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 Legally Compliant - Legal Pages To Add To Your WordPress Site

One of the worst situations you can find yourself in as a business owner is to be on the wrong side of the law.

Internet laws and regulations were designed to protect the rights of consumers and apply to anyone who sells, markets or promotes goods or services online. Every website owner risks being sued for not following compliance laws. Feigning ignorance about legal requirements will not excuse someone from taking legal action against you.

New laws introduced in 2014 regulating how businesses promote advertising on their sites state that if you plan to promote anything on your site for commercial gain, then you 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. Look up “The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program,” which regulates behavioral advertising across the internet for more details.

Better Business Bureau Website

(Better Business Bureau)

The new laws affect various online business categories, including:

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

If your site does not display certain legal pages to visitors (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy policy, financial disclaimers, etc.), many sites such as Google won’t let you advertise, sites like ClickBank or JVZoo will not allow you to list digital products, PayPal could suspend your account, Facebook will disapprove your applications, and you will not be allowed to promote a range of advertising and affiliate marketing networks.

You could also be inadvertently leaving yourself open and vulnerable to expensive litigation.

In this guide, we look at why it’s important to have a compliant website and how to quickly add all necessary legal pages to your WordPress website or blog using simple and inexpensive methods and resources.

Is Your Website Compliant?

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Important Info

Disclaimer: Please note that we are not lawyers and we do not offer legal advice. You must do your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with all laws and regulations in your country or region.

The Importance Of Making Your Website Compliant

Are you at risk? Consider what the implications to your business would be if any of the following situations were to occur:

  • A person suffers a heart attack after purchasing your online fitness workout.
  • The skin cream you promote as an affiliate marketer gives someone who purchases from your link an adverse reaction.
  • You’ve let your subscribers know that you won’t sell their information, but you have not clearly spelled out what you plan to do with it.
  • Someone copies your content and publishes it on their site.
  • There is no statement on your site telling your visitors that you’re an affiliate for the product you’re selling that you may earn financial benefits if they purchase via your link.
  • You don’t spell out the conditions of your refund policies.
  • A visitor claims your testimonials are all fake and decides to sue you because of it.
  • You have not disclosed in a product review that you received a free copy of the product.
  • Your website contains adult content and you haven’t taken appropriate measures to keep underaged children from accessing it.

Consider now these actual examples 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 info to complete a debt reduction offer. In addition to a hefty $390,000 fine, he is now required to provide everyone he does business with for the next 20 years, a copy of the judgement — including employees.
  • A social networking app developer copped a whopping $800,000 fine for collecting personal information from mobile device address books without the owners’ knowledge and consent – including storing children’s private details.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service prohibits using software that scrapes Users IDs. Many marketers gambled that they could get away with it and lost. Their accounts were shut down, costing them thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
  • An independent 2010 study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred websites chosen at random, more than 90% were in breach of at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% had breached at least two of Google’s policies, and more than 40% were in breach 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 to the Google program with the violation, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).

Can you see how a business owner can easily become exposed to the risks of litigation?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPC (Cost Per Conversion) Marketer
  • MLM Networker
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • AdSense Publisher
  • Info Product Marketer
  • Amazon Associate
  • e-Commerce Store Owner
  • Adult Content Publisher
  • Freelancer, Consultant Or Coach
  • Online Seller Of Any Service Or Product

You need to ensure that your website complies with all laws governing the use of your site, wherever you are located.

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

Compliance with 3rd-party companies terms and policies is important.

You are obligated to let your site visitors know that your website complies will all legal requirements and professional guidelines. This not only increases consumer trust and confidence in your site, it’s also required in most cases by most companies you interact with.

For example:

Google requires websites to display certain information if using many of their products. This includes using Google Analytics

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Google Analytics – Policy Requirements)

Generating revenue with your website with Google AdSense ads

Google AdSense ads policy requirements

(Google AdSense ads - policy requirements)

Or promoting your services or products through Google AdWords

Google AdWords - Policy Requirements

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you plan to sell products online via companies such as ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant sites, you are required to add legal pages to your site before they will approve your products for sale …

Policy requirements for ClickBank product vendors

(ClickBank – policy requirements for product sellers)

The Federal Trade Commission also requires you to display clear disclaimers and policies on your website, especially regarding the use of product testimonials or endorsements …

FTC - consumer policies and regulations

(FTC – consumer guidelines and regulations)

New FTC Regulations Require Your Site To Comply

FTC regulations governing how business is conducted online were introduced in March 2012. Search online and you will see that many sites are still unaware (or choose to ignore) these requirements. As has happened in the past, 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 do any type of business online, therefore, it’s best not to take chances. Even if your business is not located in the U.S. we strongly recommend protecting your business interests by making sure that your website complies with FTC guidelines.

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

You must word your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of the law

(You must structure your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of the law)

Social Media Applications Also Have Compliance Requirements

If you plan to develop apps for your website users, sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others require you to provide information about various legal pages …

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Apps for social networking sites like Facebook also require compliance)

Practical Tip

  • If you are unsure as to 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 online via affiliate marketing, or monetizing your pages with Google AdSense, ads for eBay or Amazon products, or use Google AdWords to drive visitors to your pages, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you need to provide on your site to comply with their Terms Of Service and policy requirements - don’t risk having your accounts suspended.
  • If you’ve ever wondered if “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, then it’s best to act now and take proper precautions to avoid becoming a litigation magnet.

