At first I thought it was a browser issue, but it looks like my code only sets a cookie if the user is logged in the administrator. If you are not logged into the Administrator account then it does not set a cookie. Tested this across 3 different browsers using Windows 8.

Just for reference, here is the link to the question when I thought it was a cross browser issue:

My code is inside an activated custom plugin I created, inside of a file called custom_functions.php (The only file in my plugin). This is my first plugin, but so far other functions I have placed in there appear to work correctly.

Here is the code I am using:

add_action( 'init', 'visitor_cookie', 1);
function visitor_cookie() {
    if (!isset($_COOKIE['returning_visit'])) {
        $traffic_type = 'hd';
        $timestring = microtime();
        $pieces = explode(" ", substr($timestring, 2));
        $pieces[0] = "1".substr($pieces[0],0,3);
        $visitor_id = $traffic_type.dechex($pieces[1]) . dechex($pieces[0]);
        $expire = time()+60*60*24*360;
        $path = '/';
        $domain = parse_url(get_option('siteurl'), PHP_URL_HOST);


  1. I only want the cookie set for any visitor/user is not an administrator. So only set for random users and regular users. But not necessary if too difficult.
  2. Expiration should be 1 year.
  3. Cookie should work across my domain including subdomains. At the moment my domain is development.mydomain.com
  4. In add_action , I am not sure if the "1" should be there.

In the link for my other question, I was informed that "parse_url(get_option('siteurl'), PHP_URL_HOST);" is depreciated and I should use site_url(). However when I used " $domain = site_url() ", cookies did not set at all so I am not sure what exactly I should use to set the domain variable properly.

Although the above code works only when logged in as the administrator, I am new to both plugins and setting cookies and not sure if my code is up to date or the most efficient/correct way to go about it.


So I just noticed there are other website functions only working as Admin.. such as grabbing GET parameters from the formidable pro plugin.

I tried disabled almost all my plugins and still the same issue. Something is causing some things to work only when logged in as admin and not sure what.

  • 1
    you sure it is a coy&paste of your code? the function name for the 'init' action is different the name of the function for which you show the code.... Oct 28, 2013 at 5:52
  • my apologies. I corrected it now. It is an exact copy of my code minus the actual function name.
    – Damainman
    Oct 28, 2013 at 16:13
  • 1
    Are you using any form of "caching" plugin? Super Cache? Total Cache?
    – Otto
    Oct 28, 2013 at 18:31
  • No but I am hosted on wp-engine. I updated my post, because it looks like another plugin I use is now also having the same issue where it only fully works when logged in as admin.
    – Damainman
    Oct 31, 2013 at 16:05
  • 1
    have you seen this?
    – Milo
    Oct 31, 2013 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


My Host wpengine.com was caching pages which caused the issue. I had to request that they uncache specific pages for everything to work normal again.

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