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 …

Is Your Website Legally Compliant? The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site

Is your WordPress website compliant? Do you know if your site is breaking any laws, or contravening the Terms of Service (TOS) of any 3rd-party companies whose services or products you are selling or promoting?

Internet laws are designed to protect the rights of consumers and apply to any person who markets, sells or promotes products or services online. Anyone who owns a website risks being sued for not following compliance laws. Feigning ignorance about legal requirements will not excuse someone from taking legal action against you.

Recent laws introduced in 2014 to regulate how businesses promote advertising on their sites state that if you plan to promote anything on your site for material gain, you will need to follow certain disclosure guidelines to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by consumer protection agencies, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Look up “The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program,” which regulates behavioral advertising across the internet to learn more.

BBB - Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program

(BBB – Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program)

The new laws affect various business categories, including:

  • Any type of advertising, like pay-per-click advertising
  • Retarget Marketing
  • Google Analytics (or other analytics software)
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Product Creation
  • Bloggers
  • etc.

If your site does not display certain legal pages to visitors (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy statement, legal disclaimers, etc.), many third-party sites such as Google won’t let you advertise, sites like ClickBank or JVZoo won’t approve your digital products on their network, PayPal could suspend your account, Facebook could suspend web applications, and you won’t be allowed into most advertising or affiliate merchant networks.

If your online business is not compliant, you could also face a number of penalties, including fines, having your website shut down, even jail time!

The purpose of this post is to make you aware that your site may be subject to certain legal requirements according to laws that govern businesses online, the importance of complying with the terms of service of external providers whose products or services you may be offering on your website, and that there are solutions for WordPress website owners that can help your site become more compliant, such as the tools discussed further below.

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With The Law?

Is Your Website Compliant?

Info

Disclaimer: Please note that we are not lawyers and we are not providing legal advice. You must carry out your own due diligence and consult a legal expert about the best way to ensure that your website is compliant with the law wherever your business operates in.

Why Ensuring That Your Website Is Compliant Is Important

Consider for a minute what could happen to your business if any of these scenarios were to occur:

  • Someone has a cardiac arrest after using your online fitness program.
  • The skin care lotion you promote as an affiliate marketer gives someone allergic reactions.
  • You’ve told subscribers that you won’t sell their information, but you haven’t spelled out exactly what you’ll do with their details.
  • Someone copies content from your site and puts it up on their own website.
  • You did not tell your site visitors that you are an affiliate for the product you’re recommending that you could earn a financial benefit if visitors buy it.
  • You don’t spell out the terms and conditions of your refund/return policies.
  • A visitor claims that your testimonials are false and tries to sue you.
  • You did not disclose in a product review that you received a free copy of the product.
  • Your site includes adult content and you haven’t taken appropriate measures to restrict access by underaged persons.

Consider too the documented examples of costly compliance breaches described:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling visitors they would have to give up their personal information to complete a debt reduction offer. Cost = $390,000.
  • 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 children’s private information.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service prohibits users from scraping Users IDs. Many marketers took a risk and lost. Their accounts were shut down, resulting thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
  • An independent 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% had breached 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 to the Google program with the infringement, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).

Can you see how a website owner can easily be exposed to the risk of litigation?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA Marketer
  • Network Marketer
  • Affiliate Product Marketer
  • AdSense Publisher
  • Niche Marketer
  • Amazon Associate
  • e-Commerce Store Owner
  • Publisher Of Adult Content
  • Provider Of Freelance, Coaching Or Consulting Services
  • Online Seller Of Any Service Or Product

It’s vitally important to ensure that your website or blog remains fully compliant with the law.

Compliance With Third-Party Companies Terms And Policies

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

You must let your site visitors know that your business complies with laws and professional guidelines. This not only improves consumer trust and buyer confidence in your website, it’s also required by most companies you interact with.

Here are just some examples:

Google requires your site to display legal information if using their services. This includes using services such as Google Analytics

Google Analytics - Policy Requirements

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Monetizing your sites using Google AdSense

Google AdSense display advertising policy requirements

(Google AdSense online advertising policy requirements)

Or promoting your services via Google AdWords

Google AdWords - Policy Requirements

(Google AdWords – Policy Requirements)

If you sell information-based products using merchants like ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established online merchant networks, you will need to add legal pages before your products can be approved for sale in their network …

Policy requirements for selling products through ClickBank

(Policy requirements for selling digital products through ClickBank)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also requires that you include clear disclaimers and policy statements to visitors, especially if you plan to sell or promote products and services using product testimonials or endorsements …

Federal Trade Commission - consumer guidelines and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer policies and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensuring That Your Site Is Compliant

New FTC regulations governing the conduct of doing business online were introduced in March 2012. A quick search online reveals that many websites are unaware (or choose to ignore) these requirements. As has happened in the past, this often ends up with the FTC making an example of businesses and prosecuting website owners 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 is not physically located in the U.S. we strongly recommend protecting your business by making sure that your website is compliant with FTC regulations.

