How to Replace WordPress’ Default Avatars With Wapuu

Out of the box, WordPress allows you to configure the default avatar that displays for commenters that don’t have one. The choices leave a lot to be desired. Thanks to a new plugin created by Lee Willis, called Wapuuvatar, you can replace default avatars with images of Wapuu.

Settings for Wapuuavatar
Settings for Wapuuavatar

If you’re not familiar with Wapuu, it’s the official, GPL Licensed mascot of the WordPress project. Throughout the year, a number of WordCamps and local communities across the world have created local versions of the character. In fact, the Tavern has its own Wapuu.

WP Tavern Wapuu
WP Tavern Wapuu

The plugin has two settings. You can either replace the default avatar with random Wapuus or replace all Gravatars with Wapuu. Wapuuavatar uses a library of images from the official Wapuu GitHub repository and art work created by Michelle Schulp. Here’s how it looks in action on WP Tavern.

Wapuuavatar on the Tavern
Wapuuavatar on the Tavern

Wapuuavatar is an easy way to replace boring avatars with works of art. The plugin works without issue on WordPress 4.4 beta 4 and is available for free on


17 responses to “How to Replace WordPress’ Default Avatars With Wapuu”

  1. I prefer not to use the plugin. And I can replace the default avatar image I want. Using some tweaks in the file function.php of my theme. :D

    • While I can appreciate your not wanting to use the plugin, (it’s not being merged with core, and it’s not being automatically downloaded, so no worries), that kind of functionality should not be placed in your theme’s functions.php, but in a custom functionality plugin for your site. If you put it in functions.php, when you switch themes, it goes away. If you add the code to a custom functionality plugin, the functionality stays regardless of theme.

  2. pity it is not a gravater :( I thought about trying to convince stack exchange to use it for the wordpress site instead of the identicons, but what would have been a very hard sell as a gravatar is just impossible now :(

  3. I think this plugin should be immediately installed on – would love to see all the random wapuus on the attendee list :)

  4. Hi Jeff,

    Looks like a fun plugin. Quick question – did the devs make a custom WPTavern avatar, or is this something you can do with the files that come with the plugin?


  5. Fun!

    I’m hoping someone takes this idea and does a mashup of something randomly generated (ex. indenticons/wavatars) and wapuus.

    The potential problem with wapuuvatar being that wapuu’s in the archive have pretty strong personality, and some may object to randomly being assign a wapuu holding a pretzel… or with a Mohawk… Etc.


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