João Freitas

The following is an explanation to WebMention: an old protocol that connects users between different websites, allowing for one party (website) to receive notifications, comments, feedback from another party (website).

Webmention is an open web standard (W3C Recommendation) for conversations and interactions across the web, a powerful building block used for a growing distributed network of peer-to-peer comments, likes, reposts, and other responses across the web.


Enables cross-site conversations. When you link to a website, you can send it a Webmention to notify it. If it supports Webmentions, then that website may display your post as a comment, like, or other response, and presto, you’re having a conversation from one site to another!

”… an @ mention that works across websites; so that you don’t feel immovable from Twitter or Fb.” — Rony Ngala

How to implement or display

When you publish a post with links to other sites, your site should send webmention notifications to sites that accept them.

A webmention receiver provides discovery of their webmention endpoint. When a receiver’s endpoint receives a webmention notification, it looks up the sender’s post and may display it as a response.

Mentions require a link to the recipient, and can be enhanced into more meaningful responses (such as comments, reposts, or likes) by adding microformats to the sender’s post.

Want to implement Webmention or learn more about its technical details? See:

Tools you can use or install to send webmentions

Firefox Addon


Pushl is a command-line tool for sending webmentions from pages discovered from arbitrary feeds (RSS, Atom, and h-feed).

Manual Webmentions

Users without other simple means to send a Webmention from one site to another can use the following tool interfaces to “manually” send webmentions on their behalf:

For those with more programming knowledge there is also a method for sending webmentions with cURL.

To manually receive webmentions you can have your web server log HTTP POST requests sent to your webmention endpoint URL to a file. Then you look at the log file with your text editor and respond manually, or script it, or whatever you like. An example of how to do this with nginx is at “A static, manual system for *receiving* webmentions (and pingback) with nginx”

Anonymous Webmentions (for commenting) allows you to send webmentions anonymously, which allows readers to comment on an IndiWeb post without having their own presence.




Webmention Development

Frequently Asked Questions

See Webmention-faq


The first draft of the webmention protocol was written by Sandeep Shetty on 2012-10-22.

#reads #webmention #distributed web #protocol