peter says:

      All’s well that ends well… Issue resolved…
      (think the main problem was a protection issue with the upload folder)


  20. Tom says:

    Hi Peter,
    reading through your posts it seems that you are the one who can help me.
    I have used the WP importer to import an xml file from my tumblr blog – followed the instructions – import was fine everything seem to be there. Then I tried to change something on a imported post and trouble started – post disappeared and could be published any more. ok so deleted everything – tried again – the importer comes with the error message “the file does not exist” – it actually does exist because the imported uploaded it to the ftp location …/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10 and added a _.txt to the file

    It seems like it can only import one time? I even renamed by tumblr address – tried – same result “the file does not exist” but its in the directory

    Can you help me?

    • Peter says:

      Hi Tom..

      I assume this is selfhosted WordPress?

      These might be two unrelated issues: the fact that the post disappeared when you edited it, and the fact that your importer does not properly import the posts anymore..

      For the importer problem, it smells like you have a protection problem on your server, or in your upload directory. I *think* to remember the importer uploads the file to a .txt and after upload, renames it. The error seems to indicate the actual upload goes ok, or gets stuck in the process OR the rename does not work. Thus the actual importer does not find the file it expects.

      The first problem can be anything, but knowing you have the 2nd problem too, I would look at folder protection issues. Check this. But really, the 2nd problem by itself can be caused by quite a range of problems.

      If you can not find an obvious problem, switch to the default WordPress theme, disable all plugins, and try again. Debug further by enabling each plugin one by one.


  21. tom says:

    Hi Peter, thanks for the quick reply
    yes – on the ftp it renames the files. Before and then on the ftp its called tumblr_saltointernationals.tumblr.com_.xml_.txt
    strange thing I can see the file in the wp -admin panel but cannot delete or edit or view it.
    just tried to create a new page – wont let me

    Looks like I created quite a mess

    • Peter says:

      It does not look like the cause of the problem is the import of the blogposts. It might be triggered by it, but I think the cause is a different problem. I imported or helped people import dozens of Tumblr blogs, and never saw anything like this..

      I suspected a file/folder protection problem, but if you can not even create a new page, that might not be the case (a new page is a database operation, not a file operation)…

      Would start a the standard debugging procedure: disable all bells and whistles, back to barebone wordpress and see if it works then. If not, you do have a problem. Would suggest you check then with the forum on… I am sure someone, more knowledgeable than me, will help you debugging on the forum.

  22. tom says:

    oh..that does not sound good – please don’t tell me I have to re-install the DB again – ok its only a few hours work with all the SEO and names and menue that I have created so far.
    But I do think I have a permission problem – changed all files on ftp to 777 for now but still cannot delete the file in the wp admin

  23. tom says:

    just “fabricated”the total crash I had before – locked out. no Choice now – un-install and re-install.
    But anyway thank for your help

    • Peter says:

      Hmm… sorry to hear that… My bet is now that it was a problem with the database.

      Good luck with the re-installation… Start with a brand fresh database… And be careful at which plugins and themes you enable. Only use proven ones..

  24. tom says:

    Hi Peter,
    its me again and again I am in trouble. Actually same as in the very beginning. I did a complete clean re-install and everything was fine. Even the importer was working great and I could import and even edit all tumblr posts – Really happy
    Today I updated the plugin slick social something and bang – same as last time – I was logged out and since then everythime I try to log in as admin: BLOG.SALTOWEB.BIZ/wp-admin/ and enter my correct admin user and pw I get redirected to but cannot log in.
    I found same as last time – if I disable the htaccess file of my page root – I can log in – of course the site doesn’t work any more because I believe it uses some redirect commands from the htaccess file.
    When I activate the file again – same cannot log into wp.
    It seems there is somehow a conflict with the htaccess file or maybe with whats written in it – this I have no idea how to interpret. Support at Godaddy told me after the first install attempt failed to deactivate the htaccess file and the php5.ini file – worked after the install I activated them again – no problem – Do you have any ideas what could be wrong?
    Just to be sure here is the copy of the content of the site htacces that might be the problem or uncover another problem
    # Turn on URL rewriting
    RewriteEngine On

