A quick guide to creating and customizing a Tumblr blog using your own personal domain.
Creating and customizing a blog isn’t easy for everyone, especially when it comes to using a personalized domain (i.e. yourname.com) name, and yet it can make all the difference between having a blog with a boring, run-of-the-mill layout and domain, and a blog where both reflect your own personality, taste, and character.
If a blog doesn’t reflect these things – your own personality, taste, and character – it’s likely you won’t want to post on it very much, and others will be less likely to visit your blog.
Now when it comes to creating a free blog, Tumblr is the best of the bunch. Sure there’s Blogspot, Posterous, and of course, WordPress, but Tumblr, in my opinion, is the best of the bunch. Using Tumblr and the GoDaddy domain registrar I’ll show you how to create a customized blog using your own domain in just a few easy steps.
1. Create a Tumblr account (it takes less than a minute).
If you already have a Tumblr blog you can skip ahead to step #3.
2. Choose a theme.
There are two types available: Free and “premium”. The latter ranges anywhere from as little as $9 to as much as $49. It’s really up to you.
There are TONS of spectacular free themes available, perhaps none more so than the one I use for my photos at Reverb Castle, but if you’re realy looking to impress it might be worth the investment.
Notice that you can browse themes by layout (grid, textual, columns), ability to customize, hi-res, etc.
For my example blog I’m going to use “Otlet’s Shelf.”
3. Customize the theme.
Once you select “install theme” you’ll be directed back to your presumably empty blog. Select “Customize” to see the available options.
In the panel on the left-hand side you’ll see an array of options you can personalize. These options will vary from blog to blog, especially between free and premium, so be mindful of what options you’re looking for before you start posting or get too comfortable.
For the advanced user, or for those who know basic HTML, you can also edit the themes HTML. If you’re a novice try loading the code into an HTML editor like Adobe Dreamweaver (at the very least remove the “this blog was created by” credits).
4. Buy a vanity domain.
This probably the trickiest part, but don’t fear it’s not as hard as you might think.
The first thing you have to do is choose a domain registrar. I chose Go Daddy to keep it simple. Next, choose what domain you want and pay for it. It’s cheaper if you pay for multiple years in advance, but I recommend just buying a year for now.
5. Point your domain’s A-record (IP address) to Tumblr.
While logged in select “My Account” from the menu bar.
Select the “Launch” tab next to domains.
Choose the domain you’ve created, scroll down to “DNS Manager” in the new window that opens, and select Launch.
Edit “Points to” and change to 22.214.171.124. Click “Save Zone file” to save these changes.
6. Configure Tumblr to use your new domain name.
Go to “Blog Settings” in your Tumblr site’s dashboard and check the box that reads: “Use a custom domain name.”
Enter the name of the domain you bought, and select “Test Your Domain.”
If its not setup properly you’ll get the message pictured below.
Save your changes and you’re done.
Easy enough right? Now you don’t have any excuses left for why your blog is stuck in boring mode.
[email protected] | @jaredmoya.com