You may be wondering what in the world is a ‘gravatar’. I’ve heard of an avatar and its beautiful blue skin and the beautiful world it lives in. What’s that? No, I’m not talking about the James Cameron film Avatar. A Gravatar is a play on words for the term “Globally Recognized Avatar.”
Still lost? I’m talking about those little pictures next to your name when you comment on a WordPress blog. If you’ve never set up an account, your pretty face won’t appear next to your awesome comment. On my blog, I’ve assigned pretty peonies as the default image rather than the anonymous asexual humanoid.
However I, along with the rest of the bloggers I know, like to put a face to names. It also helps build the blogging community. So this tutorial was born!
This tutorial is not solely for WordPress bloggers. This tutorial is also for bloggers on other platforms who frequently comment on WordPress blogs and would like their pretty face and blog details next to their fabulous comments.
Side note: I am a huge supporter of the native commenting system of WordPress (aided by the link-loving actions of the CommentLuv plugin). While many love the Disqus commenting platform, it is a personal preference of mine to not use it, particularly if you are on the Blogger platform and are thinking of later on moving to WordPress.
You will need to create a WordPress.com account. You will not be creating a new blog, although creating the account certainly gives you the ability to do so. You are only creating it so that your comments, when using the e-mail address associated with this WordPress.com account, show your photo.
This is NOT like creating a Disqus or Google/Blogger account, as you will NOT have to sign in to WordPress.com in order to comment.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
This is different than the big and mighty WordPress.org that the self-hosted folks use. Self-hosted WordPress blogs use the open-source software (called WordPress.org) and install it on a server they pay a web-host for, hence the term ‘self-host.’
WordPress.com is the free blogging platform that requires no web-hosting costs, and just like Google’s Blogger platform, it’s free. Free is always good, right? It usually is, but since it’s a free service on a great piece of software, you’re limited in what you can do with it, including customizing your design (unless you pay $30 annually for CSS access) and not being allowed to monetize your blog.
I know it’s a little confusing so I thought I’d clear that up. By the way, I started blogging on WordPress.com, moved to Blogger, and am now on [self-hosted] WordPress.org. Of the three, self-hosted is my favorite!
After you create your WordPress.com account, click on “Settings” where you will enter your information.
Enter your information, and then click on the link to create your Gravatar profile.
Log in using the option to ‘log in with WordPress.com’ and, ignoring the fact that I already have created several different Gravatars, select ‘add a new picture.’
Choose your method of image importing. I chose to upload an image from my computer.
Select your image and crop it.
So you have your image all cropped and ready to go, and then you’re at this stage. What the what?
This is the part where it’s almost like choosing between the red pill and the blue pill, except there are 4 different colors. Suffice it to say, this is one time where I would just play it safe and choose a G-rated image. Besides, you don’t want to associate your content with an X rating, or litter someone’s blog with X-rated images, am I right? Right? Right?
It’s time to enjoy that new image. Go and comment on blogs!