Before you even build a website, it’s important to recognise that driving traffic to it, is crucial to your success.
Creating a Gravatar will help you maintain visual consistency and generate visitors to your website.
So what is a Gravatar?
We have all seen the mystery man avatar. It’s the grey silhouette which shows up next to comments in forums and on blog post comments.
Certainly nothing remarkable or memorable there.
But sometimes, you see an image of an actual person, like this one below.
This is a Gravatar. A Flobally Recognised Avatar. And it follows people around from site to site when they use the same email address that they initially registered with. It’s a miracle in consistency, so is a nifty trick for anyone wanting to build a personal brand online, or to establish recognition in their field.
Because it’s easier to recognise someone visually, than remember their name.
When I submitted this comment above, I simply entered my name, email address and the comment.
Because I used the email address that I originally used to register my Gravatar, the image is automatically generated as it’s associated with my email address.
Once you set up a Gravatar account, and assign the email address that will be associated with your Gravatar image, it magically appears on all websites that support Gravatars, including blogs and forums, we well as other platforms which allow comments to be left. As long as you use that same email address, your image will be shown alongside your comment.
If you change your image in your Gravatar account, the change is effective immediately across all sites. That’s pretty handy, especially for anyone wanting to change their personal brand, or simply update their image.
But the other exciting thing is, if someone clicks on my name on this comment, they are directed to my website.
It’s one of the biggest reasons to use a Gravatar – to build visual recognition and drive traffic to your website.
What do you need to set up your Gravatar?
- An image. Choose one that you want associated with you personally, with your blog or business. Create something that works well in a square format. Using something you’ve posted on Instagram is an easy option. On your Gravatar public profile the image will be 424px x 424px so make the image large enough that it will not appear pixelated or distorted at that size, and which will also look good when it’s displayed in a small size. When it’s used beside your name, it will usually be much smaller (around 60px x 60px). There is an option to crop the image as you upload it.If you’re not sure of pixel sizes, or prefer to resize the image first, a good free online tool is Canva’s Photo Editor. You can upload your image and crop or resize it in their interface.
- An email address. This should be an email address that you check regularly.A confirmation will be sent to this email address when you signup for Gravatar. Also, if the site has a “email me when there is a reply” feature you will get a notice when someone comments after you.
How to set up your Gravatar
Go to gravatar.com and complete click on the ‘Create Your Own Gravatar’ button. If you already have a WordPress.com account, you will be able to sign in using that. If not, simply set up an account by adding the email address you have decided to use, and choosing an username and password.
Once in your account, you can add the image that you prepared earlier.
You can also add more information to your profile so that when people click on your Gravatar image, they can find out more information about you. Click across to the ‘My Profile’ tab along the top of the page to see the options available in the screenshot below.
The information that you complete within this Name and Details section is self explanatory.
On the right hand side, are other optional sections which you can also complete or add to if you want to.These can be beneficial to complete if you’re wanting to grow your website’s traffic or promote your business.
These areas are also self explanatory, but here’s a quick overview of what you can include in each.
- Photo Gallery. Enables you to upload multiple images for future Gravatars or display a gallery.
- Websites. This links to your WordPress website, specific blog posts, or other websites.
- Background. Allows you to upload a background image to your profile.
- Contact Information. It’s a good idea to include other ways visitors can contact you.
- Verified Services. This means you can verify other accounts to prove you are really you.
- Crypto-Currencies. This section enables you to add crypto-currency wallet addresses.
And that completes your set up.
Congratulations! You now have a fully functioning Gravatar in place!