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How To Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr | Beginners

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How To Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr | Beginners

Do you want to redirect your Tumblr blog to custom domain? You’re in the right place. In this tutorial we will guide you step-by-step on How to setup custom domain for your Tumblr blog.

A domain is a URL trough which a website or blog is accessed on internet through a browser.

In this post we will cover following topics:

  1. What Is Custom Domain?
  2. What Is Custom Domain Feature On Tumblr?
  3. How To Buy Custom Domain
  4. Create DNS Record For Custom Domain
  5. How To Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr
  6. Custom Domain Testing Errors

01. What is Custom Domain?

The domains on Tumblr are the subdomain of “Tumblr.com“. For example, this domain “https://comedycentral.tumblr.com/” is a subdomain of “tumblr.com“. It means that your Tumblr blog’s subdomain is the property of “tumblr.com“.

Though Tumblr creates/assigns subdomain for you, but you don’t have the full authority over it. If you breach the policies of Tumblr you can lose your Tumblr domain along with the blog.

A custom domain is a standard domain which is not a subdomain or part of another domain. A person who buys/registers a custom domain is its owner and has full authority over it.

For example the domain “meersworld.net” belongs to Meer Basit, that he bought/registered from some hosting company. It is not a subdomain of “tumblr.com” or “blogger.com“.

There are three reasons why people use custom domains:

  1. For complete ownership and authority. Even if Tumblr removes your blog, you will have your custom domain.
  2. Custom Domains look more professional and makes your blog unique from the other blogs. You can create your own professional business email Ids.
  3. You can apply to different affiliate programs and make money online.

An email ID created from a domain is called Business email ID or Private email ID. For example “info@johncomedy.com” is a business email. Email IDs created on Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc, are called public Email IDs.

02. What Is Custom Domain Feature On Tumblr

Tumblr provides you an advanced optional feature called “Custom Domain” which allows you to redirect your Tumblr subdomain to some custom domain.

Let’s say John has a Tumblr blog “comedycentral.tumblr.com“, but now he wants to redirect it to his custom domain “johncomedy.com” that he bought.

John can avail the Tumblr’s “Custom Domain” feature to redirect “comedycentral.tumblr.com” to “johncomedy.com“.

For your understanding we have shown the two versions of John’s blog below, one with subdomain and one with custom domain.

John’s blog with Tumblr’s typical subdomain “comedycentral.tumblr.com“.

Custom Domain Feature on Tumblr 1

John’s Tumblr blog after been redirected to custom domain “johncomedy.com“.

Remember that everything on your Tumblr blog will remain same only your Tumblr domain will point to your custom domain, so don’t get confused.

Custom Domain Feature on Tumblr 2
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03. How To Buy Custom Domain

You must have learnt what is custom domain and what are its benefits. Now it is time to buy a custom domain so that you can setup it on your Tumblr account.

Though there are many domain and hosting providers, but here we are guiding you to how to buy custom domain on Namecheap, an ICANN accredited domain registrar.

Namecheap is one of the oldest, secure, fast, and cheapest domain registrar in the world, offering services since 2000. It is managing 13 million+ domains worldwide.

  • Go to Namecheap Official Page.
  • Enter you desired domain name with extension. The popular domain extensions are “.com, .net, .org, .io, .co, .me”, etc.
  • Click “Search” button.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 1
  • If your domain is available with your desired extension, it will show you a Tick and “Add to cart” option.
  • Click “Add to cart”.

If you desired domain is not available means already taken by someone else it will show you a Cross and “Make offer” option. “Make offer” means you can purchase that domain from the person who owns it, if he is willing to sale.

Otherwise you can pick a domain from the suggested results which will be closest to your query.

How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 2
  • As you will click “Add to cart” the “Checkout” button will appear at bottom of the page. You can also go to cart from the top-right corner.
  • Click “Checkout” button.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 3
  • Turn-On “AUTO-RENEW” slider for Domain Registration and Domain Privacy*.
  • Scroll down to enable “SSL”, as shown in the next step.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 4
  • Add SSL to cart.

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is a feature for keeping an internet connection secure and protect your sensitive informations like Passwords, Credit Card information, etc.

Once SSL is enabled on your domain you can see “s” at the end of “http” like “https://”.

Google and other search engines have made mandatory for every website to have SSL enabled on them. It also improves your website ranking in the search results.

How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 5
  • Click “Confirm Order”. Ignore “Promo Code”, discount is already integrated in our link.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 6
  • Now it is time to signup on Namecheap and “Create An Account”.
  • Once you fill all the fields click the “Create Account and Continue“.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 7
  • Enter your “Account Contact Information”. Your information should be original.
  • Untick the “I’m registering on behalf of a company” checkbox.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 8
  • Once you fill the information click “Continue”.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 9
  • It will show a preview of your “Whois Contact Information”. Do a review to make sure your information is correct.
  • Click “Continue”.

