How to Know if Your WordPress Website Uses Cookies

Would you like to know if cookies are used on your WordPress site?

Cookies are little text files that websites employ to store temporary data in users’ browsers. Different cookie regulations exist in different countries, requiring website operators to disclose which cookies they use and what information they track and retain.

In this post, we’ll show you how to figure out if your WordPress site uses cookies and how to manage them so that you stay in compliance with local laws.

How to find out which cookies your WordPress site is using

What exactly are cookies?

Cookies are tiny files that a website sends to a user’s browser to store data. Cookies are frequently used to improve user experience on the web and play an important role.

WordPress comes with two sorts of cookies pre-installed.

Then there’s the issue of session cookies. These cookies are used to log in to a WordPress website and are set for all logged-in users.

Then there’s the issue of comment cookies. When users post a comment on your WordPress blog, these cookies are set. Their goal is to save user information such as name, email address, and URL so that they do not have to re-enter it the next time they leave a remark on your website.

Third-party plugins and technologies, in addition to WordPress, may set cookies on your WordPress site.

What are Cookie Laws and How Do They Work?

Cookies are a handy tool for tracking a lot of information about users. Many countries and regions have established regulations that establish compliance criteria for website owners in light of the privacy dangers.

The European Union, for example, has the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive. Similarly, legislation in Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, and other nations compels website operators to obtain user consent and disclose the information they gather, retain, and track about users.

That’s why you’ll encounter cookie popups on a variety of websites. Website owners can use these banners to comply with GDPR, cookie legislation, and other privacy rules in various countries.

How to Find Out Which Cookies a WordPress Site Saves

All modern web browsers make it simple to view the cookies that a website sets on your computer.

Chrome is a web browser developed by Google.

To begin, open Google Chrome and go to your WordPress website. Then, in the browser’s URL box, click the Padlock or Not Secure button. This will bring up a menu where you must select ‘Cookies.’

In Google Chrome, you can see the cookies you've saved.

This will open the cookies window, which will show you all of the cookies placed by that website in your browser.

A WordPress website saves cookies.

The Inspect tool can also be used to view these cookies. To use the Inspect tool, go to your website and left-click anywhere.

The developer console panel will appear after you split your browser window. To go to the ‘Application’ tab, go to the ‘Application’ tab.

Using developer tools to view cookies

Then, from the left column, select the Cookies menu to get a list of all the cookies that have been saved on your site. More significantly, the data stored by the cookie will be visible in the ‘Value’ column.

Firefox is a web browser developed by Mozilla.

To use the ‘Inspect Element’ tool in Firefox, go to the website you wish to inspect and right-click anywhere on the page.

The browser window will be split, and the developer console panel will appear. To see all of the cookies, go to the ‘Storage’ tab and click on ‘Cookies.’

Using Firefox Plugins That Allow You to Turn Off Cookies to view cookies set by WordPress

Plugins That Allow You to Turn Off Cookies

When checking the cookies set by your WordPress website, you may find that certain cookies are set by WordPress plugins you use.

You may not wish to use these cookies as a website owner in order to comply with cookie legislation in different countries and limit your liability.

However, not all WordPress plugins include simple methods for disabling cookies and making your website compliant. The plugins listed below allow you to simply disable cookies without affecting plugin functionality.

1. MonsterInsights

The greatest Google Analytics plugin on the market is MonsterInsights. It enables you to install Google Analytics correctly and set up the EU compliance extension.

The MonsterInsights plugin must first be installed and activated. See our post on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress for more information.

After you’ve finished configuring the plugin, go to Insights » Addons and install the EU Compliance extension.

MonsterInsights add-on for EU compliance

There are no settings to configure because the addon works out of the box. Switch to the Engagement tab on the Insights » Settings page to see if it’s enabled.

Add-on status for EU Compliance

The addon now anonymizes IP addresses, disables the Demographics and Interests Reports, and disables user and author tracking, among other things. It also automatically connects with the Cookie Notice and CookieBot plugins.

2. WPForms

WPForms is the most popular WordPress contact form plugin. It makes it simple to generate GDPR-compliant forms for your WordPress site.

The WPForms plugin must first be installed and activated. See our step-by-step guide on installing a WordPress plugin for more information.

After activation, navigate to WPForms » Settings and select the General option.

WPForms options

Scroll down to the GDPR section and select the box next to GDPR improvements.

GDPR settings in WPForms

When you check the box, you’ll be given the option to disable user cookies and user data for all forms.

Individual forms can easily be made GDPR compliant with WPForms.

3. OptinMonster

The best lead generation software on the market is OptinMonster. It assists you in developing GDPR-compliant optin forms and leading campaigns for your website.

With a configurable checkbox, you can easily create a Privacy Policy. After then, users can only submit the form if they have checked the box. It also allows you to make your forms double optin.

privacy policy

OptinMonster also allows you to target visitors based on their location by including a privacy policy checkbox in your campaigns. You’ll be able to ensure that clients in EU countries see GDPR-compliant options this way. Cookies are only created by OptinMonster to improve the user experience on your website, and they can only be used for on-site tracking.

4. Smash Balloon

For WordPress websites, Smash Balloon is the greatest social media plugin. It enables you to generate social media feeds that are cookie and GDPR compliant.

GDPR compliance with Smash Balloon

If you have a cookie notice plugin installed, the plugin recognizes it and retains any cookies until the user gives their approval.

More Ways for WordPress Websites to Comply with Cookie Laws

Cookie laws vary by location, and it is the obligation of the website owner to comply with them. Here are some simple guidelines for making your website more compliant.

1. Create a page dedicated to your privacy policies.

To comply with privacy and cookie legislation in various locations, a privacy policy page is legally necessary.

2. Add a Cookie Notification Plugin to your website.

Cookie notification plugins display a notice on your website informing visitors that cookies are used and requesting their approval.

Cookie Notice and CookieBot are two of the most popular cookie notice plugins for WordPress, and they’re both compatible with a wide range of other WordPress plugins.

For more ideas, check out our list of the top GDPR plugins for WordPress.

3. Keep an eye on cookie-using plugins and tools.

Examine your website’s cookies to ensure that you can link each one to a plugin or tool you’ve installed. Check if new WordPress plugins or third-party technologies have options to make them GDPR and cookie law compliant before installing them.

We hope that this post has taught you how to check if your WordPress website uses cookies and how to comply with cookie legislation.