Have you ever wondered why some people have photos or images beside their names when commenting articles and blog posts whilst you don’t?
This little picture next to your name is called an avatar. It is an icon or representation, of you in forums, websites, chats, etc. In this post, I will teach you how to make a gravatar. Also, I will show you another great way to use a gravatar.
Avatar vs Gravatar
Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar) is just another type of avatar. It is the most globally recognized avatar and the one that follows you, from site to site. On those blogs and sites that support Gravatar, your image will come with you. And it’s FREE!
As Gravatar is connected with your email so if you want to use one, you have to prepare the image (the icon) and then tie it with your email address. In case you have many email, you may want to decide which images (gravatars) you want to use for these addresses. It’s possible to use one image for all addresses or a different image for each address. It’s up to you.
How to Make a Gravatar?
You can use Gravatar website to make one. Then just skip this section. Or if you want to make one by yourself, just follow the steps below.
The actual size of a gravatar image is 80×80 pixels. You may upload an 80×80 pixels image or a bigger one, again, it’s up to you. If it is bigger than 80×80 pixels, it will be resampled before output. Valid values are from 1 to 512 pixels. Just make sure it is a square size.
1. Open your photo in the Paint.Net image editor. Or use an image editor of your choice, if you want to.
2. Choose the Rectangle Select tool from the Toolbar.
3. From the following drop down menu choose Fixed ratio. Then change the values of width and height so that they are the same (4 and 4, or 3 and 3).
4. Make a square size selection. This will be your gravatar.
5. After that choose Image → Crop to Selection.
Now you have the image for your gravatar:
6. To Resize the Image (to make it smaller) choose Image → Resize.
7. Now you want to give the image width and height new values. If the Maintain aspect ratio is clicked, it is enough to change only one value. The other one is changed automatically. Then press OK. The image is resized accordingly.
8. Save your image. PNG and JPG file formats do well.
How to Set Up a Gravatar?
1. On the Gravatar home page, click on the blue Sign in button at the top right.
2. If you already have a WordPress.com account, sign in with your username and password. If you don’t have WordPress account yet, create one by clicking Need an account.
2. After logging in, you can manage your gravatars and add new emails.
3. What exact email you should add here?
Remember that your gravatar is connected with your email address. So make sure you connect the image with the right email address. You may want to connect it with your primary email or some other email that use for blogging, etc.
Have you noticed that usually the header of a typical comment form is something like this:
If you are a site owner, you want to advertise your site as much as possible. So you need to connect the gravatar to that email (in my case firstname.lastname@example.org)
4. Click the link Add a New Email and type the email that you want to connect with your gravatar. After that hit the blue Add button.
5. Click the link Add a New Image and upload your gravatar image, which you prepared before.
6. After uploading is finished, Select the image to use for the selected email address.
From now on, every time you contribute in forums, chats, etc. your gravatar comes with your comments.
How to Use a Gravatar?
There is another benefit of installing and using an Avatr plugin to your WordPress site. If you are a site owner, you invest your time and energy to publish high quality content. Then you also wait feedback from your readers. The more comments your articles get, the better.
The problem is that not all of your readers have set up their gravatars. Probably most of them have never heard about it. Luckily, you can easily use that place to advertise your site or brand. Now I show you how to do it.
1. Prepare another square size gravatar image that you want to use at those places where there are no user gravatars. For this you may want to go through the tutorial about how to design cool images. Then follow the same steps that I described above, in the section “How to Make a Gravatar Image?“.
To give you an example, I created the following avatar:
2. After you have prepared your avatar you need to install a WordPress plugin. There are different options available but I recommend to use the WP User Avatar plugin. To install it login to your WordPress website and go to “Plugins” → “Add New“. Type in “WP User Avatar” and click “Search Plugins”.
2. Choose the WP User Avatar and click “Install now“.
3. After the installation is complete, press “Activate Plugin“.
4. Click Avatars → Settings
5. For Avatar Display make sure Show Avatars is selected. For Default Avatar hit Choose Image button and upload your newly created avatar. Then select that uploaded avatar.
6. After that click Save Changes. That’s it.
7. Now go to your website and refresh it. Then check out if your newly created avatar shows up? In my website comments without a gravatar look like that:
It’s much nicer, isn’t it?
Using a gravatar helps you to advertise you and your brand globally. Following the steps above you are able to make and set up gravatar to use for your emails. Also you can replace default avatars in your website comments with more meaningul avatar, thus adverising your brand even further.
Do you have questions or comments? Feel Free to drop me a comment below and I will get back at you.
And if you liked the tutorial, please share using the social buttons.