This website uses the most popular Content Management System (CMS) known as WordPress. Instead of the old regular HTML that is pretty much outdated and only used now to make an eBay auction ad, most people use a good CMS. WordPress is by far the most popular. It uses a database to store posts, comments, pages, links, and anything else you can imagine. It also uses a server side programming language called PHP to output the page that you see right in front of you.
Every time you visit a WordPress site or page that has comments enabled (like this one), the site automatically queries the database of a website called gravatar.com, and checks to see if you have an account, and if you do, it looks to see if you have an image associated with the e-mail address that you used (or will use) when you make the comment on the article. This post will show you how to get your own customized image beside your comments, instead of the old default blank “mystery man” (see below).
I don’t care if you’ve made 1,000 comments on previous blogs in the past with the same e-mail address, and yet have never had a gravatar account with an image set up. The beauty of it, is that once you do set up your account, the image you decide on will automatically show up on the 1,000 previous comments that you’ve made in the past, with no extra work from you. It just looks good, so please, for my sake, for all of us who blog, go sign up. Got it? Ok, it’s time for a walk-through.
Below is a comment that a user made that did NOT have a Gravatar account. When he made the comment, like all sites that allow comments, he had to enter an e-mail address. Since he did not have that e-mail registered at Gravatar, the default “mystery man” avatar showed up. (We are going to see this automatically change after we create an account.
Setting up Your Gravatar Account
Go to the Gravatar website right now (or after you’ve read this). This is the current page view you will see below:
Once you click the “Create Your Own Gravatar” button above, you will then create a username and password like below:
After clicking the “Sign Up” Button above, you will then be sent a confirmation e-mail. You MUST verify this e-mail.
Check your e-mail for this activation link. Check your “Junk” and “Spam” folders if you do not see it.
Choosing An Image to Associate with your E-mail
Click the link that the black arrow is pointing to in the picture below:
Choose the location from which you’d like to upload your image. There are several handy options.
Crop photo to your liking:
Webmaster have to choose the maximum rating that they will allow to show on their websites. It is up to the community to be honest about the content of their image. I chose that this image is rated “G”.
FINALLY, you now have an image associated with your e-mail address, and that image will now show up anytime you make a comment on a WordPress blog (and many others that Gravatar supports).
Notice how the previous comment now shows your image. If you’ve commented on a hundred different sites using the e-mail you registered, these sites will now show your image. If you change the image, your new image will show every time the comment or webpage is queried.
Ok, well I hope that you found this tutorial helpful. Many people have no idea what’s going on with the avatar (or as WordPress calls it, “Gravatar”). But now you can see how helpful it is to have your own personal signature touch to your comments. The community will come to recognize your image. I use my personal photo sometimes, and sometimes I change it up. However, you can register as many different e-mails as you like, and use a different image for each one.
Thanks for your time. Now go sign up! 🙂