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What are gravatars and why you need them? – Killersites Web Design Magazine

What are gravatars and why you need them?

What is a gravatar?

Let’s take it from the source:

A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs?

From a community members point of view, what’s cool about gravatars is that you don’t have to upload your avatar image on every blog, forum or community that you are a member of. And from the community owner’s point of view, you can now add a little pizazz to your blog or forum with your members gravatars.

… Just check out a post with a few comments, you can see how the presence of the little gravatar just gives the page a little something extra.

Here is a screen shot:

sample of a gravatar

So how does it work?

To get this working you need two basic things in place:

  1. A gravatar account where you upload your image. You do this at the official gravatar website.
  2. A blog, CMS or forum software that is set up to use gravatars.

Getting your gravatar working:

Go to the gravatar signup page and upload your image. The system is simple really – you upload an image (that will be your gravatar) and you associate your image with your email address.

… Now, whenever you enter your email address when you post a comment on a blog or forum that is set up to handle gravatars, your gravatar image will appear. Cool.

How about accepting gravatars on your blog or forum?

Many blogs (weblogs) already have built-in support for gravatars, check out the list here:

Blog gravatar support list.

… You see that WordPress for example, has a plugin for it.

You can also build in gravatar support from scratch with just a little programming knowledge in a whole bunch of languages:

* Perl
* ColdFusion
* Java
* ASP (classic)
* Python
* Ruby

So as you can see, chances are you can get gravatars working for you.

Stefan Mischook

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6 responses to “What are gravatars and why you need them?”

  1. Yes I love the gravatars. Thanks for using mine as an example. What I meant by joining the blogging community is using the traffic generators like entrecard and blog friends. Also I note that you have set this blog up to disallow a link to the commentator’s web site, you are not using ‘comment
    luv’ or ‘similar post’ plugins etc.
    I suppose you don’t have to worry about traffic.

  2. Hi Jenny,

    “Thanks for using mine as an example”

    No, thank you for having such a nice gravatar!

    “… that you have set this blog up to disallow a link to the commentator’s web site …”

    As far as I can tell, the links are showing up? That said, I will be looking into limiting backlinks to those who are regulars.

    Traffic on the killersites.com websites comes in about 1.6 million pageviews/month and growing.



  3. Blogs/CMS-WP-Drupal…what happened here? Post about avatars is all?
    Common, roll up your sleeves and shell out some reviews that matter.
    Yes, a true motivational speaker I am 🙂

  4. I have heard a lot of opinions. But I still have no idea what is the difference between avatars and gravatars…