Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress: What They Are and What They Do

Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress: What They Are and What They Do

Trackbacks and pingbacks were developed in blogging as way to notify bloggers when certain things took place on their blogs. These tools are available in WordPress and so as a WordPress user, I believe you need to have a clear understanding about them. The two play a very important role in any WordPress site. In this blog post, I will explain what trackbacks and pingbacks are in WordPress and why you should or should not approve them.

What are Trackbacks?

To be able to understand what trackbacks are I want you to imagine this:

Your friend Josh wrote a blog post about how much he loves soccer. You also want to write a blog post about soccer an include something Josh said. So, you’d mention his post by copying his trackback URL or something similar in your own blog post. Your friend Josh will then be notified about the trackback so he can see what you had to say about soccer.

Basically, a trackback is a way of asking someone if you could reference what they had just said in your own conversation.

What are Pingbacks?

Pingbacks are just like trackbacks, though with a few difference.

A simple explanation of pingbacks are would be:

When researching about your new article, you come across a great article talking about a topic you are researching on. And so when you are writing your new article, you decide to include a link to the website you had come across earlier. Here is what will happen. If the website you are linking to has pingbacks enabled, the owner of the website will get a notification and choose to allow a link from your article to appear on their website.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress: What They Are and What They Do

Pingbacks are commonly displayed as a comment.  

Do You Really Need to Enable Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress

The truth is, trackbacks and pingbacks are not as popular as they used to be. They can be a good way for you or others to share opinions on the topic via the publishing platform but once you get popular, you will begin to receive spam trackbacks and pingbacks. This is why most bloggers choose to disable trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress.

To enable or disable trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress, log on to your admin dashboard. Go to Settings >> Discussions. Under the Discussions Settings, go to Default article settings and choose to check or un-check “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles”.

trackbacks and pingbacks

Finally, scroll down and click the button labeled, “Save Changes”.

Trackbacks and pingbacks may not be useful anymore but I think it is important that you know what they are and how they work.

Final Words

Trackbacks and pingbacks are just but notifications you can use in WordPress. A pingback is a type that is created when you link to another blog post where pingbacks are enabled. And they are displayed as comments. Trackbacks, on the other hand, are a way of notifying other blogs that you have linked to them. Generally, pingbacks are more of a notification whereas trackbacks are more of a way to add a reference. Both pingbacks and trackbacks provide unique ways of referencing or letting somebody know you are referencing to them.

12 thoughts on “Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress: What They Are and What They Do”

  1. Nnnnoooooo Patrick. Pingbacks and Trackbacks are simply awesome. They are more like my askari back home, you know…..will fill you in on what’s happening and what course of action can be taken, you know.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Edgar,
      I never said that they are not awesome. I qas just trying to make people understand what they are and giw to deal with them. Haha.

  2. I am a newbie and I didn’t even know that these were! I am so glad I came across your article. Very will written! Thank you!

  3. I have been blogging for six months now and I have no clue about these two things. I learned something new today which is a very good way to start the year aside from nursing a bad hangover. =) Happy New Year!

    • OMG… This is amazing. I’m glad you have learnt something new from this blog. Happy new year. And I wish you success in blogging. Cheers.

  4. I think both trackbacks and pingbacks are important to get some amount of traffic from the other website.

  5. Good info to know! Can you think of any reason a blogger would not want to get the notification? And to clarify, just because someone turns off the notifications doesn’t mean others cant link to their blog- it only means you won’t get a notification, correct?

    • That’s very correct… turning off the notification won’t stop anyone from linking to your blog. It’s up to you to allow the links to show up on your website by approving them. Or not. I don’t see why one would not want to get the notifications. Trully.

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