You all know about pingbacks, right? It’s a tool for seeing when other websites are linking to your content. Used correctly, they help facilitate a dialogue between two pages/people, build friendships, end war, etc.

Except… here on my page, it’s exclusively a conversation with myself where I am regularly sent emails asking if I want to approve my own links on the site. And usually I’m like, sure, she seems trustworthy, she is the *sole admin and contributor* so that’s probably ok. There’s no way to “pre-approve all links from this site to this site” so I’m stuck doing it on a case by case basis, leaving these weird pingback links that I don’t want or need. All along I’ve thought “this can’t be right” but only recently figured out how to fix. It is *not* intuitive, as I will attempt to show you here as I rain down shame upon WordPress, but it is also an easy fix.

The WordPress user interface for linking to content on your own site is deliberately (?) deceptive.

So what happens is that anytime I link to content on this page, let’s say I want to send you to my page about bots, I click the word “bots” and the following screen pops up:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 8.53.40 AM

See how it helpfully has a “link to existing content” section? So that’s what I’ve been using. Let’s look for bots and find my page (or post or whatever)…

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 8.54.02 AM

And…. done! So what happens now is that I get an email saying “A new pingback on the page “bots” is waiting for your approval from Website: Mary Dickson Diaz. Options: Approve it, Trash it, Spam It. Please visit moderation panel.” And I have to click “yes, approve it” because the site is treating it exactly the way it would handle a real pingback from an external site (if someone wants to give me a pingback to test this out, that would be rad) or a new commenter. And THEN once I hit approve, it adds a little comment-type remark on the bottom of the page with a note that the content’s been linked to elsewhere.

Obviously I don’t want to go through all that, right? That’s overkill when I just wanted to link you to my stupid page about bots.

INSTEAD… what you can do to get the page to make an internal, relative link instead of an absolute link (which sets the wheels in motion for a pingback) is to do exactly what I did in the steps above, but then remove the “”. Keep the backslash in front of your post link. Like so:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 8.54.30 AM

I like to open links in a new tab because I am notorious for clicking down rabbit holes and forgetting how I got there and what I was trying to do in the first place.

So simple! Why isn’t this part of the standard user interface? Why did I have to google all that to figure it out? These are questions I have for you, WordPress, ruiner of inboxes.


I don’t know a lot about migrating website content. I do know that how you link to internal pages can make life easy or difficult if you later decide to change the structure of your page (let’s say I decide I want everything here to live in instead, or I change my domain name to I believe that relative vs. absolute linking is almost always the best way to go, but others can chime in if I’m wrong.

Better links, cleaner site, less email. What could go wrong?