Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Update to Internet Explorer’s Cookie Jar

Category: Microsoft

The IE team has update d the Internet Explorer Cookie Jar by bringing the cookie limit to 50 per domain, in line with Firefox.

This doesn’t mean that we should go out and start creating new cookies willy-nilly though, and in fact they strongly sugest that we “watch our weight”:

You might be tempted to take advantage of the new higher cookie limit and add more cookies to your site. Unfortunately, cookies can dramatically impact the size of HTTP requests, slowing down the user’s browsing experience significantly. Many of today’s web users have connections with asymmetrical bandwidth, having download speeds 2 to 5 times faster than their upload speeds. This means that in some cases, HTTP request size is a more important factor than the size of the server’s response in determining overall transfer time.

There are three strategies you can use to minimize the impact of cookies on your site’s site performance:

  1. Minimize the size of your cookies
  2. Deliver static content from a different domain
  3. Use the Path attribute to send cookies only when necessary

Have you ever run into the limit?

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:02 am
5 Comments

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2.6 rating from 13 votes

5 Comments »

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the *only* time i hit the limit was on a CD project around 1998. part of the CD req (it was a GUI for users to navigate a technical document library) was to allow users to add technical documents on the CD to their ‘favorites’ list. so i used cookies to preserve this state. the CD cookies represented a “local” domain. some of the most crazy JS i have ever done, splitting up the cookie string with specific delimiters. then eventually just using individual cookies when each cookie object ran out of space. it was nuts.

in the UA testing, the ‘favorites’ list just stopped working when you added almost all the documents…but that result was very rare (who would bookmark 300 documents out of 305?), so we shipped as-is. :)

Comment by GBG — September 5, 2007

I hit the IE cookie limit as an end user with the truly awful “Gabbly chat” ( gabbly.com ) which writes a new cookie with every page load.

Comment by Todd — September 5, 2007

I helped build an web app that you would mysteriously get logged out all of the sudden. We couldn’t figure it out for the longest time. Turns out that we used only a few cookies (maybe 5), but we used several of Telerik’s widgets which each one of them would create a cookie to save it’s state. Some of the cookie’s values were really long which when all summed up was causing the earlier cookies (ie the session id) to get truncated.

Comment by Chris Barber — September 5, 2007

IMO MS needs this : )
They should implement local storage engine.

Comment by YALD — September 5, 2007

How can you possibly ever require more than 2 cookies under a domain unless your website is a hodge podge of hacked together free programs running under a single domain? ( in which case you probably don’t know what a cookie is anyway ).

Comment by Vance Dubberly — September 5, 2007

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