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Week: 3 At a Glance > Advanced Techniques: Tracking and Using User Data

Day 17. Advanced Techniques: Tracking and Using User Data

When users enter data into a form on a Web site, it isn't always just for an online survey, or to complete an order form—it could, in fact, be information that the users want to store for themselves. For example, it is possible to create a Web site that allows users to set up custom home pages for themselves by filling in a few forms. Too often the assumption is made that if a Web site is collecting data, its only purpose is marketing.

Today's lesson will show you how to create Web sites that collect information from users, and then use that information to customize the users' browsing experiences. In a way, you give users the ability to author their own customized version of the Web site. Today, you will learn how to:

  • Let users log in to the system and create a new account with their preferences.

  • Set a cookie so that the users are remembered each time they visit the site.

  • Alter the appearance of a Web site so that it is customized for the user browsing it.


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