Shiba Gravatar is now called Shiba Comments because we are broadening the plugin to include other comment related capabilities.
The Shiba Comments Plugin allows you to –
- Cache gravatar images locally on your server as well as use your own set of gravatar images.
- Move comments between posts.
- Parent a comment to any other comment. Note – make sure not to create comment loops while doing this.
- Change the comment IP.
Tested on WordPress 4.4. No changes needed.
Tested on WordPress 4.3. No changes needed.
1. Cache WordPress gravatar images locally on your server.
The gravatar.com site may sometimes get overly busy and as a result, it may significantly slow-down the load time of your WordPress posts and pages. This is especially true if you have many comments on one page.
Note that the slow-down will occur even if your comments may not have gravatar images registered to them. In this case, a call still has to be made to the gravatar.com site which then sends back a generated gravatar image (e.g. Wavatar, Monsters) or a fixed default image (e.g. Mystery Man).
The Shiba Comments Plugin will cache all of the gravatar images locally on your server.
When your article gets viewed, the author images can be retrieved quickly from your local cache without having to visit the gravatar.com site.
Unlike other gravatar caching plugins, the Shiba plugin will only create and update the gravatar cache when a new comment gets submitted, or when you explicitly tell it to rebuild the cache.
The disadvantage – You need to manually instruct the system to update its cache.
The advantage – The plugin is much simpler and you will not need to schedule any cron jobs on your server.
After you install the Shiba Comments plugin, go to Settings >> Discussion to assign the gravatar type of your choice. Note that there is a new gravatar setting called Shiba Gravatar. Select Shiba Gravatar if you want to use your own custom gravatars for non-registered comment authors.
Next, go to Comments >> Cache Gravatars to create an initial cache for all your existing comments.
There are three options in the Cache Gravatars menu –
- Cache Gravatars – Extracts user information from all current comments, and use that email list to expand the gravatar database. Use Cache Gravatars when you first install the plugin, and need to populate your gravatar cache from scratch.
- Update Cache – Updates existing user entries within the gravatar database. Use Update Cache if your cache has already been populated, and you only want to check for new registered gravatar images.
- Clear Cache – Clears your gravatar cache. If your cache is corrupted, you can rebuild it by doing Clear Cache and then Cache Gravatars.
Note – When caching generated gravatars, make sure to always Clear Cache first, then Cache Gravatars.
I have observed that most people do not change their gravatar images very frequently. As a result, it is unnecessary to constantly update the gravatar cache, and place extra load on your web server.
I created this plugin because personally, I prefer to be in control of when the gravatar cache gets updated – which need not be very often at all.
2. Custom Gravatar Images
Custom gravatar images come into play when the comment author does not enter in an email address or when the email address is not linked to a gravatar account.
When this occurs, you can either instruct your WordPress system to return a fixed default image, or generate a custom image from one of the predefined custom image sets (e.g. Wavatar, Monsters). Currently, you can personalize the fixed default gravatar image, but it is not possible to use your own custom image set.
The Shiba Comments plugin allows you to specify your own set of custom gravatars. All you have to do is attach your set of custom images to a post, page, or gallery using the standard WordPress Media Library. Then, assign that gallery to the Gravatar Plugin in the Comments >> Cache Gravatar page.
If no gallery is assigned, the plugin will use its own set of custom gravatar images (shown below).
Shiba Comments Future Additions
- Add update scheduling support (using wp_cron) in addition to manual update capability.
Shiba Comments Plugin Updates
Shiba Comments 1.3.1
September 14th, 2014
- Updated anonymous nonce creation function for the background cache gravatar process.
- Tested on WordPress 4.0.
Shiba Comments 1.3
April 20th, 2014
- Updated plugin directory and url to use functions instead of constants.
- Added metaboxes to the Cache Gravatar page.
- Updated the Cache Gravatar page so that it uses standard WordPress forms, settings, and messages.
- Tested on WordPress 3.9.
Shiba Comments 1.2
Jan 20th, 2013
- Streamlined caching process so that it makes fewer database calls.
- Added security nonce check for caching process.
- Added ability to stop caching process.
Shiba Comments 1.1.3
December 13th, 2012
- Updated for WordPress 3.5.
- Added AJAX calls for expanded quick edit functions.
- Check for loops when assigning comment parent.
- Divide comment avatar processing into segments so as to limit memory usage requirements. We can set the segment size in the Cache Gravatar page. A higher group size means higher memory requirements and vice versa.
- New Emoti-Guy default avatar images!
Shiba Comments 1.0
Aug 3rd, 2012
- Updated for WordPress 3.4.
- Added ability to change comment post, comment parent, and comment IP from the Edit Comment and Quick Edit menus.
- Upgraded gravatar cache to use user_id (in addition to comment email, IP, and author) while caching avatar images.
Jan 10th, 2011
- Updated for WordPress 3.1.
- Plugin will now cache ALL gravatar images including generated gravatar images. Only cache generated images if your site has a manageable number of comment authors. Otherwise, it is more efficient to use your own default set of gravatar images.
- Gravatar images are now cached according to your gravatar settings in Settings >> Discussion.
June 29th, 2010
- Attach a post, page, or gallery as your Custom Gravatar gallery. This allows you to use your own set of custom images for comment authors that are not registered with gravatar.com.
- Easily switch to different sets of custom gravatar images by attaching the plugin to different posts or galleries.
- Easily switch between using standard WordPress gravatars and your custom gravatars through the standard gravatar setting under Settings >> Discussion.
- Plugin no longer uses proc_open to run the caching process. It should now work across most hosting platforms.
WordPress Gravatar Plugin 1.2
- Plugin is updated for WordPress 3.0. It was tested on both 2.9 and 3.0.
- Custom gravatar images will now appear in the WordPress administration menus.
- Added an Update Cache button for updating existing gravatar entries in the cache.
WordPress Gravatar Plugin 1.0
- Provides manual gravatar caching and custom gravatar image sets.