You can find many resources sites for businesses that can provide guidelines and examples for structuring disclaimers and disclosures to help your site comply with FTC requirements. We provide additional references and links to useful resources to some of these at the end of this article …

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

(It’s important to word your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of the law)

Don’t Forget Social Media Applications

If you plan to create social networking applications for your site users, you will also be required to provide social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and many others with access to various legal pages …

Apps for social networks also require compliance

(Social networking apps also require compliance)

Tip

  • If you are not sure whether or not you may be breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of sites like Google, Facebook, etc., then it’s best to assume that you most probably are.
  • If you are considering promoting anything on your site using affiliate marketing, or making money online with Google AdSense, ads for eBay or Amazon products, or using Google AdWords to drive visitors to your pages, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you are required to display on your site to comply with their Terms Of Service and policy requirements to avoid having your accounts shut down.
  • 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 3rd-party services require you to comply with their policies and guidelines

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

What Compliance Information Does Your Website Need To Be Legally Compliant?

If your website is falling short in aspects of compliance, then you will find this section helpful.

At its most basic, adding the following compliance pages to your site will help your business keep out of trouble with most consumer protection agencies and third-party service providers, and help to avoid potential legal issues):

Additionally, you may want to look into adding one or more of the following pages:

  • Affiliate Disclosure (if you promote or sell affiliate products and services)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • External Links Policy
  • Health Disclaimers (if your website or blog provides information about health or medical areas)
  • Refund Policy (if you sell products or services online)
  • Video/Audio Terms Of Use (e.g. if you allow media downloads on your site)
Disclosure Pages – Types

It’s important to add the right disclosures to your website. For example:

  • No Material Connection – Informs visitors that you will not receive for writing the content.
  • Affiliate Links – Lets your visitors be aware that you will be compensated if they buy through an affiliate link.
  • Review/Sample Copy – Explains to your readers that you have been given a sample or review copy of the product or service you’re writing about.
  • Sponsored Post – Discloses to readers that you have been compensated in some way to write the content.
  • Third Party Advertising – Informs your 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 display prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

How To Add Legal Pages Content To Your 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.

Uploading Legal Web Pages Manually To Your Website

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

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

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

(Upload legal pages to your web server using FTP)

You can then add links to your legal pages in WordPress using custom links in your menu admin area …

WordPress Menu

(Custom WordPress Menu Feature)

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

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

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

To learn more about adding links to pages on your sidebar, see this step-by-step tutorial:

Legal Templates

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

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com

(Find Legal Forms)

For more information, go here:

Another option is to purchase a package of website legal templates created by attorney Scott Talbert to help businesses protect themselves online …

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

(Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages)

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

The legal forms included in Scott Talbert’s Website Legal Pages include:

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer (multi-discipline professional disclaimers)
  • DMCA Compliance
  • Federal Trade Commission Compliance
  • Privacy Policy
  • ToS & Conditions of Use.

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

Go here for more information:

Legal Pages – WordPress Plugins

As well as using legal templates, you can simplify things using a plugin.

Here are some WordPress plugins you should check out:

WP Legal Pages Plugin

WP Legal Pages Plugin

(WordPress Plugin – WP Legal Pages)

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

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

Some of the reasons to consider using WP Legal Pages plugin are:

  • Pre-written Templates – The plugin gives you access to 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 clicks of the mouse.
  • Customizable Pages – Includes fully customizable and easily editable legal form templates (e.g. Terms Of Service, Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Earnings Disclaimer and more!)
  • Editable Pages – Full WYSIWYG editor lets you edit all legal pages just like any other page on your website.
  • Custom Shortcodes – You can add shortcodes to any of your WordPress pages and the information will then be automatically inserted into your pages when published.
  • Exclude pages. Exclude pages from menus with a simple checkbox and delete and manage these like any other page on your site.
  • Forced Options – Force page lock down. When the user agrees to your terms, the page unlocks.
  • New Features – More features are being added to this plugin with each new version.

When you install WordPress Legal Pages, a new menu item is added to your main dashboard menu …

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Legal Pages Menu

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Legal Pages Menu)

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

WP Legal Pages - Settings

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Settings Screen)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Page Type

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Page Type)

Choose from various built-in legal templates …

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Legal Templates

(WP 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

Visit this website for more information about this plugin:

Compliance Bar Plugin – WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar - Website Compliance Plugin For WordPress

Compliance Bar is a simple plugin for WordPress users that contains over 20 customizable compliance pages for your website …

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

Learn We’ve written a detailed review of this plugin here:

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 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 site. You can have legal pages installed and set up on your site in one minute or less and the license allows you to install and use this plugin on all of your websites (even sites that you decide to sell or flip).

For more details, go here:

Important

If hiring legal experts to create your online legal documentation is out of your budget, then consider implementing at least some basic kind of legal protection on your site until you can afford professional legal services.

We want your website to be legally protected!

Download the Legal Pages Generator software below (for FREE!), or use one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using ready-made legal page templates, or a plugin - see section below.

Legal Pages Generator

(Legal Pages Generator)

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

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As we’ve previously pointed out, if you are making money online (or are planning to), it’s important that your website remains compliant with regulatory agencies and any guidelines and terms of service (TOS) for 3rd-party services and products that you may decide to promote or endorse online. Your internet presence must comply with numerous laws and regulatory guidelines, some of which you may not even be aware of.

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?

Important Info

Legal Disclaimer: Once again, please note that we are not lawyers and we are not offering legal advice on our website. Do your own due diligence and consult a legal expert to ensure that your website fully complies with all legal requirements in your country or region.

Resources

Below is a time-saving list of websites we recommend you visit to better understand what your business requires to stay compliant and meet legal requirements and guidelines:

And …

We hope this article has helped you understand why it’s important to have a compliant website. Use the information provided above to quickly and easily add legal pages to your site using simple and inexpensive solutions.

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