For a while now, I’ve realised the importance of Gravatars and consistency in our login details. I have my own ‘Wall of Fame’ (under admin) where a good number of past commenters have a blank image appearing. I’m going to take this opportunity to go over a few things I’ve noticed and hopefully in the process, help some of you out.

What is a Gravatar?

Your Gravatar is a universal 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? These days if you already have a WordPress account, you should also have a Gravatar since the accounts are now linked (and another reason I like using WordPress).

Why is it good?

I’m going to let this video made by Gravatar themselves to help illustrate the point.

I already have one but my image doesn’t show up

There are a few people who have a Gravatar profile – I can see an image for them on certain sites but not on others. This can happen if you use more than one email to sign in and comment. The great thing about Gravatar is that you can add more than one email address to your Gravatar profile and then link the same image to that email.

Although I recommend that you use the same avatar image across all sites and emails, especially if you are new to the scene of blogging and commenting. By using the same image, people will start thinking, “Hey I remember that avatar on so-and-so’s site, they comment a lot” or “they have a lot of interesting things to say”. Either way you’re getting noticed.

Until you get your name out there, people will start recognising you by your handle or blog name. After a while you can change your avatars on Twitter or facebook.

I’ve also noticed readers using a different email to one previously used. If your blog is set up to approve first time commenters, you’ll be re-approving a lot of people. This tends to get a little tedious as I tend to go into the comments to edit the email to match the one which previously had a Gravatar image associated with it. The same goes for those who have changed blog addresses. Updates like these can be quite time consuming when you have over 100 entries to change but that way you get the most accurate numbers and details for people clicking through to someone’s blog.

I also use Admin Commenters which lets you know via a numerical count whether someone has commented on your blog before. This will help match up a difference in name, email or URL. So pls remember to be consistent in all three where you can.

How do I get one?

If you’ve never set up a Gravatar profile before, the first time you comment on my Blog you will be prompted to get one.

Don’t forget to confirm the email

When you sign up, you’ll be asked to confirm the email address so check your email accounts. If you didn’t receive one try to resend the confirmation email.

My avatar doesn’t show up on my profile (or it’s the wrong one)

Avatar images are cached for a period of time. Even when you change the image under your profile, it may take up to 10mins before you see any change. When you do get around to adding/changing an avatar image, you will be prompted to confirm the email you wish to be associated with the image and the rating. Make sure you click the ‘G’ rating so it will show up on ALL sites.

I turned off Hovercards, now how do I get them back?

(I admit this happened to me a while ago for my own blog, although I’ve turned them off for now by default)

To re-enable Hovercards that have been disabled with the Turn off hovercards option, you will need to delete the cookie nohovercard from the domain

If you are unsure about how to clear individual cookies you can visit this site for details of removing cookies for various browsers.

Why doesn’t my Hovercard/profile load for one of my email addresses?

Because of the way Gravatar works, only your Primary Address will load a hovercard (on sites that support them) or your profile (via any of the profile request formats). If you want to make profile details available via a different address, you will need to either create a new account using that address, or make it the Primary Address on your current account.


So get your personalities out there by way of a unique avatar image :D

Find answers to some other commonly asked questions