Does WordPress Use Cookies?

By Editorial staff

Published on 7th May 2015|Last updated on 20th Jan 2020

Cookies are small text files that are stored in a user’s device when they visit a website. They gather information to analyze the website functioning, track the user activity, and for advertisements, among other things. Read more about cookies in detail here. So, to answer the question: yes, WordPress does use cookies. WordPress is a popular Content Management System, used to provide website content for over 15 million websites. Let’s look at the cookies used by WordPress.

What are the Cookies That WordPress Uses?

WordPress uses cookies for mainly two purposes:

  1. Registered members need a cookie to be able to log in. This is ‘strictly necessary’ as WordPress won’t work without it.
  2. Visitors who leave a comment on a blog post will also have a cookie set on their computer. This is not “strictly necessary” as it’s a user preference.

There are two types of cookies set by WordPress: Users Cookie and Commenters Cookie.

Without these cookies, WordPress will not be able to function without it. They are also session cookies as they expire once the user logs out or exits the page.

  • wordpress_[hash]: to store the authentication details on login.
  • wordpress_logged_in_[hash]: to indicate when you are logged in, and who you are.
  • wordpress_test_cookie: to check if the cookies are enabled on the browser to provide appropriate user experience to the users.
  • wp-settings-{time}-[UID]: to customize the view of your admin interface and the front-end of the website.

Since these cookies are strictly necessary without which the website will not function properly, you do not require any consent from users who visit the site.

These cookies can also be classified as persistent cookies as they expire in almost a year after loading on the visitor’s system.

  • comment_author_[hash]: remembers the value entered into the comment form’s name field.
  • comment_author_email_[hash]: remembers the value entered into the comment form’s email field.
  • comment_author_url_[hash]: remembers the value entered into the comment form’s URL field.

Commenters cookie is only activated if the users give their consent to save the details by checking a checkbox available to them.

Read more about the list of cookies set by WordPress in detail here.

Many WordPress website owners also use third-party services like Google Analytics to track how their website is used. Analytics also uses cookies to function. If you use plugins on your WordPress website, then chances are one of those also uses cookies, so you should perform a cookie audit. See this guide on how to check your website for cookies in 5 minutes. You can also enter the URL of the site to scan and list all the cookies being used in the URL using this free cookie checker tool.

If you have a WordPress website, you will need to take action to ensure you comply with the EU GDPR Law. You are obliged to obtain consent to use cookies, especially from third parties, that collect user data. Visitors can manage or delete cookies by changing their browser settings.  Learn more from WordPress’ cookie policy.

There are many WordPress plugins that will help you in complying with the laws. One of them is GDPR Cookie Consent. It helps you in managing cookie categories and displays a banner on your site which gives visitors consent choice. You can customize this banner per the look and feel of the site. It has an audit module that displays the list of cookies in use, that you can add to your privacy or cookie policy. The premium version scans and auto block scripts for Google Analytics, Google tag manager, Instagram, etc.

Refer to this detailed user guide to set up the plugin for your WordPress site!

Make Your Website GDPR Compliant With CookieYes

CookieYes is a new and easy solution to make your website comply with the GDPR Cookie Law from Cookie Law Info. Join the 1 Million+ website using our solutions now!

Editorial staff

The Editorials staff is the team behind developing and maintaining GDPR Cookie Consent plugin and CookieYes.

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