Adding TrackBacks to Blogger using HaloScan's TrackBack service

After being an RSS consumer for a while I started to pay attention to 'TrackBacks'. They are a way to allow you to comment on your own blog regarding someone else's post, but inform their blog that you have done so. By using this feature you can continue the 'conversation' without having to leave comments on the original blog and remembering to check back every now and then to see if someone has replied to you.

Blogger doesn't including this feature but you can add it in easily by using a free service provided by HaloScan. I added the trackback feature quite a few weeks ago, I'm going to try and document the steps I went through as I know that Lee Hopkins has had some trouble recently, and my friend Robert Baillie is too lazy to figure it all out himself!

The first thing to do is go to HaloScan and register to become a member. Once you are signed up and logged in, click 'Instructions/Code' in the 'Members' menu on the left-hand side.

Select 'Blogger' from the options list, make sure 'Display trackback code' is ticked, then click 'Next', DO NOT click 'automatic install' as it may alter your Blogger template without letting you know what it has changed (I seem to remember that this didn't work for me anyway).

You now need to edit your blogger template in a separate tab (or window) so that you can add the code that will enable trackbacks for each of your blog posts. Open your blogger dashboard, click the name of your blog, then click the 'Template' tab.

Back on the HaloScan site, follow the instructions for 'Step 1', I have placed mine after the last '<link rel=...' statement, before the '<style type="text/css">'.

Next you need to add the 'Trackback' label to each post. This is achieved by looking through your template until you find the section '<p class="post-footer">', within this is the commenting template code which we will add to. Find the line ending 'Comments (<$BlogItemCommentCount$>)</a>', you will be adding the trackback code here.

Back on the HaloScan site, examine the code in the textbox in 'Step 2: Automated for Blogger (or BlogSpot) Users' and you will see that it contains a '|' roughly in the middle of the text. Copy all the text after the '|' and paste it in your blogger template at the end of the comments section as described previously.

Follow 'Step 3' on the HaloScan site if you wish, it's just a little advert graphic telling your readers that you are using the HaloScan service, I've added mine at the bottom of my right-hand menu.

Now made sure you 'Save Template Changes' and then 'Republish' your blog otherwise your new TrackBack service will not be available.

That's it, you are now using Blogger's commenting system & HaloScan's Trackback system so you really can now 'join the conversation'.

If you have any problems with any of these instructions, please leave me a comment as I performed this operation some time ago, and I'm writing this mostly from memory (and revisiting the HaloScan site).

Happy Trackbacking...

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24 comments:

Lee said...

Hi Andrew,

Still grappling with trackback philosophy.

When I am linking to someone else's blog post, do I 'copy shortcut' the 'trackback' link?

Sorry to appear so vague over this...

abeacock said...

Lee,

I'm going to cover how to use HaloScan & TrackBacks in my next blog post which will hopefully be today, if you can wait till later (or maybe tomorrow for you!) then all should be answered...

Rob Baillie said...

Lee,

I've just added a post to my own blog on how to use Haloscan's trackback. It's entirely based on a mail from Andy, but I figured that was the ideal post to use to trackback to here.

Check out the trackback link on this post...

Wayne Leman said...

I just found your blog posts on trackback. Maybe I reinvented the wheel on my blog today with a similar post. I explained how to install Haloscan Trackback but not Haloscan Comments.

abeacock said...

Wayne,

Thanks for the comment, I think it's good to get as many 'how-to' guides out there for this sort of stuff. I was only able to find the Haloscan forums when I was adding trackbacks to Blogger.

Jeff said...

Hey there, I just used your detailed description to post trackbacks to my blog. Thank you for taking the time to describe the process.

abeacock said...

JR, glad the post was of some help, it's nice to know that people are finding some of my posts informative and interesting.

make money on ebay said...

Thank you! Exactly what I needed.

Christopher Taylor said...

Thanks for the tip, I had to mess with the code a little or I'd have had two sets of comments available on each post.

abeacock said...

Christopher, Glad to be of some help. I'm interested in what you had to change - want to ensure that my instructions are the best they can be!

John said...

Great post! For another detailed walk through the process of adding Halocan Trackback to Blogger-hosted blogs, see Freshblog.

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Elaine, Littlesheep Learning said...

Mmmm... I think I still have a lot to learn!

Doc_Report said...

Thanks for the tip! Now I'm trying to figure out the trackback URL for this post so I can ping ya!

friarminor said...

Thanks, Andrew!

Did automatic with haloscan settings. Will test in a few minutes.

Richard H. Serlin said...

Hi,

I just started a Blogger blog, and I just installed Haloscan's Trackback software. I did it their current automatic way, which was pretty clearly explained, and it seemed to work; working Trackback links appeared on my posts, but I sent out two pings and neither of them showed up on the pingee's posts. I was wondering if you might help.

My blog is at: http://richardhserlin.blogspot.com/

The posts I pinged are at:
http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2008/05/the-64-million.html
http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2008/05/im-not-going-to.html#trackback

Thanks,

Richard
serlin@email.arizona.edu

gojeg said...

Hi, now Js-Kit has nice feature to display trackbacks.. :D

Vasia said...

Hello!
I have JS-Kit installed on my blog but I don't understand where is the trackback or how it's working, or how should i proceed to SEE if the trackback it's working??

abeacock said...

Vasia, I'm sorry but I don't use trackbacks anymore, took me too long to use the interface, in fact I have no idea if Haloscan or other trackback systems still work with Blogger.

If you find out the answer to your question, I would be interested to know what it was - good luck!

Richie said...

Hello Andrew, do you know any piece of PHP code to do this without Haloscan ? Thanks for your great blog !

abeacock said...

Richie, I'm afraid I don't, but if you find a solution please post some details here! (glad you like the blog)

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