In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, almost all third-party websites require you to comply with their terms of use

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

What Legal Pages Should You Add To Your Site To Be Protected From Legal Compliance Issues?

If you suspect that your website or blog is lacking in aspects of compliance, then you will find this section helpful.

At its most basic, adding the following compliance pages to your website will help keep your business out of trouble with many consumer protection authorities and external providers, and even help you avoid potential legal issues or even threats of legal action (e.g. “take down” notices):

As well as the above, you may want to look into implementing one or more of these compliance pages:

  • Affiliate Disclosure (if you promote or sell affiliate products and services)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • External Links Policy
  • Financial Disclaimers (if your website provides information about financial areas or income opportunities)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Use Of Media (if you provide users with access to download videos or audio files on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

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

  • No Material Connection – This lets your visitors be aware that you are not being paid for writing the article.
  • Affiliate Links – Informs site users that you may receive compensation if they act on your recommendation and purchase through your affiliate link.
  • Sample/Review Copy – Disclosure that informs site users that you have received a review or sample copy of the product you’re reviewing by the author or product developer.
  • Sponsored Post – Lets your visitors know that you have been compensated in some way to write the post.
  • Third Party Advertising – Informs visitors that you’re using online behavioral tracking technology. This is required to comply with 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 Website

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

Upload Legal Web Pages Manually

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

We recommend creating a legals directory on your server and uploading your legal pages to this directory (e.g. via FTP) …

Upload legal pages to your web server via FTP

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

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

Custom WordPress Menu Feature

(WordPress Menu)

Make sure that your legal pages are fully up-to-date and clearly accessible to visitors. You can add these to the sidebar menu (or the footer of your website) to ensure that visitors have access to legal information from every page …

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

(Display links to your legal pages on all of your site’s pages)

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

Ready-Made Legal Templates

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

Find Legal Forms

Find Legal Forms

(Find Legal Forms – Attorney-prepared legal forms)

Visit this site to learn more:

Alternatively, you can purchase a package of website legal templates drafted by legal attorney Scott Talbert to help businesses protect themselves online …

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages - Legal Templates

(Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages – Legal Templates)

Cut & Paste website legal templates feature less passive voice and more plain language phrasing and can be easily customized with search and replace to insert your own business details, then pasted into your legal web pages.

The legal forms 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.
  • Terms of Service & Conditions of Use.

You can either create a new WordPress 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 previously described.

More information:

WordPress Plugins – Legal Pages

In addition to using templates, you can simplify things by using plugins.

Here are some great legal plugins for WordPress sites worth looking into:

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin

WordPress Plugin - WordPress Legal Pages

(WP Legal Pages Plugin)

If manually setting up legal pages for your website feels too time-consuming for you, then consider using WP Legal Pages

WordPress Legal Pages is not a free plugin, but it’s a reasonably low-priced and well-supported premium WordPress plugin that will help simplify the job of creating and implementing legal pages on your website and save you loads of headaches.

Here are just some of the reasons to consider using WordPress Legal Pages:

  • Pre-written Legal Templates – Includes over 20 built-in legal page templates created by professional lawyers.
  • Quick And Easy To Use – You can set up most of the legal pages you need in around 3 minutes with a few mouse clicks.
  • Fully Customizable Pages – The plugin includes fully customizable and easy to edit legal form templates (e.g. ToS, Disclaimer, Earnings Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and more!)
  • Editable Pages – Content editor lets you edit legal pages just like every other WordPress page.
  • Shortcodes – You can add shortcodes to your website or blog pages and the information will be 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 or post lockdown. When users agree to the 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 appear inside your navigation menu section …

WordPress Legal Pages - Menu

(WP Legal Pages – Legal Pages Menu)

This lets you view, create and edit legal pages from your admin area …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Settings Area

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Settings)

You have the option of easily creating legal pages for different types of websites, such as business websites with products, affiliate sites, medical sites, etc …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Page Type

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin – Type of Site menu)

You can also select from various built-in legal templates …

WordPress Legal Pages - Pre-configured Templates

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Built-In 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 great plugin, go here:

Compliance Bar – WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar - Website Compliance Plugin For WordPress

Compliance Bar is a simple plugin for WordPress websites and blogs that contains over twenty customizable compliance page templates for your online business …

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

Go here to learn more about the plugin:

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

Legal Suite Pro

(Legal Suite Pro For WordPress)

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 & Conditions
  • Earnings Disclaimer

Legal Suite Pro Plugin - Professionally-written legal forms

(Legal Suite Pro – 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 very flexible, allowing you to install and use this plugin on all of your websites (even sites that you decide to sell).

For more details, go here:

Important

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

We want your site to be protected!

Download the FREE Legal Pages Generator tool below, or use one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using legal documents, or a WordPress legal pages plugin as described in the section below.

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator)

Legal Pages Generator lets you easily generate basic legal documents for your website including ToS, Privacy Policy, Copyright Notice, Website Disclaimer and Earnings Disclaimer.

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As stated earlier, if you are making money online, you need to ensure that your site complies with all government legal requirements and any guidelines and terms of service for third-party sites that you may decide to promote or use online. If your website isn’t compliant with laws designed to protect consumers, you’re breaking the law.

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?

Info

Legal Disclaimer: Once again, we are not lawyers and we cannot provide legal advice on this website. We strongly advise you to do your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with the law wherever your business is based.

Legal Resources

Here is a useful list of sites we suggest you visit to better understand what your website may require to stay compliant and meet legal requirements and guidelines:

In Addition …

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 website using inexpensive methods and resources.

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