Money Earning Sites is my very first WordPress website. When trying something new, the rule of thumb for most people is to feel pretty confused about it. OK, not me, of course! I had my site up and running in five minutes and fully customized within a week. That’s because I am a genius! Well, before insisting in stealing other marketer’s cliché phrases, I will admit one exception. I had no clue what gravatars are, so there was something that left me totally wondering for months. How the heck on Earth one gets an avatar on WordPress? I searched everywhere for a place to upload one, the front-end, the administrator control panel, the plugins, the widgets but nothing, nothing, nothing! Did you have a similar experience, when you first tried out WordPress? If I only knew the magic little word, “gravatars“, things would have been so much easier. If you did wonder just like me, or even better, if you still are where I was, you have come to the right place because I am going to show you exactly how to get gravatars and use them on your own site as well as other WordPress sites, Joomla, Drupal and wherever else they are used!
Oh Arthur! Come on! No one needs a tutorial like this. That’s too silly, even for you! You didn’t know what gravatars are because you’re a bit dumb… You’re only trying to make a few filler posts, aren’t you?
Mr. Huggins, one day I will have you in my hands and I swear that I will spill your plush, for good! Let’s get back on topic! When you post on WordPress your messages appear something like this:
The profile picture is blank, or rather it’s a random cartoon created by WordPress. For Money Earning Sites, these random cartoons are aliens. The admin can set his choice in the control panel by going to SETTINGS -> DISCUSSION from the main sidebar:
It’s also possible to set the rating of the avatar: G suitable for everyone, PG which is children accompanied by adults, R is over 14 only and X is the kind of stuff I usually waste my precious time on, rather than working as I should…:/ But the crazy thing is that you can’t upload an avatar with the standard installation of WordPress! So one may even wonder why WordPress would give an option to admins to set a rating for allowed avatars, when no avatars can be uploaded at all.
The answer to all our concerns is called gravatars! The basic installation of WordPress is set to work with these special forms of avatars. They are universal profile pictures that can be uploaded by getting an account at http://en.gravatar.com/. A bare WordPress site connects to the gravatar.com website and when a user leaves a comment and enters a specific email address in the appropriate field, WordPress checks whether the email is registered on gravatar.com and if it is, it links the comment to the appropriate gravatar, The advantage of this method is that the avatar can be uploaded once to gravatar.com and it will work with all Worpress blogs on the Internet! Provided, they don’t have some plugin that disables gravatars installed. This is how to get a brand new shiny gravatar. After visiting the site at http://en.gravatar.com enter your email and hit “Get Your Gravatar“:
You need an account at WordPress.com to get a gravatar. Don’t confuse WordPress.org (the software) with WordPress.com (the free blogs). If you already have a WordPress.com account, just log in with it otherwise click on “create a new one“.
Choose a nickname and a password and click “Sign Up“. WordPress.com will send you an activation email. Click on the link on the email once you get it usually in a few seconds:
Click on “Sign In To Gravatar” when prompted after confirming your email address:
On the “Manage Gravatars” screen you can add your gravatar by clicking on “Add One By Clicking Here“:
Once the picture has been uploaded select a source for your picture and then choose the area which you wish to use as your gravatar. Hit “Crop and Finish” when you’re done:
Here is where you actually set that rating for your photo that we talked about earlier! Make sure to rate it accurately. This Simpsons character is so obscene, I was tempted to rate it an X but I think I will go with a G instead…
And here it is! Your lovely faces will now show up next to your comments on any WordPress site as well as Joomla and Drupal sites where gravatars are enabled. And lots of other places too, actually 😉
Doing Without Gravatars
What if we don’t want to use gravatars? Simple, use this plugin and users will be able to upload local avatars that will be used exclusively on your site only. Simple Local Avatars supports both gravatars and preset images, in the sense that if the user doesn’t upload a local avatar there is an option, that is set by the administrator, to switch automatically to gravatars or preset pictures. I do recommend the use of gravatars, however. They are so simple to use, plus it kinda makes you feel part of something bigger (I mean like the universe or the food chain…you get the idea).
Gravatars for Joomla
You guys probably know how much I love Joomla! Gravatars don’t come prebuilt within Joomla but there is this handy plugin, called “gravatar” that will automatically enable them. All you, Joomla users, have to do is to download and activate the plugin as you would with any other. Joomla will start behaving exactly like WordPress does in default mode, enabling gravatars whenever they are available.
Gravatars for Drupal
Drupal has a built in module that will make it work with gravatars. You don’t need to install additional plugins. However, by default, the module is disabled so you’ll just need to enable it. To enable “user picture support” go to
admin -> config -> people ->accounts and check the appropriate option. Once Gravatar is installed and enabled, you can configure the module at admin -> config -> people-> gravatar.
That’s all folks! have fun showing off your long chins and small eyes! And if you don’t watch the Simpsons, shame on you!