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

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

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Using WordPress Gravatars

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

How To Use WordPress Gravatars

You are probably 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)

Using profile images has now become mainstream on social web accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, online directories and many other web properties …

Avatars are commonly used across all user sites on the web

(Avatars are now used all over the web)

Using WordPress Gravatars

If you read other blogs, you will see that WordPress sometimes also displays avatar pics (e.g. when users post comments or engage in online discussions) …

How To Add A Gravatar To Your WordPress Blog

You may be wondering why some people display their profile photos alongside their posts and discussions, while other users only show a generic silhouette, or perhaps you’ve left a comment on someone else’s blog and wondered why your image appeared greyed out …

How To Use WordPress Gravatars

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

Gravatars – What Are They?

WordPress uses a special kind of avatar called a Gravatar

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

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

Gravatar is short for Globally Recognized Avatar.

Gravatars make it possible for a person 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 every WordPress site and millions of avatar images are served billions of times per day across the web. Gravatars are also supported by many technologies.

How Gravatars Work

Once your Gravatar account is set up, the service matches your profile information to the email associated with your account and displays your custom gravatar image next to your post discussions, articles and (optionally) elsewhere on the WordPress site …

Using WordPress Gravatars

If a visitor has not set up their Gravatar account, the default avatar set by the WP site admin will be associated with their comments (we explain this further below).

Default icon set by site administrator

(Default icon set by WP site admin)

Typically, most images use a default avatar (called the “Mystery Man”) …

Mystery Man Avatar

(Mystery Man Avatar)

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

Why Use Gravatars

A Gravatar is essentially 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 creating different avatars for every new site you belong to, you could have the same avatar display on all of the web properties that you visit.

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

Benefits for Site Administrators

  • Gravatars require very little effort to administer.
  • There is no need to maintain additional plugins.
  • Gravatars are visually portable across the web. You don’t have to manage user accounts or edit user images, to allow people to use Gravatars on your site.

Benefits For WordPress Users

  • Users don’t have to register on every site they visit just to use a Gravatar.
  • Users can update their Gravatar across multiple sites from their account.

The step-by-step tutorial below explains how to set up and use Gravatars in WordPress.

How To Add Gravatars To WordPress – Tutorial

To use Gravatars, first create an account here (it’s FREE): http://www.gravatar.com

Gravatar.com

(Gravatar)

Sign in with your WordPress.com account details …

Using WordPress Gravatars

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

How To Use 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 to associate with your Gravatar.

Upload your Gravatar image …

Gravatar offers several image uploading options

(Gravatar offers you a number of image uploading options)

Add your image, then crop and save it …

How To Add A Gravatar To Your WordPress Blog

Select a rating for your Gravatar (G, PG, R, or X) …

Gravatar image ratings

(Gravatar ratings)

You can access and manage your own account anytime …

Using Gravatars In WordPress

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

Using WordPress Gravatars

Once you have finished setting up your account, your Gravatar will begin following 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 dashboard, in your user profile …

How To Use Gravatars In WordPress

And whenever you login …

How To Use Gravatars In WordPress

Managing Gravatar Settings

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

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

To control how your Gravatar is used, log into your WP dashboard and go to the Settings > Discussion area …

Discussion Settings Menu

(Discussion Settings Menu)

Scroll down to the Avatars section …

How To Add A Gravatar To Your WordPress Blog

You will be presented with a number of options:

  1. Avatar Display: Select whether to display Gravatars or not.
  2. Maximum Rating: When users create a profile on Gravatar, they are given the opportunity to rate their image (i.e. G, PG, R, X) based on its appropriateness. This section lets you select 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. Selecting one of the generated icons gives users a default avatar without requiring them to have a Gravatar account. Generated icons link the email of the post commenter to an auto-generated image. Now, every time that same person posts on your site, the same image will display next to their name.

Remember to save your changes when done …

Save WordPress Changes

WordPress Gravatars – Additional Tips

By default, WordPress displays Gravatar images at a fixed size. To customize the default image size, code editing would be required.

Also, various WordPress plugins have been developed to extend the use of Gravatars. you can see which plugins are available inside your dashboard by typing in the keyword “gravatar” inside the plugin search field …

Search for gravatar-related 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 WordPress blog using a plugin called Jetpack.

Gravatar Hovercards

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

A Gravatar Hovercard is normally a feature of WordPress.com (the hosted version of WordPress). You can add a Gravatar Hovercard to your self-hosted WordPress site, however, by installing the powerful, feature-rich (and free) Jetpack WordPress plugin …

Jetpack WordPress Plugin - Gravatar Hovercards

(Jetpack Plugin – Gravatar Hovercards)

After installing Jetpack on your site and activating the Gravatar Hovercards feature, a new item will show up in your Discussion Settings > Avatars management panel. This allows you to display visitor profiles when someone hovers over a Gravatar …

WordPress Discussion Settings - Gravatar Hovercards

(WordPress Discussion Settings – Gravatar Hovercards)

If you activate this feature, then whenever visitors hover their mouse over your Gravatar …

Hovering your mouse over a Gravatar displays Gravatar Hovercards

(Hover the mouse over a Gravatar to display Gravatar Hovercards)

Your Gravatar Hovercard will display, allowing people to learn more about you …

Gravatar Hovercards

(Gravatar Hovercard)

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 tutorial has helped you learn what Gravatars are and how to get your WordPress avatar to show up next to your post comments, blog discussions, forums and more.

How To Add A Gravatar To Your WordPress Site

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

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com