All WordPress sites have Gravatars integrated into the core. Gravatars are Globally Recognized Avatars, images that represent you in blog posts comments, featured author images (integrated with Gravatars), author images, BuddyPress, and other Gravatar-enabled features.
Near the beginning of this year of blog exercises, you were asked to add or update your Gravatar to represent yourself well on your site and across all WordPress and Gravatar-enabled sites. The avatar image is associated with your email address. When you comment using that email address, the image will be automatically used.
But what about those without Gravatars?
In addition to feeling pity for them, and encouraging them to set up their own free Gravatar profile, you may select a Gravatar image to display within your blog comments for them.
- Mystery Man: The Mystery Man Gravatar image is a silouette of a person. It’s boring but inoffensive and not distracting within the comment box area, and definitely not distracting to your WordPress Theme design. For professional and business sites, this is probably your best choice.
- Blank: Blank is blank space, a box that appears as nothing next to the comments. It is the cleanest and most minimal design choice for a Gravatar, but some WordPress Theme comment layouts put numbers before the Gravatar, and a blank space between the number and the comment may look a bit odd. It is definitely not distracting and will fit in with most WordPress Theme designs.
- Gravatar Logo: What better way to make someone want to get their own Gravatar than promoting the Gravatar brand. The white G against the field of blue is not distracting, blends in well with most designs, and may encourage your regular readers to register and add their image to your comments.
- Identicon: This is a generated Gravatar. It changes colors and patterns across users so the image isn’t static. I think of it as the Quilted Gravatar. The images are colorful geometric shapes resembling quilt blocks. If your site’s topic is about crafting, home, nature, health, or suits such a graphic, this would be an excellent choice.
- Wavatar: The Wavatar is a bit like the MonsterID Gravatar. Another generated Gravatar, it features odd cartoon style faces in the box. This is idea for sites on humor, children, parenting, gaming, and just for fun.
- MonsterID: MonsterID Gravatar is also generated, changing with different users. It features cartoon monsters, the kind that are artful and not very scary. This is idea for fantasy, children, parenting, gaming, science fiction, and cartoon and anime sites, as well as just for fun.
- Retro: Retro is another generated Gravatar, changing with each anonymous user. This one is hard to describe as the graphics look like old computer games, like the old Atari Pong and Space Invaders games. They are two toned and pixelated and ideal for gaming, craft, science fiction, technology, and artistic sites, or again, just for fun.
To set the Gravatar to appear for commenters not registered with Gravatar:
- On the WordPress Administration Panels, go to Settings > Discussion.
- Scroll down to Default Avatar.
- Make a selection in one of the radio boxes by the Gravatar of your choice.
- Click Save Changes to save your selection.
Past comments without Gravatar images will not change to the new selection. This only applies to new comments.
Your blog exercise today is to set your Gravatar image for those without Gravatars commenting on your site.
Make your Gravatar complement your site’s design and topic.
Consider encouraging regular commenters to get their own Gravatar so their image will be featured across millions of sites on the web, or at least the three WordPress sites they comment on regularly.
If you do not have a Gravatar set for yourself yet, now is the time to give yourself an image and avatar to be seen on all the WordPress sites you leave comments on.