Avatars are simply graphical icons used to represent the user in Wordpress or bbPress posts. It's a fun, visual way for your users to indentify themselves in the forums. Using Avatars in bbPress 2.0 is exactly the same as setting them up to use in the Wordpress Administrator. Gravatars are "Globally Recognized Avatars" that can easily be setup through an online link. Users who participate in many online forums may already have a gravatar. We will briefly discuss where you can create one and their ease of use. The following tutorial quickly guides you on how to set up avatars/gravatars in the Wordpress dashboard.
Enabling Avatars in Wordpress
The first thing you have to do is enable Avatars to be shown in Wordpress. You can enable avatars by doing the following:
- Login to the Wordpress Administrator
- Go to the Settings and select DISCUSSION. Avatars will be towards the bottom of the page, so you may need to scroll down until you find it
- Click on SHOW AVATARS
This section of the Dashboard also has several settings that allow an administrator to screen the images used as avatars to allow only only age-appropriate images. There is also an option to display a default or generic avatar for users without a custom avatar. Once the options have been selected, click on SAVE CHANGES at the bottom of the screen.
Gravatars are great because, as long as the website is able to use them, then they automatically appear. There is no setup involved. Wordpress recognizes Gravatars, so if a user has one setup from another forum or blog, they simply will appear when avatars are enabled for bbPress.
Here's the link for creating Gravatars:
How to create a Gravatar
Once the settings for Avatars are enabled, your users have a great option to visually identify themselves.