Do You Have a Gravatar?

Category: Cool-Stuff

A gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar) is an image that appears alongside your name when you post on blogs and forums. If you're an active participant in online discussions, get a gravatar and get globally recognized! Here's how...

What is a Gravatar?

How to Get a Gravatar

I'm sure you've noticed that on certain forums and blogs, some people have an avatar that appears next to their comments. An avatar can be a photo, a caricature of yourself, or a symbol that represents you. But it can be a nuisance to upload your avatar to every site where you participate. And if you want to change your avatar, you have to do it all over again.

Gravatars solve that problem, by allowing you to upload ONE copy of your avatar, which is automatically picked up by ALL the blogs and forums where you post -- at least on those sites that have enabled gravatars. If you change your gravatar, it automatically changes everywhere you use it, all over the web. Even better, gravatars are free.

To get your free gravatar, just pop over to Click the Sign up now! link, enter your email address, then click the activation link in your confirmation email. After choosing a username and password, you can upload an image from your computer's hard drive, an image on the web, or your webcam.

The final step is to choose a G, PG, R or X rating for your avatar. This is important, because sites that display gravatars can block images based on the ratings. Most sites will only display gravatars with G or PG ratings, so if you want people to see your gravatar, don't include elements such as profanity, violence, nudity, or drugs. The obvious exception would be sites that cater specifically to those types of content.

As soon as you upload your gravatar, it will begin appearing on gravatar enabled sites -- like this one! Scroll down to the comments on this page and you'll see my gravatar.

Enabling Gravatars on Your Site

Plugins are available for most blog and content management systems, including MovableType, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Blogger and LiveJournal. If your favorite blog or forum doesn't yet support gravatars, contact the person who runs the site and tell them it's easy to implement gravatars. Since this site runs on the MoveableType software, all I had to do was download one file, and add one line of code to a template.

Get Global Recognition!

Sign up for your free gravatar account and upload your image now. If you've posted anywhere on this site previously, your gravatar image will show up immediately, since the image is tied to the email address you give when you post a comment. Oh, and other sites that allow gravatars will begin showing your mugshot as well.

If you don't have a gravatar, you'll see a default image that's the same as all the other non-gravatar commenters. Boring, right? Adding a gravatar will help people recognize you when you post, and it's always nice to put a face with a name.

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Most recent comments on "Do You Have a Gravatar?"

Posted by:

Bob Rankin
03 Aug 2009

Hey, I've got a gravatar! Who's going to be next?

Posted by:

Barking Unicorn, Denver, CO
03 Aug 2009

Why, yes, I DO have a gravatar - two, actually. And I'd forgotten all about them. Thanks for the reminder!

Namaste'! "I bow to you and the Divine in both of us."

Posted by:

03 Aug 2009

Hi Bob, Excellent article on gravatars. My question is: Do you know of any sites that have free-to-use icons, images, or graphics? I'm sure that many who read your article were wondering the same thing. Thanks for your help.

EDITOR'S NOTE: You can find free images using Google Images advanced search. See

Posted by:

03 Aug 2009

Curious, Bob: if a site uses gravatars, but I want to use a different avatar on that particular site, can I? Is it a matter of just uploading something to that site, or will it always default to the gravatar? Thanks, in advance, for your input on these questions!

EDITOR'S NOTE: The gravatar displayed depends on the email address you give when you post the comment. So you can have multiple gravatars and post with the associated address.

Posted by:

03 Aug 2009

Cool, I didn't know about the advanced image search thing at Google. You can even search for images that are tagged as ok to reuse and/or modidy.

Posted by:

03 Aug 2009

I've got a Gravatar too!

Posted by:

05 Aug 2009

just checking my gravatar since I am not able to see it on any other sites yet. Is there a master list of gravatar-enabled sites?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't think there is a master list. But if you do a google search for gravatar, you'll find lots.

Posted by:

25 Oct 2009

Hopefully, my new gravatar is now loaded! Thanks for what you do wife and I both put you in our "favorite places"!

Posted by:

22 Sep 2010

I DO have a gravatar - two, actually. And I'd forgotten all about them. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted by:

28 Dec 2010

I have on gravatar. Thanks for the article.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Do You Have a Gravatar? (Posted: 3 Aug 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved