If you’ve been using the WordPress CMS for some time now then chances are you’ve at least heard of gravatars. And while they sound similar to avatars, gravatars are slightly more advanced. Once set, your gravatar will follow you around the web and automatically show up whenever you publish a blog post or post a comment.
With this in mind, in this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about gravatars – from what they are to why you should use them. We’ll also walk you through a quick, step by step tutorial on how to get started with gravatars. By the time you’re done reading this post you’ll (hopefully) have a clear understanding of how to set up your own gravatar.
What Is a Gravatar?
For those of you who don’t already know, avatars are images that users put up next to their name that serve as graphical representations of themselves. Gravatars, on the other hand, are special avatars used on WordPress websites that follow you around gravatar-enabled websites and help you build online recognition.
A gravatar (globally recognized avatar) is an image that represents you on the web. Whenever you interact with a gravatar-enabled website (such as by commenting on blog posts or publishing your own articles), your gravatar image will automatically show up there.
Enabling gravatars on your WordPress website can be useful to both you and your site’s users. As an admin, gravatars save you from having to install third-party plugins to manage user accounts. And as an end user, gravatars allow you to set up your profile on a single platform and use it across multiple sites.
Now that you have a better idea of what gravatars are and why it’s a good idea to use them, let’s take a look at how you can get started with them.
How to Get Started With Gravatars
Getting started with gravatars is pretty straightforward and in this section, we’ll walk you through a step by step tutorial to do just that. Those of you who already have a WordPress.com account can skip down to Step 2.
Step 1: Create a WordPress.com Account
To get started, head over to the Gravatar website and click the WordPress.com Sign In button in the top-right corner of the page.
Next, click on the Create an Account link on the next page to begin setting up your WordPress.com account.
You’ll be redirected to a registration form that allows you to sign up for gravatar with WordPress.com. Enter an email address, username, and password to create your WordPress.com account and hit the Sign up button to proceed. It’s a good idea to jot down your login credentials on paper or in a text file.
After you click the Sign up button, you should receive a confirmation email that prompts you to activate your WordPress.com account. Once you’ve activated your account, you can sign in to Gravatar with your WordPress.com account.
Step 2: Choose Your Gravatar Image
Now that you have a WordPress.com account set up, you can use it to login to Gravatar. When you sign in to your account, you’ll be redirected to the Manage Gravatars screen which allows you to upload a gravatar image by clicking on the Add one by clicking here! link.
Next, choose where you’d like to upload your image from and then select the image you’d like to set as your gravatar.
Once you’ve selected an image for your gravatar, you can see what it’ll look like in both small and large thumbnails. At this point, you can crop the image if you’d like. Click the Crop Image button at the bottom of the screen to continue.
Finally, you’ll be asked to choose a rating for your gravatar image – G, PG, R, or X. It’s best to go with a G or PG rated image simply because most websites accommodate for them and block out R and X rated images. Once you’ve selected your image’s rating, click the Set Rating button to proceed.
That’s it! Your gravatar is set up and will show up next to your name whenever you interact with a gravatar-enabled website.
Step 3: Set Up Your Gravatar Profile (Optional)
If you’d like, you can also set up your gravatar profile by heading over to the My Profile page.
You should see a list of options that allow you to enter more information about yourself and your website:
- Name and Details
- Photo Gallery
- Contact Information
- Verified Services
It’s a good idea to fill out the Name and Details, Websites, and Verified Services sections at the very least. The Name and Details section allows you to enter your name, location, and a little bit about yourself. And the Websites and Verified Services sections give you the option of linking to your website(s) and social media profiles.
How to Configure Gravatar Settings on Your WordPress Website
As a WordPress site owner you might want to configure gravatar settings on your website so that your visitor’s gravatar image shows up next to their name whenever they comment on your blog posts. Here’s how you can configure gravatar display settings in WordPress:
Log in to your WordPress website’s admin panel and navigate to Settings > Discussion. From the Discussion Settings page, scroll down to the Avatars section and configure the following settings:
- Avatar Display. Check the Show Avatars option to make sure your users’ gravatars will be displayed on your site.
- Maximum Rating. Select the maximum rating you’d like to accommodate for on your website.
- Default Avatar. Choose a default avatar that will be displayed if a user doesn’t have a gravatar account.
Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen once you’re done.
Gravatars add to the visual appeal of your website and allow you to put a face to your name. And if you want to build a strong identity for yourself on the web then setting up a gravatar is a definitely a step in the right direction.
Let’s quickly recap the main steps you need to follow to set up your gravatar:
- Create a WordPress.com account so that you can sign in to Gravatar.
- Choose a gravatar image and give it an appropriate rating.
- Set up your gravatar profile by adding some personal information and linking to your websites and social media profiles.
Do you have any questions about how to get started with gravatars? Let us know by commenting below!