How To Add Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site

Learn how to make your WordPress site or blog legally compliant and how to shortcut the process using legal page creation plugins …

Making Your Website Compliant - Adding Legal Pages To Your Site

Is your website legally compliant? Do you know if you are breaking any laws, or breaching the Terms of Service (TOS) of any companies whose services or products you promote or use?

Online laws and regulations are designed to protect the rights of consumers and apply to anyone who markets, sells or promotes products and services online. Anyone who owns a website risks being sued for not following compliance laws. Feigning ignorance about legal requirements will not prevent you from being slapped with a legal notice.

Recent laws introduced in 2014 to regulate how businesses promote advertising on their sites clearly state that if you plan to promote anything on your website for commercial gain, then you will need to follow certain disclosure guidelines to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory agencies, such as the BBB, or Better Business Bureau. Search online “The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program,” which regulates behavioral advertising across the internet for more details.

Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program

(Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program)

The new laws affect several business activities, including:

  • Any kind of advertising, e.g. Google AdWords
  • Retarget Marketing
  • Google Analytics (or other analytics software)
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Product Creators
  • Bloggers
  • etc.

If your website does not display certain pages to visitors (e.g. terms of service, privacy statement, financial disclaimers, etc.), many sites like Google won’t let you advertise, digital marketplaces like ClickBank or JVZoo will not allow you to list digital products, PayPal may close down your account and withhold payment of your funds, Facebook could suspend your web applications, and you will not be allowed to enroll in most advertising and online marketing networks.

Plus, you may also be inadvertently leaving yourself open and vulnerable to legal action.

The purpose of this post is to make you aware that your site(s) are required to comply with certain legalities, the importance of complying with the terms of service of external providers whose products or services you may be advertising on your website, and that there are solutions for WordPress website owners that can help your sites become fully compliant, such as the plugins that we discuss further below.

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With The Law?

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Important Info

Disclaimer: Please note that we are not lawyers and we do not provide legal advice. As stated earlier, the purpose of this article is to help make you aware that your website may be subject to a number of legal policies in accordance with the laws and regulations governing business online and that compliance may be required with the terms of service of third-party companies whose products or services you advertise on your website or blog

Understanding The Importance Of Making Your Website Compliant

Consider what could happen to your business if any of the scenarios below were to happen:

  • A user suffers a cardiac arrest after purchasing your online fitness program.
  • The skin care lotion you sell as an affiliate gives people an adverse reaction.
  • You’ve let your subscribers know that you will not sell their information, but you have not clearly informed them what you will do with their personal details.
  • Someone copies your content and puts it up on their own site.
  • There is no statement on your website or blog making your visitors aware that you’re an affiliate for the product you are endorsing and will receive financial benefits if visitors purchase it.
  • You don’t spell out the terms of your refund or return policies.
  • Online visitors claim your testimonials are all fake and try to sue you because of it.
  • You did not disclose in a product review that you were given a free copy of the product.
  • Your website includes adult-related content and you didn’t take appropriate measures to keep underaged persons from accessing it.

Consider too the real case studies of costly compliance breaches listed below:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling online users they would be required to give up personal information to complete his offer. In addition to a substantial $390,000 fine, he was also ordered to issue everyone they do business with for the next 20 years, a copy of the judgement — including employees.
  • A social networking app developer was slapped with a massive $800,000 fine for collecting personal information from mobile device address books without the owners’ knowledge and consent – including storing children’s private information.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service prohibits using software that scrapes Users IDs. Many marketers took a risk and lost. Their accounts were shut down, resulting thousands of $$$ in lost revenue.
  • An independently-conducted 2010 study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred websites picked at random, more than 90% had breached at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% were breaking at least two of Google’s policies, and more than 40% were breaking at least 3 of Google’s policies. Although the website owners could technically be sued by Google, more than likely what could happen, is that they would be issued cautions or lose access entirely to the Google program whose policies with the infringement, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).

