Gravatars, Images And Themes
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Oct 14, 2008
Lately I’ve seen a lot of people on a lot of blogs asking how to get images into their blog posts. Well, that was me about six weeks ago, asking my buddy Sire how to do it. He gave me a couple of options, neither that I really wanted to go with, but I finally decided on one and I’m glad I did.
I decided to go with Gravatar to get it done, after trying some other ideas that proved to be fairly stupid. Some of them wanted me to add code in places, but none told me where to add the code. And then I’d have had to create a folder of images, which didn’t appeal to me either. I did try one WordPress plugin called Post Avatar, but I couldn’t adjust the size settings, and it would only allow me to put an avatar on the site; no one else’s avatars would show up.
Gravatar turned out to be way simpler than I had expected. You go in and set up an account with an email address first. Then you get to either choose one of their pre-made avatars, which I’d have to say are yucky, or create your own, which is really the best way to go. You can upload an image of yourself or whatever you wish to, many if you want. Then you get to resize it, of sorts, since every avatar it ends up creating will be the same size as you travel from blog to blog. I chose different images for each of my blogs, though I didn’t have to, but both are pictures of me. There’s a minor debate out in the blogging world as to whether it’s better to have a picture of yourself or your logo, or something goofy; I decided to go with me, but I did give quick pause to using an image of me as a Simpson; what do you think:
Anyway, the next step is to go into your blog settings and activate gravatars. In WordPress, you’ll find it under Settings, then Discussion. When you change the settings, first allowing images (which you can also decide which ratings level, like the movies, you wish to allow; I picked ‘PG’), then deciding what to put if someone doesn’t have an image. Once you do that you’re set; sort of. What I found was that it would put my image up if I responded to other people’s posts, but only put their gravatar up if they picked the “reply” option. Since I don’t see it happening like that on every blog I visit, but do see it on some here and there, I’ve come to the conclusion that it has something to do with the theme, which, of course, most of us don’t create, so I’m not about to go into the settings and mess things up.
Instead, I looked around to see if I could find something to use for WordPress, and I decided to go with the Easy Gravatars plugin. Now, with each comment, you’ll see the gravatar next to the person’s name, which is what I wanted. Easy Gravatars also gives you the options of sizing up the gravatars (go into settings), as it’s defaulted to 80 pixels and that was too big for my tastes, and if you know how you can change which side of the comment you want it to show on, as it’s automatically defaulted to the right. I moved it to the left, but if you move the side then you also have to remember to change the margin to the right so you’ll have some spacing between the image and the post.
The result is pretty nice for everyone except me, as my gravatar seems to show up twice. But I can deal with that, because any changes I make might affect how it shows up everywhere else, and right now, I like seeing my image on other people’s blogs. I don’t know why it took me so long to do it, or why I was hesitant to sign up for something like Gravatar, but it probably has something to do with my reticence in registering on blogs or other sites just to be able to do things. I hope to get over it some day, as I still haven’t registered for CommentLuv, which would allow me to select which of my previous posts I want people to see. Then again, right now I want people to come see my latest post first, then decide if they want to go backwards, so it may take me awhile to get there; I’m so stubborn sometimes.
So there you go. I hope it’s an easy enough description of the process for those of you who haven’t set up an image yet. Let’s get it done! 🙂