Tumblr Changes Custom Domain Settings: Millions of Blogs Might Go Offline

Tumblr changed custom domain settings and after June 21 possibly millions of Tumblr blogs might loose custom domain urls  if they fail to update the custom domain settings as advised by Tumblr. You might be aware that Yahoo! recently acquired Tumblr, a very popular free blog hosting service, which offers one of the easiest ways to start a blog.

Though it is not known how many blogs are on custom domains, it is unclear why after so many years Tumblr forces possibly thousands or even millions of its blogs on custom domains to switch to new settings … and remove the custom domains if they don’t!  Note that this affects only bloggers who have chosen to use custom domain urls for their Tumblr blogs and does NOT affect those using Tumblr.com urls.

Tumblr Custom Domain Settings

When you use custom domains, it places the blog on your main domain name or a subdomain and gives you a URL like yourblog.yourdomain.com instead of yourblog.tumblr.com. So it is indeed a great idea to use custom domains to add multiple blogs to expand your brand identity.

We host 2 blogs on Tumblr and I received this e-mail from Tumblr which advises me to update my custom domain settings to keep my blogs online after June 21, 2013.

Hi there! We are making improvements to the way we serve our custom domain traffic and we need you to update your settings before June 21. Please point your custom domain to Tumblr’s IP: If you do not make this update by June 21, your custom domain will no longer redirect to your blog. To learn more about how to do this, check out our custom domains help page. :) Your friends at Tumblr.

As I logged into my Tumblr dashboard today, there is an alert on top of the screen to update my custom domain settings. The custom domain help page gives all the details about the new configuration for custom domains.

new tumblr settings

In fact when you test domain settings, Tumblr does notifies that although current settings are working, there is a need to update CNAME settings for the Tumblr blogs.

tumblr domain cname

As I check the DNS settings on my server, I had an A-record pointing to a different Tumblr IP. Now do I need to remove that and add a CNAME record. Will there be blog downtime while DNS propogation happens?

What happens if you do not update? I suppose the blogs will get back to the original tumblr url like yourblog.tumblr.com, so only the custom domains will disappear till you update the settings on your hosting WHM  or domain name registrar. Which means the blog with your custom domain name url will disappear from search engines and will be reindexed as a tumblr url! So it is very essential to update your settings today.

Now with this change, although Tumblr has taken all efforts to send e-mails and also inform bloggers logging into their Tumblr dashboards, still there might be many Tumblr blog owners who might not be paying attention to this essential requirement or might not know how to fix these settings, and possibly thousands or even millions of Tumblr blogs on custom domains might go offline after June 21, 2013. Remember to fix your settings now… it takes only a few minutes.


  1. Peter says:

    Change of ownership from above (Yahoo) amounts to change of ownership to just ‘normal’ bloggers – customers

  2. Hendrik Neumann says:

    I have received neither said E-Mail nor seen the notification in my Tumblr stream. But the <3-buttons moved down and are animated. Embrace Yumblr!

    • P. Chandra says:

      It only affects Tumblr users opting for custom domain names, which allow you to use Tumble with your own domain name. Others are not affected at all and need to have no concern about this.

  3. JC says:

    Looking on the bright side, this might weed out some older websites that have long since been abandoned. Staying up-to-date and in-tune with the latest requirements or changes at least shows some kind of dedication to a site/blog.

    • P. Chandra says:

      Absolutely right. It will get a lot of set and forget custom domains out of the loop and they will get an idea of number of active blogs.

  4. Aims says:

    It’s a relief that I might not be that affected because I am using the custom domain.

  5. Denzil says:

    It’s true what JC said. It might be a good thing to weed out older blogs that are no more being updated. There’s nothing more sadder than to see a reasonably excellent blog last updated 2 years ago. *move on and keep updating*

  6. Philipp says:

    Oh I haven’t recognized that! I think this could be a little problem for someone…

  7. Lucio Pratt says:

    This seems like it should be easy. All I want to do is use a custom domain (already hosted at Hover) with a tumblr blog. I just need to change the A record to this ip . I have tried every combo I can think of, I have changed one or both of the A records that come with my domain, I have added an A record. And I still getting a failed message. My domain is chrismc.net . Can someone help me?

  8. Rajesh Gupta says:

    I think this is a new strategy of Tumblr and this change make me sad because i am a regular user of Tumblr. May be this change make a little problem for me in future.

  9. Tara Y. Hutchinson says:

    I have a blog on Tumblr (faithfullforever.tumblr.com) which uses the custom domain www.mariannefaithfull.fm. Yesterday I shortly deactivated the custom domain on Tumblr to export content.

  10. Milton Sullivan says:

    They will automatically be redirected to your new custom domain (i.e. david.tumblr.com –> davidslog.com).

  11. Erica Hartman says:

    Recently, a few of my friends and family members asked me about putting together a blog. I recommended for them to use tumblr, and most of them wanted to use a custom domain. The purpose of this article is to explain how to setup a custom domain on tumblr using Namecheap as the domain registrar.

  12. Farrell Conejos says:

    Well, this news should be spread to those who are using Tumblr since not everyone are being advised by Tumblr itself. It’s a good thing you shared this information. Thanks for this.

  13. Emile Ballard says:

    They will automatically be redirected to your new custom domain (i.e. david.tumblr.com –> davidslog.com).

  14. Duane Y. Cole says:

    Log in to your account at GoDaddy after registering your custom domain name. Open the Account Manager (link in Resources).

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