1. Ricard Torres

    Great idea for a plugin, but I think the WordPress core should be amended in any case.
    I hope the whole gravatar privacy situation gets fixed in core, it’s 2020.


    • Ben

      Thanks – and I totally agree. Gravatars fill a need, but local avatars is such an obvious feature. I hope it gets added/ changed as well.


  2. kris

    all very good BUT,.

    I would rather see built in the core option that would let users upload their own picture as avatar..

    the user profile has all these fields:
    Username Usernames cannot be changed.
    First Name
    Last Name
    Nickname (required)
    Display name publicly as
    Contact Info

    Email (required)

    it’s all good, we have a toolbar at the top, where users can access their profile
    And yet, NO chance to upload the image natively without a plugin.. :((((


    • Ben

      Yes to this – unfortunately I can’t change core, but I can make a plugin. Hopefully local avatars will be added at some stage.


  3. Matt Mullenweg

    This is a cool idea! Reminds me of Wavatars, which also made local consistent hash images:



  4. David McCan

    If privacy is a concern with gravatars, why not ask Automattic to add to their privacy policy? The Automattic privacy policy applies generally to a number of their sites and services, but it would be possible to exclude Gravatar data from advertising and tracking (if that is the concern).


    • Ben

      Adding something to the privacy policy doesn’t remove privacy concerns. It just makes what they are doing with the data clearer. Whatever the privacy policy says you’ll still be giving data to a third party, and some people don’t want to do that.

      Plus – what’s wrong with having more choices? You don’t have to use this. And if Gravatar does get removed from core (which I can’t see happening), I’m sure there will be a plugin to add it back pretty quickly.


  5. René Hermenau

    The current Gravatar implementation is painful from a UX and privacy situation. The worst thing is that it even smells a little bit fishy.

    Let me explain why:

    Today I had to change our organization email address in our account on wordpress.org.

    Due to that, our avatar image was gone. It’s obvious why; I changed the mail address, so gravatar lost the connection. Not a big deal, I trust Automattic and have no issues with adding our new mail address to wordpress.com. (Another user might not think same as I do but this is another topic)

    Here comes what smells: When you go to gravatar.com for the sake of adding a new avatar image, you are required to go through the normal wordpress.com registration process. That process does not differentiate between me as an experienced developer who only wants to add an avatar to his wordpress.org account and a user who wants to use the wordpress.com service for creating a hosted blog or something else.

    So, I’ve created the new wordpress.com account, and WordPress immediately added me into the sales/registration funnel for adding a new domain and a hosted wordpress.com website.

    I got a marketing mail instantly in my inbox that I am ” a few steps closer to creating a great website.”

    Please, I didn’t want this. I didn’t want to use any of the wordpress.com hosted services, and I was not particularly eager to get any marketing emails from you when I did not explicitly give you my consent.

    I only wanted to create an avatar image for my public wordpress.org account, where I am very active every day. I did not expect wordpress.com was trying to pull me into their hosted ecosystem that aggressively.

    After checking account privacy settings, it turned out that the system automatically activated my account to share my information with the wordpress.com analytics tool. https://monosnap.com/file/rLV9jaKQnTiQIKvS5lXmsqYsPwjabj?idx=0&total=65

    It opted me in instantly after registration, and I had to unsubscribe from it manually —the same as with the marketing emails.

    I don’t think this is the correct way how you do it, and I’d appreciate it if you take the user’s privacy more seriously.

    Frankly, I am more than a little bit surprised or better say disappointed how Automattic handles this, especially as we as small plugin developers have to take care a lot not to break any rules.

    Jeff wrote an interesting article in 2016 about a similar bad experience he had with the gravatar service. It did not touch much the privacy issues, but it’s still up to date: https://wptavern.com/managing-gravatars-in-wordpress-is-a-jarring-user-experience

    Please give us users the option to upload a local avatar, especially on wordpress.org.

    Thank you🙏


    • Brad Isbell

      Agreed completely. After using Gravatar for years, this WordPress integration is a usability nightmare. I’m switching away from Gravatar for all my projects. Currently evaluating Libravatar.


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