Tumblr is the world’s most recognized microblogging service / social media network that allows its users to share short-form content and media-type content. Hundreds of millions of blogs — more than 200 million — and hundreds of millions of active monthly users — more than 550 million — are daily sharing visual content, blogs, quotes, and standard links for other members of the community to enjoy. Tumblr makes it easy for other bloggers to follow each other and to build communities upon the foundation of niche related content.
Almost everyone knows of Tumblr’s existence, but not everyone is keen on using the platform. What may seem like a blogging platform to some, Tumblr is actually a network of creative individuals who like to share content that’s usually out of the ordinary, and not necessarily newsworthy or worthy of being constantly indulged in. Tumblr is home to those individuals who like to share their creative thoughts and ideas within the scope of community that’s supportive and friendly towards funny, satire, sometimes ironic content.
Yahoo! is the official owner of Tumblr after a lengthy sale discussion back 2013 — where Yahoo! had made a promise that they wouldn’t mess up the Tumblr experience, but some would like to differ. Unfortunately the latest reports indicate a huge drop in value, and experts are starting to wonder whether there’s anything in the future left for Tumblr to strive forwards to — given that many design and user experiences changes have already been made. Others on the other hand are pondering if Tumblr could possibly save Yahoo! — company that’s finding itself in a very tough spot in the current market.
Regardless of what is happening internally, Tumblr is still alive and kicking, and perhaps more so than ever. Starting your own Tumblr community takes just a few moments and all Tumblr blog owners are in full control of how their blog appears to the world. You can edit raw HTML to adjust your custom themes, or you can pick any of the following free Tumblr themes to optimize the appearance of your Tumblr blog to better display your personality and what you would like to achieve with your Tumblr content.
We kick off our list of best Tumblr themes with Yuki, a grid based Tumblr theme for photography enthusiasts. Yuki verges on the minimal side of things, as the homepage of the theme is nothing but a list of photograph thumbnails that other users can click on, and learn more about. You might also find use for Yuki in situations where you just want to share a series of posts related to visual content.
Responsive? Check. Minimal? Check. Content oriented? Check. Customizable? Check! Ashley is a brilliant Tumblr theme for all your blog sharing needs. Ashley supports all available Tumblr post types, making this theme somewhat multi-purpose if you plan on creating a site that consists of variety of content types. Quickly change up the fonts through a Google Fonts integration.
Svbtle was at one point a rapidly growing blogging platform for the elegant-type personalities. Things changed when Svbtle announced that it would be switching of its free service, and instead now charges $6 per month for users to keep their blogs alive, perhaps there is some comfort in the knowing that you are using a paid service, and perhaps that brings about a certain feel of peace of mind, but those uninterested in paying money for blogging needs can enjoy the Tumblr Svbtle Theme that resembles the exact same look that Svbtle users loved and adored so much.
Material Design is not limited to platforms outside of the general scope, anyone with a CSS editor and some HTML code can quickly whip up a great looking material design template, something that the Material Designed theme has already done. Although fairly skimpy, the Material Designed theme is a great starting point for building your own material design theme with a solid foundation as a starting point.
The content focused style approach is what makes Verse such a great choice for a solid Tumblr theme. With verse you can choose your own header image that will appear site wide on posts and pages, a custom sidebar upon which you can build with images or other content, a direct meld with Google Analytics and Disqus for staying modern with your platform choices. Verse allows you to display icons on your Tumblr blog which link to your profiles on Facebook, Flickr, Github, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, SoundCloud, Twitter, Vimeo, WordPress, and YouTube.
It’s a great day for bloggers when a theme company decides to share some of their premium content as free, Hipster is one such theme that achieved that status of becoming a free premium theme. Leading features that keep people attracted to Hipster include: sticky content, ability to navigate content with keyboard, Instagram integration for displaying your latest pics, a sidebar for displaying the most important details. Check out the premium version of Hipster for an even more overwhelming list of modern features.
Effector Theme boasts more than 40+ unique features, a number that many themes strive to achieve, but such achievements require dedication, patience and also the capacity to research what bloggers are actually looking for, and Effector Theme puts all those features and feature requests in a single theme beautifully, we couldn’t be more happy with the end result. Some of the best features for Effector Theme are: variety of layouts, full customization, Twitter feed, infinite scrolling, social icons, and plenty more. Don’t sit here waiting, get on top of this theme and see what it does to your Tumblr blog!
