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What is Gravatars? How to Display User Gravatar in WordPress?

What is Gravatars? How to Display User Gravatar in WordPress?

Gravatars, the short of Globally Recognized Avatars, is a particular kind of avatar of the user used online to distinguish themselves from other users. For example, many WordPress sites use Gravatar in comment and author to showcase the reorganization of each user. However, do you exactly know: what is Gravatars? How to display user Gravatar in WordPress? In this tutorial, we carefully focus on these questions and guide you properly use user Gravatar in WordPress sites.

What is Gravatars & Why to Use It on WordPress?

What is GravatarsWhen browsing online on websites, communities, forums, and other places, you may notice that some users have a picture beside the name, which can draw a lot of attention of visitors. As a matter of fact, the picture calls as Avatar. However, for WordPress sites, they utilize a particular type of avatar – Gravatar, which stands for Globally Recognized Avatar and can be used on anywhere on the web.

Since WordPress 2.5, Gravatars are built-in within all websites and doesn’t need any additional plugins for the usage and management. When users register with Gravatar, the service will match their WordPress profile with the signed email addresses. Once a match is successful, it showcases the custom Gravatars image on the comment and other places of WordPress websites. Otherwise, the WordPress displays the default icon chose by site admin if you don’t use Gravatar.

By using Gravatar, visitors don’t need to sign up for each site they arrive but directly use a Gravatar. Once they change the picture in a single place, the avatar can be updated automatically on other websites.

Also, for administrators, you can add user avatar with ease and don’t need to manage user accounts, images. Besides, there is no need to install additional plugins for the same usage. By enabling Gravatars on the site, your visitors can be very easy to involve into your site, which makes the WordPress site as a community and increase the visitors’ activity.

How to Display User Gravatar in WordPress?

In order to use Gravatars on WordPress sites, you need to do some settings at first. Log into your admin panel as an administrator, and then go to Settings -> Discussion. Scroll down the screen until you see the Avatar section.

avatar settings

In general, there are three options: Avatar Display, Maximum Ratings and Default Avatar.

  • Avatar Display: You can decide whether to present avatar beside user’s name by checking or un-checking this checkbox.
  • Maximum Ratings: Users have the chance to rate their Gravatar picture as G, PG, R, and X when they create a profile. Here, you can decide the maximum rating showcased on your site. G is suitable for all audiences; PG is usually designed for audiences 13 and above; R intends for adult audiences above 17; while X is even more mature than all above.
  • Default Avatar: WordPress asks you to set the avatar you want to display when users have no Gravatar account. By default, there are seven optional pictures, four of which have the word “Generated” besides the picture. As a fact, the generated avatars come with some conveniences and don’t need users to have a Gravatar account.

You can freely configure the Gravatar as you like. Once completed, click the below button to save changes. Still now, users can comment on your site with the Gravatar picture instead of the default avatar.


Joyce is a professional writer & SEOer who loves trying new things and sharing the experience through blogging. She loves clean design, playing with different WordPress themes, SEO, etc. Very often, you could find her in various WordPress event as invited speakers.