How To Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress

Learn how to add a custom gravatar to WordPress without touching code in this step-by-step tutorial …

How To Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPressAs we explain in this tutorial, WordPress uses a special kind of avatar called a Gravatar to display user profile photos.

To learn how to set up a Gravatar, see the step-by-step tutorial below:

How To Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress

Take a look at WordPress sites and blogs where users frequently post comments or engage in online discussions and you will most likely see user profile images displayed next to their comments.

These are user avatars or Gravatars …

A Gravatar is a special kind of avatar used in WordPress

(A Gravatar is a special kind of avatar used in WordPress)

Your Gravatar is associated with your email address and follows you around the web, displaying your profile image whenever you post comments online or interact with other WordPress users.

If a user doesn’t have a gravatar, WordPress will display a default image, called  a ‘Mystery Person’ …

Mystery Person

(Mystery Person)

Since many users don’t have an image associated with their email address, your site can end up displaying lots of ‘Mystery Person’ images.

If you allow users to post comments on your site and you don’t want a ‘Mystery Person’ to display next to commenters without gravatars of their own, you can set up a custom default gravatar to display on your site. This can be any image you like, even a branded logo.

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to add a custom default gravatar to WordPress without touching code.

Why Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress?

There are two reasons for adding a custom gravatar to WordPress:

  1. To change your own default user gravatar.
  2. To change the default gravatar of other users.

Why Change Your Own Default User Gravatar?

As explained in this tutorial, Gravatar is a free web service that allows users to create a profile and associate avatar images to their email addresses.

Once you set up your Gravatar, the image you have associated with your email address will display everywhere your email address is used. While it’s great to keep the same profile image consistent when interacting with other sites, you may not want to use your gravatar image on your site.

For example, you may want to use  your professional gravatar when posting comments on websites related to your work or industry …

Professional Gravatar

(Professional Gravatar)

But you may also have created a fun or special character avatar or a mascot image that you would like to associate with your profile when posting on your own site …

Fun Gravatar

(Fun Gravatar)

Why Change The Default Gravatar Of Other Users?

As explained earlier, the main reason for changing the default gravatar of other users on your site is to replace the ‘Mystery Man’ default image …

Mystery Man gravatar ... Boooo!

(Mystery Man gravatar … Boooo!)

But you may also have created a fun or special character avatar or a mascot image that you would like to associate with your profile when posting on your own site …

Custom user gravatar ... Yaaay!

(Custom user gravatar … Yaaay!)

Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress Using Plugins

The easiest way to add or change custom gravatars in WordPress without touching code is using plugins. There are a number of plugins you can use to customize WordPress using avatars.

For this tutorial, let’s look at how to change your default gravatar and set a different default gravatar for other users on your site using a couple of gravatar plugins.

Podamibe Custom User Gravatar

Podamibe Custom User Gravatar

(Podamibe Custom User Gravatar)

Podamibe Custom User Gravatar is a free WordPress plugin that allows users to upload their own gravatar in the media gallery and displays that image as a gravatar instead of looking for an avatar from gravatar.com based on their registered email.

To install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add Plugins and search for “gravatar” in the Keyword field.

Locate the plugin and click ‘Install Now’ …

Install the plugin

(Install the plugin)

After the plugin has installed, click on ‘Activate’ …

Activate the plugin

(Activate the plugin)

After installing and activating the plugin, go to your User Profile and scroll down to the Custom Gravatar section. Check ‘Use Custom Gravatar’ and click the ‘Select Picture’ button …

User Profile - Custom Gravatar

(User Profile – Custom Gravatar)

Upload and/or select an image from the WordPress Media Library to use as your custom gravatar, then click on ‘Update Profile’ to update your settings and set your image as your new default gravatar  …

Use Custom Gravatar

(Use Custom Gravatar)

Your new custom Gravatar image will display throughout your site, replacing the previous default gravatar …

(Your custom Gravatar image)

You can return to the default gravatar simply by disabling the Custom Gravatar feature in your User Profile or deactivating the plugin …

Back to 'Mystery Man'

(Back to ‘Mystery Man’)

To learn more about this plugin, go here: Podamibe Custom User Gravatar

WP User Avatar

WP User Avatar

(WP User Avatar)

WP User Avatar is a free WordPress plugin that lets you use any image or picture from your WordPress Media Library as a custom user avatar, including adding your own default avatar.

To install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add Plugins and search for “gravatar” in the Keyword field.

