Is your Avatar a Gravatar?

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I know a few of you use forums. Some of you have blogs and other social accounts. Most of these places allow you to set up an avatar. The hope is that one day, you only have to upload an avatar once and have it populate to all places you are on the Web. There is something that may be used throughout any blog that uses WordPress, and that has this feature enabled. For years, the Gravatars have been a plugin for WordPress. Now, the new version of WordPress has support for these Gravatars.

If you’ve commented in my blog in the past, you’ve used an Email address. This is what will allow you to have a Gravatar that follows you around once you register. Your Gravatar will automatically be posted with your comments on any blog you visit, as long as you comment using your normal email address. You don’t have to sign up with my blog, or anything!

Of course, you will need to sign up for free with Gravatar. A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs? Setting up gravatars on your weblog is easy, you don’t even need an account! Plugins are available for leading weblog software, and our tutorials will have you running gravatars in no time. To request a gravatar from our servers, you simply add an image to your comments area with an “src” attribute that points to our gravatar image generator and includes an MD5 hash of the commenter’s email address. Since all gravatars are rated with an MPAA style rating, you can restrict your site to show only gravatars whose content you are comfortable with.

You may have more than one email address or more than one avatar that you want to manage. That’s fine, you can do that! You can upload your image, and it helps you crop it down so it fits into an avatar size! It’s super easy, even if you aren’t good with photo editing software.

The challenge now to you is to go sign up for Gravatar, then leave a comment in my blog so that we can all check out your avatar!


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117 thoughts on “Is your Avatar a Gravatar?”

  1. I always have had problem with “my avatar”. I got like a zillion email accounts, zillion nicknames. I just dont know what to use, or if I should use my real name…

  2. Couldn’t a hacker somehow trace the “gravatar” to find your email address? Even if their is some sort of algorymth to distort the email.


  3. Couldn’t a hacker somehow trace the “gravatar” to find your email address? Even if their is some sort of algorymth to distort the email.


  4. Gravatars rock. I agree, there needs to be somehing universal that we can use to manage our avatars everywhere on the web.

  5. I would love to see all social networks inner connect with pictures, or blog posts. That would be cool. I know that is one thing that Chris wants to do with GnomePal, allowing you to interact between multiple social networks. His new site also implements some of those. All of which are very very helpful.

  6. Gravatars are cool, I wish more places supported them. I’m curious to see if mine shows here, because it has stopped appearing on some blogs where it always USED to show.

    In answer to your question at the end, I spotted a site using something called ‘Buddy Cards’ in the comments. These seemed to be linking to my Gravatar, or maybe my Twitter icon, and also found my Flickr photos and associated them with me, all without any guidance from myself! Impressive.

  7. My site’s blog uses Serendipity, which has a plugin for avatars. I use Gravatar first, then there are some other options like using their web site’s favicon before using a default image.

    I agree it’d be nice to have those on YouTube and other places with comments as well.

  8. great I’ve just set up my Gravatar it was easy and I can’t wait to see it, very nice idear.
    But I don’t want to use the same avatar on all pages

  9. I need one. I am registered to like 30 forums/social networking sites, and hate it when I have to change it all the time. Thanks for the tip!

  10. You challenge to get a Gravitar so you can recognize people. I challenge you to “unplug” for a month. Then I will have a Gravitar and we will have a most wonderful experience to talk about.

  11. You challenge to get a Gravitar so you can recognize people. I challenge you to “unplug” for a month. Then I will have a Gravitar and we will have a most wonderful experience to talk about.

  12. I’ve been using Gravatar for awhile now, I believe I discovered it when I was Googling dynamic avatars, and stumbled upon Gravatar. Now, I wouldn’t call Gravatar a dynamic avatar, but, it’s still cool. πŸ˜‰

  13. Simplicity is best when it comes to things like this. I much prefer choosing an avatar once and forgetting about it. The fact that I can choose once for every site is fabulous. I sometimes get frustrated constantly joining forums, etc and having to load my avatar there all the time over and over again. Here just once! Great!

