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Basic Blogging Terms that Bloggers Need to Know

Interestingly, very rarely bloggers are actually familiar with all the blogging terminologies. If you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them as you will often come across these terms and might get to a point where you scratch your head trying to understand what do they actually stand for.

Archives

If you’re just starting out, you may not realize the importance of having archive pages, especially if you only have a limited number of posts available on your blog.

Archives are super-helpful if you have loads of content. You can keep track of all the articles on a blog through their posting date. Archive pages also keep posts categorized on a monthly and yearly basis to ease the browsing for some of your viewers. Not only that, the archives can be based on categories, helping you to quickly find the article you need. Even after a year or ten year’s the’ve been on your website.

image of an archive page on a website.

Feeds

Feeds are a way to keep other sites or platforms informed of fresh content you post at your blog. Using feed readers, other platforms or viewers can access your website feed and provide humanly readable posts for that site.

RSS is a popular feed system, which stands for Really Simple Syndication. Atom and RDF are other types you may be familiar with.

image of an example RSS feed.

Syndication

The idea of Syndication is for readers to read a blog post without actually visiting the website. Imagine if you want to follow 30 websites and keep yourself updated about their new blog posts. You would have to visit every single site at least once a day to keep yourself informed of the updated posts.

The whole process becomes much interactive and easier to manage with Syndication. It can happen through the help of feed reading software so readers only have to provide a website/blog feed link and the rest is done automatically.

The RSS feed links are usually www.xyzwebsite.com/rss or www.xyzwebsite.com/feed or otherwise www.xyzwebsite.com/atom

In Avoori the RSS feed for your website is: yourwebsiteurl.com/feed

Once you let the feed reader software know of the relevant RSS feed links, whenever a post is updated at any of those websites, you will get a notification and you will be able to read the new post without having to visit the origin website.

Managing Comments

The lifecycle of blogging is incomplete without comments. That’s just a small chunk of the whole subject when trackbacks, pingbacks, comment spamming and moderation are all parts of the same topic. We will also learn how to deal with spam comments a little later.

Trackbacks

Major blogging platforms, be it Avoori, WordPress or others incorporate the concept of trackbacks. It was originally introduced by SixApart, the creator of MovableType blogging platform.

Trackbacks provide as a notification system from Blog A to Blog B. Imagine a blog owner A publishes a post. The blog owner B wants to make a comment but also wants his own blog readers to know about his comments. So the blog owner B writes a post about it at his own blog and sends a trackback to blog A. Such a trackback is an indication to blog owner A that someone has published something that may be relevant to this post. At the same time, blog owner B audience gets to read a blog post too.

Trackbacks are in shape of excerpts, small summaries of what the other person had to say about the post. So anyone who’s interested in the summary comment can click the link to read more about it.

Pingbacks

Pingbacks were introduced to address a similar problem. When blog A links to any of blog B post, pingback lets blog B know automatically about the posted link. The only limitation is both of the blogs have to have Pingback enabled.

While trackbacks can be rather easily spammed, pingbacks are difficult to spam due to the verification process they have in place.

The technology difference between Trackbacks and Pingbacks is Trackbacks use HTTP POST whereas Pingbacks use XML-RPC. That’s one of the major reason for trackback spamming too.

Using Pingbacks and Trackbacks

One of the primary motive for using pingbacks and trackbacks is to provide authenticity. As with blog commenting, anyone could comment with any name, any URL and any sort of comment too.

But with Trackbacks and Pingbacks, there’s a layer of verification to add more weight to authentic commenting.

Enabling your blog for trackbacks and pingbacks is simple. Just browse the Discussion settings right through the main post screen. And check the settings that appear on the relevant meta box.

image of discussion settings trackback and pingback checkboxes.

Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article.
Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks & trackbacks) on new articles.

After enabling these, the trackbacks and pingbacks will appear as normal comments on the WordPress administration screen. Pingbacks are pretty straight forward and will be automatically be sent as a new post is published.

For Trackbacks, you need to find the trackback URL of that page. That’s mostly available somewhere on the same page.

You will have to enter the trackback URL into the Send Trackbacks field on Add New Post screen. If you can’t directly see these fields, you might have to activate it from the screen options from the top right of Add New Post screen.

That’s it, trackbacks will be sent as you publish the new post.

Comment Moderation

Readers can freely post any comments at any of your posts if comment posting is enabled. It’s a good thing that readers get to share their opinion and contribute towards making your blog better. However, it also invites spam. There are people and software on the lookout for such blogs to spam.

With comment moderation, you get to approve the comments first before they appear publicly. You can monitor comments for all the blog posts, can edit and delete any comment you like. It gives you more control to fight spam and keep your blog safe from bad links and spam messages.

Comment Spam

The useless comments be it trackbacks or pingbacks are tagged as comment spam. They are irrelevant, off-topic and have a purpose to spam the blog with links to other websites. Comment spam help spammers as a way to gain higher page rankings for their website though backlinks.

To fight comment spamming, Avoori has integrated the math captcha which usually stops automated spam bots when they try to leave a comment on your blog and all comments posting on your website must be moderated before they appear on your website. If a person creates a spammy comment on your blog it will be placed in the moderation queue for you to approve.

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