In this tutorial you are going to learn about Gravatars and how to add a Gravatar to your WordPress site.

Most internet users are familiar with avatars. An avatar is an icon, or representation of a user in a shared virtual reality such as a forum, chat, website, or any other form of online community where the user(s) wish to distinguish themselves from other users.

What Are Gravatars

Short for “Globally Recognized Avatar”, gravatars make it possible for a person to have one avatar across the entire web. Avatars are usually an image that the user will create themselves.

A Gravatar is essentially the same thing as an avatar, but they are all hosted on a single server and are called up by encrypting the users’ email address using a special algorithm.

Instead of having one avatar display on a forum that you often frequent, and another avatar display on a blog you visit, you could have the same avatar display on both sites.

Watch the short video below and then complete the step-by-step tutorial to learn more about adding a Gravatar to your WordPress site …

How To Add A Gravatar To Your WordPress Site – Video

Why Use Gravatars

Providing users with avatars has become a convention in web-publishing. Enabling Gravatars on your WordPress site simplifies the process for everyone involved.

Benefits for Site Administrators

  • Adding user Gravatars requires very little effort
  • There is no need to maintain additional Plugins
  • You don’t have to manage user accounts, or their images, to allow blog commenters to use Gravatars on your site

Benefits for WordPress Users

  • Users don’t need to register for every site they visit just to use a Gravatar
  • Users can update their Gravatar across multiple sites by uploading a single image in a central location.

How To Add A Gravatar To Your WordPress Site – Tutorial

If you browse different web sites you have probably noticed that many users have a picture displayed above or next to their name.

WordPress Gravatar

These pictures are called “avatars.” WordPress uses a specific type of avatar called a “Gravatar” — short for “Globally Recognized Avatar”.

By default, WordPress displays Gravatars at 32px x 32px. To change the default WordPress Gravatar size on your site, you will need to edit the code in a template file.

Unlike standard avatars, Gravatars follow you around the web and automatically appear whenever you post a comment on a WordPress site. WordPress integrates Gravatars into every WordPress site.

Once registered with Gravatar, the service matches your WordPress profile information to the email address registered with Gravatar and displays your custom Gravatar image next to comments and (optionally) elsewhere on the WordPress siteÖ

WordPress Gravatar

If a visitor chooses not to sign up with Gravatar, the default icon set by the site’s Administrator will appear next to their name (this is explained further below).

To use Gravatars, first create an account here (it’s FREE):


Once you have an account set up, you will need to complete your profile, and select the email address and image you want to associate with your Gravatar.

WordPress Gravatar

Your Gravatar will then be integrated with your WordPress account and follow you around the web.

WordPress Gravatar

How To Control Gravatars On Your WordPress Site

Although WordPress sites now automatically integrate using Gravatars, you can change the following settings:

  • Whether Avatars (aka, Gravatars) are displayed on your site or not.
  • Which rating of Avatars are shown.

To control how your Gravatar is used, log in as an administrator and go to the Settings > Discussion Administration Panel …

WordPress Discussion Settings

Scroll down to the “Avatars” Section …

WordPress Gravatar

The “Avatars” section presents you with several options:

  1. Avatar Display: This section lets you toggle Gravatars on and off for your site.
  2. Maximum Rating: When users create a profile on Gravatar, they are given the opportunity to rate their Gravatar image as G, PG, R, X based on its appropriateness. Select the radio button for the maximum rating you would like displayed on your site.
  3. Default Avatar: WordPress allows for you to select what type of image you would like to display when a commenter does not have a Gravatar account. Selecting one of the ‘generated’ icons gives you and your users some of the benefits of a Gravatar without requiring them to have a Gravatar account. The icons that say ‘generated’ next to them take the email of the commenter and link it to an auto-generated image. Now, every time that commenter posts to your site, they will have the same unique image next to their name.

Remember to click the Save Changes button when finished to save your new settings …

Save WordPress Changes

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