  14. Hey, I didn’t know about this Gravatar but it’s a much better thing to create an Avatar on each forum you go on or each blog you go on. This is fun πŸ™‚

  15. I’ll have to bookmark this page for later, my current computer doesn’t have the available space to really run much right now…. T_T

  16. Hey, I didn’t know about this Gravatar but it’s much better than creating an Avatar on each forum you go on or each blog you go on. This is fun πŸ™‚

  17. I’m going to setup my Gravatar right now. Sorry wicket but it’s time for a change. Also, I saw you record this live! It was the first time I caught one of your live videos.

  18. I have just registered for Gravatar, its pretty cool! My image is supposed to be Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid. I’ve never used an Avatar before.

  19. Definitely something I would love to see implemented over the internet, kinda like openID. Its a pain to have to sign up for different forums/sites, and have to openload my avatar (sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal, not sure where it came from). And I HATE to see those no icon icons on sites like twitter.

  20. I now have a gravatar thanks for this information I always thought a avatar was an aviator this is way cooler than having to create one every time you sign up for a new account on whatever.

  21. Wow. I wonder why I’d never heard of this. Just made one and hopefully it’ll show up. Very nice addition to the blog!

  22. Finally – a chance to use the “Talking Skull” on more sites, with less hassle ;););)

  23. Most places where I’ve posted comments have an avatar that links back to your profile on that site. Some sites, like YouTube, however, only use your name. Maybe one day they’ll use the avatar.

  24. awesome idea to intergrade this to any website and just use 1 account and 1 avatar, hope it will work, I wish youtube had this feature intergraded

  25. This is pretty cool Chris… I love it when people use technology to actually make our lives simpler rather than making them more complicated, and I wish the cropping tool on my Gimp was that simple to use. This is a great thing.. I hope all the boards I’m on are using it soon.

  26. This is neat, I think I will go sign up now. I like the idea that I will only need to create a single avatar and it will follow me around. Just another example of how the little details of something make an experience better.

  27. I think this is really cool to have a universal avatar. I will make sure to sign up for one soon. thanks for the tip.

  28. i don’t usually use gravatars i usually stick with the avatars but i do really like how gravatars work. I mean their really more expressive. But it is cool how wordpress is now allowing them. Thanks for that chris.

  29. I just signed up for my Gravatar. I don’t use a lot of forums but I do use a couple. Hopefully it will work. Thank you for the suggestion.

  30. BTW, Chris I noticed that you have three different avatars. The one that appears normally as a favricon in Safari, the one that appears in Lockergnome, and the one that appears on Gnomepal. Why haven’t you standardized on one?

  31. Just trying out the new gravatar…. this is a pretty cool idea. Like you said Chris, will be a great way for recognizing regulars and putting a face/gravatar to the writing.

  32. Thats pretty awesome that you can go through your email for one of these. Ill make sure to sign up for one when i get home from school today πŸ™‚ Although the Wicket and Pixie one is still good, i need something a little more personal

  33. had signed up with gravatars a while ago but never checked if my avatar follows me, and checking here to see if it does πŸ™‚

  34. Ehh, I’d rather not! πŸ™‚ As appealing as it sounds… it just seems like… not me! But it was definitely interesting to read about.

    Thank you for the post.

    Kind Regards,

  35. Darn it, i can’t use my nick to sign up for this name, someone is already using DrWho, although i sign up as ironbear66 on, you might see in here as ironbear66 or DrWho. tnx Chris for the tip. Now i’m off to explore Gravatar some more.

  36. I actually used my face for my gravitar,,,hope you guys can take it.
    I like the idea of having a personal icon that will follow us on the web…cool

  37. LOL.. that’s kind of cool, but this is the only place where I have seen or heard about a Gravatar. I typically edit my own Avatar.. and upload them in my joined forums. Well I guess for this post I’m going to be a dog πŸ˜‰

  38. This is a neat idea. I just made created my account an uploaded an avatar. I love how social networks work together to make social innovations such as these to communities. I am glad WordPress has official built in Gravatar support.

    Does anyone know if Gravatar supports animated GIF images?

