If you run a WordPress blog or business site, putting a face to your content can help visitors feel more connected and engaged. One simple way to accomplish this is with an avatar, an image that represents you across your website. An avatar makes your site feel more personal and helps users know you better as a person.
WordPress integrates with Gravatar to provide its users with avatars. Gravatar is a platform that lets users upload an image, then use that image as an avatar across different websites. WordPress Gravatar images appear alongside posts, comments, or other website activity.
However, this default solution isn’t for everyone. You might not like the idea of creating a separate account on another site just to add a profile image. Also, if you want to change your Gravatar settings, you can’t do so from your WordPress dashboard.
Don’t worry if you find yourself in this boat — there are plenty of WordPress plugins that provide an easy workaround. WordPress avatar plugins will allow you to use an image straight from your media library as an avatar, or otherwise change your avatar display.
To help you out, we’ve compiled seven of the best WordPress avatar plugins that allow you to upload your own avatar images to WordPress or customize your avatar display. Check them out below.
Best User Avatar Plugins for WordPress
- Simple Local Avatars
- WP User Avatars
- Author Avatars List
- Avatar Manager
- Basic User Avatars
- SVG Avatars Generator
The Simple Local Avatars plugin is the easiest alternative to Gravatar — just install the free plugin and you’ll see a new avatar upload field added to user profiles. It’s possible to make any photo from your media library into your avatar, and the plugin lets you set the avatar size inside your dashboard without the need to resize it before uploading.
Simple Local Avatars also supports Gravatar, allowing you to sync your Gravatar image with your WordPress profile. The plugin lets you turn off Gravatar as well to make way for a different image.
Additionally, this lightweight plugin creates default avatars if no avatar is set by the user, and lets you control which WordPress user roles have permission to upload custom avatars.
WP User Avatars is another free, straightforward plugin to replace your Gravatar image with one you upload directly to your site. The minimal options keep this plugin simple to use and lightweight, so it won’t slow down your site’s load times.
After activating WP User Avatars, the plugin adds an “Avatar” field to the user profile customizer, where you can pick an image from your media folder and assign a rating (G, PG, R, or X) to the photo. There’s also a community around this plugin that you can reference if you run into issues.
If you run a multi-user blog, the free Author Avatars List plugin might be useful to you. With this plugin, you can display a list of user avatars in a sidebar widget or on any post or page with a simple shortcode or Gutenberg block. If there are regular authors on your blog, this plugin can enhance your site by giving you a simple, effective way to showcase them all in one place.
You can also customize your list display to show a custom title, change the number of users displayed, change the avatar image sizes, show names and bios, and group users by blog. As another bonus, the plugin lets you place single avatar images in a page, post, or widget in case you’re writing about an individual and want to show their picture.
Avatar Manager is a simple but effective plugin for storing and organizing custom user avatars on WordPress blogs. With this free option, users get a choice between Gravatar or a custom local avatar.
With Avatar Manager installed, users can select their desired avatar source in the user profile screen, as well as toggle the default size of their avatar image and add a rating to the image. Administrators may specify whether or not anyone can upload avatar images or just those with admin permissions.
ProfilePress, formerly called WP User Avatar, was once a dedicated WordPress avatar plugin that let users upload any image and set it as their avatar. However, the purpose (and name) of the plugin has recently changed. Now, the ProfilePress membership lets users build user profile layouts with a drag-and-drop tool. Then, site visitors can sign up and add their photo and profile information.
This change has understandably turned many users to other options. Still, ProfilePress lets you associate an image with your presence on your website, plus add more information to share with your fellow users and contributors. The core plugin is free, but the developers also offer a handful of premium add-ons for things like email confirmation, WooCommerce compatibility, social login, and Google reCAPTCHA.
The Basic User Avatars plugin is similar to Simple Local Avatars and WP User Avatars — it allows users to upload their own profile images to use as avatars for free. It puts an “upload” field in the user customizer with which you can upload an image straight from your device. Once uploaded, place your avatar image on any page, post, or sidebar with the plugin’s shortcode.
One new feature of this plugin is its ability to convert avatars from ProfilePress to be used with this plugin. So, if you’re switching from ProfilePress to an alternative plugin, Basic User Avatars makes the transition a bit easier. Lastly, this plugin supports the bbPress forum plugin, adding avatar support.
If you want to do more with your users' avatars, this premium user avatar plugin for WordPress is a solid option. With SVG Avatars Generator, users can create custom profile images in the scalable vector graphic (.svg) format. SVG images are fully responsive and retina-ready so your avatars will look great on any modern device.
SVG Avatars Generator allows users to create their avatar, set it as their user photo, or download the avatar and upload it to Gravatar. You can pick from over 300 visual options and colors and choose between a color background or a transparent background for your image. While premium, a purchase of $39 includes lifetime updates and support.
Easy Custom Avatars for Your WordPress Site
Some WordPress users don’t like the default WordPress avatars or would prefer to stay away from Gravatar.
Fortunately, WordPress provides plenty of flexibility for users to try a different method. Any of the avatar plugins mentioned above make it easier for you to create unique avatars on your site without slowing things down or disrupting your workflow.
Originally published Jun 27, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated June 27 2021