A pingback in WordPress refers to an automated system where you get notified if someone links to one of your blog posts from their website. The notification is in the form of a comment on your website under the same blog post that was linked.
Basically, pingbacks are WordPress’ way of telling website owners, “Hey, someone linked to your blog post over there.” One nice thing about pingbacks is that they are fully automated. Note that while pingbacks return an excerpt along with article links, the excerpt usually isn’t shown in comments from most themes.
How to enable and disable WordPress pingbacks
Pingbacks aren’t for everyone. Some people like them while some don’t. Fortunately, WordPress allows you to easily enable or disable pingbacks.
Once logged into your WordPress admin dashboard, go to Settings > Discussion from the navigation menu. You should see something similar to the image below.
The first two options are used to send and receive pingbacks. Your blog will try to send pingbacks if the first option is selected. Other blogs will get back to you if the second option is selected.
Uncheck the first box if you don’t want to send pingbacks. Uncheck the second box if you don’t want to receive pingbacks. Uncheck both to disable pingbacks completely.
Note that any changes you make to these options will only apply to new posts. The settings for old posts will remain the same.
Enable or disable pingbacks for individual posts
The admin dashboard allows you to set site-wide rules to enable or disable pingbacks. However, sometimes you may want to disable or enable pingbacks for a specific post only. It’s possible? Surely.
The quickest way to do this would be to navigate to Posts > All Posts from your WordPress admin dashboard and then hovering over any post title from your entire post list. This will show you a submenu below the post on hover.
Click on the button titled Quick edit and you will see a lot of options there. The option to allow pingbacks is on the right side as shown in the image below. Uncheck the option to disable pingbacks for this particular post.
You can also find the option to allow pingbacks and trackbacks on main Edit screen of a particular post on the right side. It will be possible in the sidebar menu to the right of the editing screen. You’ll probably have to scroll down a bit to see it. Here’s a screenshot of the option for one of my posts.
How to disable automatic pings
One unexpected behavior you may notice when pings are enabled is that you will occasionally get pingbacks from posts on your blog. While this is a good way to get better cross-linking between your posts, some users will also find it annoying.
The secret to disabling these automatic pings while keeping others’ pings active is to use the shortened URL form when linking to posts on your website. The pingback feature is triggered when the URL includes https:// at the start. However, this can easily be avoided when linking to your own posts. For example, the URL https://my-website.com/my-recent-trip/ will become /my-recent-trip/.
This tutorial has covered all the basics of WordPress pingbacks you need to know. You should now be able to enable or disable WordPress pingbacks at the website level and at the individual post level.