How To Create A Pingback On A WordPress Blog

A pingback is a link that allows you to notify another blogger that you have linked to a post or article on their blog or website. In some cases, pingbacks are also known as trackbacks.

If the other blogger has a pingback enabled website, then they can see a notification that you have linked to their article. They can then choose to allow your link to appear on their blog.

In turn, this may drive traffic to your blog when readers click on the pingback notification.

Today, I’m going to show you how to create a pingback on the Gutenberg editor. It’s an easy process and is very similar to creating a pingback on the Classic editor (with just a few small differences).

Let’s get started

In the screenshots below, I’m creating a pingback on my ‘About Hugh’ page to an interview I recently did for blogger and author Esther Chilton.

  • First of all, decide which word or words you want to be the pingback link. In this case, I’m using the words ‘Esther Chilton Blog.’
  • Highlight the word or words you have chosen and click on the pingback link that appears in the window that opens.
  • Copy and paste, into the URL box, the URL link to the blog post or article you want to link to.

Tip – If you are linking to one of your own blog posts, you can search for the post by typing some words from the title of the post into the box.

  • Click on the ‘link setting’ arrow.
  • In the new window that opens (under the box where you have pasted the URL link), slide open the ‘open in New Tab’ button.

This is important because when anybody clicks on your pingback, the blog post you’ve linked to will open in a new window on their screen. Therefore, when they click on the pingback, your blog will not be closed down on their screen.

  • Click on the ‘apply pingback’ button and remember to save the changes to the post.
  • Your pingback is now created and will be highlighted as a pingback on the post.

Tip – You can also highlight the pingback by making the text bold. To do this, highlight the text and click on the ‘B’ – bold button.

  • Before publishing your post, preview it first and make sure the pingback works. Does it go to the right location? If not, delete the URL and insert the correct one.
  • Once you are happy that your pingback is working, publish the post.

Only create pingbacks to blog posts and sites that have a connection with the subject of the post you are publishing.

Advantages of having pingbacks on your blog posts.

  • Creates traffic to your blog.
  • They are SEO friendly.
  • Blog posts that include pingbacks are ranked higher by search engine optimisations (SEOs) such as Google and Bing.
  • Bloggers, whose blogs you link to, may link back to one of your blog posts.
  • They are a great way of promoting older blog posts you have published.

Warning – never create a pingback to the home page of a blog or website. Why? Because no notification is sent to the blogger whose post you are linking to.

Some experts recommend not allowing any pingbacks or trackbacks to a blog because they attract spam. However, by moderating all pingback notifications, you can prevent any spam pingbacks appearing in the comments section of your blog posts.

Click here to see my post on how to create a pingback on the Classic editor.

Where possible, try and include at least one pingback in every blog post you publish.

You can use a mixture of pingbacks to your own posts as well as those of other bloggers. However, don’t have too many on a blog post as it can make them look messy. My recommendation is to have no more than one pingback for every 250 words in any post.

Pingback problems

One of the reasons why I changed to using the Gutenberg editor is that I was having lots of problems with pingbacks not working on the Classic editor.

Even today, I see lots of bloggers asking readers to also leave a link to their post despite a pingback being created to it.

I’m pleased to say that since changing to the Gutenberg editor, I’ve not experienced any problems with any of my pingbacks not working.

An invitation to create a pingback

If you’ve never created a pingback before, try creating one to this post. I’ll be happy to let you know if it’s worked and to include it in the comments section if it has.

If you encounter any problems creating a pingback, don’t hesitate to ask me for some help.

Do you use pingbacks, and how often do you use them? Have you had any experiences where pingbacks did not work?

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59 comments

  1. I’m happy to say I knew much of this already Hugh 🙂 but it’s a great reminder of how pingbacks work, so many thanks for your efforts in helping others with this information. I must say it’s much easier than ever to use a pingback to one of your own posts than it used to be, when you had to approve the link before it showed up, regardless that it was your own post!! I think your advice about linking to a blogger’s most recent post is a great way to include them rather than a link to their home page. Do you think WordPress will change this one day so that a pingback can be made to a home page? I must say I’m getting to be thoroughly au fait with using Gutenberg too, thanks to you for the post on how to make the switch!!

