When combatting pingback spam, some hosts recommend disabling XMLRPC (xmlrpc.php) completely. This gets the job done however it has the undesirable side-effect of disabling a number of legitimate actions that take place via XMLRPC.
One of the casualties is the WordPress plugin JetPack. Disabling XMLRPC kills a number of JetPack functions – for example :
- Connection to WordPress.com
- Stats collection
- Edit Custom CSS
- JetPack Comments
If you use Jetpack (I don’t by the way) this will stop JetPack working.
Is There An Alternative?
Rather than taking a sledgehammer to this problem, we recommended that you simply just disable pingbacks while still allowing XMLRPC to run.
You can do this via the Disable XML-RPC Pingback plugin .
Alternatively you can avoid using a plugin and paste the following code into your functions.php file (assuming you are running at least version PHP 5.3)
How To Find Out More About Pingbacks
If you’re interested in finding out more about pingbacks then I recommend this article that explains the difference between trackbacks and pingbacks.
Its finding that 99% of pingbacks are spam is consistent with our decision not to have our WordPress site participate in pingbacks at all so our advice is to remove the check on both boxes on the Discussion Settings and both boxes in Genesis settings for trackbacks. See below.
Here are the settings you need to uncheck.
Setting in WordPress
Go to the admin dashboard and then Settings / Discussion to find these.
Settings In Genesis
Go to the admin dashboard and then Genesis Settings / Theme Settings / Comments and Trackbacks to find these and make sure they are also unchecked.