Originally published on August 31, 2015
When you’re reading blog posts and comments, do you notice that some commenters have photos associated with their comments while others display a “Mystery Person”? This generic “Mystery Person” image is the default avatar displayed on WordPress websites. Do you want:
- To show your own image beside your comments on other blogs?
- Your image to display when you respond to comments on your own blog?
To do this, you need to create a Gravatar.
What is a Gravatar?
You may be familiar with the term Avatar from the online gaming world and from message forums. An avatar is a graphic that identifies a user online.
A Gravatar is a globally recognized [gr]avatar.
Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. ~ gravatar.com
Gravatar integration is built into most WordPress themes and is widely used across the Internet. When you set up a Gravatar, your photo will be displayed whenever you comment on other blog posts.
We encourage WordPress users to create a Gravatar because it helps make the web more of a community and less anonymous. And as you’ll see below, as a blogger or WordPress site owner, there are strong marketing reasons to use a Gravatar.
How to Change the Default Mystery Person Avatar on Your WordPress Blog
There will always be some commenters to your blog who haven’t created a gravatar account. For these commenters, the grey “Mystery Person” avatar will display. You can change this default image in Settings → Discussion. Select the option that you prefer.
Why Bloggers should use Gravatar
- BRANDING: A Gravatar will help you consistently build your personal brand.
- CREDIBILITY: A comment with a photo is more credible than a Mystery Person icon. So many blog comments are spam. A Gravatar sets your comment apart and indicates to the blog owner that your comment is legitimate.
- PROFESSIONAL: Even if you aren’t commenting on other blogs when you reply to commenters on your own blog it is more professional when you should show your image.
- CONVENIENCE: A Gravatar account is easy to create and requires little or no management. When you want to update your image you only have to change it in one place and every blog you’ve ever commented on updates with the new image
5 Steps to Set Up Your Gravatar
- If you have a wordpress.com account, sign in at gravatar.com. If you have Jetpack on your site, you already have a wordpress.com account. It’s important to note that wordpress.com is not the same as yourwebsite.com/wp-admin.
- If you don’t have a wordpress.com account, click “Need an account?” to register.
- Add your email address. You can add multiple email addresses so you can add avatars to each one.
- Select an email address and upload the image, photo or graphic you want to use as your avatar for that email address. Unless you are representing a brand, we recommend using a photo of yourself instead of a logo or icon. For consistency, use the same image here that you use as your profile picture on your social media accounts.
- Do this for each email address. You can choose a different avatar for each one or you can assign the same avatar for all of your email addresses.
Now you can show the world who you are. Setting up a Gravatar is easy and fast. It’ll help build your brand recognition and your credibility. We highly recommend that you take 5 minutes to set one up.