Adding a Profile picture to your WordPress profile is quite easy, all you need to do is to setup your Gravatar Account which is absolutely free. In this guide we’ll share the Gravatar WordPress setup process.
An avatar is an icon or image that represents you in the virtual world. In fact, they allow you to identify yourself amongst the millions of people engaging on various websites and forums. Okay, so you have heard of avatars before. But have you ever heard of a Gravatar? Maybe not. That’s why today we will look at exactly what a Gravatar is and how to set one up on your WordPress website.
Reasons To Use Gravatar In WordPress
Gravatar isn’t just an avatar system for WordPress. It’s also used on many other platforms, such as GitHub, Disqus (another commenting system), Hootsuite, Techdirt, Mesmira, and many others. Having your personal image when you post a comment on someone’s blog, will make people remember you when they see your profiles on social media or see you on other blogs. Images are easier to remember. So this will make it easier for your audience to remember you.
For those of us who read, follow, and comment on several different blogs across a variety of platforms, being able to just upload an image one time for all of them really is a huge convenience. If you want to change your avatar photo, you can do it in a single place, and it will instantly change on all the sites where you post comments.
So, not only will people remember you and your brand, but because you have an image in the comments, people will click on it and visit your site, especially when they see you in multiple places in a short span of time. This means more traffic without hardly any effort from you. Just be sure not to change your image too frequently. Keeping the same image for a long time will make it easier for people to remember your face and remember your brand. And of course, make sure you choose a good high-quality image, maybe the same as the image on your social media profiles, just to make your brand more consistent. Having all this in mind, let’s dive a bit deeper and look at how to set up your Gravatar profile.
Gravatar WordPress Setup Tutorial
Another good news: it’s very simple to set up your Gravatar. Start by going to the Gravatar homepage and clicking on the ‘Create Your Own Gravatar’ button. If you already have an account, then simply log indirectly. Your WordPress account info will be the same as your Gravatar login info. If you don’t have a WordPress.com account, then create your account now. Just enter your email address, username, and password, and click on “Continue”. You’ll then receive a confirmation link in your email. Just click on the ‘Activate Account’ button to start using Gravatar. Once your WordPress.com account has been activated, click on the ‘Sign in to Gravatar’ button.
Since you don’t have a Gravatar image yet, you’ll be asked to add yours once you log in. You can upload an image from your computer, webcam, past uploads, or by using a Web URL. For the sake of this tutorial, I’ll show you how to upload an image from your computer. After click on ‘Upload new’, it will ask you to choose a file from your computer. Then crop the image. Make sure it looks good in small preview, as most of the places it will be shown on that size.
After that, you need to choose a rating for your Gravatar to determine whether to show it on all websites or not. If you are a blogger, you should go with the ‘G Rated’ (obviously) to display it on all sites. That’s it. Now, you have your first avatar image set up. There’s just one more thing you need to set up, and then you’ll be all finished. You need to set up your Gravatar profile. It’s just a bit of simple information so that when people click on your image, they see your profile info.
This is a great way for people to find more info about you, which could lead to them landing on your site later on. Finally, when you entering your information, click on ‘Save Profile’. Now you finally have your avatar created and ready to use. You can set up multiple avatars with different email addresses to display the one you prefer on different sites. Although I wouldn’t recommend doing that. Keep it simple by using a single Gravatar for all websites.
Gravatar in WordPress Usage Guide
Most of the people create Gravatar account to show their image on WordPress comments. When you are a commenter, there’s no more effort. All you have to do is, use the same email address that you’ve used while creating the Gravatar account. And your photo will be beside the comment. But when you are the owner of a WordPress site/blog, there are more options to manage avatars.
You can choose whether to have them displayed or not. By default in most themes, they appear. If not, you could navigate to WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Discussion and scroll to the Avatars section. You could also select the maxim rating permit for Gravatars. You remember the “movie style” ratings that you chose from when creating your Gravatar, right? It’s the same thing on the admin side. By default, G is which means it can be shown for general audiences, and this is what I recommend you to choose.
You can choose other ratings, but remember that rating “R” and “X” can contain offensive images that may drive off your readers. You could also choose a setting for the default avatar, to choose which type of avatar appears when the user who left a comment doesn’t have a Gravatar setup with their email. There are a few options for the default image:
Image Display Options
- Firstly, a mystery person: the grey image which can appear for any gender. You’ve probably seen this one on Facebook.
- Blank: No avatar will appear.
- Gravatar Logo: This will be the company’s logo, the inverted G logo.
- Identification and Wavatar: These are 2 options that will appear automatically.
- Monster ID: Another cartoony image with a monster shape, automatically created by WordPress, and the user can’t control it.
- Finally, retro: A low-res pixelated image with a “retro” style, created by WordPress, and again the user can’t control it.
Gravatar Rating System WordPress Setup
I prefer using Mystery person or just keeping it blank. Never use Identicaon, Wavatar, MonsterID, Retro. These look spammy. If you want to add your own image, then there’s another option for that. You’ll need to install a plugin called Add New Default Avatar from the WordPress directory. Using this, you can upload the specific image you want to appear for users with no Gravatar account. Remember that adding plugins is only available for WordPress.org, the self-hosted version. If you’re on the free WordPress.com version, then you can’t install it.
This improves the branding of your site, but it’s not absolutely necessary when you’re starting a new blog and are still figuring out all the different elements of blogging. Once you have an established brand, you can worry about a small detail like this one.
You can also do it without adding a plugin, but that means you will need to have some knowledge about coding so that you don’t damage any of the code. You can read this tutorial to help you add your own default Gravatar without any plugins. This could help you reduce the load time for your website.