    # Installation directory
    RewriteBase /

    # Protect application and system files from being viewed
    RewriteRule ^(application|modules|system) – [F,L]

    # Allow any files or directories that exist to be displayed directly
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteCond $1 !^(index\.php|images|public|robots\.txt|m|mobile)
    # Rewrite all other URLs to index.php/URL
    RewriteRule .* index.php/$0 [PT,L]

    #Test to activate a 301 redirect from www-saltoweb to saltoweb
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

    Thanks for your help

    • Peter says:

      Hi Tom,

      It is pretty difficult to debug like this, as I am blind to the actual plugins you have etc…

      To me, it is obvious that: if everything works, but then the only thing you do, is upgrade a plugin and the trouble starts, that this has to do with the upgrade…

      For the rest, I can see a redirect in your .htaccess (last 3 lines). I am not sure why this is needed. Try to comment it out (prefix with “#”)

      Note that the default wordpress .htaccess code is:

      # BEGIN WordPress

      RewriteEngine On
      RewriteBase /
      RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
      RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

      # END WordPress

      All the other stuff must have been added on manually or by a plugin….


  25. tom says:

    Hi Peter,
    of course I couldn’t wait and have experimented further. One thing to explain. the ht access file from my previous post sits on my root and was created for the website. There is another htaccess that sits in the root of the /blog subdirectory in which wp is installed. This I now call it wp htaccess was empty on #beginn wordpress and #end wordpress.
    Then I changed the site htaccess so it would let me back into wp, there I updated the permalink rule from default to another one. This caused the wp htaccess to look like you described – almost. now the wp looks like this
    # BEGIN WordPress

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

    # END WordPress

    after this mod it seems I can access both wp and the site – however there is still something wrong because I access the admin panel but cannot create a post or anything else – I get redirected to and see the message
    “You are not allowed to edit this post.”
    add’l info when I get click new powt I only see “submit for review”
    It seems somehow I git stripped of all my rights
    also with a disabled site htaccess
    does this make sense?

    • Peter says:

      Hi Tom….

      I have no idea… I suggest you post your question on the forum… There will be more (able) people ready to help there :)

      Do come back after you found the solution… I am curious.

  26. Tom says:

    Hey Peter,
    followed your advise and went to the wp help environment – searching through the forums didn’t help me, so I went here – installed a little chat program, was asking the question and luckily I found a real good guy helping me out of my misery. Just need a little patience in the #wordpress irc channel.
    But here is what happened – it all started with the first tumblr import – I have notice that the post numbers were quite large numbers (like 2,147,483,719 posts). so the Database Post ID’s were exceeding the largest number which PHP could represent, causing everything to go haywire.. What the guy did (no idea were – I guess in the DB itself – renumbered the posts) and now everything seems to be working fine again.

    Now I can continue and I hope I don’t break it again

    • Peter says:

      Hey Tom,

      Thanks for letting me know.. Happy it is solved…
      I would *never* have thought to look in that direction…
      Shows the power of peer-support… I have often been helped through the wordpress forum. Never tried the IRC-chat, but will now! :-)

  27. Mik says:

    Thank You so much. I actually exported my tumblr to wordpress.

  28. Ryan says:


    I exported my tumblrblog into
    As you can see all my pictures are missing. What do I need to do? I also want to know if I can feed my wordpress with tumblr content?

    Please help me out?



    • Peter says:

      Hi Ryan,

      My solutions were all for selfhosted WordPress (, but unfortunately, you use, hosted by WordPress. I can’t help on that.

