WordPress Profile Picture without Gravatar

Originally published on Wpshout.com on August 8, 2019 By David Hayes

I was recently working on setting up a site for a personal project and was surprised to discover that there was no place in the theme to add a custom picture for my user bio. I figured out what I wanted: to set my WordPress avatar without Gravatar. I’d rather not rely on a service like that if I don’t have to. But this wasn’t the WordPress avatar appearance I wanted:

I hunted through my user settings page for a while thinking I had to be missing what felt like such a basic feature, but nope! It’s not there, unless you use a service called Gravatar from WordPress.com.

A few Google searches later, I learned that this was one of those times that I needed to install a plugin to make it work.  After a quickly trying a few plugins (that reduced the quality of my photo enough to cause some significant blurring), I settled on “Simple Local Avatars” as my WordPress plugin.

Using Our No-Gravatar WordPress Avatar Plugin, in Video

Check out David’s brief explanation of WordPress avatars, and why we use a plugin for it on WPShout:

Step-by-Step WordPress Profile Picture Without Gravatar


  • From the WordPress Dashboard Menu, select “Plugins > Add New”
  • Search for “Simple Local Avatars” (in the right had search field).
  • Click “Install” and “Activate” on the plugin “Simple Local Avatars.” Once activated, your WordPress comment avatar plugin is basically good to go.
  • To change your personal avatar on that site, you’ll need to edit your profile in WordPress. Select “Users” (from left dashboard menu again).


  1. Click “Your Profile.”
  2. Scroll down until you see a section labelled “Avatar”.
  3. Under the “Avatar” section, you’ll see an “Upload Avatar heading.” In they’re you’ll use the normal WordPress image selection and uploading tools.
  4. To make sure your changes take, you’ll want to click “Update Profile” for you profile image (without Gravatar” to start working.

Go get yourself a cookie because you did it! We using the Simple Local Avatar plugins here on WPShout. It’s great for us, for a ton of small reasons. We find it to be a great WordPress avatar without Gravatar solution. Cheers!