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 devices when websites are loaded into 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 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 website
  • On plugin sites (including automattic.com, wordpress.com, vip.wordpress.com, jetpack.com, gravatar.com, intensedebate.com, vaultpress.com, and akismet.com).

Types of Cookie

The table below explains the types of cookies we use on our websites, and why we use them.

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.
Some examples are:

Cookie Purpose
country_code Used in order to determine whether or not the cookie banner should be shown. Set immediately on page load and retained for 6 hours to remember the visitor’s country.
sensitive_pixel_option Remembers the state of visitor acceptance to the cookie banner. Only set when the visitor clicks Accept.
twostep_auth Set when the user is logged in using two-factor authentication.
wordpress_test_cookie Checks if cookies are enabled to provide the appropriate user experience.
Functionality
These cookies are used to store preferences set by users such as account name, language, and location.
Some examples are:

Cookie Purpose
wp_sharing_{id} Tracks whether or not a user has already performed an action.
Security
We use these cookies to help identify and prevent potential security risks.
Some examples are:

Cookie Purpose
csrftoken Python/Ajax security cookie used on accounts.longreads.com.
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.
Some examples are:

Cookie Purpose
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.
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 Power Tool Outfitters, LLC and trusted third party networks, and are generally persistent in nature.
Third Party / Embedded Content
We 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.

We use the jetpack plugin. Below are examples of the cookies set for visitors to sites with the Jetpack plugin installed. For more details on the cookies set for administrators, please see https://jetpack.com/support/cookies/.

Cookie Name Purpose
akm_mobile Remembers whether or not a user wishes to view the mobile version of a site.
eucookielaw Remembers the state of visitor acceptance to the EU Cookie Law banner.

Please note that this section is not intended to be exhaustive, 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.

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 behavior 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 about 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.” Analytics events are attached to your WordPress.com account and are handled via a first-party system that Automattic owns and maintains. 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 – for example, if you publish a post, we will still have record of that (don’t worry!), but for an event or action after you opt-out, we will not have other data associated with that action or event in the analytics tool.

Contact Us

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