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 WordPress Site

If you plan to grow a successful business online, you do not want to suddenly find out that you have been operating on the wrong side of the law.

As the digital way of life continues growing at an extraordinary rate and the rules constantly change, it’s vitally important that you stay on top of what’s happening and ensure that your website or blog remains compliant with all laws and regulations, especially if having a digital presence is a significant factor in your business strategy.

New laws introduced in 2014 to regulate how businesses promote advertising on their websites state that if you plan to promote anything on your site for profit, you need to follow certain disclosure guidelines to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory agencies, 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.

Better Business Bureau

(BBB – Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program)

These laws affect various business categories, including:

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

If your website does not display certain legal pages (e.g. terms of service, privacy statement, earning disclaimers, etc.), many sites like Google won’t let you advertise, sites like ClickBank will not allow you to sell digital products, PayPal could close down your account, Facebook will disapprove your applications, and you won’t be accepted into a number of advertising or online marketing networks.

If your online presence is not in compliance, you could also face a whole range of penalties, including fines, having your website shut down, even jail time!

The purpose of this guide is to help make you aware that your website may be required to comply with certain legalities according to laws that govern online businesses, the importance of complying with the terms of service of other providers whose services or products you may be using online, and that there are plugin-based solutions for WordPress users that can help your online properties become more compliant, such as the tools discussed further below.

Is Your Website Or Blog Legally Compliant?

Is Your Website Compliant?

Important

Legal Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we cannot provide legal advice on this website. As stated previously, this article is designed only to make you aware that your website may be subject to certain legal requirements in accordance with the laws governing your business and that compliance may be required with the terms of service of providers whose services or products you promote on your website or blog

Why Making Your Website Compliant Is Important

Consider for one moment what the implications to your business would be in the following scenarios:

  • Someone has a cardiac arrest after using your online fitness workout.
  • The skin care creams you promote as an affiliate gives someone an allergic reaction.
  • Your opt-in list displays a statement informing prospective subscribers that you will not sell their information, but you have not clearly spelled out what you plan to do with the information you’ve collected.
  • Someone steals content from your site and publishes it on their site.
  • You haven’t informed your visitors that you are endorsing a product as an affiliate that you could earn a financial benefit if they buy it.
  • You don’t spell out the terms of your refund/return policies.
  • A visitor claims that the testimonials on your site are misleading and tries to sue you because of it.
  • You have not disclosed in a product review that you received a free copy of the product.
  • Your site publishes adult information and you have not taken sufficient measures to keep underage persons from accessing it.

Consider too the following actual case studies of costly compliance breaches:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling visitors they would be required to give up their personal information (including credit card details to complete an offer they were promoting. In addition to a significant $390,000 fine, they’ve also been ordered to issue everyone he does business with for the next 20 years, a copy of the judgement — including employees.
  • A social networking app developer was slapped with a whopping $800,000 fine for collecting personal information from mobile device address books without the owners’ knowledge and consent – including storing private information about children.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service prohibits users from scraping UIDs. 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 chosen at random, more than 90% had breached at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% had infringed at least 2 of Google’s policies, and more than 40% had broken 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 notices or lose access entirely to the Google program whose policies they had violated, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).

Can you see how easy it is to risk being a target of litigation through non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA (Cost Per Action) or PPA (Pay Per Action) Marketer
  • Multilevel Marketer
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • AdWords Advertiser
  • Info Product Publisher
  • Amazon Associate
  • e-Commerce Store Owner
  • Adult Content Publisher
  • Freelancer, Consultant Or Coach
  • Online Seller Of Any Service Or Product

It’s imperative to do whatever is necessary to make sure that your online business has the right legal pages and clearly accessible to site users.

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

Complying with 3rd-party services terms and policies is important.

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

Here are just some examples:

Google requires websites to display certain information when using many of their services or features. This includes using services such as Google Analytics

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Making money online with your sites using Google AdSense display advertising

Google AdSense display advertising policy requirements

(Google AdSense ads - policy requirements)

And even promoting your products using Google AdWords

Policy requirements for using Google AdWords

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you sell digital products through places like ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant networks, you will be required to add legal pages to your site before your products are approved for selling via their networks …

Policy requirements for vendors using ClickBank

(Policy requirements for vendors using ClickBank)

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) also requires that you add clear disclaimers and policies on your website, especially if you plan to use testimonials or product endorsements …

Federal Trade Commission - consumer guidelines and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer guidelines and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensure That Your Site Is Compliant

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

If you plan to do any type of money-making activity online, therefore, it’s best not to take chances. Even if your business is not located in the U.S. you should protect your business by making sure that your site complies with all FTC guidelines and regulations.

There are many sites that can provide guidelines for structuring disclaimers and disclosures to help you meet FTC requirements. See the references and useful resources section at the end of this article for more information …

Wording your disclaimers and disclosures correctly is important to avoid running foul of the law

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

Don’t Forget Social Media Applications

If you are planning to develop apps that will integrate with your site, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others require you to provide access to various legal pages …

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Facebook developer app – policy requirements)

Useful Tip

  • If you are not sure whether or not you are breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of websites like Google, Facebook, etc., then you most probably are.
  • If you plan to promote anything online via affiliate marketing, or monetize your pages with Google AdSense, ads for Amazon or eBay products, or driving visitors to your website using Google AdWords, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you need to provide on your site to comply with all Terms Of Service and policy requirements to avoid having your accounts terminated.
  • If you’ve ever wondered if “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, take proper precautions to protect yourself and your business interests.

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

(In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, almost all third-party websites require you to comply with their policies)

Essential Legal Pages To Add To Your Website

If your web site is falling short in aspects of compliance, then this section will help you.

