How to Disable Trackbacks and Pings in WordPress

Are you seeing more spam trackbacks listed in WordPress comments?

A trackback helps to notify another author that something related was written to what the they wrote, even if you don’t have an explicit link to his article. This improves the chances of the other author sitting up and noticing that you gave him credit for something, or that you improved upon something he wrote, or something similar. With pingback and trackback, blogs are interconnected. Think of them as the equivalents of acknowledgements and references at the end of an academic paper, or a chapter in a textbook.

That’s the way they are supposed to work. But spammers are also using them to bring unwanted comments into your site.

A pingback is an actual link to another blog contained within a post. 

To prevent the unwanted trackbacks and pings you can disable them in WordPress. Here’s how….

Disabling trackbacks and pings can be done in 2 places.

Overall under WordPress Settings > Discussion.  Uncheck the box next to allow link notifications from other blogs. settings-discussion
This will only apply to new posts.

To prevent trackbacks and pings on existing posts you’ll need to edit each one individually.

Open the post for editing and go to Screen Options at the top of the browser window to make sure that the discussion box is checked so it appears under the editor.

screen-options

Then scroll down to find the discussion task pane and uncheck the boxes. You can disable comments if you like as well.
disscussion

Trackbacks and pings can also be place on you media files. You will need to follow the instructions above to disable them by opening each image for editing.

If you’re not getting a lot of trackback spam you can simply keep deleting it from comment moderation. However, if you’re getting so much that it is making you crazy you can mas disable site wide via the database by following the instructions at WPBeginner.com post.. If that freaks you out, contact me and I will do it for you for a nominal fee.

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The Blog Newsletter Combo Makes Art Blogging Easy

CONCEPT: The concept behind the blog newsletter combo is that content sent to followers in emails can also be blog posts. This will make creating content and art blogging  easy.

email-marketing-concept-10097318

As an artist I did not set out to blog about anything, let alone my art work.  However, I did start to blog when a client sent me this article by Chris Tyrell. Then I felt pressure to keep putting things out there until I realized I didn’t have to.

After I settled into routine of blogging both here at Artbiz and my fine art site, I came up with one really good use for my art blog.  I use my fine art blog as an archive for my exhibitions (here’s how to use your blog for exhibition history).  It’s great because it provides a chronological listing of my exhibits with pictures, review links and I can write about it as much or as little as it want.

Now I have another idea on how you can use your art blog and not have to go through writers anxiety every time you feel it’s time to communicate with your followers. I call it your blog newsletter combo!

No doubt you have an email list to send out your studio news. You may even have a Mail Chimp  or similar account that you use to send out your emails. If you don’t, get one, it’s free.

THE IDEA: Turn studio newsletter’s into a blog posts and use Mail Chimp to send it out automatically. Oh Yeah, we`re done here.

Well not quite. You probably wonder what makes good blog newsletter  content. Here`s some ideas…

  • Show images of your studio, people love to see artist studios.
  • Document the stages of your work. This could also be turned into a how to article.
  • Take pictures and write about  your visit to a local art show.
  • The opening of your show (see here’s how to use your blog for exhibition history), or an artist you admire.
  • Your fav art reading list.
  • Interview an artist you admire.
  • Take pictures of crating and shipping your work.
  • Ask collectors for images of your work in their home or office.
  • Ask for testimonials if you do commissions.

There’s so much you can write about that will let people into your mysterious life of an artist.  You don’t have to do both a newsletter and a blog. Make art blogging easy by combining the two tasks into one.

What do you think, will you turn your newsletter into blog posts? Any other content ideas you wish to add?

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Reasons to write blog excerpts

When you write blog excerpts you provide your readers a straight to the point summary and a reason to click-through to read the full post.

1. Write Blog Excerpts So They Appear On Archives

If your WordPress theme is set up to use excerpts you can craft a few sentences that will provide readers a snippet of what the post is about.

The problem with having a theme setup to use excerpts but then not write one, is that all the paragraphs run together when the excerpt is displayed. That’s because WordPress will grab the first 240 characters or so from your blog post and use it as an excerpt if none is available.

  • excerpts appear in category archives and search results
  • write blog excerpts to influence your readers to click-through
  • make searching and scanning easier for readers

Below is an example from this blog where I have used some HTML to format the excerpt and provide a to the point summary on what the post is about.

excerpt
In this example I used HTML in my excerpt to create paragraphs and line breaks

2. A well crafted excerpt can also be your meta description

An excerpt can be longer than a meta description so be careful what you write. The first 140 characters is all that will show in search engine results, making your first sentence the most important.

Where to write blog excerpts

excerpt-dialogue-box

To add an excerpt use the “Excerpt” dialogue box under the editor in WordPress. A sentence or two is fine and you can use HTML in the excerpt to make it readable.

The difference between a Meta Description and an Excerpt

If you write a meta description it will become the excerpt when sharing on Facebook or LinkedIn, not your excerpt. If you don’t write a meta description or an excerpt the first few sentences from the post are used and it all runs together with no styling.

excerpt-applied
Excerpt and meta description from my Open Book series page as it appears when shared on Facebook

The excerpt will appear with a thumbnail image along with the title and a link to the rest of the article.

It is good practice to write blog excerpts, it will help you focus and stay on topic when writing the full post. An excerpt can be used as the basis to write a meta description and will help your readers find what they are looking for faster. For these reasons what you write for your excerpt is important.

