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? Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Website

Is your WordPress site compliant? Do you know if you are breaking any rules or regulations, or contravening the Terms of Service (TOS) of any 3rd-party companies whose services or products you advertise or endorse?

As the cybersphere continues growing at breakneck speed and the rules of the game constantly change, it’s vital to stay on top of what’s happening and ensure that your website or blog remains compliant, especially if your digital presence is a significant factor in your business strategy.

New laws introduced in 2014 regulating how businesses promote advertising on their sites state that if you plan to promote anything on your website for profit, then you will need to follow certain principles of disclosure to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory departments, such as the (US based) Better Business Bureau, also called the BBB. Search online for information about “The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program,” which regulates behavioral advertising across the internet to learn more.

Better Business Bureau - Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program

(Better Business Bureau)

These laws affect several online business activities, including:

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

If you do not display certain legal pages on your site (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy policy, legal disclaimers, etc.), many third-party sites like Google won’t let you advertise, online merchants like ClickBank will not let you list your digital products on their network, PayPal may suspend your account and withhold payment of your funds, Facebook could suspend your web applications, and you won’t be allowed to enrol in most advertising and online marketing networks.

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

In this guide, we discuss the importance of having a legally compliant website and present simple resources and solutions to help make your WordPress site legally compliant.

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Does Your Website Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Note

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we are not offering legal advice. As stated above, the purpose of this article is to help make you aware that your website may be subject to a number of legal requirements in accordance with federal, regional or local laws and regulations that govern business online and that compliance may be required with the terms of service of third-party providers whose services or products you offer on your website

Why It’s Important To Make Your Website Compliant

Consider what could happen to your business if the following were to occur:

  • A customer suffers a heart attack after purchasing your online workout program.
  • The skin cream you sell as an affiliate gives someone an allergic reaction.
  • You’ve let your subscribers know that you will not sell their information, but you haven’t spelled out exactly what you plan to do with their details.
  • Someone steals content from your site and puts it up on their site.
  • You did not tell your visitors that you are endorsing a product as an affiliate that you will earn a commission if visitors purchase it.
  • You didn’t spell out the conditions of your return policies.
  • Visitors claim that your testimonials are fake and try to sue you.
  • You did not disclose that you have received a free copy in a product review.
  • Your website includes adult-related information and you have not taken appropriate measures to keep underaged children from accessing it.

Consider also the actual case studies of costly compliance breaches below:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling visitors they would be required to give up personal information (including credit card info to complete a debt reduction offer. In addition to a hefty $390,000 fine, they’re 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 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 does not allow users to scrape UIDs. 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 independently-conducted 2010 study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred websites picked at random, more than 90% were in breach of at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% were in breach of at least 2 of Google’s policies, and more than 40% were in breach of 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 with warnings or lose access 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 become exposed to the risk of litigation through non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPC (Cost Per Conversion) Marketer
  • Network Marketer
  • Affiliate Promoter
  • AdSense Publisher
  • Product Marketer
  • Amazon Associate
  • EBay Seller
  • Adult Content Publisher
  • Freelancer, Coach or Consultant
  • Online Seller Of Any Product Or Service

You need to make sure that your online business stays fully compliant with the law.

Compliance With 3rd-Party Companies Terms And Policies

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

You must let your visitors know that your website complies will all legal requirements and professional guidelines. This not only improves trust and buyer confidence in your site, it’s also a requirement of many companies you interact with online.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

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

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Monetizing your blogs using Google AdSense ads

Google AdSense online advertising policy requirements

(Google AdSense advertising - policy requirements)

Or promoting your products through Google AdWords

Policy requirements for using Google AdWords

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you sell digital products with companies like ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant sites, you are required to add legal pages to your website before your products are approved for sale …

Policy requirements for ClickBank digital product vendors

(Policy requirements digital product vendors selling through ClickBank)

The Federal Trade Commission also requires that you add clear disclaimers and statements on your site, especially if you plan to sell or promote products and services with the aid of product testimonials or endorsements …

FTC - consumer guidelines and regulations

(FTC – consumer policies and regulations)

FTC Regulations Require Your Site To Be Compliant

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

You can find many resources online that can provide guidelines and examples on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help your site meet FTC requirements. See our additional references and resources section at the end of this article for more information …

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

(You must word your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of laws and regulations)

Social Media Apps - Don’t Forget These

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

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Facebook developer app – policy requirements)

Practical Tip

  • If you are unsure whether you may be breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of service providers like Google, Facebook, etc., then assume that you most probably are.
  • If you are considering promoting products or services on your site as an affiliate marketer, or generate revenue online with Google AdSense, eBay or Amazon ads, or use Google AdWords to drive visitors to your pages, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you need to display on your site to comply with their Terms Of Service and policy requirements to avoid having your accounts suspended.
  • If you have ever wondered whether “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, 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 policies

(In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, most 3rd-party websites require you to comply with their terms of use)

