What are cookies?
Cookies are small pieces of data, stored in text files, that are stored on your computer or other device when websites are loaded in a browser. They are widely used to “remember” you and your preferences, either for a single visit (through a “session cookie”) or for multiple repeat visits (using a “persistent cookie”). They ensure a consistent and efficient experience for visitors, and perform essential functions such as allowing users to register and remain logged in. Cookies may be set by the site that you are visiting (known as “first party cookies”), or by third parties, such as those who serve content or provide advertising or analytics services on the website (“third party cookies”).
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Both websites and HTML emails may also contain other tracking technologies such as “web beacons” or “pixels.” These are typically small transparent images that provide us with statistics, for similar purposes as cookies. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.
How cookies are used?
Many of the cookies we use are only set if you are a registered WordPress.com user (so you don’t have to log in every time, for example), while others are set whenever you visit our website, irrespective of whether you have a WordPress account.
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These cookies are used to store preferences set by users such as account name, language, and location.
We use these cookies to help identify and prevent potential security risks.
- Analytics and Performance
Performance cookies collect information on how users interact with our websites, including what pages are visited most, as well as other analytical data. We use these details to improve how our websites function and to understand how users interact with them.
These cookies are used to display relevant advertising to visitors, as well as to understand and report on the efficacy of ads served on our websites. They track details such as the number of unique visitors, the number of times particular ads have been displayed, and the number of clicks the ads have received. They are also used to build user profiles, including showing you ads based on products you’ve viewed or acts you have taken on our (and other) websites. These are set by Automattic and trusted third party networks, and are generally persistent in nature.
- Third Party / Embedded Content
We use different third party applications and services to enhance the experience of website visitors. These include social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter (through the use of sharing buttons), or embedded content from Youtube and Vimeo. As a result, cookies may be set by these third parties, and used by them to track your online activity. We have no direct control over the information that is collected by these cookies.
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gtag.js and analytics.js – cookie usage
- Distinguish unique users
- Throttle the request rate
blog.example.co.uk, analytics.js will set the cookie domain to
.example.co.uk. Setting cookies on the highest level domain possible allows measurement to occur across subdomains without any extra configuration.
gtag.js and analytics.js set the following cookies:
|Cookie Name||Expiration Time||Description|
||2 years||Used to distinguish users.|
||24 hours||Used to distinguish users.|
||1 minute||Used to throttle request rate. If Google Analytics is deployed via Google Tag Manager, this cookie will be named
||30 seconds to 1 year||Contains a token that can be used to retrieve a Client ID from AMP Client ID service. Other possible values indicate opt-out, inflight request or an error retrieving a Client ID from AMP Client ID service.|
||90 days||Contains campaign related information for the user. If you have linked your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts, Google Ads website conversion tags will read this cookie unless you opt-out. Learn more.|
Read the gtag.js Domains & Cookies developer guide to learn all the ways these default settings can be customized with gtag.js.
Read the analytics.js Domains & Cookies developer guide to learn all the ways these default settings can be customized with analytics.js.
Read the Security and privacy in Universal Analytics document for more information about Universal Analytics and cookies.
ga.js – cookie usage
- Determine which domain to measure
- Distinguish unique users
- Throttle the request rate
- Remember the number and time of previous visits
- Remember traffic source information
- Determine the start and end of a session
- Remember the value of visitor-level custom variables
By default, this library sets cookies on the domain specified in the
document.host browser property and sets the cookie path to the root level
This library sets the following cookies:
|Cookie Name||Default Expiration Time||Description|
||10 minutes||Used to throttle request rate.|
||End of browser session||Not used in ga.js. Set for interoperability with urchin.js. Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the
||2 years from set/update||Used to store visitor-level custom variable data. This cookie is created when a developer uses the
The following methods can be used to customize how cookies are set:
_setDomainName– Sets the domain to which all cookies will be set.
_setCookiePath– Sets the path to which all cookies will be set.
_setVisitorCookieTimeout– Sets the Google Analytics visitor cookie expiration in milliseconds.
_setSessionCookieTimeout– Sets the new session cookie timeout in milliseconds.
_setCampaignCookieTimeout– Sets the campaign cookie expiration time in milliseconds.
_storeGac– Pass in
falseto disable the GAC cookie. Defaults to