The Shiba Gravatar Plugin allows you to cache gravatar images locally on your server as well as use your own set of gravatar images.
In this release, we significantly streamlined the process for loading your own custom gravatars. This was based on Lane’s excellent feature suggestion of tying the custom gravatar system to WordPress galleries.
In particular, you may now tell the plugin to assign custom gravatars based on the images associated with your WordPress post, page, or gallery (if you also have Shiba Media Library installed).
1. Assign and Cache Gravatar Images
After installing the plugin, first go into Comments >> Cache Gravatar. This gets us to the Cache Gravatar screen.
From here we may assign custom gravatars to a chosen post, page, or gallery.
Custom gravatars are originally set to the default plugin images. To use our own images, we click on the Assign link. This will give us a pop-up window that allows us to choose which post, page, or gallery we want to assign as our custom gravatar gallery.
This means that the plugin will assign images from the chosen gallery to comment authors who are not registered with the gravatar.com service or to comments with no email address.
This may place added load on your server, so it may be best to run it at a less busy time of the day.
Below, we have chosen to reassign our gravatar images to New Gallery. Once we assign the gallery, the plugin will automatically update our gravatar cache. It will assign gravatar images to all comment authors and store that information in our local database.
In this way, we only need to access local copies of the images whenever a reader visits our blog. This will increase page speed because we need not access the gravatar.com site for each and every one of our comments, every time a visitor loads a page.
2. Set Gravatar Settings to Shiba Gravatar
Once we have cached our custom gravatar images, we want to start using it in our blog.
Go into Settings >> Discussion. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, to the gravatar settings section. There should now be a new option called Shiba Gravatar. Select that and Save Changes.
This will set our blog gravatars to the set of images in our assigned custom gravatar gallery.
We Are Done
And as simple as that – we are all done! Enjoy your new page speed and custom gravatars.