Kentico CMS 7: Gravatars

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On community websites, users are often identified not only by their username, but also through visual representation provided by avatar images. One of the new features in Kentico CMS 7 is support for Gravatars, which allow users to share the same avatar across the Web.
Gravatar is an abbreviation for globally recognized avatar. It is an avatar hosting service that is widely supported, particularly by blogging applications. Anyone can easily upload their own custom Gravatar image after registering at www.gravatar.com

How does it work

Each Gravatar is bound to a specific e-mail address. When a Gravatar image is requested on a website, the associated address is used to generate a hash code, which is then inserted into a URL that returns the appropriate image from the hosting service. This way, the system can display a Gravatar for any user with a known e-mail address, even for visitors who are not actually registered on the website, but submit their e-mail address (for example when posting a comment).

Avatar settings

In the current version, users can upload a local avatar image for their account, which is stored and managed by the application itself. With Kentico CMS 7, you can choose which of the approaches you wish to use on your website, and even combine both types of images.

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In “User can choose” mode, each user can edit their profile and decide which option they prefer on the given website.
 
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All locations where standard avatars can be displayed also support Gravatars without any customization.

Gravatar settings

This feature also provides additional flexibility when it comes to default images for users who do not have a valid avatar image or Gravatar. In addition to predefined static images, options include various types of Identicons that are automatically generated without requiring the user to register anywhere or upload an image.
 
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Because Gravatars are hosted externally, web administrators do not have direct control over the content of the images. However, each Gravatar image is supplied with a rating and you can configure the site to only allow images that fall within a certain rating level. This option helps you avoid displaying inappropriate images on your website.
 
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A description of individual rating levels is available here.
 
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Jakub Oczko

Jakub is a Technical Leader at Kentico.

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