What is a Gravatar?

A Gravatar is a Globally Recognized Avatar. Learn how Gravatars work, their benefits, and how to use them in WordPress comments.

What is a Gravatar?

A Gravatar is a "Globally Recognized Avatar". It is an online image that is linked to a person's email address and is used as a profile picture on various websites and platforms. Gravatars are mainly used in blog comments, forums and social media platforms.

How Gravatars works

Gravatars works by associating an email address with an avatar that can be recognized and displayed globally by the Gravatar system. To create a Gravatar, one first needs a user account at Gravatar.com, which belongs to Automattic Inc - the company that also operates WordPress.com. After registering with Gravatar.com, users can link one or more avatars to different email addresses. Then the Gravatar will be displayed on all websites and platforms that support Gravatar, as long as the user uses the respective linked email address.

Gravatars advantages

  • Recognition value: Using Gravatars makes it easier for users to be recognized on different websites, as the same profile picture is used.
  • Consistency: Gravatars help maintain a consistent online presence across multiple interaction areas such as comments, forums, and social media platforms.
  • Easy management: Since a Gravatar is linked to an email address, the profile picture does not need to be updated on each individual portal. Changes to the Gravatar are made centrally, so they are automatically updated on all connected websites.
  • Time saving: With Gravatars, users no longer have to go through the hassle of uploading and regularly updating a profile picture on every website.

Gravatars and WordPress

In WordPress, Gravatars are enabled by default for comments. WordPress accesses the Gravatar account of the commenter and displays the associated profile picture next to the user's name. This simplifies identification and interaction between users. However, if the commenter does not have a Gravatar, WordPress usually displays a default image or placeholder instead of a profile image.

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