What is a Gravatar?
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. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?
Basically your email address and your picture are linked, so when you use that email address to add comments your picture will automatically be added.
Gravatar functionality has been added to WordPress to natively, this means EASY to set up on your blog! If you do nothing it will automatically be used for your comments. Many themes take advantage of the functionality by using it for the Author box as well.
How Gravatars work
How Gravatars work is based on your e-mail address. Therefore when you set up your Gravatar account it is important that you use the e-mail address that you use when posting and commenting on other’s sites/Blogs. Your e-mail address is what will trigger the display of the photo associated with it.
Gravatars are 80 pixels in height and width (80 x 80). So make sure you use a photo that fits those dimensions so that your face doesn’t look skewed when the system resizes your photo to those dimensions.
Why would you use a Gravatar?
From a branding perspective, having an avatar which is consistent across the web as representing you enhances your brand. Wherever people see that, they will associated it with you and your brand. This allows others to see your smiling face and really feel like they are talking with you.
From the blogger perspective, using gravatars enhances the sense of community. It turns comments into statement by real people. It enhances the sense of real community at the blog.
How to set up your Gravatar
- Sign up for a free account at http://en.gravatar.com/
- Verify your email address by clicking on the link in the email you are sent
- Choose a nickname and password (only lowercase letters and numbers allowed)
- Upload a picture to the site from your hard drive or use an online image
- Crop your picture to suit (slide the slider to the left to shrink your picture)
- Choose a rating
- Click on the image to associate it with the email address
- Your gravatar should now show up next to your email address. You can add one more email address on this account.
Now you can add additional email address and additional images and combine them any way you see fit. Always keep your branding in mind when you are selecting the images to use!