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 The Importance Of Having A Legally Compliant Website - What You Need To Know About Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site

If you plan to grow a successful business online, the last thing you want is to learn the hard way that you have broken the law.

Online laws are designed to protect consumers and apply to any person who sells, markets or promotes products or services online. Every website owner risks being sued for not following compliance laws. Feigning ignorance about the law won’t prevent you from being slapped with a legal notice.

Recent laws introduced in 2014 that regulate how businesses promote advertising on their sites clearly state that if you promote anything on your site for material gain, you need to follow certain principles of disclosure to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory departments, such as the US-based BBB, or Better Business Bureau. Look up “The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program,” which regulates behavioral advertising across the internet to learn more.

Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program - Better Business Bureau

(Better Business Bureau Website)

The new laws has legal implications for various online business activities, including:

  • Any form of advertising, like PPC advertising
  • Retarget Marketing
  • Google Analytics (or other analytics software)
  • Affiliate Marketers
  • Product Creation
  • Blogging
  • etc.

If you do not display certain legal pages on your website (e.g. terms of service, privacy statement, financial disclaimers, etc.), many sites such as Google won’t let you advertise, digital marketplaces like ClickBank will not allow you to list digital products, PayPal could suspend your account and freeze your funds, Facebook will disapprove web applications, and you won’t be allowed into most advertising or affiliate marketing networks.

If your online business is not compliant, you could end up facing a multitude of penalties, including fines, having your website shut down, even jail time!

This guide explains why it’s important to have a legally compliant website and how to quickly and easily add legal pages to your WordPress site using simple methods and resources.

Does Your Site Comply With The Law?

Is Your Site Compliant?

Info

Disclaimer: Please note that we are not lawyers and we are not providing legal advice in this article. You must carry out your own due diligence and consult a legal expert about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with all laws and regulations in your country or region.

Why Having A Compliant Website Is Important

Consider for one minute what would happen to your business in the following scenarios:

  • A user has a heart attack after they use your online fitness workout.
  • The skin care products you sell as an affiliate marketer gives people an allergic reaction.
  • Your opt-in list displays a statement letting subscribers know that you will not sell their information, but you haven’t described exactly what you plan to do with their personal details.
  • Someone copies content from your website and puts it up on their site.
  • There is no statement on your site making visitors aware that you are an affiliate for the product you are recommending and may derive an affiliate commission if visitors buy it.
  • You have not spelled out the terms and conditions of your refund and return policies.
  • Visitors claim your testimonials are false and try to sue you because of it.
  • You did not disclose that you have received a free copy in a product review.
  • Your site includes adult-related information and you haven’t taken sufficient measures to keep underage persons from accessing it.

Consider also these real case studies of costly compliance breaches:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling visitors they would have to give up their personal information to complete his offer. Cost = $390,000.
  • A social networking app developer copped a massive $800,000 fine for collecting personal information without users’ knowledge and consent – including storing private details about children.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service does not allow users to scrape UIDs. Many marketers gambled that they could get away with it and lost. Their accounts were shut down, costing them thousands of $$$ in lost revenue.
  • An independently-conducted study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred websites picked at random, more than 90% had infringed at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% had broken at least two of Google’s policies, and more than 40% were in violation of at least three 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 notices 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 become exposed to the risks of litigation?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • PPA (Pay Per Action) Marketer
  • Multilevel Marketer
  • Affiliate Promoter
  • AdWords User
  • Niche Publisher
  • Amazon Associate
  • EBay Seller
  • Publisher Of Adult Content
  • Provider Of Freelance, Coaching Or Consulting Services
  • Seller Of Any Service Or Product Online

It’s imperative to do whatever is necessary to make sure that your digital presence remains fully compliant with the law.

Complying With 3rd-Party Companies Terms And Policies

Leading online companies and government trade regulatory agencies emphasize the need and importance of complying with the terms and policies of service providers.

You must let your site visitors know that your business complies will all legal requirements and recommended guidelines. This not only increases trust and buyer confidence in your website, it’s also a requirement of many companies you interact with.

