Installation out of plastic bottles at Glow Eindhoven 2015.
Glow Eindhoven 2015. Photo by me.

So the import from my Tumblr into my WordPress is done. Over 2000 posts… And it has become a right old mess. Here’s what I noticed so far:

  • Titles on Tumblr text posts are optional. Apparently on WordPress (or just in this theme, I don’t know) they are not. So the import tool has made the whole text of the post as the title, showing up like that in recent posts lists, archives, etc.
  • Photo sets are presented as square thumbnails, losing the layout that was in Tumblr. Often there’s a mix of portrait and landscape photos and I chose the layout to have the correct areas of the photo visible in the preview. Because Tumblr, and probably WordPress, lack the focal points that Mastodon has.
  • The previews of photos in photo sets in Tumblr are presented much nicer and closer together than they are in WordPress
  • Photo sets that were posted on mobile in Tumblr, which displayed incorrectly on the Tumblr web, also import incorrectly into WordPress. On mobile the photos were previews that you could tap to see the full image. On Tumblr web, and now here after the import, the photos are just low res inserts in a text post. It is related to the fact that on mobile, the posts no longer have different types: they have different blocks of content, same as this new WordPress editor. However, all older interfaces read those as text posts.
  • Videos, at least posted on Tumblr mobile, import as a single image. That’s not good.
  • The import tool imports everything, also reblogs. I guess that’s just how Tumblr presents the content. I would have been ok with just importing the original posts. But then, what about those reblogs where I added text or photos? I’ll be adding category classifications to these posts so they can be easily found.

I also don’t really like this WordPress theme. Maybe I should practice some more (I will make several test posts) or tweak it. Some early gripes:

  • Titles don’t seem optional
  • Fonts, especially titles and the author blurb, are way too large
  • There doesn’t seem to be a side bar, everything is in the footer
  • Featured images don’t work
  • It’s unclear where your post ends and the next one begins

I’ll probably be fixing some of the older posts that suffered most from the import. And as I said I will be making some text posts. I’ll be trying the various gallery features and see how to emulate the Tumblr mobile experience.

Tumblr says they’ve fixed photosets posted on mobile now. They seem to however have no inclination to fix the ones that were already posted. So we have a couple of months worth of posts to fix. Note that you can only fix them on mobile.

Also it appears that any posts containing links (or maybe just posts containing a link segment) (unless the link is to YouTube) are automatically marked as spam and removed from search results. That’s what has been happening to a lot of my posts, since I like to credit the photographer properly. I’m busy removing these credit links and changing them to links in the source field and that fixes the problem for most posts. Not all though; I’m still investigating the best way to do it. Also, a lot more posts to do.

Some of these fixed posts are showing up as new posts, especially the videos, sorry about that.


Posts on mobile are still going to /dev/null. I will just have to imagine all the brilliant posts people are making, which I’ll never know about because they don’t show up in searches.

Ok, so here’s what’s going on. If you’re on the web, you can search for posts by tag (entering a # in front of your search entry). You can also however look for a post you know has the tag you want and click on that tag. In the latter case you’ll be browsing the tag rather than searching it. These results are two different sets of posts!

If you’re on mobile, searching tagged posts or clicking on a tag will always give you one set of results, which is the search-a-tag mode of the web.

If you make a post on mobile and tag it, your post will be put in the browse-a-tag result set. So the one you can’t see on mobile…

To find a post that was made on mobile, you will have to go to the web, find another post with that tag, click the tag and scroll until you find it. If that post was however a photo set, it will (on the web) show up as a low res text post. So you need to like the post, go to your mobile app, browse your likes and when you find the post, you can click on the photos to see (download) them in full resolution.

Thanks for the update Tumblr.

So Tumblr no longer allows you to opt out of them sharing your privacy information with third parties. Even if you’re in Europe. I didn’t think that was legal.

No Tumblr, I do not accept.

And yet again they’ve deleted a lot of the tags I follow. Add to that the broken posts and search, and I wonder why I even bother anymore.

So it turns out Tumblr search is broken as well. Any posts uploaded from mobile are no longer indexed as far as I can see and tags I follow have been removed if they are above N in the alphabet. This makes Tumblr next to useless for finding new content beyond the blogs you follow. This all happened when they changed the posting style on mobile. Not happy.

Also still not happy about the mess that is posting photo sets from mobile. These show up as low res text posts on web in some random order with the caption in the middle. Are we going to have to fix these posts once they fix their framework, or will they fix these posts they messed up?