Last updated: May 5, 2021
What Are Cookies?
Cookies are small files that your web browser saves to your computer’s hard drive. They track and store information about how you interact with my site. The cookies used by my website do not collect or store any personally identifying information. This is key – I don't know anything about you personally.
When you visit my site again, that cookie allows the site to recognize your browser. Imagine my site telling your browser, “Hey dude, nice to see you again.” Or maybe it’s more like a secret handshake. Pick the metaphor you like best and run with it.
On my site, cookies provide a convenience feature to save you time. For example, if you leave a comment on any post, there is a checkbox you can tick to allow a cookie to remember you. If you want to leave a comment on a different post, the cookie will remember the name, email address, and website URL you left in the first comment.
A Few Handy Definitions
Cookies set by the website owner (that’s me) are called “first-party cookies.” Anyone who does not hyphenate the phrase “first-party” was not an English major. The comment cookie described above is a first-party cookie because the functionality is built into the site by WordPress.
Cookies set by parties other than the website owner are called “third-party cookies.” Third-party cookies are often placed by plugins the website owner enables in order to achieve a particular effect for their website. On other sites, this may include advertising and interactive content. On my site, this includes analytics, affiliate links, mailing list management, and a speed-enhancing application.
The parties that set these third-party cookies can recognize your computer when it visits my website and also when it visits certain other websites (like Amazon, in the case of an Amazon affiliate link posted on my site).
As described above, cookies can add speed and functionality to a website.
Cookies can also tell me what parts of the website users visit most frequently, as in the case of the Google Analytics cookie. This helps me understand what kind of content is popular, so I can bring you more like that. It also helps me understand how dismal my web traffic is so I can pour a larger shot of whiskey.
What Types of Cookies Does My Site Have and How Do I Use Them?
My website uses the following non-chocolate-chip cookies:
- WordPress blog comments: This first-party feature makes it faster for site visitors to leave multiple comments on blog posts.
- MailerLite: This third-party service operates my mailing list. When you sign up for my list, they will process and store the information you provide.
How Can You Control Cookies?
If you don’t want to accept cookies from my site, you can opt out and reject them. You can still use my site even if you reject its cookies. To reject cookies, please use your your web browser’s security settings to block them, as described below.
You can also use a few common-sense methods of avoiding cookies. One common method is to clear your browser’s cache regularly. This erases all cookies collected during that browsing session. Or you can browse in Chrome’s incognito mode and close the browser when you’re done.
Here are a few links that explain how to reject cookies:
- Chrome: Manage Your Cookies and Site Data
- Firefox: Cookies: Information Websites Store on Your Computer
- Internet Explorer: How to Delete and Manage Cookies
- Safari: Cookies
Check out the blog for fascinating stories about royal women and their tiaras. And don’t forget to join my mailing list to get Grand Duchess Louise of Baden’s meatloaf recipe! It's finger-lickin’ good.