    1. Good to hear, Debbie. I think creating pingbacks is something all new bloggers should learn about in their early days of blogging. It took me a bit of time to get the process of creating one correct, and now I try and create at least one pingback in all my posts.

      I had terrible problems with pingbacks when I was using the Classic editor. It’s one of the reasons why I thought I’d give the Gutenberg editor a try. I’ve not experienced any problems with them since using the Gutenberg editor.

      Pingback notifications do not work if the link is to a home page, so the only change I hope WordPress will make is to show some kind of error if a blogger is creating a pingback to a home page. It’s one of the reasons why my home page now shows a list of my latest posts, rather than my ‘about Hugh’ page. Linking to an ‘about me’ page or blog post is far better because the notifications then work.

  2. This is an important skill in the blogging world, Hugh, and such a basic skill as well. Whether it is linking to another blogger’s challenge, or to share a resource/source for a post. I think it is also very important to click that new tab button. When that happens, as you said, your blog stays open and the other site opens in a new window. If it’s another blogger’s then both blogs get the extra time that google loves to help with SEO.

    1. I remember learning how to create a pingback on the WordPress Blogging 101 course, Terri. It took me some time to get used to creating one, but I was delighted once I mastered the skill. And I agree about clicking the ‘open in New Tab’ button. It’s frustrating when clicking on a pingback and the site opens on the same page. I see that happening a lot, especially towards the end of blog posts in the guest bloggers bio.

  3. Pingbacks are very helpful when you want to support others and at the same time let them know that you did… lol
    I hope you don’t mind but regarding the Gutenberg editor, I’d like to ask you how to change the color of a single word within a block. Even though I mark only a word, once I go to “text color” it colors every word in that block.

    1. Are you referring to a word that is a pingback, or just a word that has no link? For pingbacks, it depends on the WordPress theme you are using and which background colour you have chosen for your blog. Once you select a background colour, WordPress will come up with some suggestions for header and text colours. As you will see in my post, pingbacks and headings are dark orange, so they stand out from the standard text.

      1. Actually it is meant for any single word to color differently within a block. I leave the background the way it is and only want to color that one single word. But as soon as I change the color in “text color” each word in the block has that changed color. Perhaps there is a different way to get there which I have not figured yet.

        1. Right, I’m with you. If you want just one single word to be coloured differently within a bloke, you need to change the block containing the word to the Classic block. It provides more granular control over the text content.
          I hope that helps?

        2. Ah, I see, Hugh! And I can only change a single block that way? Not the whole post? Sounds like this trick might disappear as soon as the Gutenberg Editor is replacing the Classic one.
          Yes, thank you, Hugh! You always have the solution to our WP issues… hehe.

        3. You can change a whole post by changing editors. Earlier this year, I wrote this post about converting posts written with the Classic editor into Gutenberg posts.

          https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2019/05/27/how-to-convert-blog-posts-written-with-the-classic-editor-into-gutenberg-posts/

          So, you can change a Gutenberg post into a classic post until the end of 2021 when WordPress is withdrawing the classic editor (they are removing support for the classic editor by the end of 2020).

          From what I know, the Classic block is staying for now until they fix some of the gallery blocks, so it’ll still be possible to use the Classic editor through the Gutenberg editor. However, I don’t know if WordPress will change their mind and delete the block by the end of 2021. They’ve already removed some earlier blocks, mainly due to bugs, etc.

          Can I ask why you need to change the colour of certain words? It’s not something I come across very much on blog posts unless the word is a pingback link.

        4. Your explanaination is a relief. I thought I overlooked something. But I simply need to change the editor.

          Actually, I just wanted to check it out and noticed that it doesn’t work. But it is the same with pinback which I actually want to color. I just tried it out again but whether I use a color for the block or not and whether I highlight the pingback word or not, when I go to “text color” it colors all the words in that block. You think this can be an issue of the theme? Then I had to contact our WordPress angels.

          However, thank you very much for your time and effort, Hugh 😊

        5. Well, not the whole editor, but just to the classic block where you want to change the text colour of a word or words you want to change. Pingbacks change colour based on the WordPress theme you use, but you can customise the colour for them and headings on the dashboard of your blog. When you select a theme, everything will default to the WordPress default settings for that theme unless you change them in your blog’s settings.