  39. Wow this is pretty cool, about time people start to make little things that have a access to all your social sites and what not. Now I need to go set up my gravatar πŸ˜‰

    Thanks Chris!

  40. Having 1 to go around everywhere would be great. you just make it on your Email and once you sign up to a blog or forum or anything else it would automatically get it from your email. That would be great instead of making it separately each time. That way people can more easily recognize you on the web too.

  41. I just made my own Gravatar! It doesn’t look like anyone has theirs up. Did they not enter the code right or does this Blog not support it? Well, I’m just about to find out. Here we go!

  42. Very cool. My current avatar’s been sitting on my desktop for easy access (plus it makes me giggle). I’ve been going in and manually changing my various account pictures lately. The more sites that support Gravatars, the less time I’ll spend doing just that.

    Thanks Chr15!

  43. I have a Gravatar now, and it follows me where ever I go. That’s a really neat kind of “social” site. I used a different e-mail address to sign up than the one I usually use with the blog, so it probably won’t show up. It’s a very simple way to conveniently have only one avatar for all of your sites.

  44. First of all i didn’t even know that those things were called gravatars, but i sure do love them. I do get annoyed if i have to constantly rewrite the information what i just did 3 min ago or day or even more. So i quess my avatar is a gravatar but i’m not sure what does it mean πŸ˜€

  45. Blog avatars are becoming to be personal logos. My avatar tends to follow me wherever I go and I’ll definitely check out this service.

  46. Ha! It looks like all of them are of Pixie! πŸ˜‰ But thanks for the heads-up. I’ve been meaning to do this and, now that I’ve upgraded to the newest WordPress, I will get registered! πŸ™‚

  47. It is the first time I hear about this term:gravatar.I consider it a good idea for those who like the same avatar on anywhere.Personally I prefer different avatars depending on each site.

  48. Looks like a good idea, but i really dont care how i upload mine. Now if they got 100% support on every forum and blogs then i might consider this. Great idea tho!

  49. wow, I have never heard about this before, but it is a great idea. It reminds me of the idea of Windows Live Passport, but I won’t go into that right now…

  50. Wow, I have never heard about this before, but it sounds like a great idea. It kinda reminds me of what Windows Live Passport was supposed to do, but I won’t go into that right now…

  51. Avatars are unimportant to me, plus I don’t like giving out my info without a really good reason. I’ll pass on the gravatar

  52. I hardly use avatars for anything unless it has to do with video games (weird I know). I like to use a different Avi depending on what site I am on, and based on characters. For Shoryuken, I use one of Ken or Sol Badguy.

  53. this is really cool and i just set it up, but my only problem is for some things i want a different avatar which is kind of annoying.

  54. I really like this idea of your Gravatar being constantly aware of where you are posting comments or Blog posts. I find it much easier to remember people from their Avatars as apposed to just their names. If you can remember the face but not the name, then for me anyway, I can build a mental picture of what the person is like from previous posts. I’ve got to say though, I do quite like the default WikitPixie Avatar at them moment though!

  55. The question for me is this: Why did your avatars stop working on your site? Is this the problem with your template or is it coming from somewhere else. Please let us know – once you find out.

  56. I’ve been using Gravatar for several months, and I like it. Anywhere Gravatar-enabled, I automatically get my avatar displayed. If I want to change it, it’s one upload. Of course you still have to deal with all the sites that don’t support Gravatars, but… I’ll take what I can get. Great post!

  57. Thanks for this post about Gravatars, what a novel consept, one central place to store part of your identity. All taken care I know have a gravatar setup for this account.

  58. Thanks for the post. I need to read gravatar’s help section again because I got lost halfway through when they talked about hash marks.

  59. Hi Chris. I found you through a link on the Gravatar blog site and then your video on Thanks for the info. I just signed up for a Gravatar and since you invited us to post a comment here. Here it goes. Thanks again.

  60. If I want to change it, it’s one upload. Of course you still have to deal with all the sites that don’t support Gravatars, but… I’ll take what I can get. Great post!

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