We’ve come to accept that an avatar is a visual representation of you online. It's been this way for decades. It’s basically a small image of you, regardless of whether it actually is you or not.

This little picture of you is next to your username when you interact with supported websites. If you've ever asked what is Gravatar? I think you may have just given yourself the answer.

A Gravatar operates in a similar manner. Its name is made up of the words Globally Recognized Avatar. You upload it and create your profile once using a WordPress.com account, and then simply participate in any Gravatar-enabled site.

Your Gravatar image will automatically follow you there.

Besides, enabling Gravatar on your website will make your user’s comments stand out.

Sounds great, How Do I Use It?

Gravatar is a free service for website owners, developers, and users. It is automatically included in every WordPress.com account. This is true whether you run a WordPress website on WordPress.com or simply have an account to use Automattic products like Jetpack.

Gravatar ‘APIs' are pretty easy to use so many services and websites support its use automatically. If not, there are plugins available.

Regardless of if you run a WordPress website on WordPress.com or your own installation (WordPress.org), you can make sure Gravatars are enabled by going to your Admin Dashboard > Settings > Discussion > Avatars (towards the bottom). It should already be enabled by default.

If you want more information on using Gravatars in WordPress, head over to the Gravatar page in the WordPress Codex.

After Signing In

After you sign in on the My Gravatars page, You’ll see 2 sections:

  1. Pick email to modify (or add email address)
  2. Pick new image (or add new image)

Managing Emails

You can have several email addresses but only one primary address that you can’t delete (when it’s activated as primary).

You can remove or add an image to email accounts and view what the Gravatar looks like on websites that use different ratings through the email checker.

After you enter your email, select the new email and then select which avatar you want below in step 2 (managing images). The popup with confirm the email and follow through with the selection. Easy stuff.

Managing Images

You can add upload a new image, grab an image from a URL, view past uploads, or take an image from a webcam.

Managing Your Profile

On the My Profile settings page you can edit your profile to include the following:

  • First and Last Names
  • Full Name
  • Display Name
  • Location
  • And a quick description (About Me)
  • Add photos to a Photo Gallery
  • Add links to websites and blogs
  • Change background image or color
  • Add contact information
  • Verify yourself through other accounts
  • Even add cryptocurrency wallet addresses

To view your profile, go to https://en.gravatar.com/yourusername to see what it looks like.

Hiding Your Profile

You can choose to hide your profile if you wish, this is good if you haven’t filled everything out in its completion yet. When you hide your profile you get this information before you confirm:

  • This process will not delete any information from your account, it will just prevent access to your profile page or information.
  • If you want to remove your profile information, just go to the profile editor and delete it manually.
  • While your profile is hidden, you will not be able to edit any stored information, so if you want to delete something, do that now.
  • Your Gravatar (image) will continue to work even with your profile hidden. If you want to remove your Gravatar as well, go to the Manage My Gravatars page and click the Don't use this image link underneath each email address in the list.
  • You can un-hide your profile at any time if you change your mind.

Testing

You can go to https://en.gravatar.com/site/check/ to check your email address or directly link to your email address https://en.gravatar.com/site/check/email@email.email. Replace that crappy email example with your actual Gravatar-registered email address.

Conclusion

Gravatar is pretty neat. I can’t believe it took me this long to get on it. This is great not just to centralize your avatar information, but also to provide a nice link from a big organization to your blog! It’s most likely a nofollow but still very cool.

If you need more information on how certain pieces interact with Gravatar, you can visit their support page.

Other than that, comment below to see a live demo of Gravatar in action! This will be a great way to test if you have it setup.

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