• Out of the box, the WordPress commenting system is not very performant. For each comment – which could be dozens on a single page load – WordPress makes an uncached call to an external site (gravatar.com) to load the commenter’s avatar image.

    This happens even for the default (and most common) case that the commenter has no gravatar, and it happens repeatedly even if the same person comments multiple times on a single page.

    My site was getting flagged for this slow drain in profiling tools like GTmetrix and Pingdom… But I did not want to give over my commenting content to third-party companies like Disqus.

    About a year ago, I discovered FV Gravatar Cache, which vastly reduces this back-and-forth and automatically maintains a fast cached copy of all commenter’s gravatars. I installed the plugin and after waiting a little while for it to cache the needed gravatars (which it works through methodically in the background via cron, be patient), my site’s metrics and performance scores improved correspondingly.

    Thank you for this helpful plugin! WordPress really should have something like this built in.

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