You know that list of "update services" you configured your blog software to ping whenever you create a new post? If you copied it from the WordPress website (or any of a number of other sites on the web that have the same list) recently, you've got the wrong list.

When I say you've got the wrong list, I don't mean that everything in it is wrong. But a December edit to the list on WordPress' website added a bunch of useless entries, one of which was one of my webpages. My page and many others that were added to the list are web pages where you can submit your RSS or Atom feed's URL to add it to a directory. These pages to NOT accept pings.

If you copied the bloated list into your blog's configuration (for WordPress, it's on the "Options / Writing" page), every time you post to your blog, you have to wait around a little extra long while your blog software pings a bunch of URLs that are going to completely ignore your ping. And you're wasting a bunch of people's bandwidth by doing it.

Here's a quick list of things to do to make sure you're not wasting your time and somebody's bandwidth:

  1. Look for "" in your list of update services. If you find it, you've got the bad list.
  2. Remove it from the list, along with any other URL that contains a word like "add", "suggest", etc.
  3. Consider removing any URL that DOESN'T contain either the word "ping" or "xmlrpc" -- those two words are pretty good indicators that the URL belongs in the list.
  4. You'll earn good karma for this one: if you know where you got the list, contact the person who published it and let them know about this blog entry.

If like mine, your website is getting hit by all of these errant pings, your site runs on Linux/UNIX... and you have root access to your server, I've written a few scripts that will automatically use iptables to block servers that ping yours. Contact me if you'd like the code.