Cookie Policy

Cookie Policy

Our Privacy Policy explains our principles when it comes to the collection, processing, and storage of your information. This policy specifically explains how we, our partners, and users of our services deploy cookies, as well as the options you have to control them.

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 e-mails 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, the web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.

How we use cookies

We use cookies for a number of different purposes. Some cookies are necessary for technical reasons; some enable a personalized experience for both visitors and registered users; and some allow the display of advertising from selected third party networks. Some of these cookies may be set when a page is loaded, or when a visitor takes a particular action (clicking the ‘like’ or ‘follow’ button on a post, for example).

Many of the cookies we use are only set if you are a registered 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.
  • On sites we host for our users.

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

Strictly Necessary

These cookies are essential for websites on our services to perform their basic functions. These include those required to allow registered users to authenticate and perform account related functions, as well as to save the contents of virtual ‘carts’ on sites that have an e-commerce functionality.

Functionality

These cookies are used to store preferences set by users such as account name, language, and location.

Security

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.

Advertising

These cookies are used to display relevant advertising to visitors who use our services or visit websites we host or provide, 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, number of times particular ads have been displayed, 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

Sites hosted on WordPress.com make use of 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.

User Sites

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.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but rather aims to be representative, and that our users may set additional cookies (such as Google Analytics), depending on the features they have chosen to enable, or the plugins they have installed.

Examples

Below are examples of the cookies with explanations of their purpose.  

Advertising

Cookie

Purpose

ads

Tracks if a visitor has clicked an ad before.

Please also see the section below on third party advertisements that you may see on our sites, or sites that use our services.

Analytics and Performance

Cookie

Purpose

ab

Used for ‘AB testing’ of new features.

tk_ni / tk_ai / tk_qs

Gathers information for our own, first party analytics tool, about how our services are used. A collection of internal metrics for user activity, used to improve user experience.

utma / utmb / utmc / utmt / utmz / ga / gat / gid

Google Analytics. Gathers information that helps us understand how visitors interact with our websites, which allow use to create a better experience for our visitors. Our users may also implement Google Analytics cs on their own websites.

Functionality

Cookie

Purpose

akm_mobile

Stores whether a user has chosen to view the mobile version of a website.

botdlang

Used to track the language a user has selected to view popular blogs in.

landingpage_currency

Defines the currency displayed in wordpress.comlanding pages.

Security

Strictly Necessary

Cookie

Purpose

twostep_auth

Set when the user is logged in using two factor authentication.

wordpress_test_cookie

Checks if cookies are enabled to provide appropriate user experience.

Controlling Cookies

Visitors may wish to restrict the use of cookies, or completely prevent them from being set. Most browsers provide for ways to control cookie behaviour such as the length of time they are stored – either through built-in functionality or by utilizing third party plugins. If you disable cookies, please be aware that some of the features of our service may not function correctly.

To find out more on how to manage and delete cookies, visit aboutcookies.org. For more details on your choices regarding use of your web browsing activity for interest-based advertising visit youronlinechoices.eu (EU based) or optout.aboutads.info (US based). On a mobile device, you may also be to adjust your settings to limit ad tracking.  

You can opt out of Google Analytics by installing  Google’s opt-out browser add-on.

Our Internal Analytics Tool

In order to better understand how our services are used, we monitor certain user activities that take place within our products, including page views and clicks on any links used when managing a site via our dashboards.

We call each one of these actions an “event.” In general, we record the following data for each event: IP address, WordPress.com user ID and username, WordPress.com-connected site ID (for sites not hosted on WordPress.com), user agent, referring URL, timestamp of event, browser language, and country code.

We use this information to improve our products, make our marketing to you more relevant, personalize your experience, and for the other purposes described in our privacy policy.

You may opt out of our analytics program through your user settings. By doing so, you won’t share information with our analytics tool about events or actions that happen after the opt-out, while logged in to your WordPress.com account. Note that opting out does not disable the functionality of the actions we track.

Consent for Advertising Cookies on Our Sites

You may see a “cookie banner” on our websites and dashboards. In this case, we do not set, or allow our ad partners to set, cookies that are used to show you targeted ads before you click to accept. When you consent in this manner, we and our advertising partners may set advertising cookies on the site you are visiting and on other of our websites, dashboards, and services. We’ll display the banner to you periodically, just in case you change your mind.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our use of cookies, you can find the most relevant contact details in our Privacy Policy.