Gravatar tag helper

As we have excellent documentation on the official documentation page explaining in detail what tag helpers are and what problem they solve, i am not going to repeat that here.This is going to be mostly code :)

While rewriting TeamBins, the open source issue tracking software from ASP.NET MVC5 to Asp.Net core, I decided to convert an exisitng gravatar html helper to a tag helper. Here it goes.

[HtmlTargetElement("span", Attributes = EmailAttributeName)]
public class GravatarImageTagHelper : TagHelper
private const string SizeAttributeName = "image-size";
private const string EmailAttributeName = "gravatar-email";
private const string AltTextAttributeName = "alt";

const string GravatarBaseUrl = "";

public string Email { get; set; }

public string AltText { set; get; }

public int? Size { get; set; }

private string ToGravatarHash(string email)
var encoder = new UTF8Encoding();
var md5 = MD5.Create();
var hashedBytes = md5.ComputeHash(encoder.GetBytes(email.ToLower()));
var sb = new StringBuilder(hashedBytes.Length * 2);

for (var i = 0; i < hashedBytes.Length; i++)

return sb.ToString().ToLower();

private string ToGravatarUrl(string email, int? size)

if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(email) || string.IsNullOrEmpty(email.Trim()))
throw new ArgumentException("The email is empty.", nameof(email));

var sb = ToGravatarHash(email);

var imageUrl = GravatarBaseUrl + "gravatar_id=" + sb;
if (size.HasValue)
imageUrl += "?s=" + size.Value;

return imageUrl;


public override void Process(TagHelperContext context,
TagHelperOutput output)
var str = new StringBuilder();
var url = ToGravatarUrl(this.Email, this.Size);
str.AppendFormat("<img src='{0}' alt='{1}' />", url, AltText);


This tag helper can be invoked on any span elements. Email attribute name (gravatar-email) is the only required field. This can be called in another view like this

<span gravatar-email="YourValidEmailAddressHere" image-size="26"></span>

When razor executes this view code, it will render the below html markup

<span><img src="" alt=""></span>

YourEmailHash will be replaced with the hash generated from the email address.

If email is a property of your view model you will use that property as the value of gravatar-email attribute.

<span gravatar-email="@Model.EmailAddress" image-size="26"></span>

You also need to add an addTagHelper directive call in your _ViewImports.cshtml file for the tag helper to work. The second argument is the assembly name where your tag helper is defined. In my case, It is in my TeamBinsCore.Web project (and assembly)

@addTagHelper *, Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.TagHelpers
@addTagHelper *, TeamBinsCore.Web

Cheers !