Whois Contact Information stores who owns a domain and how to get in contact with them. ICANN requires the Whois database to store domain owner’s contact information for all registered domains.

How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 10
  • Choose your Payment Method. Namecheap offers three payment methods (1) Credit Card (2) PayPal (3) Account Funds.
  • Here we have chosen “Secure Card Payments”.
  • Click “Continue”.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 11
  • Click “Pay Now”.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 12
  • You will be redirected to “We Are Processing Your Order”.
How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 13
  • Congratulations! you have successfully purchased your custom domain. You will also get a Welcome email from Namecheap with your domain details.

In the next section you will learn “How to Create DNS Record For Custom Domain”.

How to buy custom domain for Tumblr 14

04. Create DNS Record For Custom Domain

DNS stands for Domain Name Service. A DNS Record is also called Zone file, it is a database record which is used to map a URL to an IP Address.

To redirect your Tumblr subdomain to a custom domain you have to add a DNS Record in your custom domain DNS Settings.

01. Two-Levels vs Three-Level Domains

Tumblr supports Two-Level and Three-Level domains.

Domain with one dot(.) are Two-Level domains whereas domain with two dots(.) are Three-Level domains.

Examples of Two-Level Custom domains: “meersworld.net”, “example.com”, “scalefortune.com”, etc.

Examples of Three-Level Custom domains: “www.meersworld.net”, “britbuysonline.co.uk”, “www.scalefortune.com” etc.

If “britbuysonline.co.uk” had “www” attached like “www.britbuysonline.co.uk” it would have been a Four-Level domain.

You must have understood the difference between Two-Level and Three-Level custom domains, now it must be easier for you to know whether your custom domain is Two-Level or Three-Level.

Do remember that Two-Level domain always opens WITHOUT “www“. For example “twitter.com” is a Two-Level domain. Even if you add “www” to “twitter.com” like “www.twitter.com” it redirects to “twitter.com”, always!

NOTE(Important!):

  • If you have Two-Level custom domain follow “02. Create DNS Record For Two-Level Custom Domain” guide.
  • If you have Three-Level custom domain follow “03. Create DNS Record For Three-Level Custom Domain” guide.

02. Create DNS Record For Two-Level Custom Domain

For Two-Level custom domain you have to create an A Record for IP Address “66.6.44.4“, as we have shown below.

What is an A-Record? An “A Record” indicates the IP address of a given domain.

Follow the steps to create A Record for your custom domain in Namecheap:

  • Login to your Namecheap account and go to “Domain List” section.
  • Click the “MANAGE” button.
Create A Record for your custom domain in Namecheap
  • Click the “Advanced DNS” tab.
  • Now click “ADD NEW RECORD” link to create A Record.
Create A Record for your custom domain in Namecheap 2
  • Choose the “A Record” from the dropdown list.
Create A Record for your custom domain in Namecheap 3
  • In the “Host” field enter “@“. @ means your root-site/domain like “scalefortune.com“.
  • In the “Value” field enter “66.6.44.4“. Value means the destination URL where your custom domain will point to. 66.6.44.4 is the IP address of Tumblr.
  • Let “TTL” be automatic or choose 60.
  • Click the “Tick” icon to save the record.

Note(Important!): You have successfully created the A Record for your custom domain, now jump to the last section “05. Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr“.

Create A Record for your custom domain in Namecheap 4

03. Create DNS Record For Three-Level Custom Domain

For Three-Level or More custom domain you have to create a CNAME Record for “domains.tumblr.com“, as we have shown below.

What is CNAME Record? CNAME stands for Canonical Name. CNAME Record is a type of DNS record that points to another domain address rather than an IP address.

Follow the steps to create CNAME Record for your Three-Level custom domain in Namecheap.

  • Login to your Namecheap Account and go to “Domain List” section.
  • Click the “MANAGE” button.
Create CNAME Record for your custom domain in Namecheap 1
  • Click the “Advanced DNS” tab.
  • Click “ADD NEW RECORD” link to create CNAME record.
Create CNAME Record for your custom domain in Namecheap 2
  • Choose the “CNAME Record” from the dropdown list.
Create CNAME Record for your custom domain in Namecheap 3
  • In the “Host” field type “www“. It means “www.scalefortune.com.“, “www.example.com.”, etc.
  • In the “Value” field type “domains.tumblr.com“. It is the destination URL where your domain will point to.
  • Let “TTL” be automatic or choose 60.
  • Click the “Tick” icons to Save the CNAME Record.

