Ever wanted to add some flare to the commenting section of your WordPress blog? Grok-Code has coded up a nifty little plugin called Ravatars. Ravatars displays a random avatar for each visitor that is generated at random. The icons are based on email so if a user uses the same email address for each comment, the same Ravatar image will display. You can choose to customize the plugin to display Ravatars that are related to your theme or visitors can opt to configure their own avatar via Gravatar.
Ravatar comes with a default set of images, or you can remove those and upload your own. It works by creating a hash of the email address, and then using the hash to choose an image and the place where the image should be cropped. Uploading your own images gives you the power to customize avatars for your site. A backpacking site might use use nature scenes. Or you might pick images that match your blog’s color scheme.
In order to customize the plugin, you should upload photos to the plugins/ravatars/parts directory. As of this writing, the only two image formats supported are .jpg and .png. Grok-Code recommends keeping the amount of avatar images within the directory to around 40 although if your blog contains a lot of unique comments, you will most likely need to increase the amount of images if you want each commenter to have their own image.
You can download the Ravatar plugin from their release page by clicking here. The release page also contains installation instructions as well. If you happen to download and install this plugin, let us know what you think of it. I think it will be a nice way of spicing up the commenting section so it doesn’t appear so bland.