We can foresee Simplify being a favorite amongst startups who use Tumblr as their way to announce new features, new products and general announcements. The sleek modern feel of Simplify is what makes it so appealing to writing about news, and other general information that needs a proper design in order for the information to be consumed. A cool navigation menu button on the right corner of each page takes away the necessity to display overly many HTML elements, and instead enables a similar to mobile navigation experience that leaves all the focus on content. Supports Disqus, and Google Analytics.
Freelancers beware, there’s an amazing new Tumblr theme on the block, and it’s Oscar! Oscar has many different uses to it, a simple blogging theme, or a personal blogging theme for sharing thoughtful stories and articles that won’t go unnoticed thanks to the modern design features that you won’t find in every Tumblr theme. Highly customizable, Oscar offers the traditional features you would expect from a blog; a comments system, analytics integration, social media icons, and general responsivity over all of the blogs pages.
A lot of Tumblr content consists of images, whether static or animated, Tumblr is known for being home to those who like to share visual creative arts, and it makes sense when we see themes like Impulse appear throughout our list. Impulse is a grid-like (3 column) theme that’s built with the intention to help visual content sharers make their blog look prettier, more usable. The actual post pages are super optimized as well, leaving the left side for content, and the right side for people who have liked the content, eliminating the need to create lengthy pages based on simple website elements.
Spire supports header images, visual content in posts, ability to choose between a blog title or no blog title, background color management, and comments through the Disqus platform. Will come handy in almost any situation, see if the design is something you’d like to work with and make your choice, plenty more of themes still to come in this post, take your time to decide on the best one for you.
Gravity uses a masonry grid to help bloggers publish better visual content, with the emphasis on the actual visuals and nothing else, will be a great theme to use for quote sites, or blogs that focus strictly on beautiful scenic photography. Can be optimized for custom colors, custom images, supports mobile devices, and is translation ready.
Minimalism’s a high quality theme for brands, individuals and creatives who wish to share their imagery content in a minimalistic and professional approach. You can expect features like content grid management, custom header, custom background color and image, a mobile-ready layout, social media icons (popular ones), infinite scrolling to enable more fluid content browser experience, a sticky sidebar navigation menu. Theme is ready to be translated in your own favorite language thanks to localization options.
Elegance is the lifeblood of Shiyori theme, a traditional infinite scrolling homepage delivers a graceful content navigation experience. Shiyori allows for bloggers to use all available post types, making it easy to turn your blog into a multi-content enterprise. Features a search widget, and an internal tagging system for making finding content easy and relaxed.
Flare is a Tumblr favorite! With Flare you can quickly start up your own interactive content sharing blog that’s focused on sharing animated visuals and videos; but also pictures. The five column masonry-grid makes browsing a lot of content at the same time a somewhat pleasant experience, which also leads to higher user engagement in the overall amount of content, though this isn’t always important for Tumblr users, what’s more important is great content that delivers a lasting memory, or at least a laugh!
The name doesn’t lie, Prima Donna is a girly Tumblr theme built just for girls, unless you’re a guy and you like pink color and flowers all over your blog posts! Prima Donna’s main area of focus is typography and how it can change the look of your content, even if it is different type of content each time. Supports responsive web design.
If portfolios and circles are your thing, you have found your true soul mate, and his name is PopGallery (Lite)! PopGallery is a popular Tumblr theme amongst those who seek a modern and clean solution for their portfolio, gallery, and presentation needs. The circle thumbnails on the homepage of the blog is what makes it so attractive, and there are no limits either, animated visuals will appear interactive on the homepage, making this a one-in-all solution for those want to publish visual content and not have to worry about its presentation.
Everyone needs a way to express themselves. Orange Pop uses an orange (obviously) color scheme to deliver a simple blogging theme based on traditional blog layout patterns. Includes a sidebar for social stuff, Twitter feed, and custom text elements you may wish to display.
Cosmic’s a truly cosmic experience! It’s one of the more unique themes in our post here, featuring a darkish design strategy that speaks on behalf of itself. It’s composed of two different sidebars (left side), where the first one can be used as a navigation menu for pages, forms, and other important links, the other sidebar (more on the inline of the design) can be used to display logo, social information, and Twitter or Instagram feed widgets; or both.
