Not sure what all this means? Not sure how to implement these elements? No problem. Keep reading and we will walk you through everything you need to know about cookies WordPress uses and the legal implications.
Table of Contents
What are Cookies?
Cookies are small files that contain information about visitors to your website and are stored in the visitors web browser. This data identifies and tracks users’ login details and information about comments they leave on your blog posts.
Cookies are commonly used for:
- Tracking users login state and details
- Remember if a visitor toggled item open or closed
- Track the visitor as the browse or navigate the site
- Keep information during a shopping session
- Manage a Users Shopping cart
- Provide a personalized experience
- Provide data to improve the user experience
- Collect data to analyze how the site is used.
How to View Cookies in your browser
What Cookies does WordPress use?
WordPress uses or sets two types of cookies:
- User Cookies – Tracks session
- Comment Cookies – Remembers any commenter details.
User (Session) Cookies
These cookies store authentication data and are limited to the /wp-admin/ screen. After you are logged in a “wordpress_logged_in[hash] cookie is set. By default, these cookies are saved for 15 days. All the personal information is stored as hashed or encrypted data.
If you do not have visitors that actively log into your website then the session cookies are hardly used. They would only be used by administrators making updates to the site.
These cookies are set when a visitor comments on a post. Here are the three cookies that are set:
These cookies are helpful in that the visitor does not have to type in their information each time they want to leave a comment. Commenter cookies expire just under a year after they are set.
3rd Party Plugin Cookies
In addition to the two core WordPress cookies, plugins and other third parties can set cookies, often these can be needed to remember toggle settings, search history, analytics tracking, advertising or eCommerce functionality.
If you are interested in learning more about WordPress cookies, check out the official WP Cookie Support page https://wordpress.org/support/article/cookies/
Cookies and Legal Concerns
To be in compliance you need to two elements to your website:
In general, and remember this is not legal advice, but if you are a business or make money on the web you will want a paid or full-featured policy.
Free Cookie Policies
Free Policies pretty much cover the bases. They do lack specific details and some clauses and explanations that can be required for sites that include analytics, remarketing, advertising and user accounts.
Often times free policies require a link back to the generator that created the policy.
Paid Cookie Policies
The paid policies will include more clauses such as the use of analytics tracking, advertising, affiliate links, user accounts, and any other more legal details that could be relevant.
Plus with paid policies, you usually do not have to include a link to them in your policy.
The one catch to the policy is that they include a link back to their website. Not a big tradeoff, just wanted you to know that the link is included in their policy.
Cookie Bot Policy Generator
This site will give you a free test but you have to enter in an email address, they will ask you to confirm your email address and then will send you the report in 24 hours.
Here they will ask you if users can create an account, do you show ads on your website, do you use analytics.
If every paid option is selected it will cost $23.
Lucky WP Cookie Notice
Cookie Notice for GDPR
Iubenda cookie solution
Cookies help the websites remember what you have done and the choices you have made. By helping you to remember the settings and what you have done the experience is a smoother one.
Additional WP Cookie Posts
- Best Cookie Notice Popup Plugins
Additional Cookie Information
Steven Johnson, a WP Hosting Reviews senior editor, works from Atlanta and covers all things related to WordPress and Hosting.
He graduated from Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, has managed hosting companies and now builds WordPress and Joomla Websites for small to medium companies full time.