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 Website

As a business owner, the last thing you want is to suddenly discover that you have broken any laws, rules or regulations.

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

Recent laws introduced in 2014 to regulate how businesses promote advertising on their websites clearly state that if you plan to promote anything on your site for profit, 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 for more details.

Better Business Bureau Website

(Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program)

These laws affect several business categories, including:

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

If your site does not display certain legal pages to visitors (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy statement, earning disclaimers, etc.), many sites like Google won’t let you advertise, digital marketplaces like ClickBank won’t allow you to sell digital products, PayPal could suspend your account and withhold payment of your funds, Facebook will disapprove your applications, and you won’t be allowed to enrol in a range of advertising or affiliate merchant networks.

You could also be inadvertently leaving yourself open and vulnerable to legal action.

The purpose of this article is to help make you aware that your website may be required to comply with legal requirements according to laws that govern businesses online, the importance of complying with the terms of service of 3rd-party providers whose services or products you may be endorsing online, and that there are solutions that can help your sites become fully compliant, such as the plugins listed further below.

Does Your Website Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Is Your Website Or Blog Compliant?

Useful Information

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we are not providing legal advice about your website or business. You must carry out your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with all laws wherever your business is based in.

Why Making Your Website Compliant Is Important

Are you at risk? Consider for a moment what would happen to your business if any of the situations below were to occur:

  • A customer has a cardiac arrest after purchasing your online workout program.
  • The skin care creams you promote as an affiliate gives a number of users skin rashes.
  • You’ve let your subscribers know that you won’t sell their information, but you have not clearly informed them what you will do with their personal details.
  • Someone steals your content and publishes it on their site.
  • There is no statement on your website or blog making your visitors aware that you are recommending a product as an affiliate that you will receive a commission if they purchase it.
  • You have not spelled out the conditions of your refund/return policies.
  • Your visitors claim the testimonials on your site are fake and try to sue you as a result.
  • You have not disclosed that you received a free copy of a product you reviewed.
  • Your website publishes adult information and you didn’t take sufficient measures to restrict access by underage persons.

Consider too these documented examples of costly compliance breaches:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling online users they would be required to give up their personal information to complete an offer they were promoting. Cost = $390,000.
  • A social networking app developer received a whopping $800,000 fine for collecting personal information from mobile device address books without the owners’ knowledge and consent – including storing private details about children.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service prohibits users from scraping Users IDs. Many marketers took a risk 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 picked at random, more than 90% had broken 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 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 with warnings or lose access to the Google program whose policies they had infringed, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).

Can you see how easy it is to risk becoming a target of litigation?

Regardless of whether you are a:

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

You need to do whatever is necessary to make sure that your online business remains fully compliant with the law.

Complying With 3rd-Party Services

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 professional guidelines. This not only improves trust and confidence in your site, it’s also required in most cases by most companies you will engage with.

Here are just some examples:

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

Google Analytics - Policy Requirements

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Making money online with your WordPress sites using Google AdSense display advertising

Google AdSense - policy requirements

(Google AdSense advertising policy requirements)

Or promoting your services via Google AdWords

Google AdWords - Policy Requirements

(Google AdWords – Policy Requirements)

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

Policy requirements product vendors selling through ClickBank

(Policy requirements for selling via ClickBank)

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

Federal Trade Commission - consumer policies and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer policies and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensure That Your Website Is Compliant

New FTC regulations governing how business is conducted online were introduced in March 2012. Search online and you will see that many websites are unaware (or choose to ignore) these requirements. As has happened in the past, this often prompts the FTC to make an example of businesses and prosecute site owners for breaches of regulation in an effort to get other businesses to comply.

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

A number of online resources provide guidelines and examples on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help your site comply with FTC requirements. We provide additional references at the end of this article …

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

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

Social Media Applications - Don’t Forget These

If you plan to create social networking applications that integrate with your website, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and many others require you to provide access to various legal pages …

Facebook apps also require compliance

(Social networking apps also require compliance)

Practical Tip

  • If you are unsure whether or not you may be breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of companies like Google, Facebook, etc., then assume that you most probably are.
  • If you plan to promote products or services on your site via affiliate marketing, or monetizing your pages with Google AdSense, Amazon, or eBay ads, or use Google AdWords to drive visitors to your pages, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you are required to include 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, then it’s best to act now and take proper precautions to protect yourself and your business interests.

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 services require you to comply with their policies and guidelines)

Basic Legal Pages To Include In Your Site

If your website falls short in aspects of compliance, then this section will help you.

