Trackbacks & Comments

To quote Adam Kalsey, “TrackBacks are comments. They are comments left on someone else’s site rather than your own, but they are comments nonetheless.” So, he wrote a great little plugin for Movable Type called SimpleComments. After a few modifications to our templates, our trackbacks can be listed along with your comments in chronological order.

But, MT does not automatically rebuild an individual entry archive page when someone sends a trackback ping. The default behavior requires the weblog author to save or rebuild each page each time a new trackback is sent.

How do we get MT to automatically rebuild the individual entry archive page when pinged?

Phil Ringnalda to the rescue with an easy modification to one of MT’s scripts. He explains everything in “Rebuilding individual archives when pinged”. Note, his modification is not guaranteed to work if your server is a little slow. (A slow or busy server tends to return timed-out errors because it does not have enough time to rebuild all the pages it needed.)

Next, we need to eliminate the pop-up windows and place everything on the individual entry archive page. We can copy the tags needed from the comment and trackback listings templates under the Miscellaneous Templates. Find the MT tags for the comment listings, comment form, and trackback URL and place them at the bottom of our individual entry archive template. Add a named anchor tag like <a name="comments"></a> to point to the comments section of the page.

On our main index page, make sure that any links that are directed toward comments or trackbacks point to the individual entry archive page. Here is an example using MT tags:

<a href="<$MTEntryLink$>#comments">Comments
/ TrackBacks</MTEntryIfAllowPings></a>

With these modifications, everything is integrated in one place on the individual entry archive page. It looks good, and it helps our visitors find everything they might need in one place.

Happy coding…

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