Every time I log in to a WordPress site—mine, yours, or one that doesn’t even exist yet—I get greeted by my mug:
You can also see my face anytime I leave a comment on my site or any other WordPress blog:
It’s a nice little touch that makes WordPress feel a bit more personalized from the moment I first log in. Whenever I show a client or friend the WordPress admin and they notice my face, it’s often followed by “how’d you do that?”
Is it black magic!? Is the NSA following me? [Probably.] It’s just gravatar.com.
Gravatar is owned by Automattic, the makers of WordPress.com. Gravatar allows you to create a public or private profile listing your social media accounts and other personal contact information. If you’ve heard of about.me, it’s kind of similar to that. Here’s my profile on Gravatar. You can see I’m using it for my business self:
To get it your own picture to show up in any WordPress install, head over to Gravatar.com and sign up. If you have a WordPress.com account, ((Important note: WordPress.com is different than your own self-hosted WordPress site.)) then you’ll use that to log in. Otherwise, you’ll sign up for a new account.
Once you’re in, associate the site with any email addresses you use with WordPress accounts—you can add more than one and keep them all private—and a picture. Once you’ve done that, you’ll start seeing the picture show up any time you log into WordPress, no extra work required! Remember, all the information you enter on Gravatar can be public or private or you can choose to completely hide the account.
You might want Gravatar if spend a lot of time in WordPress admins OR if you leave a lot of comments on WordPress sites. This is a great way to make your comments easier to recognize, stand out, and have a personal feel.
You might not want Gravatar if creating a profile with your information on another site feels too intrusive or too much of a hassle. It’s certainly not for everyone.
I like the bit of extra personality this gives my WordPress admin, and I spend a whole lot of time in bunch of WordPress admins. If you want the same thing, go out and set up your Gravatar profile today!