Can you see how easy it is to be exposed to the risk of non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA, CPC or PPA Marketer
  • MLM Networker
  • Affiliate Promoter
  • AdWords User
  • Product Marketer
  • Amazon Associate
  • EBay Seller
  • Publisher Of Adult Content
  • Provider Of Freelance, Consulting Or Coaching Services
  • Online Seller Of Any Service Or Product

It’s imperative to make sure that your website or blog has the right legal pages and clearly accessible to all site visitors.

Compliance With 3rd-Party Companies - ToS, Policies, etc.

Big companies and government trade regulatory agencies emphasize the importance of observing the terms and policies of service providers.

You must let your visitors know that your website complies with all necessary laws and recommended guidelines. This not only increases trust and buyer confidence in your website, it’s also a requirement of most companies you will do business with online.

For example:

Google requires your site to display legal information when using their services. This includes using services like Google Analytics

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Monetizing your WordPress sites with Google AdSense online advertising

Google AdSense ads policy requirements

(Google AdSense advertising policy requirements)

And even promoting your services or products via Google AdWords

Policy requirements for using Google AdWords

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you sell information-based products via merchants such as ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established online merchant sites, you are required to add a number of legal pages to your website before they will approve your products for sale in their marketplace …

Policy requirements product vendors using ClickBank

(Policy requirements for vendors using ClickBank)

The Federal Trade Commission also requires you to display clear disclaimers and policy statements to visitors, especially concerning the use of product testimonials or endorsements …

Federal Trade Commission - consumer policies and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer policies and regulations)

FTC Regulations Require Your Site To Be Compliant

FTC regulations governing how business is conducted online were introduced in March 2012. A quick search online will reveal that many sites are still unaware (or choose to flaunt) these requirements. As is already the case, this often results in the FTC making an example of businesses and prosecuting companies for breaches of regulation in an effort to get other businesses to comply.

If you plan to do any type of business online, therefore, it’s best not to take any chances. Even if your business is not physically located in the U.S. you should protect your business by ensuring that your site is compliant with all FTC regulations.

There are many sites that can provide guidelines on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help your business comply with FTC requirements. We provide links to resources to a number of these at the end of this article …

Wording your disclaimers and disclosures correctly is important to avoid running foul of laws and regulations

(Structure your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of laws and regulations)

Social Media Apps Also Have Compliance Requirements

If you are planning to create apps that integrate with your website, you will also be required to provide social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and many others with information about various legal pages …

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Facebook apps also require compliance)

Useful Tip

  • If you are not sure whether you are breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of companies like Google, Facebook, etc., it’s best to assume that you most probably are.
  • If you plan to promote products or services on your site as an affiliate marketer, or generate revenue online with Google AdSense, Amazon, or eBay ads, or using Google AdWords pay-per-click ads to drive visitors to your pages, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you need to include on your site to comply with their Terms Of Service and policy requirements - don’t risk having your accounts suspended.
  • If you have ever wondered if “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, then it’s best to take proper precautions to protect yourself and your website.

In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, most 3rd-party services require you to comply with their terms of use

(In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, most third-party services require you to comply with their terms of use and policies)

Common Legal Pages To Add To Your Website

If you suspect that your website or blog falls short in areas of compliance, then this section will help you.

Adding the following compliance pages to your site should help keep you out of trouble with many consumer protection authorities and third-party service providers, and even help you avoid potential legal issues or even threats of legal action (e.g. “cease and desist” notices):

As well as the above, you may want to consider including one or more of these pages if applicable:

  • Affiliate Agreement (if you provide an affiliate program)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Compensation Disclosure
  • External Links Policy
  • Financial Disclaimers (if your website provides general money-making information)
  • Refund Policy (if you sell products or services online)
  • Video/Audio Terms Of Use (e.g. if you provide users with access to media on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

Adding correct disclosure information to your website is important. For example:

  • No Material Connection – This lets users be aware that you’re not receiving any form of compensation for writing the post.
  • Affiliate Links – Disclosure that informs visitors that you may be compensated if they act on your recommendation and purchase through an affiliate link.
  • Review Or Sample Copy – Informs visitors that you have received a sample or review copy of the product by the author or product developer.
  • Sponsored Post – Informs site users that you have been compensated in some way to write the content.
  • Third Party Advertising – Informs visitors that you’re using online behavioral tracking technology. This is required to satisfy the “enhanced notice” the Better Business Bureau has been requiring online publishers to display prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

Adding Legal Content To Your Website

Ideally, you should have your lawyer prepare the verbiage of your legal documents. Once you have this, there are several ways to include them in your website.

