Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002


I’ve implemented Gravatar here, which means that when you post a comment you can have a small avatar appear next to it. Several sites now have them – Stupid Evil Bastard has had them for some time and Redemption in a Blog is toying with the idea.

They’re quite easy to implement – there are plugins for many blogging systems and Clagnut has some PHP code which is quite straightforward.

To have your Gravatar appear here, all you need to do is visit, create an account and upload an avatar to use. Then, when you comment on an entry, your gravatar will instantly appear. Providing you used the same email address before, it will also appear on older comments too (if you have changed email addresses, email me and I can fix old comments).

One note to TypeKey users: you will need to send an email address when commenting if you want to be able to use Gravatar. I have altered the sign-in link to require email addresses, however I have also created another link which doesn’t ask for them – make sure you click on the default one otherwise your Gravatar won’t appear.


  1. I’m thinking about it too – it makes things more lively.

  2. the problem is if you use different emails per webpage (a bit like typekey really). The other problem is designing another icon to use 🙂

  3. My problem with Gravatar is one of Andy’s. They require the use of an email address to verify identity.
    I use different email addresses for each blog I post comments in. This is because many blogs don’t protect commenters email addresses (TypeKey is one of those). So when I receive SPAM from an address I create, I can forward it to a spam email address and ignore them.
    Sure, I could create a seperate Gravatar account for each blog, but that really defeats the point of the service.
    If they would use a numeric key or something other than an email address, I would be all over the thing.

  4. Heh. It’s weird that they have to rate your avatar before you can use it. It’s a little dumb, I think, even though the actual rating delay was a little more than a minute for me. Why not just let me use my avatar however offensive it may be and delete it if it’s too horrible to be public?

  5. Cool service. I would implement if on my site, but Blosxom’s writeback (comment) plugin doesn’t differentiate the url and e-mail fields. 🙁

  6. I think the rating system is justified. Just because (for example) you may not mind sexually explicit images appearing on your website doesn’t hold true for everyone else.
    It usually takes less than 24 hours to have your image graded and in the meantime any sites referencing the image still ‘work’.

  7. Richard: No, no. I’d mind. I just think the rating doesn’t prevent it. People are still free to post offensive material in comments without (modding comments helps to prevent abuse, of course). Having to wait to get your avatar rated, though, is a nuissance. They could just let people use whatever they upload until they rate/(dis)approve it and if the avatar is offensive, both Gravatar and the owner of the blog are free to do with the offender what they will (warning/ban, etc.).
    I like the fact that there are ratings. I just don’t like to wait for my avatar to get rated. :p

  8. Gravitar and Updates

    I now have Gravitar working on my comments. I found out how to do this via Neil’s World. Basically Gravitar is a Globally Recognized Avatar. Gravitar can be implemented almost anywhere you want to use an avatar. Get yours today….

  9. I had a difficult time implementing it with normal PHP on a dynamic MT template. If anyone else needs help, I’ve written a plugin for dynamic Movable Type pages.

  10. Yes, I agree it will liven things up. I’m using it with textpattern at the minute and it was extremely easy to implement.