Anyone that has left a comment on a blog or participated in an online forum has probably come across the word “Gravatar” before. If that word seems unfamiliar, then you actually might be more familiar with this little gray image of a mystery man that is so commonly displayed when no Gravatar is available. Either way you know it, there is no doubt about it that a personalised image in that location most always looks better.
So, what’s a Gravatar?
A Gravatar is simply a Globally Recognised Avatar. This avatar is an image that you upload to the Gravatar.com website, which is then tied to your email address. From that point on, whenever you leave a comment on a blog or forum using that specific email address, the avatar picture from Gravatar.com will show up as your image. The avatar is globally recognised meaning that any website (as most WordPress blogs and others are initially set up to use) that has the Gravatar system in place will automatically display your personal Gravatar.
How can a Gravatar help me?
Everything on the Web these days is about promotion, promotion, promotion. Your personally selected Gravatar can help you to build an online presence, which is especially important for online businesses. Do you plan on leaving comments on popular blogs and forums? Then definitely get a Gravatar! Web users will be able to know at a glance who is taking part in the conversation, and that says a lot when working with online marketing.
Tip: Think about using your business logo as the image. This definitely helps in the branding process, but if you are looking to make your business appear a little more “personable”, a photo of the person in charge of using the Gravatar can feel more inviting.
To set up a Gravatar of your own, simply register a free account on the Gravatar.com website. Once logged in, upload your chosen image and crop to reach your desired target output. Just save and start commenting!
What if I want to have Gravatars displayed on my website?
If you don’t already have the Gravatar system activated on your own website or blog, you’re in luck because a number of popular platforms and content management systems have plugins available to help get it up and running in no time at all! There are plugins for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, Blogger, Movable Type and Ruby on Rails to name a few. Just access the Gravatar plugins page to start the process of integrating Gravatar into your website.
Let us see your Gravatar!
We would love to see what kind of Gravatar you are using, and you can do so by leaving a comment below. Tell us a bit about why you chose that one specifically if you have a few minutes to spare.