Gravatar on WordPress is often nothing less than a hassle, especially to blog authors who don’t already have profiles on gravatar.com. But unless you want to use one of those dorky pre-loaded icons in place of your smiling mug shot, you really have no choice other than to implement a Gravatar profile on your WordPress blog.
WordPress blogs often get a little more credibility when there is an author picture and bio blurb attached to the blog owner or main author. Instead of the Mystery Man image, which is easily identifiable with its gray silhouette and dark background, users will appreciate that you took the time to fill in profile details and give them a glimpse of what you look like. Now, why WordPress just doesn’t allow picture uploads for avatars is beyond me, but I’m sure the reason had something to do with consistency across blogs and not letting people pretend they’re someone they’re not. Evidently, they would prefer to leave such issues to Gravatar’s end.
Gravatar on WordPress: How to Create a Gravatar
Gravatar on WordPress, in case you haven’t already guessed, is a play on the word “avatar.” By creating a Gravatar profile on gravatar.com, you can make a universally recognized profile. Here’s how it works.
Sign up for Gravatar on gravatar.com. The site says you can use your preexisting WordPress login details, but when I tried using mine, the system didn’t recognize them. So I had to do it the old-fashioned way and create a new account. No biggie though, since I’m only using Gravatar on WordPress. Sign up with the same email you used for signing into WordPress, as you’ll need it later to connect with WordPress.
Pick a perfectly square picture to upload and use as your Gravatar. Remember, wherever you use this profile, this same picture will appear, so choose it wisely. Once you’ve finished, you don’t have to do anything else on this site.
Implementing Your Gravatar on WordPress
Now it’s time to log into your blog and implement your new Gravatar on WordPress. Head over to the “Settings,” “Discussion” section and scroll all the way down to the bottom. Do you see a blue “G” icon tipped on its side? This is the Gravatar icon selection. Click the radio button next to the logo and hit “Save.” Your settings should update automatically.
That wasn’t so hard now that you know how to put a Gravatar on WordPress. But did they have to make it so un-user-friendly? Who would’ve guessed just by looking at their dashboard that you had to make a profile on a third-party site just to display their own picture? It doesn’t make much sense, but that’s how it’s done.
If you want to display your Gravatar on WordPress sidebars, there are widgets that take the feed from your settings and display your picture and bio on the sidebar as a sort of author spotlight. Styles vary widely, so play around with them after you’ve connected your Gravatar on WordPress.