Manage Pingbacks in WordPress

A pingback is a type of comment that is created when you one blog post is linked to another blog post where pingbacks are enabled. Confused? Think about it like this.

  • You post a blog article.
  • Someone else links your blog article to their blog. If both have pingback enabled, you will receive a pingback.
  • You then go to the post that linked to you to confirm that your pingback came from there.

The pingback will appear in the comments section of your post. It will appear as just a link. Many people like this feature, and many don’t. There has been an increasing trend to stop using pingbacks. Are pingbacks dead? Maybe not but they might be on their last leg. The idea of a pingback is to facilitate a community of like sites. With the ubiquity of social media, it seems like the whole idea of pingbacks may now be a mute point. The @ sign in Twitter, a post on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram can be just as effective if not more so. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of pingbacks.

The Upside of Pingbacks

A pingback will tend to give you a better chance at connecting than other bloggers and blogs. You are posted as a comment on another blog and you get a link. This will be good for search engine ranking as long as the link has a nofollow tag. This can help draw more traffic to your site and boost your subscribers. This is all good, but there are some downsides.

Downsides of Pingbacks

Since very similar to trackbacks (they are virtually the same thing), they have the same disadvantages. They can be spammy and take up a lot of time to sort through and manage. Many WordPress users don’t like them for this reason and disable them in the admin panel.

Email Notifications and Pingbacks

Every time someone links to your content you will get an email alerting you about the pingback. This happens whenever someone links to a post In WordPress including internal linking. Pingbacks are great ways to share knowledge with create meaningful conversations with publishers. Pingbacks are also useful for building relationships with bloggers from the same niche. If you like their content and share they may do the same. You can increase your page ranking and draw more traffic to your site.

Creating internal links is a good for SEO and it helps users navigate your site. If pingbacks are enabled, you will get self-pingbacks for internal linking. This means you get a comment and an email notification for every internal link your have.

For bloggers who publish a high volume of posts this can be annoying. There are other times when it can be a serious problem. Imagine you are migrating your website to a new server, and you have thousands of internal links. This means that you will get thousands of email notifications about all the pingbacks. Many times pingbacks are from spam as well.

If you want to get rid of them because you don’t need them or need to temporarily disable them, there are a few ways to do it. This article shows you how to manage pingbacks on your WordPress website with plugins as well as manually.

Disable Pingbacks in WordPress

First we will show you how to disable them in WordPress. Go to the settings in your wordpress dashboard. Navigate to Settings>Discussion.

1Under “default article settings” section, click the check box to remove the action.emptySave the changes and you will no longer receive pingbacks or self-pingbacks. If you want to keep good trackbacks and avoid dealing with spam and internal links, there are some other options. The truth is you probably want pingbacks. This way you know that people are talking about you and you know where links to your blog are. You can use plugins or code snippits to manage the way you receive pingbacks so that you don’t see ALL of them, just the ones you need. Below we will show you how to disable self pingbacks.

No Self Pings

This free plugin doesn’t play around. It is a very simple script that gets the job done. Install and activate No Self Pings. There are no settings or anything else to setup. All you need to do is activate it and it will turn off self pingbacks. Just go to Plugins>Installed to activate or deactiveate the plugin.


One thing that might concern you is that No Self Ping hasn’t been updated in over years. It’s okay this time. It’s such a basic script that it doesn’t need updating. Usually you want to avoid plugins that haven’t been updated recently for safety and compatibility reasons. Most of the time they won’t work. As I am writing this I am on WordPress 4.3 and it is still working.

Manually Insert Code to Disable Self Pingbacks

If you are familiar with looking under the hood in WordPress you can manually insert PHP code into the theme files to stop self pingbacks. This is a very easy thing to do. If you can copy and paste, you can do this. Simply follow the steps below.

Navigate to your “Theme Functions” file — functions.php. Go to Appearance>Editor

function-fileOn the left side of the screen under “Templates” you will find the file. themefunctions


Paste the following code in the body of the functions.php file and update the file:

function disable_self_trackback( &$links ) {
foreach ( $links as $l => $link )
if ( 0 === strpos( $link, get_option( 'home' ) ) )

add_action( ‘pre_ping’, ‘disable_self_trackback’ );

Final Word

Are pingbacks worth it or are they dead? As we mentioned, social media has been able to achieve the same goal of uniting communities and link sharing. The fact that a lot of spam comes in the form of pingbacks can really be the deciding factor for a lot of WordPress webmasters. Personally I still use pingbacks and find them useful. When I link to other blogs I think it helps them realize that I am an actual person and not a spammer, troll, bot or hacker. I think it’s useful when in the beginning stages of developing site content as well. It helps me to manage my internal links and comments. For heavy traffic though I usually opt to forgoe the pingbacks. What do you think? Are pingbacks a thing of the past? Do you use them on your site? Let us know what you think in the comments section.



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