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 - Adding Legal Pages To Your Website

If you do any kind of business online, you do not want to suddenly discover that you have been breaking laws, rules or regulations.

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

Recent laws introduced in 2014 regulating how businesses promote advertising on their sites clearly state that if you promote anything on your website for profit, you will need to follow certain disclosure guidelines to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by consumer protection departments, such as the US-based Better Business Bureau, also referred to as BBB. Do a search online for “The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program,” which regulates behavioral advertising across the internet to learn more.

Better Business Bureau

(BBB – Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program)

The new laws affect various online business categories, including:

  • Any kind of advertising, including contextual ads
  • Retarget Marketing
  • Google Analytics (or other analytics software)
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Product Creators
  • Blogging
  • etc.

If your site does not display certain pages (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy statement, earning disclaimers, etc.), many sites such as Google won’t let you advertise, sites like ClickBank or JVZoo won’t allow you to list your digital products on their network, PayPal could shut down your account, Facebook will suspend your applications, and you won’t be allowed to promote many advertising and affiliate marketing networks.

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

This guide explains the importance of having a compliant website and how to quickly add all necessary legal pages to your WordPress website or blog.

Does Your Website Comply With The Law?

Is Your Website Breaking The Law?

Important

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that we are not lawyers and we are not providing legal advice. As previously stated, the purpose of this article is only to help make you aware that your website may be subject to a number of legal policies in accordance with the laws that govern online business practices and that you may be required to comply with the terms of service of companies whose services or products you use on your website or blog

Why Ensuring That Your Website Is Compliant Is Important

Are you at risk? Consider what the implications to your business would be in the following scenarios:

  • A customer has a heart attack after using your online fitness program.
  • The skin care products you sell as an affiliate marketer gives someone who purchases from your link an adverse reaction.
  • You’ve informed your subscribers that you won’t sell their information, but you have not spelled out exactly what you will do with it.
  • Someone steals content from your site and publishes it on their own website.
  • There is no statement on your website making your site users aware that you are an affiliate for the product you are endorsing that you could derive a sales commission if visitors buy it.
  • You haven’t spelled out the terms of your return policies.
  • Someone claims that your testimonials are false and decides to sue you.
  • You didn’t disclose in a product review that you were given a free copy of the product.
  • Your site includes adult-related content and you did not take appropriate measures to keep underaged children from accessing it.

Consider too these real examples of costly compliance breaches:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling online users they would have to give up personal information to complete a debt reduction offer. In addition to a significant $390,000 fine, he was also ordered to give a copy of the judgement to everyone he does business with for the next 20 years — including employees.
  • A social networking app developer received a whopping $800,000 fine for collecting personal information without users’ knowledge and consent – including storing children’s private information.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service does not allow users to scrape UIDs. Many internet marketers took a risk and lost. Their accounts were shut down, resulting thousands of $$$ in lost revenue.
  • An independent study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred websites picked at random, more than 90% had infringed at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% had breached at least 2 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 notices or lose access to the Google program they had infringed, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).

Can you see how easy it is to risk being targeted for litigation?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA (Cost Per Action) or PPA (Pay Per Action) Marketer
  • MLM Networker
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • AdWords User
  • Info Product Marketer
  • Amazon Affiliate
  • EBay Seller
  • Adult Content Publisher
  • Freelancer, Consultant Or Coach
  • Online Seller Of Any Service Or Product

It’s imperative to ensure that your digital presence remains legally compliant.

Complying With Third-Party Companies

Big companies and government agencies that regulate trade emphasize the need of observing the terms and policies of service providers.

You must let your site users know that your business complies will all laws and professional guidelines. This not only increases trust and confidence in your business, it’s also required by most companies you will engage with online.

For example:

Google requires your site to display legal information if using many of their services or features. This includes using services like Google Analytics

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Google Analytics – Policy Requirements)

Making money online with your site with Google AdSense

Google AdSense ads policy requirements

(Google AdSense advertising - policy requirements)

And even promoting your site through Google AdWords

Policy requirements for using Google AdWords

(Google AdWords – Policy Requirements)

If you sell information-based products using merchants such as ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established online merchant networks, you will need to add certain legal pages to your site before they will approve your products for sale in their marketplace …

Policy requirements for ClickBank vendors

(Policy requirements for ClickBank product vendors)

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) also requires that you add clear disclaimers and policy statements on your site, especially regarding the use of testimonials or product endorsements …

FTC - consumer policies and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer guidelines and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensuring That Your Website Is Compliant

FTC regulations governing the conduct of businesses online were introduced in March 2012. Search online and you will see that many sites are unaware (or choose to flaunt) these requirements. As documented on their website, this typically 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 chances. Even if your business does not operate in the U.S. we strongly recommend protecting your business interests by ensuring that your site complies with FTC guidelines and regulations.

There are many online business resources that can provide guidelines for structuring disclaimers and disclosures to help your business comply with FTC requirements. See our additional references and resources section at the end of this article for more information …

It's important to structure your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of laws and regulations

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

Social Media Apps Also Require Compliance

If you are planning to develop apps for your site users, you will also be required to provide sites like Facebook, Twitter, and many others with information about various legal pages …

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Facebook developer app – policy requirements)

Practical Tip

  • If you are not sure whether you are breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of organizations like Google, Facebook, etc., then assume that you most probably are.
  • If you are considering promoting services or products online using affiliate marketing, or generating revenue online with Google AdSense, ads for Amazon or eBay products, or driving visitors to your site with Google AdWords, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you need to display on your site to comply with all Terms Of Service and policy requirements to avoid having your accounts shut down.
  • If you’ve ever wondered whether “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, then it’s best to take proper precautions to avoid becoming a litigation magnet.

