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? What Legal Pages To Add To Your WordPress Site

Is your WordPress site legal? Do you know if you are breaking the law, or breaching the Terms of Service (TOS) of any companies whose services or products you are using or endorsing?

As the cybersphere continues to grow at breakneck speed and the rules constantly change, it’s vital that you try to stay on top of what’s going on and ensure that your website or blog remains compliant with all laws and regulations, especially if having an online presence is a fundamental aspect of your business strategy.

New laws introduced in 2014 to regulate how businesses promote advertising on their websites clearly state that if you plan to promote anything on your website for commercial gain, you need to follow certain principles of disclosure to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory departments, such as the 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.

Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program

(Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program – Better Business Bureau)

The introduction of these laws has consequences for various online business categories, including:

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

Without legal pages on your web site (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy statement, earning disclaimers, etc.), many third-party sites like Google won’t let you advertise, online merchants like ClickBank will not allow you to sell digital products, PayPal may close down your account and withhold payment of your funds, Facebook could disapprove your web applications, and you will not be allowed into various advertising and online merchant networks.

Additionally, you may also be inadvertently leaving yourself open and vulnerable to expensive litigation.

This guide explains why it’s important to have a compliant website and lists simple and inexpensive resources and solutions that will help make your site legally compliant.

Does Your Site Comply With The Law?

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Note

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we are not offering 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 is located.

Why Making Your Website Compliant Is Important

Consider for one moment what the implications to your business would be if the situations below were to happen:

  • A customer suffers a heart attack after purchasing your online workout program.
  • The skin cream you sell as an affiliate marketer gives people skin rashes.
  • Your opt-in list displays a statement informing subscribers that you will not sell their information, but you haven’t clearly spelled out what you will do with the details you have collected.
  • Someone copies content from your site and publishes it on their own site.
  • There is no statement on your website or blog making your site users aware that you are recommending a product as an affiliate and may get paid an affiliate commission if they purchase it.
  • You didn’t spell out the terms of your refund policies.
  • Visitors claim that your testimonials are false and decide to sue you.
  • You did not disclose that you were given a free copy of a product you reviewed.
  • Your website publishes adult content and you did not take sufficient measures to restrict access by underaged children.

Consider now these real case studies of costly compliance breaches:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling visitors they would have to give up personal information to complete a debt reduction offer. Cost = $390,000.
  • 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 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 $$$ 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 in breach of at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% had infringed at least two of Google’s policies, and more than 40% were breaking 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 cautions or lose access entirely to the Google program they had violated, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).

Can you see how easy it is to risk being targeted for non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPC (Cost Per Conversion) Marketer
  • MLM Networker
  • Affiliate Promoter
  • AdWords User
  • Info Product Marketer
  • Amazon Affiliate
  • EBay Seller
  • Publisher Of Adult Content
  • Provider Of Freelance, Consulting Or Coaching Services
  • Online Seller Of Any Product Or Service

it’s important to make sure that your website remains legally compliant.

Complying With 3rd-Party Companies Terms And Policies

All the big websites and government regulatory agencies emphasize the need and importance of observing the terms and policies of third-party service providers.

You must let your site visitors know that your business complies will all laws and recommended guidelines. This not only increases consumer trust and confidence in your site, it’s also a requirement of most companies you will do business with online.

For example:

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

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Google Analytics – Policy Requirements)

Earning revenue with your website with Google AdSense display advertising

Google AdSense - policy requirements

(Google AdSense online advertising policy requirements)

And even promoting your products or services using Google AdWords

Policy requirements for using Google AdWords

(Google AdWords – Policy Requirements)

If you plan to sell information products via merchants like ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant networks, you will need to add legal pages before they will approve your products for selling via their network …

Policy requirements for ClickBank vendors

(Policy requirements for selling via ClickBank)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also requires that you include clear disclaimers and policies to visitors, especially concerning the use of product testimonials or endorsements …

Federal Trade Commission - consumer policies and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer guidelines and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensure That Your Website Is Compliant

New FTC regulations governing the conduct of businesses online were introduced in March 2012. Search online and you will see that many sites are still unaware (or choose to flaunt) these requirements. As has already been the case, this often ends up with the FTC making an example of businesses and prosecuting website owners 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 is not located in the U.S. it’s best to protect your business by ensuring that your website is compliant with FTC guidelines.

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

Wording your disclaimers and disclosures correctly is important to avoid running foul of the law

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

Don’t Forget Social Media Apps

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

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Facebook developer app – policy requirements)

Useful Tip

  • If you are unsure as to 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 plan to promote anything online using affiliate marketing, or monetizing your pages with Google AdSense, eBay or Amazon ads, or using Google AdWords pay-per-click ads to drive visitors to your pages, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you need to include on your site to comply with their Terms Of Service and policy requirements to avoid having your accounts terminated.
  • 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 3rd-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 terms of use and policies)

Essential Legal Pages To Add To Your Site To Ensure Compliance

If your website or blog falls short in areas of compliance, then you will find this section helpful.

