What is: Cookies?

Besides being a delicious treat, cookies are a special kind of small computer file that helps a website recognize repeat visitors.

Originally, when the internet was first invented, a website had no way of distinguishing regular users versus first-time visitors. Instead, everyone was treated as though it was their first time visiting the website. The solution to this problem was the invention of cookies.

Cookies are not kept on the website’s server but on the user’s computer. A cookie can contain different information, but the most common use is to remember your login credentials. If you’re a WordPress website administrator, and your cookies are turned on, then you’ll automatically be logged on every time you visit your site. There are other, potentially harmless ways to use cookies as well such as tracking people as they move around the internet.

For WordPress, however, there are only two kinds of cookies, known as session cookies and comments cookies.

Session cookies are the simplest kind and work to recognize a registered WordPress user and make sure they remain logged in. WordPress session cookies expire every 15 days, but will be automatically renewed every time you visit a WordPress site (unless cookies are disabled).

Comments cookies are a little more sophisticated. Every time a user leaves a comment on a WordPress website, a cookie is generated with the user’s name, email address, and other information. Since spam is a big problem with comments on WordPress, the comments cookies help a WordPress site recognize an authentic user who has written a comment. Comments cookies expire in around 347 days.

There are also WordPress plugins that generate cookies.

Best practices are to include a privacy policy on your website which describes how your website uses cookies. The GDPR rules of the European Union require that all websites inform visitors if cookies are used.

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Jamie

My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.