At its most basic, adding the following legal pages to your site will keep you out of trouble with many regulatory authorities and external service providers, and help to avoid possible legal issues):

As well as the above pages, you may want to consider adding any of the following pages:

  • Affiliate Agreement (if you sell products or services through an affiliate program)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • External Links Policy
  • Health Disclaimers (if your website or blog provides content about health or medical areas)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Media Terms Of Use (e.g. if you allow users to download videos or audio files on your site)
Disclosure Pages – Types

It’s important to add the correct types of disclosure pages to your website. For example:

  • No Material Connection – This lets your visitors be aware that you will not be receiving any kind of payment for writing the content.
  • Affiliate Links – Disclosure that informs users that you will receive compensation if they buy through your affiliate links.
  • Review Or Sample Copy – Lets site users know that you have been given a review or sample copy of the product.
  • Sponsored Post – Lets users know that you were compensated in some form to write the article.
  • Third Party Advertising – Lets visitors know that you’re using online behavioral tracking technology. This is required to satisfy the “enhanced notice” the Better Business Bureau has been requiring website publishers to display prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

Adding Compliance Pages To Your Site

Ideally, you will have your lawyer prepare the content of your legal documents. Once these have been completed, there are several ways to include them in your website.

Upload Legal Web Pages To Your Site

If someone prepares and delivers the legal verbiage for you in HTML format, you can simply upload these to your server, or have someone upload these pages for you.

We recommend adding a legals folder to your web server and uploading your legal pages to this folder using FTP …

Upload legal pages to your server via FTP

(Upload legal pages to your web server using FTP)

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

WordPress Menu

(Custom WordPress Menu)

Make sure that your legal pages are up-to-date and display clearly to all visitors. You can insert links to your legal pages into your sidebar menu (or the footer of your website) so that visitors have access to the information from all your pages …

It's important to display legal pages to visitors on all of your website's pages

(It’s important to display links to legal information on all of your site’s pages)

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

Ready-Made Legal Templates

You can find downloadable attorney-prepared forms and agreements by searching online, or visiting websites like the ones listed below:

Find Legal Forms

Find Legal Forms - Attorney-prepared legal forms

(FindLegalForms.com – Attorney-prepared legal forms)

To learn more, go here:

Alternatively, you can download a package of cut and paste legal templates written by attorney Scott Talbert

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Website Legal Pages

(Website Legal Pages)

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

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

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer: multi-discipline professional disclaimers
  • DMCA Compliance
  • Federal Trade Commission Compliance (This proprietary FTC page accommodates FTC regulations and guidelines brought into effect on March 2012)
  • Privacy Policy: Google, DoubleClick DART, etc.
  • Terms of Service & Conditions of Use.

You can either create a new WordPress page for every legal form you want added 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.

Go here for more information:

Legal Page Plugins

As well as using copy & paste templates, another option is to use plugins.

Here are some legal plugins for WordPress users worth looking into:

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress

WordPress Plugin - WordPress Legal Pages

(WordPress Plugin – WordPress Legal Pages)

If you don’t want to spend time creating legal web pages manually, then consider using a plugin like WP Legal Pages

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

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

  • Pre-written Templates – Over 20 built-in legal templates created by a team of professional lawyers.
  • Quick And Easy To Use – You can set up most of the legal pages you will need in a few minutes with a few mouse clicks.
  • Fully Customizable Pages – Includes fully customizable and easily editable legal form templates (e.g. ToS, Disclaimer, Earnings Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and more!)
  • Easy To Edit Pages – WYSIWYG editor lets you edit legal pages like any other WP page.
  • Custom Shortcodes – You can add shortcodes to 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 checkbox and delete and manage these like any page on your website.
  • Forced Options – Force page or post lock down. Page unlocks only when users agree to your terms.
  • New Features – More features are being added to this plugin with each new version.

After installing WordPress Legal Pages, a new menu feature will display inside your main navigation area …

WordPress Legal Pages - Legal Pages Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin – Menu)

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

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Settings

(WP Legal Pages – Settings Area)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Create different legal pages

(WP Legal Pages – Create different legal pages)

Select from a number of built-in legal templates …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - 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 this powerful plugin, go here:

Compliance Bar – WordPress Website Compliance Plugin

Compliance Bar Plugin - WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

complete website compliance & disclaimer solution …

Compliance Bar Plugin - WordPress Compliance Plugin

More info:

Legal Suite Pro

Legal Suite Pro

(Legal Suite Pro)

Legal Suite Pro 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 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 secured rights to high quality, professionally written legal disclaimers and packaged them into a plugin that can be installed quickly on any WordPress powered site. You can have legal pages 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 websites.

Go here for more info:

Important

If hiring a lawyer to create your legal pages is currently out of your budget, then consider implementing at least some basic form of legal protection on your site until you can afford a solicitor.

We want your website to be safe!

Download the FREE Legal Pages Generator software below, or consider using one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using ready-made legal forms, or plugins - see section below.

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator Software)

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

***

As we’ve previously pointed out, if you do business online, it’s important that your website is found to comply with regulatory agencies and the guidelines and terms of service provided by 3rd-party sites that you may decide to promote or advertise online. Your website must comply with a number of laws and regulatory guidelines, some of which you may not even 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

Legal Disclaimer: Once again, please note that we are not lawyers and we are not offering legal advice on our website. You must do your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with the law concerning your specific business.

Additional Resources

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

See Also …

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the importance of having a compliant website. Use the information above to quickly add essential legal pages to your WordPress website or blog.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)