For example:

Google requires websites to display legal information if using their products and features. This includes Google Analytics

Google Analytics - Policy Requirements

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Generating revenue online with your online properties with Google AdSense

Google AdSense - policy requirements

(Google AdSense ads - policy requirements)

And even promoting your services or products through Google AdWords

Google AdWords - Policy Requirements

(Google AdWords – Policy Requirements)

If you plan to sell products online via merchants like ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant sites, you will need to add various legal pages before your products are approved for sale …

Policy requirements for vendors selling through ClickBank

(Policy requirements for using ClickBank)

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) also requires that you display clear disclaimers and statements on your site, especially when concerning the use of product testimonials or endorsements …

FTC - consumer policies and regulations

(FTC – consumer guidelines and regulations)

New FTC Regulations Require Your Website To Comply

FTC regulations governing the conduct of doing business online were introduced in March 2012. A quick search online will easily reveal that many business are unaware (or choose to ignore) these requirements. As is already the case, this typically prompts the FTC to make an example of businesses and prosecute companies in an effort to get other businesses to comply.

If you plan to do any kind of selling online, therefore, it’s best not to take chances. Even if your business does not operate in the U.S. we strongly recommend protecting your business interests by making sure that your website complies with all FTC guidelines and regulations.

Many online business resources provide guidelines and examples on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help your site comply with FTC requirements. See our additional resources section at the end of this article for more information …

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

(Structuring your disclaimers and disclosures correctly is important to avoid running foul of laws and regulations)

Social Media Applications Also Have Compliance Requirements

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

Social networking apps also require compliance

(Social networking apps also require compliance)

Useful Tip

  • If you are unsure whether you may be breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of websites like Google, Facebook, etc., then it’s best to assume that you most probably are.
  • If you plan to promote anything on your site as an affiliate marketer, or generate revenue online with Google AdSense, ads for Amazon or eBay products, or use Google AdWords pay-per-click ads to drive visitors to your pages, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you are required to provide on your site to comply with all Terms Of Service and policy requirements to avoid having your accounts suspended.
  • If you have ever wondered whether “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, take proper precautions to avoid becoming a magnet for litigation.

In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, most 3rd-party websites require you to comply with their policies and guidelines

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

Essential Legal Pages To Include In Your Website To Ensure Compliance

If you suspect that your website or blog lacks in aspects of compliance, then this section will help you.

At its most basic, adding the following legal pages to your website should help your website keep out of trouble with many regulatory agencies and third-party providers, and even help you avoid potential legal issues):

In addition to the pages above, you may want to look into including one or more of these pages:

  • Affiliate Agreement (e.g. if you sell products or services through an affiliate program)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Compensation Disclosure
  • External Linking Policy
  • Financial Disclaimers (e.g. if your website or blog provides money-making information)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Video/Audio Terms (if you allow media downloads on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

Adding the right type of disclosure to your website is important. For example:

  • No Material Connection – Lets users know that you will not receive for writing the post.
  • Affiliate Links – Lets your readers be aware that you may be compensated if they purchase through your affiliate links.
  • Review/Sample Copy – Lets visitors know that you have received a review or sample copy of the product or service you’re reviewing or writing about.
  • Sponsored Post – Disclosure that lets your readers know that you were compensated in some way to write the article.
  • 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 show prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

How To Add Legal Pages Content To Your WordPress Site

Ideally, you will consult lawyers or a legal firm and ask them to prepare the verbiage of your legal documents. Once these have been completed, there are several ways to include them in your website.

Upload Legal Web Pages Manually

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

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

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

(Upload legal pages to your server using FTP)

You can then add a link to your legal pages in WordPress using a custom WordPress menu …

Custom WordPress Menu Feature

(Custom WordPress Menu)

Make sure that your legal pages are kept up-to-date and display clearly to all site visitors. You can add links to your legal pages to your sidebar (or place them in the footer section of your website or blog) so that users have access to 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)

We have written a detailed tutorial on displaying links to pages on your WordPress sidebar here:

Templates

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

Find Legal Forms

Find Legal Forms

(FindLegalForms.com)

More information:

Alternatively, you can download a set of website legal templates drafted by legal attorney Scott Talbert

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages - Legal Templates

(Scott Talbert’s Legal Templates)

These legal pages feature less passive voice and more plain language phrasing and can be customized with search and replace to insert your own business name and URL, then pasted into your pages.