Skyfall is a colorful choice of theme for the photography minded. With Skyfall you can use your Tumblr blog as a gallery for quickly displaying your latest work. Image only posts will show up on the front page, and once clicked on they will display their content through a lightbox, and if more than one item has been uploaded to the post, anyone will have access to browse through those photos from the homepage. Something unique to our list of the best free Tumblr themes.
Girls love to use Tumblr, it’s fun, it’s simple and all your friends are on it, we totally respect the choice and wish to provider our female origin readers with choices as well, so here’s another girly theme by the name of Lets Go Pink! It’s Pink, it’s creative, and it has room for talking all about yourself; an extended sidebar widget for bio information.
Royal grade writers need a royal theme to help support their foundation, and what better way to do than by using the Royal Tumblr template that’s one of the most minimal theme designs we have ever seen, with full focus on text, Royal makes content writing a refreshing experience, one where each letter counts. No matter what kind of content you put in there. No matter what kind of articles you write. No matter what media you’re sharing. These will all look great in your theme.
Superstudio’s a dynamic and clean Tumblr theme that comes straight from the Chinese community. Superstudio is best described as a solution for businesses, startups and freelancers to talk about their latest projects and developments, where the design ensures professionalism, but also authenticity that will guarantee that everyone is listening to what you have to say.
There are themes for writers, and there are themes for singers, both are artists, but both will most likely have different choices in theme styles and designs, it’s why there are so many choices out there today, otherwise everyone would be using the same style, right? Writing Pad is a writer’s theme that really is a writer’s theme, in a sense where all of its design features and elements in some way talk about writing and what it entails. Writing Pad has that grunge like background, with slightly tilted typography that resembles an entry from a journal, your personal online journal!
At first glance, you might mistake a Harbour optimized blog for a WordPress, or Ghost built websites. Somehow the Harbour theme manages to achieve a very transparent effect within its design, showcasing how it is possible to achieve smooth design layouts, even when working within the limitations of third-party platforms.
Premium Tumblr Themes
That was an exciting list of free Tumblr themes, we have zero questions about that. The fact of the matter is, even though we listed dozens of free themes here within this article, there are still thousands of them out there that deserve just as much attention, if not more. We would like to welcome you, the community member, to partake action in this post and recommend us your own favorite Tumblr themes that didn’t make the list, an email or a comment will work just fine, we are hoping for some great new additions! Meanwhile, let’s indulge in a list of premium themes that come from a well known design marketplace. You may find your next permanent Tumblr theme in the following list.
We didn’t really see that many magazine style themes, so we will change that by adding ESSSSE to the list. ESSSSE is a blog / magazine style theme dark background and white content areas. Responsive layout makes ESSSSE easily accessible on mobile devices, assuring you that you won’t be losing out on mobile customers any time soon. Social sharing is in-built within the theme, and all posts are accompanied by the appropriate sharing buttons. Other widgets include social buttons, Twitter, Instagram, and text element manipulation.
How long before pizzerias and restaurants begin to use blogging to reach new customers, probably not so long away altogether! Yummy’s a grid-style blogging theme that’s a great match for food bloggers, and food enthusiasts who wish to share their passion with a larger audience. Yummy’s top feature is a ‘Buy’ button that can be configured for each post, meaning that you can sell stuff while blogging, without having to talk to any advertisers.
Top feature of Silverlight; Owl Carousel Sliders that enable to create content slideshows without putting in too much work for it. This masonry-grid like theme features an infinite scrolling capability that will guarantee that your readers are constantly browsing your latest, and bestest content. A feature called Colorbox will let you change colors of any particular element within seconds.
How about a truly blogger oriented theme? Can we have one of those? We sure can, and its name is Centric — a blogging theme for creatives, freelancers, and brainstormers who prefer to work with elegant, modern, and beautiful design styles that bring the written text to life. We are seeing plenty of unique features with Centric, lets take a look at some of them. First up we have a content slider for browsing through recent posts, then we have a sticky post option that works through tags, even a recent content ticker for displaying your latest post site-wide. Then we move on to a subscription module that will allow you to collect RSS subscribers (FeedBurner), or email list subscribers (MailChimp), both services integrate immaculately. Members of social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr and Dribbble can enjoy appropriate feed widgets for displaying your latest content from those sites. Plenty of other great attributes that make Centric a one-stop choice for dedicated bloggers.