      On your question of feeding wordpress with Tumblr content on a continous basis, again this is difficult on… On I use the plugin “Feedwordpress”, which takes the RSS from the input blog and converts it into posts on the output blog. I don’t know if that plugin is available on…

      Sorry if I can’t help you further…


  29. PParty says:


    Do you know how I can extract the click-through information associated with the images? I like to give credits for my photos in order for visitors to be able to visit the original websites and I can’t seem to be able to import them from the xml.



    • Peter says:


      Are you using new wordpress built-in Tumblr importer, or are you using the XML importer? Do you import into a blog or to a blog?


      • PParty says:

        I’m using the Importer (WordPress Option) and I’m importing to a self-hosted WordPress install that I’m running locally on XAAMP.

      • PParty says:

        I tried using the plug-in but it failed to retrieve any posts.

      • PParty says:

        “If you are using a custom domain with your Tumblr, you need to turn it off so that the import can work. It seems the plugin needs the [name] address to work properly. Hope this helps someone.”

        I think this was the problem, gonna try to give that plug-in another shot, it might work.

        • Peter says:

          Strange, I imported some blogs with custom domains, and it worked, but that was about a year ago. Tumblr did confirm they recently had problems with custom domains, and redirect loops, though…

          Let me know if it solved your problem. If not, I emailed you with some questions, and we can take it offline via email.


          • Peter says:

            PParty confirmed via Email the issue was resolved, using the “Import from Tumblr” WordPress plugin (as of WordPress 3.3 part of the standard WP package) BUT the custom domain had to be switched off for the import to work properly.


  30. PParty says:

    Basically I’d like to retrieve the {LinkURL} of the posts, but I don’t think that XML exporter does the trick. Do you know of some other tool I could use?

  31. PParty says:

    Also “Add Linked Images To Gallery” is not working for me to import the hotlinked images into the gallery. Are there any alternative plug-ins to do that? Does anyone have the same problem?

  32. Fiona says:


    I followed your steps to import my tumblr posts into wordpress, and it worked like a charm – but now when i try to add a new page/post, it only lets me “submit for review”. When i click that it says “You don’t have permission to access /wp-admin/post.php on this server.” It won’t let me publish anything. Help!

    • Peter says:

      the import does not change anything on your access rights, it just… imports posts. If you can only “submit for review”, it makes me think you did not log in as administrator or editor.. Check if you logged in with the correct profile.


      • Fiona says:

        Hi Peter,

        I only had one profile and that was myself as an administrator so not sure why I can’t update my pages or posts anyymore. I have a feeling that when I imported the tumblr posts, it also imported the access rights on my tumblr page? Not sure how to check if thats the case though. It’ll be good to know why this happened..


        • Peter says:


          when you actually imported the posts via Dashboard – Tools – Import: Did you select “Tumblr” or “WordPress”?

          I have never used the “Tumblr” import function, but only use “WordPress”.

          But even so, the data in the .xml export file does not contain anything that could change the user access rights.

          Can you check the “Role” of your login account. Is it still set to “administrator”?

          Apart from importing, did you do anything else? Did you change any setting in .htaccess?

  33. The first time I used Tumblr2WP it worked like a charm on thousands of posts on 2 blogs. I tried earlier in the week to use it and it totally screwed up my wordpress blog from only importing 1 post to not allowing me to delete posts, trash, etc… or even being able to post. I’ve tried adding other admins, etc… I’m having the same problems as -Tom October 11, 2011 at 13:47 – and am reading through all those posts to see if I can fix this. I have had to ask my server to reset my blog and am going to have to put in another ticket today :(

    • Peter says:

      If you read through the thread of the comment exchange with Tome, you will see that the problem he had, was due to the large number used for post IDs.

  34. markcp says:

    HI! Thank you for this article!
    Also, i want to add about some moments of Tumblr to WordPress migration. Actually, you may substitute import and export with the one process. I moved my blog content from Tumblr to WordPress using this tool It took me 25 minutes to move 75.000 posts with pictures and other elements. Everything was done automatedly. I think it’s worth to try

  35. Abdie says:

    thanks for the article peter. nice post (Y)

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