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 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.

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. Most cookies on this site are set by Automattic or WordPress, rather than by Seedling Digital. We have shared much of their information here on this page.

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 used 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 a WordPress website, irrespective of whether you have an account.

For more information on the choices you have about the cookies used here, please see the Controlling Cookies section below.

Types of Cookie

The table below explains the types of cookies Automattic and WordPress use on their websites and why they use them.

Category of cookiesWhy we use these cookies
Strictly NecessaryThese 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.
FunctionalityThese cookies are used to store preferences set by users such as account name, language, and location.
SecurityWe use these cookies to help identify and prevent potential security risks.
Analytics and PerformancePerformance 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.
Third Party / Embedded ContentSites 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.

Examples

Below are examples of the cookies set by Automattic, with explanations of their purpose. Some of these cookies are set across the whole network, whereas some are specific to individual services (e.g. WordPress.com etc). Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but rather aims to be representative. Additionally, Automattic occasionally sets referrer cookies on Jetpack connected sites, using WooCommerce.

Analytics and Performance

CookiePurpose
__pdvtUsed in log of Crowdsignal survey data to aid in debugging customer problems.
_hjIncludedInSample
mp_6d7c50ad560e01715a871a117a2fbd90_mixpanel
optimizelyBuckets
optimizelyEndUserId
__hstc
hubspotutk
optimizelySegments
Gathers information that helps Automattic understand how visitors interact with their websites, which allows them to create a better visitor experience.
abUsed for “AB testing” of new features.
nux_flow_nameIdentifies which user signup flow was shown to the user.
tk_ni / tk_ai / tk_qsGathers information for Automattic’s own, first party analytics tool about how services are used. A collection of internal metrics for user activity, used to improve user experience.
tk_*rReferral cookies used to analyse referrer behavior for Jetpack connected sites using WooCommerce.
wp-affiliate-trackerRemembers the ID of the affiliate that referred the current user to WordPress.com
utma / utmb / utmc / utmt / utmz / ga / gat / gidGoogle Analytics. Gathers information that helps us understand how visitors interact with our websites, which allow us to create a better experience for our visitors.

Functionality

CookiePurpose
akm_mobileStores whether a user has chosen to view the mobile version of a website.
botdlangUsed to track the language a user has selected to view popular blogs in.
landingpage_currencyDefines the currency displayed in WordPress.com landing pages.
PD_USER_AUTHLogin cookie used to identify Crowdsignal user.
wordpress_logged_in*Checks whether or not the current visitor is a logged in WordPress.com user.
wp-settings-{user_id}Persists a user’s wp-admin configuration.
wp_sharing_{id}Tracks whether or not a user has already performed an action.

Strictly Necessary

CookiePurpose
country_codeUsed 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_optionRemembers the state of visitor acceptance to the cookie banner. Only set when the visitor clicks Accept.
twostep_authSet when the user is logged in using two factor authentication.
wordpress_test_cookieChecks if cookies are enabled to provide appropriate user experience.

Visitors to Sites with Jetpack installed

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/.

Jetpack Comments

Cookie NamePurpose
comment_author_{HASH}Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s name field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes.
comment_author_email_{HASH}Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s email field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes.
comment_author_url_{HASH}Remembers the value entered into the comment form‘s URL field. Specific to the site from which it is set. This cookie mirrors one set by the core WordPress software for commenting purposes

Mobile Theme

Cookie NamePurpose
akm_mobileRemembers whether or not a user wishes to view the mobile version of a site.

Subscriptions

Cookie NamePurpose
jetpack_comments_subscribe_{HASH}Remembers the state of the post and comment subscription checkboxes.
jetpack_blog_subscribe_{HASH}Remembers the state of the post and comment subscription checkboxes.

EU Cookie Law Banner

Cookie NamePurpose
eucookielawRemembers 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.

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 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 you may visit the following sites:

On a mobile device, you may also be to adjust your settings to limit tracking.  

For example, you can opt out of Google Analytics by installing Google’s opt-out browser add-on, or from Hotjar by using the Do Not Track header.

Automattic’s Internal Analytics Tool

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

They call each one of these actions an “event.” Analytics events are attached to the Seedling Digital WordPress.com account and are handled via a first party system that Automattic owns and maintains. In general, Automattic records 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.

Automattic uses this information to improve their products, make their marketing more relevant, personalize your experience, and for the other purposes described in their Privacy Policy.

You may opt out of their analytics program through your user settings. By doing so, you won’t share information with their 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 they track – for example, if you publish a post, they will still have record of that (don’t worry!), but for an event or action after you opt out, they will not have other data associated with that action or event in the analytics tool.

Consent for Advertising Cookies on WordPress Sites

You may see a “cookie banner” on WordPress websites and dashboards. If you are visiting one of these sites from the EU, then they do not set, or allow ad partners to set, cookies that are used to show you targeted ads before you click to accept. When you consent in this manner, WordPress and their advertising partners may set advertising cookies on the site you are visiting and on other websites, dashboards, and services, which they use to show you advertisements about various Automattic products. They’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.

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