In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, almost all third-party services require you to comply with their policies and guidelines

(In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, almost all 3rd-party services require you to comply with their policies and guidelines)

Basic Legal Pages To Add To Your Site

If your web site is lacking in areas of compliance, then you will find this section helpful.

Adding the following legal pages to your website should help your business keep out of trouble with many regulatory authorities and external providers, and avoid possible legal issues):

In addition to the pages above, you may want to consider adding one or more of the pages listed below where applicable:

  • Affiliate Agreement (e.g. if you provide an affiliate program)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Compensation Disclosure
  • External Linking Policy
  • Health Disclaimers (e.g. if your website or blog provides health or medical content)
  • Refund Policy (if you sell products or services online)
  • Use Of Media (if you allow users to download videos or audio files on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

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

  • No Material Connection – Informs your readers that you will not be receiving any kind of payment for writing the article.
  • Affiliate Links – Lets site users be aware that you will benefit financially if they buy through an affiliate link.
  • Review/Sample Copy – Lets readers be aware that you have been given a sample or review copy of the product you’re writing about by the author or developer.
  • Sponsored Post – Lets readers know that you have been compensated in some form to write the article.
  • Third Party Advertising – Lets your visitors 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 show prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

How To Add Legal Pages Content To Your Website

Ideally, you will consult a lawyer or a legal firm and ask them to prepare the content of your legal documents. Once this has been done, there are several ways to add them to your website.

Uploading Legal Web Pages To Your Website

If someone prepares and delivers the legal verbiage 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 creating a legal folder in your web server and uploading your legal pages to this directory (e.g. using FTP) …

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

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

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

WordPress Menu

(Custom WordPress Menu)

Where To Display Legal Pages On Your Website

Make sure that your legal pages are up-to-date and clearly visible to all visitors. You can insert these into the WordPress sidebar (or place them in the footer section of your website) to ensure that users will be able to access legal information from all of your pages …

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

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

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

Use Ready-Made Legal Templates

You can easily find attorney-prepared downloadable website forms and agreements by searching online, or going to websites like the ones listed below:

Find Legal Forms

Find Legal Forms

(FindLegalForms.com – Attorney-drafted legal forms)

More info:

Alternatively, you can purchase a set of legal templates designed by legal attorney Scott Talbert to help businesses protect themselves online …

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages - Website Legal Pages

(Website Legal Pages)

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

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

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

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

More information:

WordPress Plugins – Legal Pages

As well as using legal templates, you can keep things very simple by using a plugin.

Here are some WordPress plugins worth looking into:

WordPress Legal Pages

WordPress Plugin - WordPress Legal Pages

(WP Legal Pages Plugin)

If the idea of setting up legal pages manually seems too time-consuming for you, then consider choosing a plugin like WP Legal Pages instead …

WordPress Legal Pages is not a free plugin, but it’s a very affordable and well-supported 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 WP Legal Pages:

  • Pre-written Legal Templates – Over 20 built-in legal page templates created by professional lawyers.
  • Very Quick And Easy To Use – You can set up most of your basic legal pages in around 3 minutes with a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Fully Customizable Pages – The plugin includes customizable and completely editable legal form templates (e.g. Terms Of Service, Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Earnings Disclaimer and more!)
  • Easy To Edit Pages – WordPress content editor lets you edit legal pages like every other WordPress page.
  • Custom Shortcodes – Add shortcodes to your website or blog pages and the information will be automatically inserted into your pages when published.
  • Exclude pages. Exclude pages from menus with a simple check box and delete and manage these like any other WP page.
  • Forced Options – Force page or post lockdown. Page unlocks only when users agree to your legal terms.
  • New Features – The plugin is updated with new features when new versions are released.

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin - Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin – Legal Pages Menu)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Settings Area

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Settings Area)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Page Type

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Create different legal pages)

You can also choose from various built-in legal templates …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Legal Templates

(WordPress Legal Pages – Pre-configured 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 the plugin site to learn more about the benefits of using this plugin:

Compliance Bar Plugin – WP Compliance Plugin

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

Compliance Bar is a simple plugin for WordPress users that contains over twenty customizable compliance templates for your online business …

Compliance Bar Plugin - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

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

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

(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 Service
  • Earnings Disclaimer

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

(Legal Suite Pro – 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 less than one minute and the plugin licensing is very flexible, allowing you to install and use the plugin on all of your sites.

Visit this site to learn more:

Important

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

We want your site to be legally protected!

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

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator)

Legal Pages Generator lets you easily generate essential legal documents for your website including Terms of Service, 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 legal requirements of government agencies that regulate business online and the guidelines and terms of service required by third-party products and services that you may decide to promote or endorse online. If your website isn’t compliant with laws designed to protect the rights of consumers, you’re breaking the law.

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 do not provide 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 regarding your specific business.

Legal Information

Here is a useful list of additional sites we recommend you visit to better understand what may be required of your website to comply and meet legal obligations:

See Also …

We hope you have found this article useful and that it has helped you understand why it’s important to have a legally compliant website. Use the information presented above to quickly add all necessary legal pages to your WordPress website using simple and inexpensive solutions.

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