          On the Gutenberg editor, when you change the colour of text, all the text in that block will change to the colour you have selected (apart from in the Classic block).

        6. Did I say the whole editor… oh, well 😄But I got you, yesterday I checked it out on a post I scheduled for next Monday and with changing the editor on the block it worked well to change the color on the pingback. I like making them fit the pictures I post. But as you said, I can make a general change too in the blog settings. Eventually, that would be the simpler solution. Will check that out too.
          Thank you so much for your patience, Hugh. I really appreciate it 😊

    1. Sue, I can’t thank you enough for the link in your #writephoto posts. Thank you for making the change. Those still using the Classic editor have a link in this post to the previous post I did on creating a pingback on the classic editor.

        1. I didn’t even know the technical term for it, but remember asking how to link back like this in an early post, and got such helpful replies!

  4. Forgot to mention: what I miss from the Classic Editor is that it would show a list of my latest blogs and I didn’t have to remember part of the blog title and try and search for it that way to create a pingback. It was much easier to select recent blogs with the Classic Editor.

    1. I get you, for recent posts, although not if you’re someone who has thousands of blog posts to run through when looking for an older post. I have just over 450 blog posts and trying to find something I can’t quite remember when I published would extend the time doing a search. Just as in using the search bar on a blog or on the WordPress Reader, I prefer to type in a particular word or words and see the results. The more words I use, the shorter the list to go through. It may not work all the time, but I usually find the post I’m searching for within a few seconds. However, as I always say to everyone, do what works best for you.

      1. Yep! We all use our blogs a bit differently from others and what works for some might not work for others. I’m sorry you had issues with the Classic Editor when it came to pingbacks. There was a search option too, to find old blogs in that one, as well as giving the list of recent posts, when creating pingbacks. Some things just worked better for me in the Classic Editor and I wonder why they got rid of certain things in Gutenberg. I do like the new and clean look of it all now, though. 🙂

        1. I’m pleased to hear you’re at least giving it a try, Liesbet. Many bloggers won’t even try it out but blame on-going problems with the Classic editor on Gutenberg. They’re not connected in any way. The main problem I had with Pingbacks on the Classic editor was that even though I had enabled the ‘open in New Tab’ option, when the post was published, and I clicked on any pingbacks, they opened the link on the same page (and not in a new window). I’d go back in and discover that the ‘open in New Tab button had slid back. I’d then have to go back and edit all the pingbacks on the post. I’ve never experienced that problem with pingbacks on Gutenberg editor (and hope I never do).

        2. Oh, I see. Yeah… if I had to pick between not having the links open in a different tab, or not having my list of older blogs pop up, I’d go with not having the list. I find it very important that the pingbacks open in a new tab, so I totally understand where you’re coming from!

  5. Yep. Use them all the time. To my own posts as I refer to a certain past adventure or event or to information on the web for more information or to other blog posts when relevant. I don’t know whether every reader understands that those linked words are clickable, though. Especially the non-bloggers.

    1. I agree although I think many readers might be inquisitive about hoovering their mouse over a pingback and then seeing the pointer icon change to a hand icon. It especially helps when the text of a pingback is a different colour to the rest of the text in the post. Eyes can be drawn towards the different coloured text and make readers wonder why certain words are different colours. I remember this happening to me when I first encountered pingbacks. I just had to click on them to find out what they did. Needless to say, I was impressed.

    1. I think many bloggers are the same and don’t know not to create pingbacks to the home page of a blog, Penny. I’m not sure why it does not generate a pingback notification, so I’m guessing there are many bloggers out there wondering why they didn’t receive a ‘thank you’ from a blogger whose blog they linked to. I sometimes come across blog posts that have linked to my home page and feel I need to apologise for not thanking them earlier. Hopefully, this post will mean I won’t have to do that in future.

    1. I think many bloggers make the same mistake, Aimer. I’ve often come across blog posts I’ve been linked to and where I’ve not received a notification of the pingback. If I’m linking back to a blogger, I tend to link to their ‘about me’ page. If that’s their home page, then I’ll link to their latest post (and say why I’m doing so).

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