Locate the plugin and click ‘Install Now’ …

Install the plugin

(Install the plugin)

After the plugin has installed, click on ‘Activate’ …

Activate the plugin

(Activate the plugin)

The plugin adds a new ‘Avatars’ menu to your main WordPress menu. Go to Avatars > Settings to add a new default avatar …

Avatars > Settings menu

(Avatars > Settings menu)

This brings you to the ‘WP User Avatar’ settings screen, which effectively mirrors the Avatar section of the WordPress Discussion settings area, allowing you to configure the plugin settings, select whether or not to display avatars, set the content rating, and change the default avatar for users without a custom avatar of their own …

WP User Avatar settings screen

(WP User Avatar settings screen)

Scroll down to the ‘Default Avatar’ section, select the WP User Avatar radio button and click on the ‘Choose Image’ button …

Default Avatar - WP User Avatar

(Default Avatar – WP User Avatar)

Upload and/or select an image from the WordPress Media Library to use as your custom gravatar and click ‘Save Changes’ to update your settings …

Set a new default WordPress avatar

(Set a new default WordPress avatar)

The new custom avatar image will replace the default avatar on your site …

Custom avatar image

(Custom avatar image)

The new custom avatar image will also replace the default image for all users on your site without a Gravatar of their own …

New default user gravatar

(New default user gravatar)

The plugin also adds a library of Avatars to your admin area …

Avatars - Library menu

(Avatars – Library menu)

This lets admin users view and manage all custom avatars uploaded by users on your site …

Avatars library

(Avatars library)

WP User Avatar – Additional Features

If you allow the plugin to add a menu button to your Visual Editor in the plugin ‘settings’ section, users can insert their custom gravatar into their content using the menu button or a shortcode …

Insert a custom gravatar into your content

(Insert a custom gravatar into your content)

Clicking on the menu button brings up a dialog box where users can edit and insert their custom avatar into their content …

Insert a custom avatar into your content

(Insert a custom avatar into your content)

This places a shortcode into the content …

Custom gravatar shortcode

(Custom gravatar shortcode)

The custom gravatar will display in the content in the specified location after the post or page has been published …

Custom Gravatar

(Custom Gravatar)

Clicking on the menu button also gives you the option of adding a standalone uploader to a front page or widget which is only visible to logged-in users …

Add a standalone uploader to a page or widget

(Add a standalone uploader to a page or widget)

This lets logged-in users directly upload their own custom avatar and update their profiles …

Logged-in users can upload their own custom Gravatar

(Logged-in users can upload their own custom Gravatar)

This feature can be useful if you plan to run a membership site or user forum

User profile avatar updated

(User profile avatar updated)

There is also a WP User Avatar PRO version of the plugin that adds more customizable features for adding, editing, managing, and storing custom avatars.

Watch the video below to see a demo of the Pro version of the plugin:

(WP User Avatar PRO)

Learn more about …

We hope you have found this tutorial on how to add a custom gravatar to WordPress useful.

How To Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress

Angry eggs image: Pixabay

***

"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

***

Using WordPress Gravatars

Learn about WordPress Gravatars … what they are, how they work, and how to set up Gravatars in WordPress …

Get Thrive Leads for WordPress

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.

(Source: WordPress Codex)

The use of profile images has now become standard across the web on social web sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, online directories and loads of other places …

Avatars are commonly used all over the web

(Avatars are commonly used all over the web)

Using WordPress Gravatars

If you read other blogs, you will see that WordPress also displays user profile pictures (e.g. when visitors post comments or engage in online discussions) …

How To Add A Gravatar To Your WordPress Blog

You may be wondering why some users display their photos or images with posts and comments, while others only show a generic image, or perhaps you’ve posted something online and wondered why your image displayed as a grey blob while others got to show their pictures …

Using Gravatars In WordPress

This tutorial explains what Gravatars are, how they work and how to set up avatars in WordPress.

What’s A Gravatar?

WordPress uses a special kind of avatar called a Gravatar

A Gravatar is a special type of avatar for use with WordPress

(A Gravatar is a special kind of avatar used with WordPress)

Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar.

Gravatars allow web users to have one avatar across the web. Avatars are usually an image that the user will create themselves. Unlike standard avatars, Gravatars follow you around the web and automatically appear whenever you post a comment on a WordPress site.

Gravatar.com was acquired in 2007 by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. As a result, Gravatars are now integrated into WordPress and millions of avatar images are served billions of times per day across the web. Gravatars are also used by a growing number of WordPress users supported by many technologies.

How Gravatars Work

Once your Gravatar account has been configured, the service matches your WordPress profile information to the email registered in your account and displays your custom gravatar image next to comments, articles and (optionally) elsewhere across the WordPress universe …

How To Use WordPress Gravatars

If a site is not registered with Gravatar, the default avatar set by the site admin will display for their entries (this is explained further below).

Default icon set by WP site administrator

(Default icon set by site administrator)

Typically, the default avatar most commonly used is called the “Mystery Man” …

Mystery Man Avatar

(Default Avatar)

If you don’t want your WordPress entries to display with a default icon, then the easiest thing to do is set up your own gravatar.

Why Use A Gravatar

A Gravatar is basically the same thing as an avatar, but the images are 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 drop into and another avatar displaying on a blog that you are a registered member of, you could have the same avatar display on all of the sites that you visit.