Upload Legal Web Pages Manually To Your Site

If someone prepares the legal content for you as standard web pages (e.g. HTML), you can simply upload these to your site, or have someone upload these pages for you.

We recommend creating a legals folder in your web server and uploading your legal pages to this folder via FTP …

Create a 'legals' folder in your server and upload pages using FTP

(Create a ‘legals’ folder on your web server and upload pages via FTP)

You can then easily add a link to your legal pages from your WordPress site using custom links in your menu administration …

Custom WordPress Menu Feature

(Custom WordPress Menu)

Where To Display Legal Pages On Your Website

After uploading your legal pages, make sure that these are fully up-to-date and clearly accessible to all visitors. You can add links to your legal pages to the sidebar menu (or place them in the footer section of your site) so that users will be able to access the information from every page …

It's important to display links to legal information on all of your site's pages

(It’s important to display legal pages to visitors on all of your website’s pages)

For a detailed tutorial on adding links to pages on your sidebar and footer in WordPress using widgets, see this tutorial:

Legal Templates

You can find attorney-drafted downloadable internet forms and agreements just by searching online, or by visiting websites like this one:

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com

(Find Legal Forms)

Go here for more details:

Alternatively, you can download a package of cut & paste legal templates drafted by attorney Scott Talbert to help businesses protect themselves online …

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Scott Talbert's Website Legal Forms

(Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages)

Cut & Paste website legal templates were written by an attorney and feature less passive voice and more plain language phrasing and can be customized with simple search and replace to add your own details, then pasted into your pages.

The legal templates included in Scott Talbert’s Legal Page Templates include:

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer
  • DMCA Compliance
  • Federal Trade Commission Compliance
  • Privacy Policy: Google & DoubleClick DART, etc.
  • ToS & Conditions of Use.

You can either create a new page for every legal form you want to add to your site, then paste the content from the templates into your web pages and publish or upload the pages to your web server as described earlier.

For more information, go here:

Legal Page Plugins

As well as using legal templates, you can keep things really simple using plugins.

Here are some great legal WordPress plugins worth looking into:

WP Legal Pages

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress

(WP Legal Pages Plugin)

If setting up legal pages manually seems too time-consuming for you, then consider choosing WordPress Legal Pages

WordPress Legal Pages is not a free plugin, but it’s a very low-priced and well-supported premium plugin that will simplify the job of creating and implementing legal pages on your site and save you a great deal of time and effort.

Some of the benefits of using the WP Legal Pages are:

  • Pre-written Legal Templates – The plugin gives you access to over 20 built-in legal page templates created by a team of professional lawyers.
  • Quick And Easy To Use – Set up most of your basic legal pages in around 3 minutes with just a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Customizable Pages – Includes fully customizable and editable legal form templates (e.g. Terms of Use, Disclaimer, Earnings Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and more!)
  • Easy To Edit Pages – WYSIWYG editor lets you edit all legal pages like every other page on your website.
  • Custom Shortcodes – You can add shortcodes to any of your pages and the information is then automatically inserted into your pages when published.
  • Exclude pages. Exclude pages from menus with a simple check box and delete and manage these like any page on your website.
  • Forced Options – Force page lock down. When users agree to your terms, the page unlocks, giving them access.
  • New Features – New plugin features get added when new versions are released.

