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Advanced Testing For Developers: Testing Proper Cookie Tracking For Your Affiliate Links

It’s always a good idea to test that your cookies (i.e. affiliate links) are tracking properly on your server and/or that your server isn’t blocking things.

We recommend testing BEFORE a launch, to avoid unnecessary frustration with blocked affiliate links (and angry affiliates who aren’t properly compensated for the marketing efforts they put towards your products.

For this testing procedure, you’ll need:

  • A live affiliate link for your site (associated with an active affiliate account, preferably your test account)
  • The Chrome browser

Step 1: Open an Incognito Window in Chrome

In your Chrome browser, open an incognito window.

Now, type in the base URL that’s associated with your affiliate link.

For example, if your affiliate link is: https://yoursite.com/~access/12345 then you should type in everything BEFORE the tilde ( https://yoursite.com/ ).

Then, hit “enter” to go to the URL you just typed into the browser.

Step 3: Open Developer View

In the top right, click on the menu icon and go to: More Tools > Developer Tools.

In the console tab, type: document.cookie and hit ENTER.

This will reveal the current list of cookies that are being tracked on the browser.

Keep this tab as-is, you’ll come back to it in a moment.

Step 4: Open Second Tab in Incognito Browser

Now, open another tab. Open the same developer view as you did in Step 3, but this time use the Network tab (instead of “Console”).

With the network view open, paste the entire affiliate URL (including the tilde) in the browser bar and hit ENTER.

When the page is done loading, scroll up (inside the network view) until you get to the top where you can see the affiliate number.

Click on the affiliate number (indicated in the screenshot above). This will reveal additional information. Under Headers > General, check to make sure the status code is listed as 302.

This indicates whether the redirect is working properly.

Step 5: Return to First Tab

With Step 4 completed properly, click back to the first tab and hit “ENTER” inside the Network tab of the developer view to refresh the document.cookie command.

You should see the new affiliate cookie appear now:

Note: The AccessAlly affiliate cookie name is “accessally-aff”.

If you discover an error in any of these testing steps and are unable to resolve it yourself, please reach out to the AccessAlly support team for assistance.
Updated on August 2, 2019

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