Web Cookies

Web Cookies


Web Cookies are a type of code where bits of information are exchanged between a web browser and a client for a variety of uses. The data exchange is small and is used to provide information about the user to the server.

The idea for Web Cookies came from the term Magic Cookie. A Magic Cookie is something programmers use to exchange a kind of identification token. A client downloads it from a server. The code is small and contains a unique number. This number is read when the client exchanges the Cookie with the server. You can think of it like like a valet service. When you hand your car keys to the valet, the person hands you a ticket, which has a unique number on it. The number is used to identify the ticket you are holding to your keys and your car. This exchange provides a lot of programming solutions in an elegant and easy to use way, which is how something becomes magic in the computer world.

Web Cookies use the same concept and applies it to web pages. Websites use cookies for a variety of purposes, and they come in two basic flavors.

  • Session Cookies: Session Cookies only last while the user has the browser open and are deleted when it is closed. This cookie is used to store information the user has entered and to track which pages the user accessed within the website.
  • Persistent cookie: A Persistent Cookie’s expiration date is set by the web developer that created it. These cookies usually last across multiple sessions and is most often use to track the client web browsing.

Cookies are used for a variety of purposes on the web, and this is a basic explanation of how they work. Persistent Cookies are of particular interest for marketing because they provide valuable data of user browsing habits.