Adding the following legal pages to your site will help your website stay out of trouble with many regulatory agencies and external providers, and avoid possible legal issues):

As well as the above, you may want to consider adding one or more of the following pages:

  • Affiliate Agreement (if you sell products or services through an affiliate program)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • External Links Policy
  • Financial Disclaimers (if your website provides money-making advice)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Media Terms Of Use (e.g. if you allow media downloads on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

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

  • No Material Connection – This lets users know that you will not receive for writing the content.
  • Affiliate Links – Disclosure that informs your visitors that you will derive some form of financial or similar form of benefit if they act on your recommendation and purchase through 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 – Disclosure that lets users know that you have been compensated in some way to write the post.
  • Third Party Advertising – Informs users 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 Content To Your Website

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

Uploading Legal Web Pages Manually

If someone prepares the legal verbiage for you in typical web page format (e.g. HTML), you can simply upload these to your web server, or have someone upload them for you.

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

Upload legal pages to your server using FTP

(Upload legal pages to your server via FTP)

You can then easily add a link to these legal pages in WordPress using a custom WordPress menu …

Custom WordPress Menu

(WordPress Menu)

Where To Display Legal Pages On Your Website

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

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

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

We have created a detailed tutorial on adding links to pages on your sidebar menu using widgets here:

Templates

You can easily find downloadable attorney-drafted internet forms and agreements just by searching online, or visiting websites like the ones shown below:

Find Legal Forms

Find Legal Forms - Attorney-prepared legal forms

(Find Legal Forms)

Visit this site to learn more:

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

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Website Legal Pages

(Scott Talbert’s Website Legal Forms)

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

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

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

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 the pages to your web server as described earlier.

More information:

WordPress Plugins – Legal Pages

As well as using templates, you can simplify things by using plugins.

Here are some plugins for WordPress users that you should check out:

WP Legal Pages

WordPress Plugin - WP Legal Pages

(WP Legal Pages Plugin)

If you don’t want to spend time creating legal pages manually, then consider choosing WP Legal Pages

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

Some of the benefits of using the WP Legal Pages are:

  • Pre-written Legal Templates – The plugin gives you access to over 20 built-in legal templates created by a team of professional lawyers.
  • Very Quick And Easy To Use – You can set up most of the basic legal pages you will need in around 3 minutes with a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Fully Customizable Pages – Includes customizable and completely editable legal form templates (e.g. ToS, Disclaimer, Earnings Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and more!)
  • Easy To Edit Pages – WordPress content editor lets you edit all legal pages just like any other page on your site.
  • Custom Shortcodes Integration – You can add shortcodes to any of your WordPress pages and the information is then automatically inserted into your pages when you publish.
  • Exclude pages. The plugin lets you exclude pages from menus with a simple checkbox and delete and manage these like any other WP page.
  • Forced Options – Force page or post lock down. Page unlocks and can be accessed only when users agree to your terms.
  • New Features – More features are being added to this plugin with each new version.

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

WordPress Legal Pages - Legal Pages Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages – Legal Pages Menu)

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

WP Legal Pages - Settings Screen

(WP Legal Pages – Settings Screen)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Create different legal pages

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Page Type)

Choose from various pre-configured legal templates …

WP Legal Pages Plugin - 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

To learn more this WordPress plugin, visit the plugin site:

Compliance Bar Plugin – WP Compliance Plugin

Compliance Bar Plugin - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

Compliance Bar is a simple WordPress plugin with over 20 customizable compliance page templates for your digital business …

Compliance Bar Plugin - WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

For more details, visit the plugin site here:

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

Legal Suite Pro

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin)

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 & Conditions
  • Earnings Disclaimer

Legal Suite Pro Plugin For WordPress - Professionally-written legal forms

(Legal Suite Pro 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 less than one minute and the license allows you to install and use this plugin on all of your sites (even sites that you decide to sell or flip).

More information:

Important

If hiring legal experts to create your legal pages is out of your budget, consider implementing some basic kind of legal protection on your website until you can afford legal services.

We want your website to be protected!

Download the Legal Pages Generator tool below (for FREE!), or consider using one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using legal documents, or plugins as described in the section below.

Legal Pages Generator

(Legal Pages Generator)

Legal Pages Generator allows you to 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 stated earlier, if you engage in any form of commercial activity online, you need to make sure that your site is compliant with regulatory agencies and the guidelines and terms of service required by third-party products and services that you may be promoting or advertising online. Your internet presence must comply with a whole range of regulations, many 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, please note that we are not lawyers and we cannot offer legal advice. You are strongly advised to do your own due diligence and consult a legal expert to ensure that your website is compliant with all legal requirements wherever your business is based.

References And Legal Resources

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

See Also …

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

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)