Over the last few days I've run across several avatars on the forum that were being called from the full size image on Photobucket. The forum software was set to resize these images, so they look like any other avatar when loaded. Being a web designer however, I notice things that others may not notice, and I know what causes many problems when I see them on a web page. When I load a page and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find an avatar still loading, it's pretty much a dead giveaway that image's file size is huge!!
After finding the first, and determining it was 287 kb, which avatars are supposed to run down around 5 kb max, if you want the page to load efficiently, I've been checking a great many of them and cutting new avatars for you behind the scenes. I've also discovered several that the images were resized to proper dimensions but no file compression was used on the image, and those have been running in the 10 - 15 kb range. Likewise I have resized several of those.
If your avatar disappeared on you mysteriously it is likely because we changed settings in the back room to reject large file sizes on avatars, rather than simply resize their dimensions. If you need help with resizing your image, post it here and I'll cut you a new one in proper dimensions and file size.
Sorry about the trouble guys, but when we get several of these huge files on a page, it slows page load speed drastically for those on dial-up, and we want their experience here to be as enjoyable as everyone else's. Especially since two of our Admin members have to endure this as well!!
The MowBetter Admin Team!