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 Compliant? How To Add Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site

If you plan to grow a successful business online, you do not want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

As the cybersphere continues to grow at breakneck speed and rules constantly change, it’s important that you stay informed about what’s going on and ensure that your website or blog remains legal, especially if having a digital presence plays a significant part in your overall business strategy.

New laws introduced in 2014 regulating how businesses promote advertising on their sites clearly state that if you promote anything on your website for commercial gain, then you must follow certain principles of disclosure to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by consumer protection departments, such as the BBB, or Better Business Bureau. Do a search online for “The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program,” which regulates behavioral advertising across the internet for more details.

Better Business Bureau - Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program

(Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program – BBB)

The new laws affect several online business categories, including:

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

If your site 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, sites like ClickBank won’t allow you to list digital products, PayPal could shut down your account, Facebook will suspend your web applications, and you will not be allowed to promote a number of advertising or affiliate marketing networks.

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

The purpose of this article is to make you aware that your site are required to comply with various legalities in accordance with the laws that govern online business practices, the importance of being compliant with the terms of service of other providers whose products or services you may be recommending on your site, and that there are solutions that can help your websites become fully compliant, such as the tools listed further below.

Does Your Website Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Is Your Website Or Blog Compliant?

Warning

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we are not providing legal advice. Do your own due diligence and consult a legal expert about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with the law pertaining to your business.

Why It’s Important To Make Your Website Compliant

Consider for a moment what the implications to your business would be if the scenarios below were to take place:

  • A user suffers a cardiac arrest after using your online fitness workout.
  • The skin care lotion you promote as an affiliate marketer gives someone who purchases from your link skin rashes.
  • You’ve informed your subscribers that you will not sell their information, but you haven’t defined what you plan to do with their details.
  • Someone steals content from your site and publishes it on their website.
  • You haven’t informed your site visitors that you are marketing a product as an affiliate that you will get paid an affiliate commission if visitors purchase via your affiliate link.
  • You have not spelled out the conditions of your return policies.
  • Visitors claim the testimonials on your site are fake and decide to sue you as a result.
  • You haven’t disclosed in a product review that you were given a free copy of the product.
  • Your site includes adult information and you haven’t taken sufficient measures to keep underage persons from accessing it.

Consider now the real examples of costly compliance breaches described:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling online users they would be required to give up personal information to complete a debt reduction offer. In addition to a significant $390,000 fine, he is now required to issue everyone they do business with for the next 20 years, a copy of the judgement — including employees.
  • A social networking app developer copped a massive $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 does not allow users to scrape Users IDs. Many internet marketers gambled that they could get away with it and lost. Their accounts were shut down, resulting thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
  • An independently-conducted 2010 study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred randomly-chosen websites, more than 90% were breaking at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% were in breach of at least two 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 with the violation, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).

Can you see how easy it is to risk becoming exposed to non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • PPA (Pay Per Action) Marketer
  • MLM Networker
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • AdSense Publisher
  • Product Marketer
  • Amazon Associate
  • EBay Seller
  • Adult Content Publisher
  • Provider Of Freelance, Coaching Or Consulting Services
  • Online Seller Of Any Service Or Product

It’s imperative to ensure that your website or blog stays legally compliant.

Compliance With Third-Party Services

Compliance with third-party companies terms and policies is important.

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

Let’s take a look at some examples:

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

Google Analytics - Policy Requirements

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Monetizing your sites with Google AdSense

Google AdSense ads - policy requirements

(Google AdSense online advertising - policy requirements)

Or promoting your products or services through Google AdWords

Google AdWords - Policy Requirements

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you sell information-based products through merchants like ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant sites, you will be required to add certain legal pages before they will approve your products for sale …

ClickBank - policy requirements

(Policy requirements for ClickBank digital product vendors)

The Federal Trade Commission also requires you to add clear disclaimers and disclosures on your website, especially when using product testimonials or endorsements …

Federal Trade Commission - consumer policies and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer guidelines and regulations)

New FTC Regulations Require Your Site To Comply

New FTC regulations governing the conduct of doing business online were introduced in March 2012. A quick search online will easily reveal that many sites are unaware (or choose to flaunt) these requirements. As documented on their website, this often prompts the FTC to make an example of businesses and prosecute website owners in an effort to get other businesses to comply.

If you do any kind 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 website complies with FTC guidelines and regulations.

There are many business resource sites that can provide guidelines and examples for structuring disclaimers and disclosures to help your business comply with FTC requirements. We provide links to useful and additional references to a number of these at the end of this article …

Structure your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of the law

(Structuring your disclaimers and disclosures correctly is important to avoid running foul of the law)

Social Media Applications Also Require Compliance

If you are planning to create social networking applications that will integrate with your site, you will also be required to provide sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others with access to various legal pages …

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Apps that interface with social networking sites 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 sites like Google, Facebook, etc., then assume that you most probably are.
  • If you plan to promote anything on your site via affiliate marketing, or generating revenue with Google AdSense, eBay or Amazon ads, or driving visitors to your website with Google AdWords, 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 to avoid having your accounts suspended.
  • If you’ve ever wondered whether “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, 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 policies and guidelines

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

What Legal Information Pages Do I Need To Add To My Website To Be Legally Compliant?

