How to Customize Your Tumblr Blog

By Amy Lupold Bair, Susannah Gardner

This will introduce you to the customization options for your Tumblr blog. You can change the look and feel of the blog, as well as some of the functionality. Adding your own touches really personalizes a blog and makes it feel more like home.

Get to the customization options by clicking the gear icon in your Tumblr Dashboard.

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A new window opens that allows you to customize and update the following:

  • Account: Change your account settings including your e-mail address and password.

  • Dashboard: Customize the look of your dashboard by selecting which tools appear.

  • Email: Determine when you would like to receive e-mail notifications, such as when your Tumblr blog receives a new follower.

  • Blog Customization: Use this menu to access your blog’s macro settings as well as customize the appearance of your blog.

To change the appearance of your blog, select the Tumblr you want to customize from this left sidebar menu. After doing so, select the Customize button from the Theme menu.

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Within this setting, you can change everything from your header image to your font style. Get started changing the appearance of your blog by choosing one of the design themes that Tumblr automatically provides.

Tumblr offers nearly 200 options. Select the Themes tab in the upper-left corner to get started. If you’re good with HTML, you can also use this tab to create your own custom theme. See Appendix B for more information about HTML.

You can also use this section of your Tumblr menu to edit the following:

  • Title: Give your Tumblr blog a name.

  • Description: Some of the themes display a short description text area. You can describe yourself, your blog, or whatever you think people might want to know about you and what you’re doing.

  • Background color: This setting allows you to change the link color as well as the title color.

  • Font: Use this section to change the body and title font of your blog.

  • Header Image: Would you like to add a custom header image? Upload your image file here.

  • Appearance: Even if you select a theme that you like, the Appearance tab allows you to further customize the look of your blog.

  • Pages: Want to include some content on your blog but don’t think it should be a blog post? In this area, you can create a stand-alone page. This might be used to create a bio page or one where you let people contact you.

  • Advanced: Anything you can customize that didn’t fit in the other categories seems to be available in the Advanced tab:

    • Add Custom CSS: Some themes available on the Theme tab include custom Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) styles. If you’re not familiar with CSS, don’t worry about it. Custom CSS is part of creating advanced layouts.

    • Post per page: Change the number of blog posts that appear on your blog’s home page.

Changes can be seen immediately on your blog, which appears to the right of the customization menu.

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After you make updates in any of the customization tabs, be sure to click the Save button at the top left of the page.

As mentioned earlier, there are some macro-level settings for your Tumblr blog that you might want to consider customizing as well. You can access these settings by clicking the gear icon in your Tumblr Dashboard and then clicking the name of your blog in the menu.

The settings you can tweak are the following:

  • URL: Change the URL of your blog.

  • Theme: Change the appearance of your blog.

  • Replies: Allow replies to your posts.

  • Ask: Allow people to ask you questions.

  • Submissions: Allow people to submit posts on your blog.

  • Queue: Automatically publish posts you have placed in a queue.

  • Facebook: Connect your Tumblr to your Facebook account.

  • Twitter: Connect your Tumblr to your Twitter account.

  • Post by Email: Retrieve the e-mail address that you can use to post to your Tumblr via e-mail.

  • RSS Feeds: Change the settings of your Tumblr’s RSS Feed.

  • Language: Select the language for your blog.

  • Timezone: Select the time zone for your blog.

  • Directory: Choose whether your Tumblr will be indexed by search engines and indicate if your blog is NSFW (not safe for work — containing content that may not be safe to view in a work environment, such as explicit photos or language).