Enabling gravatars on your WordPress site also simplifies the process for everyone involved:

WP Admin Benefits

  • Adding user Gravatars requires very little effort.
  • Gravatars require no additional plugins.
  • Gravatars are portable across the web. You don’t have to manage user accounts or their images, to allow visitors to use Gravatars on your site.

Benefits For WordPress Users

  • Having a Gravatar account saves users setting up an avatar on every site they join or service they register for.
  • Users can update their Gravatar across multiple sites from a central location.

Complete the step-by-step tutorial below to learn more about setting up and using Gravatars in WordPress.

How To Add A Gravatar To Your WordPress Site – Tutorial

To use Gravatars, you will first need to create an account here: http://www.gravatar.com

Gravatar.com

(Gravatar.com)

Log in with your WordPress.com account details …

How To Use Gravatars In WordPress

If you don’t have a WordPress.com account, you can register for one on the site …

Using Gravatars In WordPress

Once you have verified and set up your account, follow the instructions to complete your profile, and choose the email address and image you want associated with your Gravatar.

Upload your Gravatar image …

Gravatar offers various image uploading options

(Gravatar offers a number of image uploading options)

After uploading your photo, crop and save it …

Using Gravatars In WordPress

Select one of the available ratings for your Gravatar (G, PG, R, or X) …

Rate your Gravatar picture

(Gravatar ratings)

You can access and change your own account anytime …

Using Gravatars In WordPress

You can further edit your profile by associating your Gravatar with an email, website, location and a brief bio …

Using Gravatars In WordPress

Once you are done editing your details and setting up your account, your Gravatar will be integrated with your WordPress account and follow you around the web.

It will be displayed in blog comments, forums, etc …

Using Gravatars In WordPress

Your Gravatar will also display inside your own WordPress dashboard, in your user account …

How To Use WordPress Gravatars

And every time you log back into your site …

Add A Gravatar To Your WordPress Blog

Managing Gravatar Settings in WordPress

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

  • Whether Avatars (aka, Gravatars) show on your site or not.
  • Avatar ratings filter.

To manage how your Gravatar is used, log into your dashboard and go to the Settings > Discussion administration panel …

WordPress Discussion Settings

(Discussion Settings)

Scroll down the screen to the Avatars section …

How To Use Gravatars In WordPress

The Avatars section provides you with the following 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 give their Gravatar a rating (i.e. G, PG, R, X) based on its appropriateness. Here you can choose the maximum rating you will allow on your site.
  3. Default Avatar: WordPress allows you to select what type of image you would like to display when users do not have a Gravatar account. Selecting one of the generated icons gives users a default avatar. Generated icons link the email of the commenter to an auto-generated image. Now, every time that user posts on your site, the same image will display next to their name.

Remember to save your changes when finished …

Save WordPress Changes

WordPress Gravatars – Useful Tips

By default, Gravatars display at a fixed size. To change the default WordPress Gravatar size, code editing would be required.

Also, many additional WordPress plugins have been developed to extend the use of Gravatars. These are available inside your dashboard by searching for the keyword gravatar

Search for gravatar-enhancing plugins inside your WordPress plugin dashboard

(Search for gravatar-related plugins inside your WordPress plugin dashboard)

For example, you can a feature called a Gravatar Hovercard to your site using a plugin called Jetpack.

Gravatar Hovercards

Gravatar Hovercards allow your profile to be made visible to others and makes it easier for people to find your blog or access your identity on services like Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin.

A Gravatar Hovercard is typically a feature of WordPress.com (the hosted version of WordPress). You can, however, add Gravatar Hovercards to your self-hosted WordPress installation if you install the versatile, feature-rich (and free) Jetpack WordPress plugin …

Jetpack Plugin - Gravatar Hovercards

(Jetpack WordPress Plugin – Gravatar Hovercards)

After Jetpack is installed on your site and the Gravatar Hovercards feature is activated, a Gravatar Hovercards entry will be added to your Discussion Settings > Avatars admin area. This allows you to display visitor profiles when someone hovers over a Gravatar with their mouse …

WordPress Discussion Settings - Gravatar Hovercards

(WordPress Discussion Settings Screen – Gravatar Hovercards)

If you activate this feature, then if someone hovers over your Gravatar …

Hover the mouse over a Gravatar to display Gravatar Hovercards

(Hovering your mouse over a Gravatar displays a Gravatar Hovercard)

Your Gravatar Hovercard will appear, giving people an opportunity to see your profile and learn more about you …

Gravatar Hovercards

(Gravatar Hovercards)

Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress

You can replace the default user gravatar on your site for users that don’t have a gravatar set up. To learn how to add a custom gravatar to WordPress, see the tutorial below:

Hopefully this article has helped you learn what Gravatars are and how to get your picture to show up next to your posts, comments, blog discussions, forums and more.

How To Use Gravatars In WordPress

Gravatar logo source: simpleicons.org. Avatar movie references used for illustrative purposes only. All copyright belongs to their respective owners.

***

"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now