Since you are reading this stuff online, you surely must be familiar with what an avatar is. It is simply a graphical representation of a user. This could be a picture or any random icon that an individual has chosen to use. Using Gravatars became a fad because, the way the human mind works; it is much easier to remember someone by identifying an image, rather than a name.
But think about forums and comments. Most of these places do not require users to register. An avatar is beneficial only when you become a member of any online community. This where having an avatar would not be of any use as it would not show anyway. Now, this is okay if you are just randomly commenting in some forum or are playing a game online just for fun. But what if you want to make your online presence felt and people to remember who you are? Enter Gravatar!
What is a Gravatar?
Have you ever wondered why other people have an awesome profile picture on their articles and comments? A Gravatar is one step ahead of an Avatar. It is a Globally Recognized Avatar that you can have. The reason this becomes globally recognized is that millions of websites and applications use them. If you have a Gravatar and say you leave a comment on some website or some forum after logging in with your email account, if that website supports Gravatar, it would automatically pull in your Gravatar, which will then be shown next to your comment. This would be your image which will represent you online. Now isn’t that a great way to make your unique identity online?
Gravatars – Why Do I Need it?
As mentioned, if you want to make your identity on the World Wide Web, you should have a Gravatar. It is something you should possess if you have an online business, are a blogger, want to build a brand for yourself, or are a prolific commenter and a part of many online forums of your interest.
At the start, your Gravatar won’t stand out from all the rest. But as users see it on different forums and websites, they would start identifying you, and it would even let them click on it to connect to you and your website. This would help you get identified and gain loyal users online. Many websites also determine who their loyal users are through their Gravatars. So let’s list its benefits for all, in short.
For a User:
No need of registering it on every website you visit
Can update your Gravatar once and it will get updated across all websites
Creates your personal identity online
For a Website:
Add user Gravatars
Can customize how Gravatars are displayed
No need of any software or plugin
No need to manage accounts separately
How Do I Create a Gravatar?
This is one of the simplest things you can do online, it is! And what’s more? It is free. All you have to do it go to the website of Gravatar. On the top right corner, it will ask you to sign up with your email address, or WordPress account. Here, it is preferable that you enter and email address that you use most often. Fill out the required information in the form that appears. You will be sent an email that you would need to confirm. Activate the same and then proceed.
Now simply add your Avatar, which could be your picture, an icon you like, or even the logo of your company if you have a business. You can crop the picture and set it right according to how you want it to look. Now you will have to set the rating of your Gravatar. Ratings are G, PG, R, and X. A word of advice, though! Assuming you have put a decent picture/icon/ logo of your choice, preferably chose either G or PG for the rating. If you put some weird Gravatar and rate it either R or X, you will find it getting blocked on quite a few websites. Anyway, done and dusted. You are good to go.
Also, most WordPress themes already have integration of Gravatars with comments and other stuff. This is for those who have their websites. So if you have a theme that doesn’t support a Gravatar, you should think about adding it. Gravatars also have the ‘hovercard’ option which can either be kept on or switched off.
Here is some more useful information. This is much-needed support for all the other things you may need to do for your Gravatar. And what’s more? Gravatar also works with WordPress.org, so here is more on that.
Well, now you know exactly what to do to make your online presence felt. Don’t be a random person. Especially if you are a serious contributor or have a business or service to offer, then you should most definitely use a Gravatar. You will be amazed to see how it works and benefits you in the long run. Waste mo more time; get your Gravatar up and running right away.