This week in my exploration of Wordpress, I learned about what Pingbacks and Trackbacks are.
The accidental pingback
Last week on my blog Fit and Healthy Me, I posted an article about Hydration for exercise. Now at the moment, that blog is really just for me to learn about Wordpress, and also for me to have somewhere to record what I'm learning about health and fitness. I haven't promoted the blog, only just mentioned it on this a couple of times, so I'm not really expecting any traffic or comments yet.
So after I posted my Hydration post, I was surprised to get a comment very quickly. However, when I looked at that comment, it just seemed to be a snippet from my actual post itself - weird I thought! I figured that I must have accidentally clicked on something and commented on my own post by mistake somehow. So I just ignored the comment and deleted it.
THEN, this week, when I was watching another great video from WP Beginner, I realised that the comment I deleted looked like a pingback!
When I went back to my dashboard and dug the comment out of the trash, it certainly looked like the pingback I'd seen on the video, but it said it had come from my own blog, and not only that, from the same post, which I still don't really understand.
So what is a pingback?
A pingback is basically what you get when someone on another blog links to yours. They come through as comments that you have to choose whether or not to approve.
It is kind of nice and interesting to see who has linked to your blog post, but you have to remember that if you approve these pingbacks as comments, you're also creating a link on your blog back to that other blog.
Creating a test pingback
I'm not sure where my first 'pingback' came from, so I'm going to try and create one to check out how it works.
Unfortunately for me in this case, as far as I can see, Blogger doesn't do pingbacks, so linking to my post from this blog won't send one. So I had to find another way...
About a year ago I had the bright idea to learn about Wordpress, but set up a free blog at Wordpress.com instead of Wordpress.org. I still have that blog, so logged in there and posted a test comment with a link to my new blog post (goodness this is getting complicated).
Anyway, it worked! As soon as my post with the link was published, the pingback appeared in my comment moderation. When I approved it, it appeared on that post as a 'pingback' on the bottom of the post including a link to the blog where the link was published (my old free wordpress blog).
You can see what it looks like here in my post about the plank challenge I did!
So what are Trackbacks?
As far as I can make out from lots of searching and reading, trackbacks are basically the same thing as pingbacks but don't happen automatically, like pingbacks do.
The two terms are often used interchangeably so I don't think there's much of a difference, if any!
For now, I'm going to leave my pingbacks enabled on my Wordpress blog, at least I know what they are now!
Do you have a Wordpress blog? Do you allow pingbacks?