Gravatar, Avatar, Blavatar

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I have a single image that I use as my Gravatar/Avatar, and Blavatar (favicon) on this blog, but I could use a different image for my Blavatar, if I wanted to. I’m considering which image to use and I’m accepting reader suggestions.

The definitions of gravatar/ avatar and blavatar maybe confusing to some as they certainly were to me, so let’s clear that up by going to the source. Let’s also find the instructions, and best practices for creating a gravatar/avatar and blavatar.

“A 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. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?”

“On WordPress.com, an Avatar is associated with the email address in your user profile. We use the Gravatar service on WordPress.com to power your user avatar and because Automattic owns both companies, we are able to link your accounts automatically between the two sites.

If you have set an Avatar, it will be displayed when you post to the forums, when you comment on blogs, and if one of your posts is displayed in any of the WordPress.com community features.”

“A Blavatar is a term we came up with by combining Blog + Avatar. A Blavatar is an image associated with a blog. It will be displayed as the favicon for your blog, which shows up in a browser’s address bar and on browser tabs. It will show up in the comments section of a blog if you send out any pingbacks. If anyone create a shortcut to your blog on their iPhone it will also be used as the icon there.”

Below are the best practices for successfully uploading your Gravatar, Avatar and/or Blavatar images:

(1)  Choose an image that does not have any transparency in it and  scales both up and down in size without losing definition. Prepare the image prior to uploading it and make sure it’s 512 x 512 pixels or larger so it will look the best in the widest range of uses.

(2)  The image filetype has to be either PNG, GIF, JPG or JPEG. Make sure the file name contains only letters and numbers – no special characters – and make sure all letters are in lowercase.

(3)  Also make sure the image file name has an extension (Example – image.jpg)

(4)  Be sure your image is saved in  the sRGB color profile.

(5)  Note that there is a time delay while your gravatar image propagates. If you are experiencing problems then go to the gravatar site and read the FAQs as it contains common questions and answers to them

Related posts found in this blog:
How to get your gravatar
Gravatars included in upcoming WordPress release
Got your gravatar yet?

30 thoughts on “Gravatar, Avatar, Blavatar

      • Rather hot weekend (95+ degrees outside) but staying cool inside!! You inspired me to write my own experience and linked this post to it. Thanks again.

      • i’ve got a quick question… this is the first time i am using a gravatar, so i thought i’ll upload an animated GIF, but after doing so, even though i didn’t crop the pix, the anim is lost (if you look at my avatar, the bubbles are supposed to be moving up). would you know how to preserve the anim? (the gravatar support form is closed on their site and i don’t seem to be able to find any info re this) thanks.

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  2. Your article is very well done.
    I’m new to blogging. When set up WordPress the 1st time, I wasn’t happy with some things, so I reinstalled it a 2nd time. In the 1st installation, I know I saw some info about the gravatar. In the 2nd, it’s nowhere to be found. It’s like rebuilding your car’s engine and having a bucket of extra parts left over. Only in this case, the extra bucket of parts are missing … :) …what to do? …what to do? Everything works fine now, I’m just missing this bucket of menus.
    Any suggestions before I try for the 3rd time.

    • The information above applies only to those who have free blogs from and being free hosted by wordpress.COM. There are features and widgets on wordpress.COM blogs that are not available on wordpress.ORG installs.

      WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: The Differences
      WordPress.com is a hosted blog service. You do not have to download software, pay for hosting or manage a web server. WordPress.com does not permit uploading themes or plugins. WordPress.org is free software. You can install themes and plugins, run ads, and edit the database. Support entry on the differences.

      If you need software support post here > http://wordpress.org/support/

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  5. Thank you for so wonderfully drawing that out here, I never knew what the difference was between the two let alone three. Wishing to have a animated one for my gravatar as for the favicon ( cool little name by the way) ours is just a crown its suits us also all our readers are book marking us because of it.

    • @webmistress
      Thank you for the positive feedback. I also apologize for not answering you immediately after I approved this comment. Because I didn’t do that I forgot your comment was here. The little crown is cool but I still haven’t found a blavatar (favicon) that I’m enamored with.

    • Well that’s good then because you have learned something new. You can have both a gravatar/avatar and a blavatar (favicon) if you are a wordpress.com blogger.

  6. @Dave,
    It’s great to hear from you. I hope you are doing well.

    I do know what you mean by struggling. Favicons are so darn small. I have tested several images by scaling them down to see what they looked like and then proclaimed – yuck! I’m still hunting though but not with as much enthusiasm as when I first began.

    Thanks for the visit and the comment too. :)

  7. The blavatar image is also what iTunes uses for a podcast image, FWIW. But finding a good favicon is always a struggle even without that additional challenge — a couple of my blogs are still without them. Good luck.

  8. @Arafat Hossain Piyada
    Thanks for your feedback. For a long time I did not feel comfortable about posting a photo but now I’m okay with it. This isn’t a “personal blog” in the sense of me keeping a journal or diary; it’s stricly about blogging, and can’t think of a blogging related icon I could use as a blavatar. So if any readers have suggestions for a blogging related blavtar I’m open to hearing them.

    • I also didn’t feel comfortable posting my picture for a long, long time. I still only use my picture for forum posts and blog posts at one of our sites. I chose our logo for my blavatar/avatar because it’s more recognizable at this point than my scary mug. :-)

      As to your Blavatar/avatar, stick with your picture you are using now. (At this point you’ve probably already made a final decision, but thought I’d throw in my 2 cents anyway.) It looks great in your favicon, your avatar, Twitter page, etc. Here’s why:

      – The picture is bright and easy to see, even in the favicon. (Getting anything remotely recognizable is a challenge for any favicon.)

      – You are very pretty (said in a matter of fact sort of way) which attracts people. Like it or not, people do judge a book by it’s cover … at least to start with.

      – You have an unusual haircut (in a good way) that helps your picture stand out.

      – Your pic is at a downward angle which helps it not look like a mug shot.

      – You look friendly in the picture.

      Also, I’m not sure how long you’ve used it on your StumbleUpon account but with all of the stumbles/subscribers you have your pic is likely familiar to a lot of people.

      Another thing, you chose a really good username. I typically prefer when people use their real names, but when I saw yours I immediately thought of “time management and productivity” which got my attention. I guess that’s counter-intuitive with “thief” at the end, but for me, it conveyed the message that you’d show me time thie(ves?) and how to overcome them.

      Even if that wasn’t the intent for your choice, everyone is pressed for time and creating this type of imagery is a good thing. If someone even thinks you’ll be a source for tips on being more productive (whether with wordpress, work, etc) they’ll likely at least check out your blog.

      Anyway, I ramble on too much but just wanted to share my thoughts.

      • @Robert,
        Thanks so much for rambling on as I detect friendliness and even compliments in what you said. lol :D In the future I may chnage the photo use another symbol for a blavatar but I’m okay with this one for now.

      • @Robert,
        Thanks so much for rambling on as I detect friendliness and even compliments in what you said. lol :D In the future I may chnage the photo use and/or another symbol for a blavatar but I’m okay with this one for now.

    • Can you please help I cannot find the blog picture image upload area in general settings. I have nothing like the setting in the video above

      [http://followingfactory.com/blog/]

      Thanks so much for the help

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