Approximately 30 to 40 percent of all self-hosted WordPress sites and 50 to 60 percent of WordPress.com sites use Gravatar to display images for authors and commenters. This universal web platform integrates directly with WordPress to pull profile images from the Gravatar site and attach them to posts and comments. Here on Hostmarks we use Gravatar to pull in pictures to accompany your reviews. If you are wondering why your review doesn’t display your picture it is because you don’t have a Gravatar account (yet).
What is Gravatar?
Why Have a Universal Avatar?
Using Gravatar eliminates the tedious process of uploading separate images to and filling out new profiles on every site you sign up for. A Gravatar is a universal online persona that can represent your business or your personal brand. People see your Gravatar every time you post or comment. This consistency makes it easier to establish your presence and become known in your area of expertise.
Creating Your Own Gravatar
Before signing up for Gravatar, create the image that you want to use. A professional headshot is the best choice for personal branding. If your Gravatar will represent your business, consider using your company logo. Gravatar images are set to 80 pixels by 80 pixels by default, so make sure that your final image is clear and recognizable at that size. Once your image is ready, follow these steps to get started with Gravatar.
- Go to Gravatar.com and click the Create Your Own Gravatar button.
- Enter your email address, your desired username and a strong password on the signup page. If you already have a WordPress.com account, go to step 6 instead
- After entering your information, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Click on the confirmation link. Sign into your new Gravatar account.
- The Manager Gravatars screen will show that you currently have no profile images. Click “Add one by clicking here!” to upload your Gravatar. Crop the image if needed before selecting “Crop and Finish.”
- Choose a rating for your image. Higher ratings may block your Gravatar from being displayed on certain websites, so aim for an image that’s either G or PG.
- To use Gravatar with an existing WordPress.com account, click on “I already have a WordPress.com account!” on the signup page. Sign in to your account to manage Gravatars, add new images or add an email address.
Once you have a Gravatar account, you can create a profile to go along with your image. Remember that your Gravatar profile is universally attached to your image. Make sure that it conveys the information and tone that you want to associate with your personal brand. If you want separate Gravatars for different purposes, add and confirm another email address in your account.
Using Gravatar with WordPress
Displaying your Gravatar when commenting on another site is as simple as using the email address attached to your Gravatar account. The more comments you make, the more people will “see” you and begin to associate your image with the content you post.
To enable others to use Gravatars on your WordPress site:
- Go to Settings and choose Discussion.
- Scroll down to Avatars and check the Show Avatars box.
- Set the “maximum rating” for profile images.
- Choose a default image to display for users who don’t have a Gravatar. Select a “generated” image option to create a unique image that remains linked to a user’s email address and appears each time they comment on your site.
Gravatar also offers “hovercards” that display Gravatar profiles when users hover their cursors over avatar images. Hovercards can be added to your site by installing the Jetpack plugin and enabling the appropriate settings.
Using a Gravatar gives you a universally recognizable presence across the Internet, including all sites powered by WordPress. Choose an image that represents your personal brand, and use it whenever you comment to increase visibility and grow your following.