How to Change Profile Picture in WordPress without Gravatar

Are you using WordPress and looking to change your profile picture – but not sure how to do it without using Gravatar? If yes, then here in this article, I’ll show you the steps to change your profile picture without Gravatar in WordPress.

As you know, Gravatar is one of the most popular services by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, which allows you to change your profile picture without any hassle on the INTERNET. However, many users don’t want to use Gravatar, and sometimes they just want to use their own self-hosted image as a profile picture.

In this case, changing a GRAVATAR image is one of the best options for you. And you’ll get two different ways to change your profile image.

So let’s get started with both of the methods…

What is Gravatar?

First, let’s understand what a Gravatar is and how it works.

Owned and operated by Automattic Inc., Gravatar is a free service that allows you to create a global avatar using your email address. This avatar can be further used by various websites, including both WordPress and non-WordPress websites, to show your avatar.

To get started, all you need to do is sign up. As soon as you sign up, you’ll further get options to add different emails, upload your avatar, set different avatars on different emails, and a lot more options.

Gravatar – Globally Recognized Avatar

Gravatar also stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. I’m fond of this website, and it literally gives me peace of mind because now I don’t have to worry about setting up my profile picture every time I register or comment on any website.

However, despite the advantages, there are a few disadvantages of using these tools. Here I have listed a few for you.

  • If your website receives plenty of comments on a daily basis, then using Gravatar and loading each avatar can take a lot of time, which leads to slow loading of a website.
  • Sometimes, you want to keep your identity private, so you will not use real photos on the Internet.
  • Depending upon the website, you simply don’t like the current Gravatar image and want to change for a specific website only, or
  • Maybe you find the terms of service for Gravatar too restrictive.

…and many more.

So, whatever reason you have, if you want to change your profile picture in WordPress, then continue reading this article till the end.

How to Change Profile Picture in WordPress without Using Gravatar

Till now, we have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using Gravatar. Now, let’s take a look at how you can change your profile picture in WordPress without actually using Gravatar.

For this, we’re going to cover two different ways of changing it, and depending on your needs, you can use the one you’re comfortable with. These steps are:

  • Changing profile picture using a WordPress plugin
  • Changing profile picture without any plugin

Let’s start with the first method!

Method 1: Changing Profile Picture Using WordPress Plugin

Obviously, the first method should be the earliest one. So in this step, we’re going to use a FREE PLUGIN to remove the gravatar image from your website.

Install the “WP User Avatar” Plugin

To do so, we have to install a plugin named “WP User Avatar“.

Depending on your needs, you can use any other plugins, too – but this one is really simple and easy to use, so we’re continuing with this plugin. To install, simply visit your WordPress dashboard, and click on “Plugins > Add New“.

Here, you need to search for the plugin.

ProfilePress (WP User Avatar) Setting Page

When you search for the plugin, you’ll see a plugin named “Profile Press“. Click on the install and activate button.

Once you’re done, go to “ProfilePress > Settings“, as shown in the image above.

Disable gravatar from ProfilePress

Here you need to click on the “Profile & Cover Photo” like we just did in the image shown above. On this page, you’ll see multiple options for disabling Gravatar and using your own profile picture.

Change the default image of Gravatar

If you completely want to delete the Gravatar, you need to checkmark the option shown in the above image. After that, you need to scroll a bit or have to click on the “ProfilePress > Settings” page, where you will see an option highlighting the text: Default Profile Picture.

Here, you can select any default profile picture or upload your own custom profile picture.

Gravatar image changed successfully

After that, open any post on your website, and now you’ll see the self-hosted version of your profile picture instead of the Gravatar one. Using this same method, I have changed my profile picture on many websites I own, and you can, too.

Change the profile picture from the user’s side

This plugin also has an option to display a profile picture using a shortcode. So, if you’re creating a custom page for your readers and want to display their self-hosted avatar, you can use the “[avatar_upload]” shortcode.

Note that only logged-in users will be able to take advantage of this feature.

Install the “Simple Local Avatar” plugin

If you don’t want extra options in your plugin and simply want to replace the Gravatar image with a self-hosted one, then there’s another plugin named “Simple Local Avatar“. This plugin is trusted by over 1,00,000+ peoples who’re working with WordPress and is really simple to use.

First, you need to install this plugin using the same method we specified for the “ProfilePress” plugin.

Go to the “Users > Profile” page

After installing, you need to edit your profile by going to “Users > Profile“.

Change the user avatar from the “Users > Profile” page

Here, you’ll see an option to add a custom profile picture to your website. Just click on it and select the user avatar from your media file. If you want, you can also upload a new profile picture from your desktop.

Once added, click on the “Update Profile” button to make the changes.

And that’s it! You have successfully changed your profile image in WordPress without using Gravatar.

✍️ Author’s Note;

These two are not the only plugin which helps you change your profile picture from Gravatar to normally uploaded picture – but the market is full with these types of plugins.

Here I’m sharing a few plugins which also helps you with it.

  1. Ultimate Member
  2. Profile Builder
  3. WP User Avatar
  4. Simple Local Avatars
  5. Basic User Avatars

Method 2: Changing Profile Picture Without Plugin

I know not everyone is comfortable with installing too many plugins on their website, and to be frank, I’m one of these guys.

To make things easier, I have written a PHP code that allows you to do the same thing you’re doing with the plugins. For this method, you first need to take a complete backup of your WordPress website and then add the given code to the functions.php file.

Upload your avatar picture to media files

To add a custom profile picture in WordPress, you first need to create and upload your image file. Go to “Media > Add New” in your WordPress admin area. After uploading your image, click on the “Edit” button.

Copy your media URL

Once you click on the “Edit” button, a new page will open with your image details. Here, you need to copy the File URL and keep it handy.

Add custom code to the function.php file

To add a custom profile picture to WordPress, you first need to access your theme’s functions.php file. You can do this by going to “Appearance > Theme Editor” in your WordPress admin area.

Once you’re in the Theme Editor, find the functions.php file. Now, simply add the following code to the end of the file:

Note: Remember to replace the $new_avatar = ‘’ line of code with your own profile picture URL that you copied in the earlier step.

Your avatar will be shown on the “Settings > Discussion” page

After adding your custom code to the functions.php file, go to “Settings > Discussion” in your WordPress admin area. You should now see your custom profile picture option available. Simply select the avatar and save your changes.

Your custom avatar should now be visible on your WordPress blog!

Wrapping Up!

I hope this guide has helped you change your profile picture in WordPress without using Gravatar. If it does, please let us know in the comment section below.

Also, if you have any other questions or concerns about changing your profile picture in WordPress, please feel free to leave a comment below. We would be happy to help!

Sunny Kumar

Number of posts: 145

Hi, I'm Sunny Kumar, a passionate tech enthusiast and a blogger from New Delhi, India. With a degree in IT from IIT-D and expertise in SEO, Cloud Computing, Telecom & Networking, and CEH, I specialize in various technical fields, including SEO, WordPress Development, and PC Building. And being a proficient WordPress user, I’m dedicated to delivering quality content and a remarkable user experience.

Leave a Comment