What are Pingbacks and Trackbacks on WordPress? Disable or Not?

Before we jump into how to disable pingbacks and trackbacks, we are going to answer the first question and explain whether you need them on WordPress.

About Pingbacks & Trackbacks

To make sense that how pingbacks and trackbacks work, we will show you an example to present the process as following:

  • Mike writes an article on his blog;
  • Tom wants to make a comment on Mike’s blog. Meanwhile, he wants his own readers to see his comment and be able to comment on his blog;
  • Tom posts his own blog and send a trackback to Mike’s blog;
  • Mike’s blog receives Tom’s trackback and displays it as a comment on the original article. This comment includes a link to Tom’s post.

That is the processes containing trackbacks, which obviously increases the interaction between these bloggers, and Mike can deliver his opinion on Tom’s post. This interaction introduces their blogs to more audiences and different readerships. Tom’s post on his blog does not include the whole article of Mike, but an excerpt.

What is pingback?

Actually, pingbacks are very similar to trackbacks. There is just one difference that pingbacks are automated, while trackbacks are manually. Pingbacks are designed to deal with those trackbacks lacking authenticity. In above process, Mike receives the trackback of Tom’s comment of his article, but the finally presented comment on Mike’s blog is editable by Mike.

As trackbacks do, pingbacks also display the excerpts instead of the entire post, but very few WordPress themes display these excerpts.

The Good & The Bad

Enabling your site mentioned on others sites is almost always good for your search engine ranking. In addition, having a high ranking blog mentions your sit and making comments on your posts can definitely drive more traffic to your site. Trackbacks and pingbacks can help you add more interaction and bring more readers to express their opinions about your posts on your sit.

However, you need be aware of each website linking to your posts, because there are always some websites scraping content from different websites and putting up the mishmashes to make money. It can make your site low.

The biggest trouble with pingbacks and trackbacks is the amount of spam. Some people who look to make their websites up in terms of SEO will leverage your site as a stepping-stone by adding their website’s URL ceaselessly to other people’s websites. There are indeed some people adding your links with kind intentions, but far more often a spam is submitting URLs to thousands of websites.

This kind of trackbacks are very disgusting and hard to remove completely at once time. If the spam ends up with your comments, you have to moderate them. The process will involve enormous undertaking and waste a lot time.

Even though spam impacts pingbacks and trackbacks to a lesser extent, you also need deal with self pings with pingbacks. People running websites or writing articles regularly know a good way to catch attention is to link to different articles via internal links. But there is a problem. WordPress cannot distinguish between the pings from other sites and the pings coming about due to internal linking. Therefore, you have to moderate self pings as well. Pingbacks make you waste a lot of time, too.

Do You Really Need Pingbacks & Trackbacks?

Can you remember when you received a legitimate pingback or trackback on your blog? After figuring out this question, you can understand whether you need pingbacks & trackbacks or not.

Trackbacks are almost an annoyance, while pingbacks are genuine but rarely add any value to your site. So when you feel that is a waste of time to sort through spam comments by using spam sorting tools, it is the right time that you should get rid of trackbacks and pingbacks on WordPress. To find out best web hosting for your WordPress site, you could visit www.bigcheaphosting.com.

How to Turn Off Pingbacks & Trackbacks on WordPress

Here we will present you with the steps to turn off trackback and pingbacks on WordPress: find your WordPress menu> open Settings > Discussion Settings>uncheck “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)”. After these steps, you are free from the annoyance about trackbacks and pingbacks. Besides, you can prevent self pings by unchecking “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article”.Pingbacks and Trackbacks on WordPress

Now we have successfully handled the trouble about trackbacks and pingbacks for future content. For existing articles, you can utilize Simple Trackback Disabler to disable their trackbacks and pingbacks.


Comparing the good and the bad of trackbacks and pingbacks we analyze above, we find that to disable trackbacks and pingbacks is to let you be free from the troubles. Although there are many anti-spam tools helping to deal with spam, given that 99% trackbacks and pingbacks are spam, we highly recommend you to disable them. You could visit http://bigcheaphosting.com/blog/ to read more WordPress tutorials.

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