Add Avatar Upload to BuddyPress Registration

Getting users to upload avatars can be a challenge for BuddyPress communities. Avatars aren’t like profile fields where you can require users to complete them. The problem is that a community without many real-user avatars can be somewhat uninviting. Member directories and widgets end up looking grey and white and uninspiring. Too many default “mystery man” avatars floating around can give the impression that the social network is filled with spammers.

One way to encourage users to upload an avatar is to make it the first thing they see when registering for your community. BuddyPress Upload Avatar Ajax is a new, albeit oddly named, plugin that adds avatar upload to the registration form. The upload button is placed even before the account details:


New members in the process of registering can quickly upload, crop and save an avatar right on the registration page, without getting redirected.


The user’s avatar is shown at the top as he or she continues to fill the rest of the registration fields.


This is a simple, proactive measure that you can add to your BuddyPress site to get more members in the door with avatars already set. Install the plugin from and activate it; there are no settings to configure.

Don’t let your social network start to look like a ghost town that’s overrun by zombie mystery man avatars. If it’s like pulling teeth to get members to upload avatars on your site, consider adding the Buddypress Upload Avatar Ajax plugin. Although it doesn’t force the user to upload an avatar, the plugin makes it more convenient for users to personalize their profiles at registration.


5 responses to “Add Avatar Upload to BuddyPress Registration”

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I personally think that uploading a real human image to an avatar creates lot of trust amongst the fellow users. One should choose a proper pic which should not be blurred or grained with noise

  2. Great idea but … If only the author had included a way to allow the admin to set this as mandatory it would have been the perfect solution.

    • I think it makes sense if you combine it with ‘Bp Force profile photo’ which does not allow the site usage until profile photo is uploaded.

  3. This plug in does not work on mobile, bp force profile photo is another great plugin but it does not recognize FB avatars uploaded automatically, that needs to be fixed. When BP Force profile works well there is no need for avatar on sign up.


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