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How to use Excerpts and Read More Tags

There are two ways to create summaries of blog posts; excerpts and read more tags. The results are quite different depending on the styling and coding of your WordPress theme. In this article I show visual examples of both and explain how to use Excerpts and Read More Tags

How the Read More Tag works

The Read More tag is added to the content at a place of your choosing. The tag is added in the visual editor of WordPress.

read-more-tag

Simply place your mouse cursor where you want the tag to appear and click the icon shown in the image above. Once inserted into the content it looks like the image below.

more-tag
Once inserted on the page it looks like this

Once the tag has been inserted it appears similar to the image below on the live site. When clicked the link takes the reader to the rest of the article.

read-more-tag
More tag linked to the rest of the article on the live site

What I like about the read more tag is that it maintains the post formatting, showing the full size feature image, the meta data and comment links at the bottom of the post.

The Read More tag is useful if you have long articles and your reading settings are set to show a number of posts on a page. This reduces the amount of scrolling and exposes your readers to more of your posts.

When using the read more tag it is important that the first few sentences provide the essence of the article because this will be what influences your readers to click-through.

How Excerpts Work

When you write blog excerpts for your posts you are providing your readers a teaser. These words can be quite different from the open sentences of the post.

If your WordPress theme is coded to use excerpts you can craft an excerpt otherwise use the Read More Tag as explained above.

The excerpt is a content summary, use this opportunity to influence your readers and give them a reason to click-through and read the entire article.

excerpt
Custom crafted excerpt

The excerpt will appear with a thumbnail rather than the full size image, along with the title and a link to the rest of the article, as shown in the image above.

Under the editor you’ll find the “excerpt” dialogue box. Write your excerpt here. You can use HTML to provide some styling to your excerpt.

excerpt-dialogue-box
The excerpt dialogue box is under the visual editor

Either way you chose to summarize your blog posts the important thing to remember is that it’s the opening sentence for the read more tag and the excerpt itself that are MOST IMPORTANT words. Chose your words wisely and you will have also created a meta description for search engines.

Tweet this automatically

How to use Excerpts and Read More Tags Click to Tweet
How Excerpts and more tags are different Click to Tweet

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Schedule WordPress Posts to Auto Publish

One of the keys to a successful blog is consistency. If you’re anything like me you produce a number of articles in one sitting (or two). Well you can’t publish them all at once but you can schedule WordPress posts to auto publish.

Reasons why you may want to schedule your posts to publish automatically on the dates and times you choose.

1. You’re going on vacation.
2. You much rather be in your studio knowing your blog is taken care of (to a point, see below).
3. An unforeseen event happens and you forgot to publish your post but your email was scheduled and now your link to the post is broken.

Here is how to schedule WordPress posts to auto publish in 3 easy steps.

Schedule WordPress Posts to Auto Publish

1. While your post is in “draft” stage and before you actually click the big blue publish button, click the edit link next to the “publish immediately” text. The schedule form will appear.

2. Select a month from the drop down menu and then enter your date and time, even the year. The time is in the 24 hour military clock. For example, if you want to publish at 7:00 in the evening you enter 19:00.

3. Click the Schedule button and you’re done.

Now that you have scheduled your WordPress posts to auto publish don’t forget that you still have to check in and reply to comments. 

Tweet this automatically:

Scheduling WordPress Posts to Auto Publish Click to Tweet 
Save time by scheduling WordPress auto publish posts Click to Tweet 
Go on vacation knowing your WordPress posts will auto publish Click to Tweet 

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Subscribe to Blog Posts

In a previous article I talked about providing site visitors an easy way to stay connected to you using Jetpack Subscrption module. In particular the subscribe to comments feature.

Jetpack’s Subscription Module also allows visitors to subscribe and receive email notifications whenever you publish a blog post. But is it a good idea to use Jetpack subscriptions for this or use a application like Mail Chimp?

Let’s compare using Jetpack subscribe to blog posts vs Mail Chimp’s subscriptions.

MailChimp-logojetpack-logo1
PriceFree up to 2000 subscribersFree but you should make a donation
Account SetupYou have to open an account at MailChimp.com outside of your WordPress site.Once you activate the Jetpack plugin inside your WordPress site you have to open an account at WordPress.com in order to import the functionality
Subscription FormsLogin to Mail Chimp and customize your subscription form. Then either copy and paste the generated code into a text widget or install a plugin to aid in this step.Once the subscriptions module is activated and configured there will be a widget available that you drag and drop into your sidebar or add to any page with a short code.
CustomizationFull email & RSS feed emails can be fully designed and customizedNothing to see here
 Export CSV Yes you can export and download a CSV of all your subscribersNothing to see here either
Moving your site or blogYour list is independent from your site. It goes where you put it.Your list is integral to your site. If you move it contact Jetpack support for help moving your list
 Manually add subscribers Yes but you have to have their permission Can’t add manually
 Segment lists for who gets what Yes No
 Custom Design Email Newsletters Yup Nope
 Auto Scheduling Blog post emails Yes That’s all it does
ReportsFull reports. See who opens your emails and what links they clickNone

Jetpack’s Subscriptions are an easy, no fuss, no muss way to start building an email list. I’m going to call this the non techie’s way to get the job done.

Mail Chimp Subscriptions are for the more serious user who want to be able to compose and craft the emails that are sent out to their subscribers.

 

 

 

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