What Are Pingbacks and Trackbacks in WordPress? How They Differ?

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In this tutorial, we will discuss about pingbacks and trackbacks in WordPress. In this chapter, you will learn: What is pingback? What is trackback? What is the difference between pingback and trackback? And how you can enable or disable trackback and pingback in WordPress?

 What is a Pingback in WordPress?  

Pingback is the feature, through which WordPress communicates with other WordPress enabled websites to send notification about backlinks. It almost works like posting an automated comment in a remote website which you referred in your website article.

Pingbacks work like as described below:

Step 1: We write an article on our website on any topic.

Step 2: You write an article on your blog mentioning/linking to our article.

Step 3: Your blogging software will then automatically send our website a pingback which will also contain a link to your article.

Step 4: Upon receiving the pingback, our blogging software will then automatically go to your blog to confirm that the pingback originates there (the link is present).

Step 5: After the pingback is verified, WordPress will give us an option to display your pingback as our comment. This will exclusively be a link to your blog site.

Pingbacks also work within your blog. If one of your articles link to another article, then your WordPress will also send a self-pingback.

What is a Trackback in WordPress?  

Trackbacks give bloggers the power to communicate between websites. Its nearly similar to one person saying to another “This is something you might be interested in”. Trackback is the way to notify legacy blog systems that you’ve linked to them.

The trackbacks can also be imagined as the equivalent of acknowledgments and references written at the end of an academic paper or chapter in a textbook.

To send a trackback, you must add the trackback URI of the source blog post in your blog post before publishing it.

So, this is how the trackback works:

Step 1: We write an article on our blog.

Step 2: You want to comment on our article, but you also want your own followers to see what you've to say and able to comment on it.

Step 3: So, you will post an article on your blog and send a trackback to our blog's article by including the trackback URI of our article.

Step 4: We will then receive your trackback as a comment and may choose to display it as a comment.

Unlike pingback, trackback displays a title, excerpt and a link to your blog's article.

What is the Difference Between Pingback and Trackback?  

  1. Pingbacks are automatically sent by WordPress. Whereas in case of trackbacks, you have to manually enter the trackback URI.
  2. Pingbacks do not send any content to the source blog nut trackbacks send the excerpt of the content.
  3. Trackback and Pingback use totally different communication technology at the backend.

Should I Approve Pingbacks and Trackbacks on WordPress?  

It is quite easy to take the decision whether to approve or reject a pingback or trackback. Both trackbacks and pingbacks are held for review under the comment moderation area.

From our experience, we can say that 99% of all trackbacks and pingbacks are SPAM. You may witness lots of trackbacks or pingbacks, as this is the simplest way for spammers to get a backlink from your site.

In some other cases, we have seen pingbacks from websites who simply copied our article (word-by-word), and by mistake, they forgot to remove one of the interlinks we have to another article.

In other words, we have observed that 99% of all trackbacks or pingbacks are to be SPAM. As there is no reason to link to spam websites, you may simply reject those comments after verification.

How to Disable Pingbacks, Trackbacks, and Self Pings?  

If you observe that you are getting lots of spammy trackbacks and pingbacks, then you probably would like to disable them on your website.

To do that, first go to Discussion settings (Settings ⇒ Discussion). Then uncheck the option “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles”. For detailed steps, see our guide on configuring WordPress Discussion Settings.

Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks in WordPress

Also, if you get annoyed of your blog self-pinging itself whenever you are publishing new posts, then you can use a free plugin called No Self Pings which will effectively disable the self-pinging.


We hope that you have enjoyed the above article explaining the Pingback and Trackback in WordPress. Be with us to explore free training on Leading Technologies and Certifications.

Leave us some comments if you have any questions or doubts about trackbacks and pingbacks, we will be happy to help you.

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Posted in WordPress Tutorial and tagged , .

I'm passionate about Information Technology & spreading my knowledge makes me happy. I Have MBA(IS), ITIL, PRINCE2, CCNA, CCNP, MCSA, MS Hyper-V Certifications, and Trained in PMP, CCIE. And also have 10+ Yrs of Work Experience.
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The Ultimate Guide to Pingbacks and Trackbacks in WordPress