Tumblr is a popular blogging platform that’s totally free to use. All Tumblr blogs have a domain name that looks something like blogname.tumblr.com, but if you’ve purchased your own domain name from a domain registrar, you can set up your Tumblr blog so that it can be found at that custom domain name on the web (such as blogname.com, blogname.org, blogname.net and so on).
The benefit of having your own domain is that you won’t have to share it with the Tumblr domain. It’s also easier to remember and makes your blog look much more professional.
What You Need First
You need at least two things before you can continue on with this tutorial:
- A Tumblr blog that’s set up and ready to go. If you don’t have one, follow these instructions to set one up.
- A domain name that you purchased from a domain name registrar. For this particular tutorial, we’ll be using a domain with GoDaddy because it’s one of the most popular registrars. If you have domain with another registrar, you might still be able to figure out how to configure your custom domain by following these instructions since the steps involved are pretty general.
Domain names are pretty cheap no matter what registrar you decide to go with, and you can get them for as little as less than $2 per month, but it will depend on which plan you select and and the type of domain you’re buying.
Access the DNS Manager in Your GoDaddy Account
Before you tell Tumblr what your custom domain is, you need to go into your domain registrar account to configure some settings so that it will know to point your domain to Tumblr. To do this, you have to access the DNS Manager in your domain registrar account.
Sign into your GoDaddy account and then click the DNS button beside the domain you want to set up to point to your Tumblr blog.
Change the IP Address for the A-Record
You should see a list of records now. Don’t worry—you only have to make one small change here.
In the first row that shows Type A and Name @, click the edit button marked by the pencil icon to the far right. The row will expand to show you several editable fields.
In the field labeled Points to:, delete the IP address that appears there and replace it with 188.8.131.52, which is Tumblr’s IP address.
You can leave all the other options alone. Click the blue Save button when you’re done.
Enter Your Domain Name in Your Tumblr Blog Settings
Now that you have everything set up on GoDaddy’s end, you need to tell Tumblr what the domain is to finish the process.
Sign into your Tumblr account on the web and click the little person icon in the top right corner to see a dropdown menu of options. Select Settings and then click your blog name listed under Blogs (located in the right sidebar) to access your blog settings.
The first thing you’ll see is the Username section with your current URL in small print under your current username. Click the edit button marked by the pencil icon that appears to the right of it.
A new button will appear, labeled Use a custom domain. Click it to turn it on.
Enter your domain in the given field and then click Test domain to see if it works. If a message appears informing you that your domain now points to Tumblr, then you can hit the Save button to finalize it.
If you get a message saying that your domain isn’t pointing to Tumblr, and you know you input all the correct information given above (and saved it) for the appropriate domain in your domain registrar, then you may need to just wait anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. It could take some time before all the changes are put into full effect.
If the domain test worked but your Tumblr blog doesn’t show up when you enter your domain into your browser, don’t panic!
You may not be able to see your Tumblr blog at your new domain right after setting this up. It may take up to 72 hours for it to properly direct you to your Tumblr blog, but for most people it usually only takes a few hours.
For more information about Tumblr custom domain names, you can have a look at Tumblr’s official instruction page right here. Just type “custom domain” into the search field to automatically see Tumblr’s own instructions for setting it up.