In online communities, such as internet forums, chat sites, blogs and other community-based websites, users are identified by a unique name. This can be their real name, but it can also be a nickname or other pseudonym.

In addition, many sites also give the user an opportunity to further distinguish themselves from other users by using an avatar – a small image of the user’s choosing, which appears with the user’s name alongside their contributions.

Unfortunately avatars had to be used on a site-by-site basis, which meant that users had to create an avatar on each site they contributed to. Then along came the Gravatars system.

Globally Recognised Avatars

Gravatars are globally recognised avatars. By associating an image with your e-mail address, Gravatars make it possible for a person to have one avatar across the entire web.

Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog or forum etc.

Gravatars on

GravatarsWe support use of Gravatars on – you will already have seen them alongside articles or comments written by Gerald Binks and Dr Rob Marshall.

When you post an article or comment on, the Gravatar system is checked to see if your e-mail address has a Gravatar. If it has, then your Gravatar will be shown alongside your contribution. If not, the default Gravatar image will be displayed instead.

How Do I Get A Gravatar?

Gravatars are completely free and easy to obtain.

Simply go to the Gravatar website at and sign up.

The sign up process will first ask you to enter your e-mail address – so, if you have more than one, make sure the one you enter is the one you use when posting on websites!

Gravatar will then send a sign up confirmation e-mail to the address you just supplied. The e-mail will contain a link to the website where you can:

  • Create and activate your free account
  • Set and Change your password
  • Create your own Gravatar image (e.g. you can upload an image from your computer etc.)

That’s all there is to it. Once done, any Gravatar-enabled website (such as will automatically show your Gravatar alongside your contributions (made using the Gravatar-registered e-mail address).