It may seem like a simple task but changing your profile picture in WordPress.org takes some knowhow. Your profile picture is what appears when you make a new blog post, it shows in the admin bar at the top of your WordPress site when you are logged in, it appears in comments that you post to blog articles in WordPress sites, and it appears in several other places. If you look under your user settings in WordPress, you will find settings for just about everything related to your user profile with one huge exception, there is nowhere to change or upload a profile picture. So considering how important profile pictures are (you don’t want a blank pic on your blog), where do we go to change this?
Enter Gravatars or Globally Recognized Avatars. Gravatar’s are linked to your e-mail address so once setup they will work on any WordPress.org site provided you are using the same e-mail address associated with your Gravatar profile. This is the only way to replace the default, gray picture a/k/a the “Mystery Person” with a genuine picture of you in the WordPress environment. Enough on explaining what a Gravatar is, let’s explain how to set one up.
To setup a Gravatar, you will need to go to the website gravatar.org and setup a new account. This is an easy process. You will setup your basic profile information. Next, you will upload or link a picture to your profile. Finally you will set a rating to that picture and then you will finalize the setup and your picture will soon be available for the world to see. You will need to refresh your profile every so often to verify that it has been updated. Generally, it takes five to ten minutes for the Gravatar profile picture to be ready though it can take longer. Let’s go back to ratings, there are G, PG, R and X ratings and you will need to choose appropriately. Generally most business-oriented pictures will be G rated. The criteria for Gravatar rating is as follows:
- G: Suitable for display on all websites with any audience type.
- PG: May contain rude gestures, provocatively dressed individuals, the lesser swear words, or mild violence.
- R: May contain such things as harsh profanity, intense violence, nudity, or hard drug use.
- X: May contain hardcore sexual imagery or extremely disturbing violence.
You will also have to setup Gravatars on your WordPress.org website. While logged in as an administrator you will go to the “Avatar” section under Settings -> Discussion. You will then be presented with numerous options that can be edited, some of these options include:
- Avatar Display: Toggle Gravatars on and off for your site.
- Maximum Rating: When users create a profile on Gravatar, they are given the opportunity to rate their Gravatar image as G, PG, R, X based on its appropriateness. Select the radio button for the maximum rating you would like displayed on your site.
- Default Avatar: WordPress allows for you to select what image you would like to display when a commenter does not have a Gravatar account. Selecting one of the “generated” icons gives you and your users some of the benefits of a Gravatar without requiring them to have a Gravatar account. The icons that say “generated” next to them take the email of the commenter and link it to an auto-generated image. Now, every time that commenter posts to your site, they will have the same unique image next to their name.
According to the official WordPress Codec, there are several advantages to using Gravatars.
Benefits for Administrators
- You can add user Gravatars with very little effort
- You don’t need to maintain an additional Plugin
- You don’t have to manage user accounts, or their images, for commenters to use Gravatars on your site
Benefits for Users
- You don’t need to register for every site you visit just to use a Gravatar
- You can update the Gravatar you use across multiple sites by uploading a single image in a single place
Do you still have questions on WordPress.org? The web development experts at Absolute Computer Solutions are ready to assist you with a variety of solutions in regard to WordPress and other content management solutions. Contact us today for more information – there is no obligation and consults are absolutely free.