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”).
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.
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 one of our websites, irrespective of whether you have an account.
For more information on the choices you have about the cookies we use, please see the Controlling Cookies section below.
Where we place cookies
We set cookies in a number of different locations across our services. These include:
- On our websites (including automattic.com, wordpress.com, vip.wordpress.com, jetpack.com, woocommerce.com, crowdsignal.com, gravatar.com, intensedebate.com, vaultpress.com, akismet.com, simplenote.com, simperium.com, leandomainsearch.com, cloudup.com, longreads.com, and happy.tools).
- In the administrative dashboards of our websites, such as Calypso and wp-admin.
- On sites we host for our users.
- On sites that use our plugins
- In the emails we send.
Types of Cookie
The table below explains the types of cookies we use on our websites and why we use them.
|Category of cookies||Why we use these cookies|
|Required||These cookies are essential for our websites and services to perform basic functions and are necessary for us to operate certain features. These include those required to allow registered users to authenticate and perform account-related functions, store preferences set by users such as account name, language, and location, and ensure our services are operating properly.|
|Analytics and Performance||These cookies allow us to optimize performance by collecting information on how users interact with our websites, including which 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.|
|Advertising||These cookies are set by us and our advertising partners to provide you with relevant content and to understand that content’s effectiveness. They may be used to collect information about your online activities over time and across different websites to predict your preferences and to display more relevant advertisements to you. These cookies also allow a profile to be built about you and your interests and enable personalized ads to be shown to you based on your profile.|
In addition to the cookies set on our own sites, we utilize cookies for our Site Stats feature. This tallies the unique numbers of visitors to a site, as well as the number from specific geographic locations. A visitor is counted when we see a user or browser for the first time in a given period.