Jo Dodds’ Social Media and HR Blog

How to set up a Gravatar

gravatarYour first question may be ‘what is a gravatar’?! A gravatar is the small square image that ‘follows people around’ on the web! If you look on our home page there is a comments widget in the middle column and you will see that some of the people that have left comments on our website have a photo showing. If you have a gravatar set up and connected to the email address that you are using to comment on a site, blog or forum, then your photo (or the image that you have set up) shows automatically.

Why use a Gravatar?

Gravatars can help to make your website more ‘inviting’ and sticky for your readers by giving a more ‘personalised’ experience, with ‘real’ people involved, and they can also help you to more quickly build relationships externally when you comment on other people’s blogs and forums, for similar reasons. People can see you and it can help them to feel like they know you better than if you are just an ‘anonymous’ commenter. You may also become more recognised if you are a prolific commenter and/or are particularly active in social networks that use the same image for you.

How to set up your own Gravatar

It is very easy to set up your own Gravatar. Go to and register for a free account. You just need to enter your preferred email address and then check your inbox for an email that enables you to finalise setting up your account. Once you are logged in you will need to upload an image. You don’t need to worry too much about the starting size of the image as the website gives you an opportunity to crop it to the correct, square, size as part of the upload process but if your image is very big you may want to shrink it a bit first (if you are on a PC you can do this easily using the Microsoft Office Picture Manager).

Enable Gravatars on your website

So now you will have your Gravatar set up. The next thing you might want to do is to enable gravatars on your own website. We work with WordPress and all you need to do if you have a (self hosted) WordPress site is to go into Settings and Discussion and go to the bottom ‘Avatars’ section (a Gravatar is a Globally Recognised Avatar) and select ‘Show Avatars’. If you are using other platforms, have a look at the Gravatar Implementation Page to find out how to do this on your platform.

So, there you are; I am going to comment on this post as soon as I have published it so that you can see my gravatar appear on the comment. Who else wants to do the same?

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Jo Dodds

Director at Counterpoint Matters Ltd
I work with organisations and HR professionals to help them to understand what social HR is and how it can be applied within the organisation to enable communication, collaboration, recognition and employee engagement.
7 comments… add one
  • Jo Dodds

    2009-06-11, 9:34 pm

    As promised in my blog post, I am adding to my comments section to show you what my Gravatar looks like. Any more for any more?

  • Jo Dodds

    2011-02-25, 9:56 am

    This is me showing you my Gravatar! Anyone else…?

  • Rachel Assuncao

    2011-03-02, 2:55 am

    Hi Jo. I love having gravatars on my site. It makes everything feel a bit more personal. Janine Ogg recommended your work and I’m looking forward to checking it out.

  • Jo Dodds

    2011-03-02, 8:16 am

    I agree Rachel. And it’s so easy to get it set up, but I think there are
    many people who don’t know that it’s possible – hence this post!

  • Jo

    2011-04-20, 9:30 pm

    I want to do the same! Thanks to your recommendation Jo we both set up gravatars and its great – makes your comments so much more personal. Thanks!

  • Jo Dodds

    2011-04-21, 8:34 pm

    And it’s lovely to see your smiling face on here!

  • Jo Dodds

    2012-03-21, 11:45 pm

    Jo, your gravatar has disppeared from my comments – have you changed email addresses? If so
    you need to add the new address to your Gravatar account too. Hope you’re well.

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