I’ve talked before about how the “ping” system works in WordPress. But there is a bit more to the ping element than just notifying other systems when a post is published.
The trouble is that WordPress apparently sends the ping when a post is published or updated, regardless of the actually time the post is set to appear.
If you only publish your posts in real time and never go back to edit them, then that probably doesn’t worry you.
But if you write a number of posts in succession and then set them to appear over a number of weeks, or if you find yourself going back and editing posts on a regular basis, then you should consider what it looks like to the ping recipients if they get a lot of pings in a small space of time, but then none for the next few weeks.
It could make your site look like a spam blog, even though it isn’t.
The solution comes in the form of a free plug-in called “Ping Optimizer” which can be downloaded from MaxBlogPress. Although it is free, you do need to register to use it.
To install it, you upload the plug-in to the wp-content/plugins directory using an FTP client.
Once installed, there are not may settings to this plug-in, except for the sites to ping (which it synchronises with the original WordPress ping settings). Ping Optimizer sends out the ping when the post actually appears on the site, and does not ping when it is updated after that. It also stops too many pings going out within a set number of minutes.
Another useful feature is the log file, which allows you to see which sites were pinged successfully and which ones produced errors. This way you can remove sites that are no longer working to make the ping process more efficient.
One word of warning: by registering for the plug-in you automatically sign-up to Max Blog Press’ mailing list. That’s not such a bad thing, because they do make some other interesting plug-ins. If you prefer not to receive their e-mails, you’ll need to unsubscribe once the plug-in is activated.