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

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer (multi-discipline professional disclaimers)
  • DMCA Compliance
  • FTC Compliance (This proprietary FTC page accommodates new Federal Trade Commission regulations and guidelines that came into effect on March 2012)
  • Privacy Policy: Google, etc.
  • Terms of Service (ToS) & Conditions of Use: includes inter- & intra-page redundancy, Contra Proferentem provision, reservation of rights, and exclusive social media admonition.

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

Visit this website to learn more:

WordPress Plugins – Legal Pages

As well as using cut & paste legal templates, you can keep things really simple by using plugins.

Here are some legal WordPress plugins that you may be interested in using:

WP Legal Pages

WP Legal Pages

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress)

If you don’t want to bother with creating legal web pages manually, then consider choosing a plugin like WordPress Legal Pages

This plugin is not free, but it’s a low-priced and well-supported plugin that will simplify the job of creating and implementing legal pages on your website and save you time.

Here are just some of the benefits of using the WordPress Legal Pages:

  • Built-in Legal Templates – Over 20 built-in legal templates created by a team of professional lawyers.
  • Very Quick And Easy To Use – You can set up most of your basic legal pages in around 3 minutes with just a few mouse clicks.
  • Customizable Pages – The plugin includes customizable and easily editable legal form templates (e.g. ToS, Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Earnings Disclaimer and more!)
  • Editable Pages – Full WYSIWYG editor lets you edit all legal pages like every other WordPress page.
  • Custom Shortcodes – You can add shortcodes to any of your website or blog pages and the information is then automatically inserted into your pages when you publish.
  • Exclude pages. The plugin lets you exclude pages from menus with a simple check box and delete and manage these like every other page on your website.
  • Forced Options – Force page lock down. Page unlocks when users agree to your legal terms.
  • Additional Features – The plugin is updated with new features when new versions are released.

After installing WordPress Legal Pages, a menu item will appear inside your navigation menu section …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Menu

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Legal Pages Menu)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Settings Screen

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Settings Screen)

The plugin gives you the option of creating legal pages for different online uses, such as business websites, niche sites, AdSense sites, etc …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Create different legal page types

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Page Type)

You can also select from a number of built-in legal templates …

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Legal Templates

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Pre-configured Legal 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, visit the plugin website:

Compliance Bar Plugin – WP Compliance Plugin

Compliance Bar - Compliance Plugin For WordPress

Compliance Bar is a total compliance and disclaimer solution for your site …

Compliance Bar - WP Compliance Plugin

More info:

Legal Suite Pro

Legal Suite Pro For WordPress

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin)

This 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 Use
  • Earnings Disclaimer

Legal Suite Pro - Professionally-written legal forms

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin – 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 have packaged high quality, professionally written legal disclaimers into a plugin that can be installed quickly on any WordPress powered site. Your legal pages can be installed and set up on your site in less than one minute and the plugin licensing is very flexible, allowing you to install and use this plugin on all of your sites.

To learn more, go here:

Important

If using the services of lawyers to create your legal pages is currently out of your budget, consider implementing at least some basic type of legal protection on your website until you can afford professional assistance.

We want your business to be legally safe!

Download the FREE Legal Pages Generator software below, or choose one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using legal content, or a WordPress legal pages plugin - see section below.

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator Software)

Legal Pages Generator quickly generates necessary legal documents for your website including Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Copyright Notice, Website Disclaimer and optional Earnings Disclaimer.

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As we’ve previously pointed out, if you engage in any form of business online, it’s important that your site is compliant with regulatory agencies and any terms of service and guidelines of 3rd-party services and products that you may be promoting or using online. Your internet presence must comply with a whole set of regulations, many of which you may not be aware of.

Non-compliance 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?

Useful Information

Disclaimer: Once again, please note that we are not lawyers and we provide no legal advice. Do your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way of ensuring that your website is compliant with the law pertaining to your business.

Legal Resources

Here is a useful list of websites we suggest you visit to help you better understand what your business requires to remain compliant and meet legal obligations:

Additionally …

We hope this article has helped you understand the importance of having a legally compliant website. Use the information presented above to quickly and easily add essential legal pages to your website using simple legal resources and solutions.

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