You have successfully created a CNAME record for your custom domain. Now follow the last section “05. Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr“.

Create CNAME Record for your custom domain in Namecheap 4

05. Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr

We will be setting up a Three-Level custom domain “www.scalefortune.com” on Tumblr. Since this domain/website belongs to us, we can create/change its DNS records.

Here you can see that the “scalefortune” is a Three-Level custom domain.

You will see in the last step of this section that “www.scalefortune.com” will be pointing to our Tumblr blog “meerbasit.tumblr.com“.

Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr 1

Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr Account

  • Login to your Tumblr account.
  • Move your mouse pointer on your Profile Picture. A preview of your Tumblr profile will appear in a Preview Box.
  • Click the “Settings” icon.
Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr 2
  • Click the Edit icon to open the Custom Domain option.
Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr 3
  • Drag the slider towards your right to turn-on the “Use a custom domain” option.
  • In the custom-domain (http://) Text Box type your custom domain URL without “http://”.

Note(Important!): If your custom domain is Two-Level like “example.com“, type it without “www“. Since the domain that we are using here is Three-Level, we will type it as “www.scalefortune.com“, as shown in the next step.

  • Once you type the custom domain, click “Test domain” link. If there is no issue you will see the “It’s good!” message and active “Save” button, as shown in the next step.

If the “Test domain” returns you an error, read the last section “06. Custom Domain Testing Errors“.

Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr 4
  • Here you can see that we have successfully redirected Tumblr domain “meerbasit.tumblr.com” to “www.scalefortune.com“.
  • In the “Tumblr URL” there is “www.scalefortune.com“.
  • You can also see “It’s good” message and active “Save” button.
  • Click the “Save” button to save your settings.
Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr 5
  • This is one step back, you can see that an active Three-Level custom domain “www.scalefortune.com” has replaced the Tumblr’s subdomain.
  • Now open your custom domain to check whether it points to your Tumblr blog or not. See in the next step whether “www.scalefortune.com” points to Tumblr or not.

NOTE(Important!): Open you custom domain in a different browser, your current browser might not show you the changes because of old browser history or cookies.

Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr 6
  • You can see that the custom domain “www.scalefortune.com” points to Tumblr blog.
Setup Custom Domain On Tumblr 7

06. Custom Domain Testing Errors

Tumblr “Domain testing” returns two type of errors (1) A Record Error (2) CNAME Record Error. These errors come when you don’t create DNS records correctly in your custom domain’s DNS Settings.

We have discussed these 2 Errors in this section, after “What Error Page Tells You?”.

Unless until you don’t clear these errors you can’t SAVE the Custom Domain settings. As a result your custom domain will point to the Error Page below.

What Error Page Tells You?

If you see a Tumblr Error Page loading on your custom domain instead of your Tumblr blog, it means that you haven’t configured your Custom Domain and Tumblr blog properly.

At first, you will see this error page that says:

There’s nothing here. Whatever you were looking for doesn’t currently exist at this address. Unless you were looking for this error page, in which case: Congrats! You totally found it.

Tumblr Error Page loading on your custom domain 1

After few seconds you will be redirected to this URL: https://www.tumblr.com/explore/recommended-for-you, where Tumblr shows “For You 💖, Trending 🚀, Staff Picks 🌟, More“, etc.

Tumblr Error Page loading on your custom domain 2

01. A-Record Error

A-Record error occurs for Two-Level domains when the DNS record for IP address “66.6.44.4” is not created correctly or your A-Record is pointing to some other IP Address like your hosting-server’s IP Address.

If your A-Record is pointing to some other IP Address, replace that IP Address with the “66.6.44.4” in the “Record/Value” field.

This is the error: “This domain’s A-record is not pointing to Tumblr. You need to change your domain’s A-record to: 66.6.44.4“.

You can also see that the “Save” button is deactivated.

Custom Domain A-record error on Tumblr

02. CNAME-Record Error

CNAME-Record Error occurs for Three-Level domains when the DNS Record for the Destination URL “domains.tumblr.com“, is not created correctly or your CNAME Record is pointing to your own custom domain.

If your CNAME Record is pointing to your own domain replace your domain with the “domains.tumblr.com” in the “Record/Value” field.

This is the error: The subdomain’s CNAME is not pointing to Tumblr. Please change the CNAME to: domains.tumblr.com”.

Custom Domain CNAME Record error on Tumblr

So it was all about setting up custom domain on Tumblr. We tried our best to help you in the easiest way. If you like this post then don’t forget to share with the other people. Share your feedback in the comments section below.

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