Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Gravatars in WordPress, or What the %$#@ is a Gravatar?!?

The other day Mike from 10000 Birds left a comment here. What startled me was the fact that there was a picture of him next to his comment in my admin interface. How the devil did he do that? I thought.

I checked the image properties and found that it was served by, a site that allows you to upload a picture and associate it with an email address. Then whenever you use that address to log into a forum or blog that supports gravatars, your picture comes up by your name.

The latest WordPress versions support this, and so I studied the default theme and adjusted my comments.php file to show gravatars. A little CSS styling to tweak and there it was.

If you comment here, consider visiting and signing up for a gravatar, then leave a comment and your gravatar will appear alongside your comment.

If you don’t have one, WordPress will just generate a little pattern. I can also set it to display cartoon monsters for each commenter. Should I do that? Hopefully nobody would be offended.

Want to add gravatars to your WordPress theme? Here’s how:

Simply open your theme’s comments.php file and add the following code (the 40 gives the size of the image in pixels):

< ?php echo get_avatar( $comment, 40 ); ?>

Before this line (assuming your comments.php is based on the default theme):

< ?php comment_author_link() ?> says:

You’ll probably need to make a few adjustments to your CSS as well. I just lifted these lines from the default theme’s style.css and adjusted them to suit my theme:

.commentlist li .avatar {
	float: right;
	border: 1px solid #eee;
	padding: 2px;
	background: #fff;

Easy as can be.

For more, visit the WordPress codex.


  1. Nice informative post… I noticed the same thing soon after I started drivelocity. A couple comments were posted with avatars and I dug all through the Admin section and my profile trying to find out how they uploaded an avatar. After a quick search about gravatars, I found that the theme I’m using was set up to work with them, so I registered and uploaded my own.

  2. Ooh! Oooh! I want to be a cartoon monster!

  3. Heather, Done!

    drivelocity, it’s really amazing how much one can do with WordPress that isn’t obvious. Sometimes I wish there was a manual, but then, the discovery is part of the fun.

  4. My picture startles most people.

  5. So does the Blogger avatar work over here, or do yo have to sign in at Avatar for it?

  6. Hey, that’s not my avatar–so it assigns things randomly?

  7. George, It assigns your monster based on your email address. The site you want is gravatar and it may take a little while once you’ve uploaded your gravatar for it to appear. Then, it should display that instead of your monster. Also, I have the blog set to only display G-rated ones.

    Mike, It was in a good way. 🙂

  8. Well, might as well stay with a monster–I’ve been feeling sort of tentacly of late.

  9. Let’s see if my collared lizard follows me to my comment.

    Nice blog!

  10. Yes, there is my lizard. Looks just like me too.

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