Tumblr is one of the most popular blogging platforms right now with over 300 million blogs on the platform. Anyone from everyday users to businesses and celebrities use Tumblr for sharing their content. Simplicity and the fact that there are already millions of potential audience on the platform are among the reasons why this blogging platform is so popular.

Tumblr is also very flexible. You can alter the look of your Tumblr blog to better suit your personal preferences or your brand. In this article, we are going to discuss the basics of developing a custom Tumblr theme for your blog.

Blocks, HTML, and CSS

The first thing you need to understand about developing a custom Tumblr theme is the programming language used by the platform. Tumblr uses the combination of HTML and CSS, so you can easily create your own look as long as you understand these two languages.

Aside from native HTML, Tumblr also uses something called blocks, which represent certain platform-specific elements like your posts, the Q&A module, and others. You can create a theme for individual blocks, or you can just customize the ones that you want to use.

Some of the common blocks are {block:Posts} for posts, {block:Text} for text-only posts, and {block:Photo} for photo posts. There is also Tumblr’s signature {block:Quote} for your quotes. You can see a detailed list of blocks and how to use them on Tumblr’s documentation.

Designing the Theme

The majority of your theme will be constructed using HTML, so you can use any software you like for developing your custom theme. You can turn to visual site builders or online page creators to make the process simpler, or you can use a more advanced software like Adobe Dreamweaver to construct your theme.

You start by building the header of the site. Add a logo – your branding – and a navigation menu to the design. You can customize the header in any way you like, but make sure it remains functional. You can also add social media icons that link to your pages here.

Next, design the overall look and feel of the page. You can choose to load an external CSS file hosted somewhere else or add your CSS codes to Tumblr’s custom CSS field. Both methods are just as effective, although the latter will give you better performance in general.

Implementing the Theme

Tumblr makes it easy for users to add their own theme. You can access the Theme menu and then click Customize to start adding your HTML codes to the selected Tumblr blog.

You can also add more pages to the blog and even alter the homepage of your Tumblr blog to make it static. Check out this tutorial from hostingkingdom.com to learn more about how you can add pages and a static homepage to your Tumblr blog.

That’s it! Add the HTML codes correctly, save the changes you make, and you now have a custom-looking Tumblr blog. There is no limit to the amount of customization you add to the blog, so get creative and make your Tumblr blog one of a kind.