Feb 19 2008

How to Create a Trackback

Published by at 2:48 pm under blogging

What is a Trackback (also called pingback)?

When you link to an individual post on a blog (yours or someone else’s) an option is to create a trackback. This means a small snippet of your post will be sent as a comment to the post being linked to. It looks something like this:


Why Create Trackbacks?

Trackbacks are useful for a couple of main reasons (and no doubt there are more) :-

  • it lets the blogger in question know that you’ve linked to their post and
  • it allows anybody interested in the original post know that you’ve had something to say about it, so it enables the conversation to be followed easily.

This can be a good way of getting traffic to your site, particularly if you are linking to a very popular blog. I also think it looks less “spammy” than a comment on the original post saying “I wrote about this today” with a link to your post.

How to Create a Trackback with WordPress Blogs

Firstly, you should go into “Options” and “Discussion” and ensure you have the following options checked.

Discussion Options

When you write a post and create a link to a post on another blog (please see Lightening’s How to Link if you’re not sure how) sometimes trackbacks will automatically be issued if there is only one or two. I generally find that if you have more than that, trackbacks will not be issued.

In your write post screen, there is a section under the text screen that is titled Trackbacks (depending on the plugins you use there might be other ones as well).

Trackback Field

Click on the “plus” symbol to open the field. I find it easiest to paste the URLs in this field as I link to each one in my post (or if there are many, paste them into a text editor and paste them in at the end). Just remember to separate each URL with a space.

Enter Trackbacks

After your post is published, if you go into “edit”, you will see the trackbacks that have been sent. My recent post about memes and awards for example shows this:


Some blogging platform have special URLs for trackbacks – like Typepad which powers Servant of Chaos. It’s most effective to look for the special trackback link (typically found at the bottom of the post).

Typepad Trackbacks

Extension Reading 😉

How to Separate Trackbacks from Comments (found via Aussie Bloggers Forum)

Blogger Trackback with Haloscan

Blogger Trackback using GreaseMonkey and Firefox

A WordPress Guide to Pingbacks and Trackbacks

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “How to Create a Trackback”

  1. Lighteningon 19 Feb 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Well I’ve been travelling along my merry way just hoping this all happens automatically. LOL. I think it’s probably time I checked all of this out. :)

    Had a giggle at your “extended reading” heading. 😉

    Thanks for the link too. :)

    Lightening’s last blog post..Ouch!!!

  2. Nicole Priceon 19 Feb 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Very helpful post for a newbie blogger like me. Thanks.

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..DVD Player or DVR? That is the question…

  3. Lin Burresson 20 Feb 2008 at 12:09 am

    Lightening and I are in the same boat. I thought it happened automatically, but now I know better that I need to do it manually as you have so eloquently pointed out.

    This is by far the most easiest explanation I’ve ever seen. You are awesome Meg!

    I’ve read and re-read multiple times various posts on trackback and pingbacks on so many blogs, but the wording got so confusing that it all became a blur.

    Thank you! Now I’m going to go back and play a bit with my most recent post and see if I can create this correctly. I’m dancing in my seat right now. :)

    Lin Burress’s last blog post..Understanding Assertiveness: Getting The Respect You Deserve

  4. Colin Campbellon 20 Feb 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks. Very helpful. Unfortunately Blogger does not support trackback, so I thought I would just leave an appreciative comment.

    Colin Campbell’s last blog post..Bottled Water Gets Bashed Again

  5. Babyamoreon 21 Feb 2008 at 12:03 am

    thank you for this I was reading about this somewhere but haven’t started to understand why ?
    Great advice Meg. I will test it on your post. If it works for me ???

    Babyamore’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday -Sunrise