Do you have a Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar)? As a loyal fan of the WordPress software that runs each of my weblogs, I feel that it is important to support WordPress in any way that I can. Because this blog focuses on WordPress, that is especially true here.

You may remember that last October Automattic, the company behind WordPress, purchased Gravatar. In the time since then, they have revamped the infrastructure of Gravatar to drastically speed things up, integrated it into the WordPress.com platform, and then updated the Gravatar WordPress plugin to function better with self-hosted WordPress blogs.

If you don’t already have a Gravatar, I recommend you first sign up with Gravatar for a free account using whatever e-mail address you normally use to leave comments. Once confirmed, it will then prompt you to upload the avatar you want to use. You’ll need to use the e-mail address used for your Gravatar in the e-mail address field of the comment form (all in lower case) when leaving a comment for the Gravatar to display properly next to each comment.

Now that Automattic is backing it, and WordPress.com blogs have integrated them, I think that over time Gravatar will continue to grow and the service will continue to get better. It is with that belief that I decided to add individual Gravatars to the comments on this blog (I also revamped the comments section to better support it).

Kyle Eslick is WordPress enthusiast who took his passion for WordPress to the next level in 2007 by launching WPHacks.com as a place to share hacks, tutorials, etc. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleEslick!

  1. Ricardo Dias says:

    And what about mybloglog plugin? I think more people are registred with mybloglog over gravatar..

  2. Kyle Eslick says:

    @Ricardo – I think that may indeed be the case right now, but as pointed out above, I think that Gravatar will continue to pick up steam.

    The MyBlogLog plugin you mention (MyAvatars) tends to slow down blogs quite a bit. So far, I haven’t had any problems with having Gravatars loaded on this blog. It is also a great way to support WordPress!

  3. Camiel says:

    Using gravatars for quite a while now. Really like the concept and would like to it in other applications. For instance MS Outlook.

  4. Øyvind says:

    Hi! Thank you for this nice post. I hurried to my WP and installed the plugin after registring my avatar. I wonded how long it takes before it gets updated. πŸ™‚

  5. Kyle Eslick says:

    @ Camiel – I have updated the post with a link to your site!

    @ Oyvind – I also verified that your blog is displaying Gravatars and updated the post with a link to your site!

    It looks like both of your Gravatars are showing up on this site just fine, so if they aren’t showing up on your site, it may just be a cache issue and will start showing up later today.

  6. Andrew says:

    I completely agree that using Gravatars is a good plan. I was happy when they bought it as it had been a little slow before that. It seems to be pretty quick now and doesn’t slow down loading like it used to.

  7. Øyvind says:

    Thanks! This was really nice stuff. I registered at Mybloglog as well, this is a new world to me, fun! The avatars got updated now. πŸ™‚

  8. Calaelen says:

    Gravatars is fun and makes the comments more attractiv. If you are able to understand german text, I posted a little guide “Gravatar – do you have one?”

    http://www.calaelen.com/2007/10/31/gravatar-hast-du-schon-einen/

  9. Tony Gray says:

    Great stuff you have here. I’ve used Gravatars for a while now as well but gave up on them a while back because the site was always down. Glad to see Automatic has stepped in to help.

    Now you have to tell me how you did the live comment preview. That is COOL!

  10. Christina says:

    My blog is fairly new, so I enabled Gravatars from the get go. User-icons are such a staple on other platforms (I was a LiveJournal user for many, many years), it’s great that WordPress.com/org are working to integrate them with the product. It can also help add continuity to your posts, especially if you are like me and tend to use the same icon (or one of two icons) on WordPress, Twitter, etc.

  11. Kyle Eslick says:

    @ Tony – Let me know if you decide to re-enable Gravatars on your site.

    The preview is created by a plugin called “Live Comment Preview”. I will have a review up shortly for the plugin. Currently it doesn’t work for people logged in as Admin, but it works great for everyone else! You can download the plugin here.

    @ Christina – I’ve got you added to the list!

  12. Tony Gray says:

    I re-enabled Gravatars today. All seems to be working fine now.

  13. Kyle Eslick says:

    @ Tony – I’ve added you to the list!

  14. Adam says:

    I’ve actually created a Gravatar class if you click the link in my name. Loosely coupled and works like a dream – it also has a cache with an expiration date for the avatar – to save on loading times. It can merely load the avatar in locally.

    Adam @ TalkPHP.com

  15. Tysen Woodlock says:

    I think it’s working on my site now. Had some trouble editing comments.php but it seems to work alright.

    I’ll tweak it later to make it look more pretty.

  16. Kyle Eslick says:

    @ Adam – Thanks for sharing that with everyone!

    @ Tysen – I’ve got you added to the list!

  17. Chris says:

    I like the idea. It makes the web more personal.

  18. Marc says:

    I thought about it and since I had the time decided to set it up for my blog.

    There isn’t much help to be found to hack your existing theme to display Gravatars. I used a partial tutorial from Skippy.net to get the basics and managed it.

    You can see it in action at my blog here. Am I too late to make the elite list? πŸ˜›

    One thing though. The default image looks sort of ugly and bright when the user hasn’t set any gravatar.

  19. Marc says:

    I set a transparent GIF as the default gravatar image so for people who haven’t signed up for the service will not get a placeholder image.

  20. Marc says:

    One of my reader pointed us to this plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/easygravatars/ that should make things easier.

  21. Kyle Eslick says:

    @ Marc – Thanks for the comment! I have added you to the above post!

  22. Robert says:

    Thanks for linking to the easygravitar plugin Marc. That’s the one I went with.

  23. smemon says:

    gravatars rock! i have them running on my new theme.

  24. Tommy M says:

    I’ve been working on getting my gravatar to work for a while now. Hopefully this works!

  25. Matt says:

    Thanks for the article!

  26. honeybunny says:

    still trying to make it work πŸ™

  27. Darko Bunic says:

    I just discovered gavatars and can’t stop thinking what a great idea. Thank you for your article.

  28. remy says:

    Hi, I need to put a change gravatar box on my profil user page (you know like in the wordpress.com profil user page). All plugin I tryed couldn’t do that.

    anybody can help me?

  29. ttmyt says:

    The pics are not showing up on the site. I just get the default generated images… what can i check to fix this?

    webmaster; ttmyt.com

  30. Kevin Blalock says:

    I got mine working, thanks!

  31. For some really weird reason, my gravatar shows up on others’ blogs, but not my own. This occurs whether I am signed in or not. I cannot figure it out!

    I have WP 2.8.4… ??? And I DO have an account, with image, at Gravatar.com. So I’m baffled.

  32. Smrgol says:

    Just testing my gravatar πŸ˜€

  33. Thanks for the post, exactly what I was looking for. Now I can get gravatars showing on my blog, giddy up!

  34. Anime says:

    I’ve never actually used a Gravatar. I find alot of people use them, and there’s the option to use them when commenting on another blog, but I never bothered to make one myself. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll get on it momentarily. πŸ˜‰

  35. Geoff says:

    Testing … thanks for the info πŸ™‚

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