When you install WordPress Legal Pages, a new menu feature will display inside your main dashboard area …

WP Legal Pages - Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin – Legal Pages Menu)

This allows you to create, view and edit legal pages from the admin area …

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Settings Screen

(WordPress Legal Pages – Settings)

You can easily create legal pages for different online uses, such as business websites, affiliate sites, e-commerce sites, etc …

WordPress Legal Pages - Page Type

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Page Type)

Choose from a number of pre-written legal templates …

WP Legal Pages - Pre-configured Templates

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Pre-configured Templates)

Legal page templates include:

  • Terms of Use (Users are forced to agree to Terms and Conditions before using site)
  • Linking Policy
  • External Links Policy
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Refund Policy
  • Affiliate Disclosure
  • Privacy Policy
  • Affiliate Agreement
  • Facebook Privacy Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • Antispam Policy
  • DoubleClick DART Cookies Policy
  • Disclaimer Template
  • FTC Disclosure Statement Template
  • Medical Disclaimer Template
  • Testimonials Disclosure – As per FTC guidelines
  • Amazon Affiliate Disclosure Template
  • DMCA Policy Template
  • California Privacy Rights Policy Template
  • Digital Goods Refund Policy Template
  • COPPA – Children’s Online Privacy Policy Template
  • Blog Comments Policy Template
  • Newsletter Subscription Policy and Disclaimer Template
  • FTC Disclaimer Widget

To learn more about using this plugin, go here:

Compliance Bar – WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar Plugin - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

Compliance Bar Plugin is a complete compliance & disclaimer solution for your online presence …

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

More info:

Legal Suite Pro

Legal Suite Pro Plugin For WordPress

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin For WordPress)

Legal Suite Pro Plugin lets you easily install professionally-written legal pages such as:

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • DMCA Compliance
  • FTC Compliance
  • Privacy Policy
  • Social Media Disclosure
  • Medical Disclaimer
  • Terms of Service
  • Earnings Disclaimer

Legal Suite Pro Plugin For WordPress - Professionally-written legal forms

(Legal Suite Pro For WordPress – Professionally-written legal forms)

Additionally:

  • Drag & Drop FTC Disclaimer Widget: Add an FTC Disclaimer to any WordPress sidebar or widget area.
  • Customizable EU Cookie Compliance Bar: Display an EU cookie compliance bar if you are getting traffic from the EU and your sites use cookies.

With just one-click you can install almost all of the legal pages your site needs and these professionally written legal pages can be created in your theme and/or as a standalone page outside of your theme.

The plugin developers secured rights to high quality, professionally written legal disclaimers and packaged them into a plugin that can be installed quickly on any WordPress site. Your legal pages can be installed and set up on your site in one minute or less and the plugin licensing is flexible, allowing you to install and use the plugin on all of your sites.

For more details, visit this site:

Important

If using the services of legal experts to create your legal documentation is currently out of your budget, then consider implementing at least some basic form of legal protection on your website until you can afford to hire a lawyer.

We want your business to be protected!

Download the Legal Pages Generator tool below (it’s FREE!), or choose one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using legal templates, or plugins - see section below.

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator)

Legal Pages Generator Software lets you quickly generate essential legal documents for your website including Terms of Service, Privacy Statement, Copyright Notice, Website Disclaimer and optional Earnings Disclaimer.

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As we’ve previously pointed out, if you make money online, it’s important that your website remains compliant with regulatory agencies and the guidelines and terms of service for 3rd-party services and products that you may be promoting or selling online. If your website isn’t compliant with laws designed to protect the rights of consumers, you’re breaking the law.

Being non-compliant puts you at risk of suffering both financial losses and the loss of your reputation. Why risk your money and reputation, when you can protect yourself so inexpensively?

Info

Disclaimer: Once again, please note that we are not lawyers and we do not offer legal advice here. Do your own due diligence and consult a legal expert to ensure that your website fully complies with the law in your country or region.

Legal Information

Below is a useful list of websites we suggest you visit to help you better understand what your site may require to remain compliant and meet its legal obligations:

And …

We hope this article has helped you understand why it’s important to have a compliant website. Use the information above to quickly add essential legal pages to your WordPress website.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now