What Is Gravatar And Why You Should Start Using It

Have you seen that grey icon shows up next to the user’s name?


Have you ever been to a website where the author or those who have left comments have their photo displayed next to their comments? This is where Gravatars come in handy.

But, what is a Gravatar?

Here is an example:

gravatar examples

In this article, we will discuss what is a gravatar and why you should start using it right away.

So let’s get started.

What Is A Gravatar?

Gravatar, which stands for “Globally Recognized Avatar,” is a web service that allows users to associate an avatar image with their email address.

Avatars are small profile pictures or images that are commonly used to represent users’ identities on various websites, forums, blogs, and other online platforms.

From Where Does Gravatar Come In

Before we discuss Gravatar, we should first understand what is an avatar?

An avatar is a graphical representation of a user.

It could be the person’s picture or a random icon they want to associate with.

Back in the days, when the web was sort of anonymous, people would use icons for identification purposes.

Since it is very hard to remember names.

Avatar comes in the role because it is very easy to identify a specific image than a random name.

For example:

You can easily identify the symbols of McDonald’s, Starbucks, Facebook, and Coca-Cola.


As the web evolved and blogging started to become more mainstream, it was fairly hard to have an identity as a commenter.

With forums and other services, users were required to register.

Each user had their own profile, so they could easily add an ‘avatar’ to their profile.

However, blog commenting doesn’t require registration in most cases.

So how do we identify users?

Well, that is when Gravatar comes in. A gravatar takes the concept of an avatar and modernizes it for the current Internet environment.

Why Should You Use Gravatar?

  1. Centralized Avatar Management: With Gravatar, you can create a single avatar image and associate it with your email address. This avatar will then be automatically displayed on any website or platform that supports Gravatar when you use that email address to comment, post, or interact. This eliminates the need to manually upload and set your profile picture on every individual website.
  2. Consistent Online Identity: Having a consistent avatar across different websites and platforms helps you establish a recognizable online identity. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re active in various online communities or if you have a personal or professional brand to maintain.
  3. Ease of Use: Once you’ve set up your avatar on Gravatar, you don’t need to worry about changing it everywhere you go. It’s a one-time setup that makes it easier for you to manage your online presence.
  4. Time-Saving: If you regularly engage in discussions on blogs, forums, or social media sites, having your avatar automatically displayed saves time and effort compared to uploading a new avatar for each platform.
  5. Privacy: Gravatar allows you to control which email addresses are associated with specific avatars. This can be useful if you want to maintain different avatars for different contexts, while still using the same email address.
  6. WordPress Integration: Gravatar is owned by Automattic, the same company that created WordPress. As a result, Gravatar integration is seamless with WordPress-based websites, making it a popular choice among bloggers and website owners who use the WordPress platform.
  7. Cross-Platform Compatibility: Many platforms and content management systems (CMS) support Gravatar by default, which means your avatar will likely appear on a wide range of websites without any additional configuration.
  8. Community Engagement: Avatars help facilitate user recognition and community engagement. When people see the same avatar associated with your comments or posts, they are more likely to remember you and engage in conversations with you.

If you want to be identified on the web, then you should start using your unique gravatar image.

When a user leaves a comment (with email) on a site that supports Gravatar, it pulls their Globally Recognized Avatar from Gravatar servers.

Then that picture is shown next to the comment.

This allows each commenter to have their identity throughout the World Wide Web.

You might have noticed applications like WordPress have built-in support for Gravatar (that grey icon shows up next to the user’s name).

default gravatar

I am sure you are bored with the default gravatar of WordPress and want to display your custom gravatar image.

By adding your own image, you will make your comment section unique and branded.

At first, your gravatar might not get as much attention.

But if the same person sees your comment on numerous sites they read, they will probably end up visiting your website.

It also works like an advertisement which helps in increasing your website traffic.

If you are a blogger, non-profit, small business, or anyone who wants to build a brand, then you need to start using Gravatar.

