Most people have never heard of an online avatar, let alone a Gravatar, so let’s begin with some definitions.
An online avatar is an image or icon used to represent you on the Internet, usually associated with some contribution you have made, such as a comment or a post on a forum.
A Gravatar is an avatar that is hosted by a third-party (Gravatar.com), which is associated with your email address. When you contribute a comment or post on a website that supports Gravatars, such as a WordPress blog, it will check with Gravatar.com and display your avatar if you have an account with Gravatar.com.
From the Gravatar.com website:
Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?
Why get a Gravatar?
You should sign up for a Gravatar so that on websites that support Gravatars, you will have a profile picture next to your comment or entry, instead of a generic icon, like the one on the right. On such websites, having a Gravatar helps distinguish your comments or posts from the others around it.
Setting up a Gravatar
- Prepare your image:
- It must be square
- It can be up to 512 pixels wide
- It will be displayed at 80 pixels by 80 pixels by default
- Go to http://www.gravatar.com/ and click on the sign up button.
- Check your email Inbox and follow the instructions in the email from Gravatar.com.
- Upload your image.
- Try out your new Gravatar by leaving a comment on this post!