When a social network is filled with mystery man avatars, it can give the impression that the site is a ghost town, overrun with spam users. Sometimes members are too lazy to upload a profile photo, no matter how many friendly prompts you try to offer.
Missing profile images makes for ugly directory pages and less colorful BuddyPress widgets. It makes it seem like users aren’t invested enough in your site to bother with having an avatar. A widespread lack of avatars has a subtle damaging effect on both members and non-members’ perceptions of your community.
That’s why Brajesh Singh, owner of BuddyDev, created the BuddyPress Force Profile Photo plugin. It requires logged-in users to upload a profile image as the bare minimum requirement to visit any page on your site.
If a user hasn’t uploaded a profile photo, he will be redirected to the upload screen upon logging in. Trying to visit any other page will result in being redirected back to the profile photo upload page at:
If the user then deletes his profile photo and doesn’t add a new one, the plugin will detect that there is no photo and will restrict access to the site again.
Forcing users to add a profile photo is a drastic measure, but for some communities it might be the only thing that works. Install the free BuddyPress Force Profile Photo and you’ll never have to see mystery man avatars on your site again.