Few guys might have noted some problems in wordpress publishing from the past 2 days. WordPress 2.0.2 had moved the essential trackbacks and pingbacks into a script that gets loaded separately from when you publish a post. Instead of cycling through all of the pingbacks and trackbacks (like in version 1.5), the publication process spawns a request for the special script and just continues normally.
However there is one more feature in WordPress which makes the publication process to wait on a response from an external site: Pinging.
When you publish a post, WordPress is configured by default (via the Options>Writing page in the admin) to ping certain servers to notify them that you have published your post.
There are a number of services which can be pinged, but by default WordPress uses Pingomatic (The URL configured in WordPress is http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ ). Pingomatic is a one-stop ping service — You ping it, it pings many different services such as Technorati, Bloglines, Newsgator and dozen of other services automatically. And WordPress waits for Pingomatic to return before the Post page finishes publication.
From past 2 days, I had problems while publishing. When I used to publish a new post, it used to take a lot of time (not typical of WordPress publishing) and finally I was presented with a blank page. When I tried to publish from Flickr or a desktop based Blog tool (like Flock), I used to get a message saying the publishing has failed. However when I refreshed my blog, I saw that all the posts have in fact been published. So what was the problem ?
The problem is that from the past 2 days the Pingomatic service is down. So when publishing a new post, WordPress tries to ping the Pingomatic service and it doesn’t handle the timeout from the service properly. The control never comes back to the admin page and it dies waiting for the server response (I hope this is improved in the future versions of WordPress). To resolve the problem I removed the Pingomatic URL from the “Update Services” and publishing was working fine again.
So if any of you guys are facing similar problem, do check the Update Service configuration in WordPress and remove Pingomatic.