How To Create A Gravatar

Visit Gravatar’s official website and sign up (it’s free) with the email that you use the most often to comment.

gravatar signup

You’ll then be prompted to either:

1. Create a new free WordPress.com account (if you don’t have one already).

create gravatar

2. Log into your existing free WordPress.com account.

wordpress.com login
If you just created your WordPress.com account, you may see a sign-in prompt on the Gravatar website.

If you see it, go ahead and click it.

gravatar connect

Alternatively, you may already be connected, in that case, you can proceed to the next step.

There you’ll see your email address, along with a prompt to add a new Gravatar image:

gravatar image

When you click that, you’ll be prompted to upload an image from your preferred source. You can also take a new picture with your webcam.

upload gravatar image

After uploading an image you crop it if needed. Or, you can just leave it as the original. Once you’re happy with how it looks, click Crop Image.

crop gravatar image

In the next screen, you’ll need to set a rating. This helps website/service owners make sure they don’t accidentally have explicit pictures on their sites.

set gravatar global rating

That’s it! You’re all done.

Gravatar also lets you set up profile information and fill in the details if you want.

gravatar profile update

How To Change Default Gravatar Image In WordPress

In order to change the default gravatar.

You need to visit the Settings » Discussion page and scroll down to the Avatar section.

Here you will find a few choices available for default avatar images.

These avatars are used when a user does not have a gravatar associated with their email address.

By default, WordPress shows the Mystery Man icon as a default gravatar.

wordpress default gravatar

You can change that to blank or another image logo present on that page.

However, WordPress also allows you to use your own default gravatar images.

For that, you must first create an image to serve as the default gravatar. This image should be square, with a resolution of 125 x 125 pixels.

Next, you need to upload this image to your WordPress site.

Then copy the image file URL and paste it into a plain text editor like Notepad.

copy file url

Now you need to add the below code to your theme’s functions.php file.

					add_filter( 'avatar_defaults', 'wpb_new_gravatar' ); function wpb_new_gravatar ($avatar_defaults) { $myavatar = 'http://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/wpb-default-gravatar.png'; $avatar_defaults[$myavatar] = "Default Gravatar"; return $avatar_defaults; }

Don’t forget to replace the URL in line 3 (http://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/wpb-default-gravatar.png) with the URL of the custom gravatar image you saved in your notepad earlier.

You can now visit the Settings » Discussion page, select your custom default avatar image and then click on the save changes button.


WordPress will now use your image for users who don’t have their gravatar associated with their email addresses.

custom avatar

I hope this article has helped you understand the significance of Gravatar and how to change it on your WordPress website.

Important FAQs On Gravatar

These FAQs should provide you with a better understanding of what Gravatar is and how it works. If you have more specific questions, feel free to ask!

Gravatar program play a major role when it comes to building a recognized brand across the entire web.

Yes, you can associate different avatars with different email addresses. This allows you to maintain distinct avatars for various contexts or identities.

Your Gravatar will appear on websites and platforms that support Gravatar integration. Many content management systems, blogs, forums, and social media platforms use Gravatar to display user avatars alongside comments or posts.

Yes, you can change your Gravatar image at any time. Just log in to your Gravatar account, upload a new image, and associate it with your email address. The updated avatar will then appear wherever your associated email is used.

Gravatar supports common image formats such as JPEG, PNG, and GIF.

Yes, Gravatar is a free service. You can create an account and use it to manage your avatar images without any cost.

Gravatar provides options to control the privacy settings for each email address you associate with an avatar. You can choose to make your avatars public, private, or only visible to certain websites.

While Gravatar is owned by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, it is not limited to WordPress users. It can be used on a wide range of websites and platforms that support Gravatar integration.

Yes, you can delete your Gravatar account if you no longer wish to use the service. Keep in mind that doing so will remove your associated avatars from websites that support Gravatar.

No, Gravatar is designed to be user-friendly, and you don’t need advanced technical skills to set up and manage your avatars.

Yes, Gravatar is accessible on mobile devices through web browsers. Many websites and platforms are also mobile-responsive and will display Gravatars on mobile interfaces.

2 thoughts on “What Is Gravatar And Why You Should Start Using It Right Away”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our Newsletter


Award winning hosting company for your website


Best page builder for creating a stunning website


The most popular theme among webmasters