Common Legal Pages To Add To Your Website

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

At its most basic, adding the following legal pages to your site will help your website stay out of trouble with many consumer protection agencies and 3rd-party service providers, and avoid possible legal issues):

Additionally, you may want to consider including one or more of the following pages where applicable:

  • Affiliate Disclosure (e.g. if you sell or promote affiliate products and services)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • External Links Policy
  • Health Disclaimers (if your website provides advice about health or medical areas)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Video/Audio Terms (e.g. if you provide users with access to videos or audio files on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

Adding correct disclosure information to your site is important. For example:

  • No Material Connection – Informs readers that you’re not being paid for writing the post.
  • Affiliate Links – Disclosure that informs your visitors that you may be compensated if they purchase through one of your affiliate links.
  • Review/Sample Copy – Lets site users know that you have received a review or sample copy of the product you’re writing about.
  • Sponsored Post – Lets your readers be aware that you were compensated in some way to write the content.
  • 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 display prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

Adding Legal Pages Content To Your Site

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

Uploading Legal Pages Manually To Your Website

If someone prepares and delivers the legal verbiage for you in typical web page formatting (e.g. HTML), you can simply upload these to your site, or have someone upload these pages for you.

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

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

(Upload legal pages to your web server via FTP)

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

WordPress Menu

(Custom WordPress Menu Feature)

After uploading your legal pages, make sure that these are fully up-to-date and clearly visible to visitors. You can insert links to your legal pages into your WordPress sidebar (or place them in the footer section of your website) to ensure that visitors will be able to access legal information from every page …

Display links to your legal information on all of your site's pages

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

We have written a detailed tutorial about adding links to pages on your sidebar and footer using widgets here:

Templates

You can easily find downloadable attorney-drafted website forms and agreements by searching online, or going to sites like the ones shown below:

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com

(Find Legal Forms)

Go here for more information:

Alternatively, you can download a set of cut and paste legal templates created by attorney Scott Talbert to protect businesses online …

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

(Website Legal Pages)

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

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

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer: multi-discipline professional disclaimers
  • DMCA Compliance
  • FTC Compliance (This proprietary FTC page reflects Federal Trade Commission regulations brought into effect in March 2012)
  • Privacy Policy: Google & DoubleClick DART, etc.
  • Terms of Service & Conditions of Use: with 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 added to your website, then paste the content from the templates into your pages and publish or upload these to your server as described previously.

More info:

Legal Pages – WordPress Plugins

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

Here are some great legal plugins for WordPress-driven websites and blogs worth looking into:

WP Legal Pages Plugin

WordPress Plugin - WordPress Legal Pages

(WordPress Plugin – WordPress Legal Pages)

If you don’t want to bother with creating legal web pages manually, then consider installing a plugin like WordPress Legal Pages

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

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

  • Pre-written Templates – The plugin gives you access to over 20 built-in legal templates created by professional lawyers.
  • Very Quick And Easy To Use – You can set up most of the legal pages you need in a few minutes with just a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Fully Customizable Pages – The plugin includes fully customizable and easily editable legal form templates (e.g. ToS, Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Earnings Disclaimer and more!)
  • Editable Pages – WordPress content editor lets you edit all legal pages like any WordPress page.
  • Shortcodes – You can add shortcodes to any of your website or blog 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 lock down. Page unlocks when users agree to your terms.
  • New Features – The plugin is updated with new features when new versions are released.

After installing WordPress Legal Pages, a new menu feature is added to your navigation section …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages – Legal Pages Menu)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin - Settings Area

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin – Settings Screen)

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

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Create different legal page types

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin – Page type drop down menu)

You can also choose from several pre-written legal templates …

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - 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

To learn more about the benefits of using this plugin, visit this website:

Compliance Bar – Website Compliance Plugin For WordPress

Compliance Bar - WP Website Compliance Plugin

complete website compliance & disclaimer solution …

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

Learn We have written a detailed review of this plugin here:

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

Legal Suite Pro Plugin For WordPress

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin)

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 - 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 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 less than one minute and the license allows you to install and use this plugin on all of your sites.

For more information, go here:

Important

If using the services of a lawyer to create your legal pages is out of your budget, then consider implementing at least some basic kind of legal protection on your site until you can afford to hire the services of a solicitor.

We want your website to be protected!

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

Legal Pages Generator

(Legal Pages Generator Software)

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

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As we’ve previously pointed out, if you are making money online, it’s important that your website stays compliant with government regulations and any terms of service and guidelines provided by third-party sites that you may decide to promote or advertise 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?

Useful Information

Legal Disclaimer: Once again, please note that we are not lawyers and we cannot offer legal advice. Do your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way to ensure that your website is compliant with the law wherever your business is based.

Additional Information

Below is a time-saving list of sites we suggest you visit to better understand what your business requires to comply and meet its legal requirements and guidelines:

Plus …

We hope you have found this article useful and that it 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 WordPress website or blog using inexpensive methods and resources.

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"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