What exactly are cookies in the browser?

The topic of last month in September was Instagram and its paid advertising. I consider Cookies to be a winner this month. I’m not talking about sweet chocolate cookies.

I mean cookies that we don’t like very much, but they will like us. Specifically on the information about us.

You have probably heard of such cookies. But can you identify them and explain how they actually work?

Cookies offer a simple and elegant solution for maintaining user sessions, user preferences and how to store and collect data for your website.

In this article, I will try to crack everything around cookies. Let’s talk about what cookies are, where they are used, and why we should use them at all, especially in connection with WordPress.

Although their use is largely ubiquitous, the average Internet user knows very little about cookies.

And what exactly are Cookies?

A cookie is a small browser file that is used to store information about user interaction on the web. The Guardian has a great video that explains very nicely what cookies are and how they work. Enjoy it too.

And what are those mentioned sessions or sessions?

It’s like a digital ID card. Each time you visit a website, you will have a certain section set up for the duration of your visit to the site. It will serve to identify you in space and time. The session is different for each user.

Cookies, in conjunction with sessions, track user behavior on your site. At the same time, they obtain data and store it.

In practice, this means three things:

  1. If you add items to the cart in the e-shop, the e-shop will store this information and update your cart automatically.
  2. If you like reading messages online, cookies can store your IP address to show you local messages.
  3. Cookies also store information that is used to authenticate the user. The login data will be saved and the next time the user returns to the same place, the data will be loaded automatically. This means that you no longer have to remember all this information. Cookies take care of everything.

Types of Cookies

Session Cookies: such cookies store information about user activities during only one session. At the end of the session, all information will be deleted.

Resistant Cookies: Tracking cookies are also referred to, or in the Slovak version – permanent cookies. This information remains on your disk until it is lost or erased. They are often used to measure user preferences over a longer period of time.

How to find out if you use cookies

To find out if you also use cookies, there is a simple procedure (in cooperation with Chrome):

Go to Browser ‘s setting → Show advanced setting → Privacy → Content settings. The next window will display the cookies that your browser currently has stored.

Why does WordPress need cookies?

By default, WordPress session is not used. It displays the same regardless of the user’s navigation on the web. Stores information for WordPress user authentication. WordPress itself does not maintain a session. Some modules or themes have this capability.

Cookies are mainly used to improve the user experience, for example, they improve web browsing. If you use cookies, the next time you visit a site you have been to before, instead of seeing only the general homepage, you can see a page with your name.

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