The answer is Gravatar and using it is super easy.
Today I’m going to take you through Gravatar what it is and why you need it.
Let’s start at the beginning – Avatar.
You’ve probably heard of the movie Avatar, but you might not actually know what an avatar is, so let’s start at the beginning with a description.
An avatar is a graphical representation of a user. This graphical representation could be a photo, an illustration, an animation or an icon. It was developed back in the days when web users were anonymous and avatars were used as a way to identify a user. It has become such a prevalent part of social interaction online because we can visually recognise a graphic or icon – avatar- in just a millisecond, and are more likely to remember it than someone’s username.
What is Gravatar?
Gravatar stands for Globally Recognised Avatar and is set up at Gravatar.com. It is considered “global” as so many major websites and platforms use it. Sites such as WordPress have integrated Gravatar to make it easy for users to be identified when they leave comments or sign up for something. When a user leaves a comment using an email address that is registered with Gravatar on a site that supports it, their Globally Recognised Avatar will be located on the Gravatar servers and display the avatar that has been linked to that email address on the that site. This means each commenter’s avatar and other information, such as website link can easily be identified throughout the world wide web.
WHY YOU NEED GRAVATAR:
If you are a blogger, and you want to be recognised online, then you really need to take a few minutes and set up a Gravatar profile and here’s why:
1. It saves you time! Setting up your profile picture, website link and other info once, which then can be replicated all over the internet when you need it is going to save you a lot of time and effort.
2. You will be recognised online. As you visit places around the web, leaving comments and interacting with others, you want to leave your mark. The easiest way to so this is with a Gravatar. When others visit sites you have commented on, they will see your avatar over and over and will start to recognise you and are then more likely to check out your blog and social media and connect with you. It also lets bloggers whose sites you visit often start to recognise you as a loyal reader.
3. It looks more professional. If you are trying to build up your readership and reputation online, then having a Gravatar profile which displays when you leave comments gives a much more professional and “put-together” impression, than a blank icon. It shows you know what you are doing online and take the effort to do this well.
HOW TO SET UP GRAVATAR
It is super easy to set up a Gravatar profile:
1. go to gravatar.com
2. Sign up. If you already have a wordpress.com account, use these details to sign up. If you don’t, you will need to create one.
3. Add your email address. You can add multiple email address so you can add avatars to each one.
4. Select and email address and upload the image, photo or graphic you want to use as your avatar for that email address.
5. Do this for each email address. You can choose a different avatar for each one or you can assign the same avatar for all of your email addresses.
That’s it! You’re done! Super easy!
If you are unsure of the meaning of some of the words and phrases used in this post, check out the Blogging Glossary for definitions.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have in a comment below.