What is a Pingback in WordPress?
access_time
hourglass_empty
person_outline

What is a Pingback in WordPress?

Think of a tag or mention on Instagram and Facebook. Pingback notifies you whenever your blog post is, well, tagged or mentioned. Pingback’s main function resembles both, but with a little twist. So, what is a pingback?

WordPress defines a pingback as a special type of comment that’s created when you link to another blog post, as long as the other blog enables the feature. I know, it’s still quite a mouthful. Take a look at how it works to better understand what a pingback is.

How does a pingback work?

Bear in mind that a pingback is an automated notification. This illustration about two bloggers explains the way it works for you – assuming that both WordPress sites are pingback enabled.

  1. A writes a post and links to another post on B’s website.
  2. A publishes the post.
  3. WordPress will send a pingback to B’s website.
  4. The pingback will then appear under the comment section of the linked post. This is how a pingback looks:pingback example

It’s as if you said: “Hey, I just linked this page on my post”. That’s all!

Please be aware that a pingback is native to WordPress platform. If you want to perform such an operation with another platform like Blogger, you should use a trackback. However, unlike a pingback, trackback doesn’t work automatically. Take a look at this illustration:

  1. A (WordPress user) writes a post and wants to link to one specific post on B’s website (Blogger).
  2. A visits B’s post and look for the trackback URL around the comment section. It will generally look like this:trackback URL
  3. A copies the trackback URL and inserts that to the WordPress visual editor.
  4. A publishes the article and triggers the pingback to appear on B’s post. It will generally look like this:trackback example

Trackback’s physical appearance is slightly different, as it contains an excerpt of the content. You also need to use a specific URL for trackback, not the URL from the address bar. Other than that, pingback and trackback are practically the same.

Configuring WordPress pingbacks

You don’t need any technical skills to use pingbacks. In fact, you might have sent pingbacks to many blogs without even knowing. It could happen if both your blog and the blog you linked to allow this feature. If you want to get better control over this, use the settings below:

Disabling or enabling pingback

Go to Setting > Discussion and check or uncheck the activation box, depending on your needs.

WordPress discussion settings to allow pingbacks

WordPress will send you a one-time request of approval when another blogger wants to send you a pingback. To manage this, you just need to scroll down within the Discussion Settings and find Comment Moderation > Moderation queue. You can either approve or deny any pingbacks. Once approved, the blogger no longer needs your approval if they want to send more pingbacks. Everything is automated.

Disabling self-pingbacks

Oddly enough, you will get the request of approval every single time you link to your own posts – called self-ping. If you are an avid writer who refers to your previous posts a lot, this is indeed bothersome. No need to get worked up though, this is very easy to solve.

You just need to replace the full URL with your post’s slug. Let’s say that we want to link to our own article titled “What Is WordPress”.

Instead of using the full URL:

https://www.hostinger.com/tutorials/what-is-wordpress

please use only the slug:

what-is-wordpress

This stops the need of sending the request all over again. Sometimes your visual editor will automatically re-write the full URL for you. However, switching to HTML editor will simply solve the problem.

You can also use certain plugins like No Self Pings and Disabler to prevent this. Or, if you are familiar with PHP, copy this code to your functions.php file.

{code type=php}//remove pings to self
function no_self_ping( &$links ) {
$home = get_option( ‘home’ );
foreach ( $links as $l => $link )
if ( 0 === strpos( $link, $home ) )
unset($links[$l]);
}
add_action( ‘pre_ping’, ‘no_self_ping’ );{/code}

Do you want to try something new? We’re offering high-quality WordPress hosting services with effortless instalion and 24/7 customer support.

See Offer

So, do you need this feature?

Pingbacks could be a powerful tool for growing your website. It may lead readers of the linked post to clicking on your pingback – bringing in a lot of new traffic. The automated comment can also enhance your engagement within the blogger community.

However, the downside is your site could be a target of malicious attacks and spam. Deactivate the pingback feature to avoid such attacks, or provide extra protections by installing related plugins like Cloudflare and Disable XML-RPC.

Whether you use pingback or not, please play it safe!

The Author

Author

Herawan Dwika P. / @dwika

A Psychology and Marketing graduate, Dwika possesses a solid mix of empathy and good eyes for opportunities that lead him towards earning years of experience with WordPress, Linux, and Hosting. When he's not sharing his knowledge with others, Dwika works on his social platform, promoting humanity through the web. He's also a movie enthusiast. He takes them very, very seriously.

Related tutorials

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Become a part of Hostinger now!

More in Glossary, WordPress
What is NGINX? How does it work?
Close