HomePHP Page 5 - Developing a User Personalization System with PHP and Cookies
Conclusion - PHP
Making your site more appealing to repeat traffic is always a priority among web developers. However users of your site are likely to be coming to your site for different reasons. This tutorial will teach you how to use PHP and cookies to make your site more user-customizable and therefore more likely to attract repeat users.
This is just a brief example which could be made much more robust by adding more news sources, or adding other features, such as the ability to change your choices (actually that should be a required feature, edited out here for brevity). Using these techniques, it would be fairly straightforward to pull all manner of data from a common database based on the visiting user, and print it out to their browser. It is precisely this sort of process which enables Yahoo or Excite to show your favorite stocks on their homepage, Amazon to make a pretty good guess on books you might like to read, and any number of news sites which will show current weather for your area.
Think about what people would enjoy seeing at your web site or how other web sites could improve. I personally think it would be great if everytime I went to Pricewatch, it would show me up front the best prices for whatever hardware I'm interested in that week (after I specify the hardware, that is). I'd also get a kick out of having links to updates for my favorite Football teams right on ESPN's front page, so I don't have to click through 5 pages to get there.
Making the internet experience friendlier and more intuitive is the best way to keep visitors coming back to your site. If nothing else, I'd recommend you mess around with these features yourself, because these techniques can work magic, and will definitely be in more demand in the future. Many ideas are out there which haven't been exploited yet, and many niche subjects yearn for this kind of feature.