Any site that gathers more than half a dozen members will need to make the proper use of the Gravatar feature in WordPress. This replaces the normal “head” silhouette with an iconic picture from the Gravatar server. There are a lot of options for the Gravatars and they are cross platform so that a user will be able to use the same image across different sites.
1. EDD Purchase Gravatars
This is a fun plugin for businesses selling products that wish to display an output for customers that have shopped with them. While this plugin requires the installation of Easy Digital Downloads, it works with the customers emails and ties into their gravatar account. A variety of settings can be used that allow limits to be set on the amount of purchases before displaying and allows the integration of headings.
2. FV Gravatar Cache
This is a simple plugin that you install and forget. Under normal circumstances, the image for the Gravatar comes from the Gravatar server. With this plugin installed, that same image is stored within the files of your website for later use. It is stored after the first time that it is used and will possibly be discarded later on, based upon the way that the members come and go from your site.
What this means for you is that your site will work and operate faster, since the site is getting the image right from your server and not going to a separate location for it. If this sounds confusing, do not worry about it. Simply install the plugin and watch the site performance improve. It is that simple.
3. JP Gravatar Hovercards
This plugin does not server any essential function, but it can improve the number of visitors to your site by simply making it look better. When a user has their Gravatar hovered over, this plugin will create a nice little hovercard with the users information on it. It is simply once of those nice little things that makes one site stand out against the rest.
There is the ability to use this with some social plugins to create a nice network that will bring in more traffic. Bear in mind that the end all and be all of traffic is to have a good site for people to visit. You can use all the plugins in the world and if no shares your site or the new visitors have nothing good to see when they get there, they will leave and not come back. This is one of those plugins that will make the site look nice and keep them coming back for more.