WordPress Pingbacks and Trackbacks: Everything you need to know

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If you have been writing articles for a WordPress website, you have no doubt noticed those auto comments that are popping up on your site. Well those “auto comments” are called WordPress pingbacks. These pingbacks can be super useful or kinda annoying. It’s all about how you setup and use these WordPress pingbacks.

What about WordPress Pingbacks?

  • what are WordPress pingbacks?
  • different types of pingbacks
  • should you use these pingbacks and trackbacks?
  • what are the best settings for WordPress pingbacks?
  • how to turn off WordPress pingbacks (all of them or just self pingbacks)

What are WordPress pingbacks?

Getting or sending a blog pingback can be a useful at times and annoying at others. But what are these strange little auto comments that WordPress has enabled by default.

According to the WordPress creators themselves, a pingback is “type of comment that’s created when you link to another blog post, as long as the other blog is set to accept pingbacks.

WordPress.com (source)
a look into what a WordPress auto comment (aka pingback) will look like in the admin panel.
An example of a WordPress pingback as you will see it in the admin panel.

Basically a WordPress pingback is an auto comment that is created on a blog article if it links to another article, either on the original blog’s website or another external site. If pingbacks are enabled, of course. Which they are by default.

So if Blog A publishes an article (Article A) and links a different website’s article (Article B). Article B will receive one of these auto comments letting the publisher of Article B know that Article A has linked to their article. This is a pingback. It sounds confusing a bit, but it pretty simple in practice.

These types of pingback comments will be automatically mixed into the rest of your articles comments. And they will appear in the same style and design as the other comments. Just like the image below:\

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An example of a WordPress pingback being displayed in the comment section of an article.

Different Types of Pingbacks

There are two different types of pingbacks. Each can be useful in their own way. Take a look:

Standard pingbacks: the type where one blog links to another blog and give them a nice notification about that linkage action. This type is extra great for bloggers to easily let each other know when they are recommending each other’s content to their audiences.

Self-pingbacks: a self pingback happens when you link to your own blog’s content. So when you create those ever so important internal links, your personal blog linking will create these auto comments. Adding to the number of comments on your articles.

Should you use WordPress Pingbacks?

Yes. The question of should you use WordPress pingbacks seems pretty cut and dry to me. Yes you should use pingbacks, but for sure not the default settings.

The WordPress pingbacks and trackbacks can be a somewhat useful way of letting websites know when you link their content. Which can be super useful information, especially if you are a smaller, growing WordPress blog. But sometimes, these pingbacks and trackbacks can get very annoying.

But if you setup the correct settings for your pingbacks and trackbacks, then you can get all the right pingback notifications.

Best WordPress pingback settings

My recommended pingback and trackback settings make it so you get the right notifications for you website. But still the least amount of notifications to help de-clutter your digital life. The basic gist:

  • get rid of the WordPress self pingbacks
  • keep notify other blogs when you link to articles
  • and allow link notifications from other blogs on new posts
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How to turn off self pingbacks only

Those self pingbacks get created when you link to your own articles on your WordPress site. This can be useful for some, but I find it very annoying. Luckily it is pretty easy to turn off self pingbacks.

Normally when you link to another article from the editor, you enter in the entire URL (including the https:// and the domain name). To disable the self pingback, you only need to enter the WordPress articles slug. That’s it.

So instead of entering the entire URL of:

You would instead only enter the slug portion:

NOTE: Sometimes the editor may try to add your website’s domain name back into the link. So you may need to go into the code view of the editor to ensure the domain name is not being added.

How to turn off WordPress Pingbacks

To turn off all pingbacks for your WordPress site, you just need to uncheck a single check box in the settings and you are done.

Open up your WordPress admin panel, and browse over to the Settings -> Discussion page. Simply uncheck the “Allow link notifications from other blogs…” checkbox. That’s it. Well, save your changes of course. 🙂

turn off all WordPress pingbacks with the click of a button
Turn off all pingbacks from the Settings -> Discussion page.

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