Adding the following legal pages to your site should help your business stay out of trouble with many regulatory agencies and 3rd-party service providers, and avoid potential legal issues or even threats of legal action (e.g. “cease and desist” notices):

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

  • Affiliate Disclosure (e.g. if you promote or sell affiliate products or services)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • External Linking Policy
  • Financial Disclaimers (if your website provides general money-making information)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Media Terms (e.g. if you allow users to download videos or audio files on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

Adding the right type of content disclosure is important. For example:

  • No Material Connection – Informs your readers that you will not receive any form of payment for writing the content.
  • Affiliate Links – Lets your visitors be aware that you may be compensated if they purchase through your affiliate link.
  • Review Or Sample Copy – Explains to readers that you have been given a review or sample copy of the product.
  • Sponsored Post – Informs readers that you have been compensated in some way to write the post.
  • Third Party Advertising – Lets users know 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.

Adding Legal Content To Your Site

Ideally, you should consult your lawyer or a legal firm and ask them to prepare the content of your legal documents. Once you have this done, there are several ways to include them in your website.

Upload Legal Pages Manually

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

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

Upload legal pages to your server via FTP

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

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

Custom WordPress Menu Feature

(WordPress Menu)

Where To Display Legal Pages On Your Website

After uploading your legal pages, make sure that these are up-to-date and clearly accessible to all site visitors. You can insert these into your sidebar menu (or place them in the footer of your website or blog) so that visitors have access to legal information from all your pages …

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

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

To learn more about adding links to pages on your sidebar menu or footer in WordPress, see this step-by-step tutorial:

Use Ready-Made Templates

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

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com

(Find Legal Forms)

For more information, go here:

Another option is to download a package of cut & paste legal templates written by attorney Scott Talbert to protect businesses online …

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Scott Talbert's Website Legal Templates

(Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages)

Cut & Paste website legal templates were written by an attorney and feature less passive voice and more plain language phrasing and can be customized with simple search and replace to insert your own business name and URL, then pasted into your web pages.

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

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer (multi-discipline professional disclaimers)
  • DMCA Compliance
  • FTC Compliance
  • Privacy Policy
  • 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 page for each legal form you want to add to your site, then paste the content from the templates into your pages and publish or upload your legal pages to your web server as previously described.

Go here to learn more:

WordPress Plugins – Legal Pages

In addition to using templates, another option is to use plugins.

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin

WordPress Legal Pages

(WordPress Plugin – WP Legal Pages)

If the idea of manually setting up legal pages for your site seems too time-consuming for you, then consider installing WP Legal Pages

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

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

  • Built-in Templates – The plugin gives you access to over 20 built-in legal page templates created by a team of professional lawyers.
  • Quick And Easy To Use – Set up most of your basic legal pages in a few minutes with a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Customizable Pages – The plugin includes customizable and easy to edit legal form templates (e.g. Terms Of Service, Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Earnings Disclaimer and more!)
  • Easy To Edit Pages – Full WYSIWYG editor lets you edit legal pages like any other page on your site.
  • Custom Shortcodes – You can add shortcodes to your WordPress pages and the information will be automatically inserted into your content when published.
  • Exclude pages. Exclude pages from menus with a simple checkbox and delete and manage these like any page on your site.
  • Forced Options – Force page lock down. Page unlocks only when users agree to your legal terms.
  • New Features – New plugin features get added when new versions are released.

When you install WordPress Legal Pages, a menu feature is added to your WP dashboard menu …

WordPress Legal Pages - Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages – Legal Pages Menu)

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

WordPress Legal Pages - Settings

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Settings Screen)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin - Page type dropdown menu

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin – Page Type)

Select from a number of pre-configured legal templates …

WP Legal Pages Plugin - Legal 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

Go here to learn more about the benefits of using this useful plugin:

Compliance Bar Plugin – WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar - WordPress Compliance Plugin

Compliance Bar is a simple plugin for WordPress users with over twenty customizable legal pages for your digital business …

Compliance Bar Plugin - WordPress Website Compliance Plugin

To learn more about the plugin go here:

Legal Suite Pro

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

(Legal Suite Pro For WordPress)

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 And Conditions
  • Earnings Disclaimer

Legal Suite Pro - 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. Your legal pages can be installed and set up on your site in less than one minute and the plugin licensing is flexible, allowing you to install and use this plugin on all of your sites (even sites that you decide to sell).

More information:

Important

If using the services of a lawyer to create your online legal documentation is out of your budget, consider implementing at least some kind of legal protection on your site until you can afford professional legal services.

We want your website to be protected!

Download the Legal Pages Generator tool below (it’s FREE!), or choose one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using legal documents, or a plugin as described in the section below.

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator)

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

***

As stated earlier, if you do business online, it’s important that your site is found to comply with regulatory agencies and the terms of service (TOS) and guidelines for third-party sites that you may be promoting or selling online. Your website must comply with a whole set of laws and regulatory guidelines, some of which you may not 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

Disclaimer: Once again, we are not lawyers and we are not providing legal advice. We strongly advise you to do your own due diligence and consult a legal expert to ensure that your website is compliant with the law in your country or region.

Additional Legal Information

Here is a useful list of sites we suggest you visit to help you better understand what your business requires to comply and meet legal requirements and guidelines:

Plus …

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

Get Thrive Leads for WordPress

***

"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group