avatars plugin causing randomly disappearing avatars

I'm having an odd problem that has resisted all my attempts to diagnose so far. We're using the Avatars plugin for a mulitsite install for American University. It's using Wordpress 3.1 with the 3.5.4 version of the plugin. Plugin is installed in /wp-content/plugins/, old version is not in mu-plugins, and there's no htaccess rule left behind.

The problem is that the author avatars randomly appear and disappear while the page loads. When the load is complete, random avatars are missing. A refresh will bring in some avatars and remove others.

You can see it yourself here:


Hit refresh a few times to see it. Any ideas?

  • Bluesplinter

    I found this topic because my local install was experiencing the same behavior. Looking through the plugin code, I had a hunch it may be related to the rewrite code, so I added the following to the .htaccess file, and the problem went away.

    RewriteRule ^avatar/(.*) index.php?avatar=$1

    Basically, that's just doing a manual rewrite rather than letting WP do it. I don't know enough about WP's rewrite processing to know why this problem exists, and I am NOT crazy about sending that many rewrites through index.php (sloooow), so I'm thinking about refactoring the plugin to store the avatars in a non-obfuscated directory and skipping the index.php process altogether.

    FWIW. At any rate, adding the rewrite code to the .htaccess seems to alleviate the problem... at least in my case, so maybe it'll help the category4 and others. :slight_smile:


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