Join Justin Seeley for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing a Tumblr theme, part of Up and Running with Tumblr.
One of the basic elements that makes your Tumblr site unique from any other Tumblr site is the theme. This is the same thing that makes WordPress blogs and Drupal sites unique from one another. A theme is basically a new set of clothes for your blog, so think of the blocks inside of Tumblr as the bones, or the skeleton of what you're creating, and the theme as the clothing that you put on over that skeleton. And so each time you change your theme, you're essentially just changing your clothes; the bones remain the same. The photos are still there, the videos are still there, the text posts; everything is still there, except the look and feel of the site is instantly changed.
In this movie, I'm going to walk you through choosing a new theme for your Tumblr site. In order to do that, you're going to need to be logged into your Tumblr Dashboard, and then click on the name of your site. In this case, mine says Tumblin' With Justin. Once you get inside of this section, you're going to notice on the right-hand side there is a little icon with a wrench that says, Customize appearance. Once you click on Customize appearance, it takes you here, to the Tumblr customize section. On the right-hand side, you're going to see a mockup of your site. This is not your content, necessarily, but it's just a mockup to show you exactly what your site would look like with this theme applied.
You'll notice, as I scroll through here, it has examples of each one of the blocks, like photos, links, chats, audio, text posts; everything that you'd ever want to see is displayed here. Let's scroll back up to the top. In order to change your theme, there are two ways to do it. You can actually pick a new theme from the Tumblr theme garden or you can edit the HTML and CSS yourself of your existing theme. I'm going to cover how to modify the CSS and HTML in separate movies. In this case, I'm just going to show you how to apply a new theme from the theme garden.
So simply go over here to this little icon that says Themes. Once you click that, it takes you to a list of all the different themes that are available to you. By default, Redux is applied to your site. You can filter the themes by Premium, Free, Single Column, Two Column, Three Column, Grid, Textual, Minimalistic, Vintage, Super Customizable, and Hi-Res. All of these will give you different results. The main ones you need to know about, though, are Premium versus Free. I'm going to discuss how to upgrade to a premium theme in the next movie, but in this case, I just want to see all the freebies, so I'll click on Free, and all of the free themes are then filtered out.
If you want to see a theme applied to your site, click on it, and Tumblr automatically gives you a live preview of your site with that theme applied. Now again, this is not your content, but an example of what your content would look like with this theme applied. So here you can see an example of a quote, a photo, a link, a chat, an audio post, a text post, and more. If you want to load more posts, you click that button down there at the bottom. Scroll back up to the top. If you like this theme, you can click Use at the top. If you don't, you can find another one.
One of my favorite themes inside of this directory is The Minimalist theme. I'll click on that now, and you can see that it's very clean, very simple, has nice typography, and it just makes very good use of white space. So here you've got a quote, you've got a photo post, a link, a chat; they're basically the same content types as you saw before. They are just stylized different. So remember, I said the bones stay the same; the clothes are the only thing that's changed. Let's click on one more before we commit to one. I'll click on Plaid, and as you can see, a quote, a photo, a Web site; a chat.
Everything is exactly the same, but you're changing it instantly by selecting a new theme. This doesn't even look like the same Web site necessarily, but it is, just with a different look, and they are doing this through HTML and CSS. Now I'm going to choose The Minimalist theme, and once I select that, I'll click Use. Once I select that, it automatically brings me back to this section, and you can see Minimalist is the current theme that I'm using. If I want to save my theme, I hit Save. It's automatically saved, and then I can hit Close.
Once I click Close, it takes me back to the Tumblr Dashboard. If I want to make sure that my theme has been applied, I'll open up my site. So I'll open up my site here, and there you see my Tumblin' With Justin site now has that new theme applied to it. All of the posts -- which is just the one -- are still the same, but they are completely styled different, and the Web site looks completely different than it did before, simply by making that one switch.
So take the time, and go through each one of those Tumblr themes, and find the one that's right for you. You can even upgrade to a premium theme if you wish, and that's what we're going to take a look at next.
- What is Tumblr?
- Touring the interface
- Exploring the Tumblr Blocks
- Creating a custom domain
- Understanding likes, reblogs, and notes
- Blocking and unblocking users
- Adjusting basic appearance settings
- Adding a logo
- Creating a post
- Editing multiple posts at once
- Inserting video and audio into pages
- Finding theme marketplaces
- Editing posts using HTML and markdown
- Adding comments with Disqus