I have Chrome on Windows 11. I've never downloaded blog posts from Tumblr but found a couple of blogs with interesting text posts and wanted to download them for reading when I'm off the internet. Is there a way someone who knows little about computers can do this? I tried "save as" to save it as a webpage and my Chrome keeps crashing (I get "Your file couldn’t be accessed"). I tried printscreen and it saved empty pages.
I did a bit of research and found two potential, albeit imperfect, solutions. Given the context of what you are trying to do, the 1st solution is preferrable. You'll have the contents of the blog but none of the formatting. I'll explain why the formatting cannot be saved at the end.
There's an open source tool called TumblThree which can download an archived version of a given blog's content:
- Download application from: https://github.com/TumblThreeApp/TumblThree/releases
- Go to Settings->Connection->Authenticate, login to a Tumblr account. Hit save to exit settings window.
Tumbler offers gated API access with an endpoint available to obtain blog post data, documentation here:
Tumblr requires API requests (i.e. "give me the data from these blog posts") to be made using an API or oAuth key. That's tech speak for a password they give you. And from what I can tell they are pretty strict with handing API keys out. There's a good reason for that - they charge money past a certain number of requests. And that's because answering requests, well, costs money. Selling API access is part of what keeps the company alive. So while blog data can be obtained from the API, it's a bit more involved than the 1st solution.
Why is the Formatting Lost?:
You had trouble print-screening blog posts because it's one of many anti-scraping features Tumblr implements. Anti-scraping is standard practice across news websites. They do this to protect their IP and prevent people from circumventing the pay-for-access API revenue model by just scraping the data for free. Let me show you a sneak peak of arguably the biggest anti-scraping feature:
I went to the following blog: https://www.tumblr.com/todayontumblr
On this webpage, I open up the inspector on the first blog post to see what the HTML formatting looks like:
Uhhhh.... okay, so it's inside a div container, inside a div container, inside a... That's a lot of divs, and a lot of class names which look like random gibberish, all for one blog post, in a list of blog posts. Just how many divs are there on this page (currently)?
978 div elements, but definitely not 978 blog posts. So what gives?
This is all intentional. The seemingly random amount of div containers, the gibberish class names - it makes it very difficult (if not impossible?) for web scrapers to consistently parse the formatting of the contents and thus be able to save a perfect copy onto your device for offline viewing. Which means to access Tumblr in all of it's glory - content, formatting and all - you either have to access the API or get the webpages from Tumblr's servers. There's probably a way to restructure the data from solution 1 into a reasonably close HTML formatting locally, but much easier said than done.
tl;dr - you can't save perfect offline copies of Tumblr webpages because that cuts their data trackers out of the picture and hurts their bottom line.