Why You Need a Gravatar If You Want to Be Recognized Online

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    gravatars and wordpressThe word “gravatar” may sound a bit foreign to some, but the truth is that you see gravatars practically every time you go online. It’s that little photo on your website! In fact, getting your own gravatar and using it to represent either yourself or your business can be key to your personal brand. It’s closest cousin would be your avatar.

    What is a gravatar?

    The term, “gravatar,” is actually used to refer to both a service and the images they provide. It is these images that will identify you and help you stand out in the vast world of the Internet. The Gravatar Internet service provides users who register accounts with unique avatars (the name “Gravatar” refers to “Globally Recognized Avatar”) that become attached to their online blogging profiles— most notably WordPress. So, every time that user makes a comment online, their gravatar shows up next to it instead of the default avatar that may be provided by that website or blog.

    Like this…

    wordpress gravatar

    Building online presence

    Essentially, the whole idea behind having a gravatar is building online presence. This is why it is so important for companies and any individuals who want to become known and recognized. It’s basically a way of branding your social media use. For instance, many successful bloggers use images of themselves (or if their blog has a logo, that can be used as a substitute) as their gravatars to build up recognition whenever they make comments on other blogs, web forums, or even relevant news articles.

    Every time you use the email address associated with that gravatar, your brand will show. So each time I use my corporate email, the same I use when I leave comments on another blog or subscribe to an online forum, my photo shows.

    wordpress gravatar comment

    How to get a gravatar

    At this point you may be wondering how you can go about getting a gravatar, and fortunately the process is actually quite simple:

    1. Go to Gravatar.com
    2. Register for a free account by clicking on the “Create Your Own Gravatar” button on the homepage (if you already have a WordPress account, you can use that to sign up)
    3. After receiving a confirmation email, you’ll have to upload the image you want used as your gravatar. For legal purposes, just make sure it is an image that is either copyright and royalty free, or one that you own yourself
    4. Adjust your image and/or crop it so it fits in the provided box
    5. Select an appropriate rating for your gravatar, from “rated G” through “rated X”. The higher it is rated, the more websites it may be restricted from.
    6. Use your gravatar! Whenever you go to a website where gravatars are an option, you’ll be able to click “use gravatar” and start building your online presence.

    How to make gravatars available on your website

    If you already own a website or blog, letting gravatars show up in your comments section is a great way to network and build your own presence among Internet users. In order to allow gravatars to show up on your own website, you’ll need a plugin. The good news is that you don’t even need to register for an account to do this. Check out the “Developer Resources” section of the Gravatar website (gravatar.com/site/implement/) to view the available plugins and different implementation options.

    Want to learn more?



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    Christina Hawkins

    Since 1999, Christina has been designing and building exceptional websites partnering with small businesses to help them grow and increase revenue. With many years of experience in creating thousands of websites, she understands the need for continuing education in her field and, therefore, is constantly learning and teaching others about internet marketing and digital processes. In addition to her ability as a digital marketer, Christina serves as a coach and mentor with Agency Mavericks to other digital marketing freelancers, helping them grow their businesses. She is a sponsor and co-leader of Houston's WordPress Meetup. Recently, she spearheaded the next Houston WordCamp 2020 as its coordinator after a 10 year hiatus. She is currently President of the Houston Interactive Marketing Association.

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