How to Enhance WordPress+Thesis Comments with Gravatar Profile Data

For a few years now, Gravatar has offered public profiles for its massive user base. Now in addition to simply global avatars, Gravatar users could create a profile with links, verified social accounts, and more.

And for me, one of the coolest features of this was that the profiles were open — both in the sense that they are free to use, but that they are public, with most of the profile information being available in several forms useful to programmers.

Ideally, this would mean that I could update my website address or avatar on Gravatar and have it proliferate out to anywhere — Facebook, Twitter, forums of which I’m a member, etc. But the one place where Gravatar has always excelled is blog comments: I certainly appreciate having a face (or at least some unique avatar) to go with a comment someone makes!

But what about that other information? That’s the problem I set out to solve here, and as you can notice in various comment threads here on the Rick Beckman archive, comments now feature links to social profiles and even a short bio of the comment author. A short notice that this (open, public) information will be used is also added to the commenting form itself.

If you’re still using Thesis 1.8.5 (good for you!), then you have only to add a bit of code to your custom files.

First, to your custom_functions.php file, you’ll want to add the following:

And then to your custom.css file, add this:

Save & upload the files, and enjoy your new socially-enhanced comments!

Suggestions for improvement are welcome, and I realize that the code doesn’t support all social accounts that Gravatar supports yet. I’ll add them if there’s demand. Enjoy, and happy April Fools Day! (No, none of the above is a joke… Just… Happy April 1st! ;)

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