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How To Change Your Avatar/Gravatar On WordPress and Brand Your Business

Updated on November 18, 2014
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Amelia has over 25 yrs of experience in the IT, Training and Education, and eLearning industry.

Executive with Briefcase Avatar
Executive with Briefcase Avatar | Source

What Is An Avatar?

In the computer world, an avatar is a symbol, image or picture that appears next to your registered name when you post comments on blogs, forums and different websites.

You might also be thinking of the blockbuster movie "Avatar", which was written and directed by James Cameron, who also brought us Terminator, Aliens, True Lies and Titanic. The 2009 movie “Avatar” which is one of the highest grossing films of all time, is a science fiction film about a marine who becomes a hybrid-human alien in order to communicate with Na’vis from the planet Pandora.

In Hinduism, an avatar is a human, animal, or a statue of a creature, which represents a Hindu god. An avatar is someone or something which represents a type of person, an idea, or a quality.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the computer term “avatar” is a small picture that represents a computer user in a game, or on the Internet.

What’s the Difference Between an Avatar and a Gravatar?

Gravatar is just an acronym for Globally Recognized Avatar. Avatar images may vary on different websites and don’t cross over to different websites, but a gravatar image is setup so you can use it throughout different websites, thus giving you the opportunity to have a “global” avatar image used to represent yourself or your business.

Why You Should Setup a Gravatar

If you setup a Gravatar, it links the image to the email address of your choice, which can be used to advertise your business, build your brand for a business or be used a personal branding tool. In addition, you can use a Gravatar image to boost internet presence for a person or business, which can potentially drive traffic to your website.

Benefits to Setting Up a Gravatar:

  • You or your business will be easy to recognize
  • By adding your business logo, you can promote your business
  • Increase your website traffic by driving visitors to your site

What Happens If I Don't Setup a Gravatar?

When you post a comment on WordPress as well as some other sites, you may notice that either a blank grey image is next to your name (the Mystery Man silhouette) or a strange cartoonish-looking character like the ones shown below appear next to your user name.

Sample Default Avatar Images
Sample Default Avatar Images

How to Change Your Avatar using Gravatar.com

Instead, why not identify yourself, or better yet, your business? You can use a picture of yourself, your business logo, or another image to represent you or your business.

1. First, go to gravatar.com and click Sign in:

Gravatar.com Sign In
Gravatar.com Sign In | Source

2. If you already have a WordPress account, sign in with your existing account. If you don’t have an account, click on the Sign up link at the bottom of the screen:

Gravatar.com Log in or Sign up
Gravatar.com Log in or Sign up | Source

3. Once logged in, click on the “add a new image” link to add an image:

Gravatar.com add a new image
Gravatar.com add a new image | Source

4. Next, select the location where you would like to get the image from. For example, if you have an image saved on your computer, select “My computer’s hard drive”:

Gravatar.com add a new image source location
Gravatar.com add a new image source location | Source

5. Then click Browse, select the image file, and click Next:

Gravatar.com browse and select a new image
Gravatar.com browse and select a new image | Source

6. Crop your photo by using your mouse and dragging the handles on the corners of the image. Be careful not to drag the side handles, as this will cause your image to be distorted. Next, click Crop and Finish:

Gravatar.com crop an image
Gravatar.com crop an image | Source

7. Click to select a rating for your image:

Gravatar.com rate an image
Gravatar.com rate an image | Source

8. You will then be returned to the screen listing the new image which you added, along with any others images you may have added. In this example, let’s say you decide to pick a different image. Just click on the other image you would like to select. In this case, the 3rd image is selected below:

Gravatar.com select an image
Gravatar.com select an image | Source

9. Finally, click Confirm to confirm your selection:

Gravatar.com confirm image
Gravatar.com confirm image | Source

10. Your new gravatar image should then be displayed on the upper right corner of your screen. If for some reason, the new image is not showing yet, you may need to refresh your screen.

Gravatar.com new gravatar image
Gravatar.com new gravatar image | Source

When you log in to Word Press, you will see your new avatar image on the upper right of your dashboard:

WordPress dashboard
WordPress dashboard | Source

Gravatar Before and After

When you create new posts or reply to posts using the email you setup in your Gravatar account, you will then see your new image.

Avatar/Gravatar Before and After
Avatar/Gravatar Before and After | Source

The new gravatar looks a lot more professional, and if you are using your business logo, it will allow you to advertise your business, and at the same time, give your postings a custom look.

Change your gravatar today to let it stand out from the crowd!

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