During our WordPress courses, we are often asked how to change the grey and white icon of a person that shows in blogs with comments.
The generic “Mystery Person” image is the default avatar displayed on WordPress websites.
WordPress beginners see others displaying a profile picture and they want to know how this is done.
- Do you want to show your own image beside your comments on other blogs?
- Do you want your image to display when you respond to comments on your own blog?
The answer is to create a Gravatar.
What is an Avatar / Gravatar?
You may be familiar with Avatars 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 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 so it is widely used across the Internet. A Gravatar will display your photo whenever you comment on other blogs. Gravatars help make the web more of a community, less anonymous.
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. If you want to change this default image head over to Settings → Discussion and select a different option.
5 Reasons Bloggers should use Gravatar
- BRANDING: A Gravatar will help you consistently build your personal brand.
- CREDIBILITY: A comment with a photo carries 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
- PROFILE WIDGET: In addition to blog comments, there is a Gravatar Profile widget (from Jetpack). This widget is an easy way to display your Gravatar image and a brief bio in your blog or website’s sidebar.
Ready? How to set up your Gravatar
Follow these 5 steps:
- Go to gravatar.com – it’s FREE!
- Sign in with a wordpress.com account – not your wp-admin, (hint you created a wordpress.com account when you signed up for Jetpack). If you don’t have an account, you will need to create one.
- 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.
That’s it! Now you can show the world who you are.