If your web site falls short in terms of compliance, then this section will help you.

At its most basic, adding the following legal pages to your site will help your site stay out of trouble with many regulatory authorities and 3rd-party providers, and avoid potential legal issues):

Additionally, you may want to look into adding any of the following pages where applicable:

  • Affiliate Agreement (e.g. if you provide an affiliate program)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Compensation Disclosure
  • External Links Policy
  • Financial Disclaimers (e.g. if your website or blog provides money-making information)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Audio/Video Terms (e.g. if you allow users to download videos or audio files on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

Adding the correct type of disclosure to your site is important. For example:

  • No Material Connection – This lets users know that you will not receive any form of compensation for writing the content.
  • Affiliate Links – Informs users that you will receive compensation if they buy through your affiliate links.
  • Sample/Review Copy – Explains to site users that you have received a review or sample copy of the product by the author or developer.
  • Sponsored Post – Lets visitors know that you have been compensated in some form 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 website publishers to show prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

How To Add Legal Pages To Your Website

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

Upload Legal Web Pages Manually

If someone prepares the legal content for you in standard web page format (e.g. HTML), you can simply upload these to your site, 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 directory using FTP …

Upload legal pages to your web server via FTP

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

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

Custom WordPress Menu

(WordPress Menu)

Displaying Legal Pages On Your Site

Make sure that your legal pages are up-to-date and clearly visible to all visitors. You can insert links to your legal pages into your sidebar (or the footer section of your website or blog) to ensure that users have access to the information from every page …

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

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

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

Using Store-Bought Legal Templates

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

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com

(FindLegalForms.com – Attorney-prepared legal forms)

More info:

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

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages

Scott Talbert's Website Legal Forms

(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 insert your own business details, then pasted into your legal pages.

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

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

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

Go here for more info:

Legal Pages – Plugins

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

Here are some great plugins for WordPress users you may be interested in checking out:

WP Legal Pages Plugin

WordPress Plugin - WP Legal Pages

(WordPress Plugin – WordPress Legal Pages)

If you don’t want to bother with creating legal pages manually, then consider choosing 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 loads of headaches.

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

  • Pre-written Templates – Includes over 20 built-in legal templates created by professional lawyers.
  • Very Quick And Easy To Use – Set up most of the legal pages you will need in around 3 minutes with a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Customizable Pages – Includes customizable and completely editable legal form templates (e.g. Terms of Use, Disclaimer, Earnings Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and more!)
  • Editable Pages – WYSIWYG editor lets you edit legal pages like every other WordPress page.
  • Custom Shortcodes Integration – You can add shortcodes to any of your pages and the information will be automatically inserted into your pages when you publish.
  • 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 lockdown. Page unlocks only when the user agrees to your legal terms.
  • New Features – New plugin features get added when new versions are released.

After installing WordPress Legal Pages, a new menu feature will appear inside your dashboard menu section …

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Legal Pages Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages – Legal Pages Menu)

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

WordPress Legal Pages - Settings Area

(WP Legal Pages – Settings Area)

You can easily create legal pages for different online uses, such as business websites with products, niche sites, AdSense sites, etc …

WP Legal Pages Plugin - Page Type

(WP Legal Pages – Create different legal pages)

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

WordPress Legal Pages - Pre-configured Legal Templates

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – 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 this WordPress plugin, go here:

Compliance Bar – WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

total website compliance and disclaimer solution …

Compliance Bar - WP Website Compliance Plugin

To learn more about the plugin go here:

Legal Suite Pro

Legal Suite Pro

(Legal Suite Pro)

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 Use
  • Earnings Disclaimer

Legal Suite Pro For WordPress - Professionally-written legal forms

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin 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 have packaged high quality, professionally written legal disclaimers 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 license allows you to install and use this plugin on all of your websites.

More info:

Important

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

We want your site to be safe!

Download the FREE Legal Pages Generator tool below, or use one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using legal templates, or plugins as described in the section below.

Legal Pages Generator

(Legal Pages Generator)

Legal Pages Generator Software lets you easily generate necessary legal documents for your website including Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Copyright Notice, Website Disclaimer and Earnings Disclaimer.

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As we’ve previously pointed out, if you do any type of business online, it’s important that your website complies with regulatory agencies and the guidelines and terms of service (TOS) for 3rd-party sites that you may decide to promote or use online. Your website or blog must comply with a wide range of regulations, some 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?

Important

Legal Disclaimer: Once again, we are not lawyers and we do not provide legal advice. You must do your own due diligence and consult a legal expert to ensure that your website fully complies with the law wherever your business is based.

References And Resources

Below is a useful list of websites we suggest you visit to help you better understand what may be required of your site to comply and meet legal requirements and guidelines:

And …

We hope you have found this article useful and that it has helped you understand the importance of having a compliant website. Use the information provided above to quickly and easily add all necessary legal pages to your website.

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