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 Legally Compliant - The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your Site

Is your website legal? Do you know if your site is breaking any rules or regulations, or contravening the Terms of Service (TOS) of any third-party companies whose services or products you advertise or endorse?

As the digital economy continues growing at such a rapid pace and the rules of the game constantly change, it’s vitally important that you try to stay informed about what’s going on and make sure that your website remains compliant with all laws and regulations, especially if your digital presence plays an important part in your business strategy.

New laws introduced in 2014 to regulate how businesses promote advertising on their sites clearly state that if you plan to promote anything on your website for profit, you must follow certain principles of disclosure to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory agencies, 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.

Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program

(Better Business Bureau)

The new laws has legal consequences for various business activities, including:

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

If you do not display certain legal pages on your web site (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy statement, legal disclaimers, etc.), many sites such as Google won’t let you advertise, digital marketplaces like ClickBank will not approve your digital products on their network, PayPal could shut down your account and freeze your funds, Facebook will reject your applications, and you won’t be allowed into many advertising and affiliate marketing networks.

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

The purpose of this article is to help make you aware that your website or blog(s) are subject to certain legal requirements, the importance of remaining compliant with the terms of service of other providers whose services or products you may be recommending online, and that there are easy solutions for WordPress that can help your online properties become fully compliant, such as the tools that we list further below.

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Is Your Site Breaking The Law?

Useful Information

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that we are not lawyers and we do not provide legal advice about your website or business. As stated previously, this article is designed only to make you aware that your website may be subject to certain legal requirements in accordance with the laws governing online business practices and that you may be required to comply with the terms of service of companies whose products or services you advertise

Why Making Your Website Compliant Is Important

Consider for a moment what the implications to your business would be in the following scenarios:

  • A person suffers a heart attack after using your online fitness workout.
  • The skin care products you sell as an affiliate gives someone who purchases from your link allergic reactions.
  • You’ve told your subscribers that you will not sell their information, but you have not described exactly what you plan to do with it.
  • Someone steals your content and publishes it on their own site.
  • There is no statement on your site making visitors aware that you are an affiliate for the product you’re recommending that you will earn a commission if visitors buy it.
  • You did not spell out the conditions of your return policies.
  • Your visitors claim that the testimonials on your site are false and decide to sue you.
  • You did not disclose that you received a free copy in your product review.
  • Your website contains adult-related information and you have not taken appropriate measures to keep underaged persons from accessing it.

Consider too these documented case studies of costly compliance breaches:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling online users they would have to give up their personal information (including credit card info to complete a debt reduction offer. In addition to a significant $390,000 fine, he was also ordered to issue a copy of the judgement to everyone he does business with for the next 20 years — including employees.
  • A social networking app developer copped a massive $800,000 fine for collecting personal information without users’ knowledge and consent – including storing children’s private details.
  • 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, costing them thousands of $$$ in lost revenue.
  • An independently-conducted study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred websites chosen at random, more than 90% had infringed 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% had infringed 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 entirely to the Google program whose policies they had violated, 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 through non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA (Cost Per Action) or PPA (Pay Per Action) Marketer
  • Multilevel Marketer
  • Affiliate Product Promoter
  • AdSense Publisher
  • Niche Publisher
  • Amazon Associate
  • e-Commerce Store Owner
  • Adult Content Publisher
  • Provider Of Freelance, Coaching Or Consulting Services
  • Seller Of Any Service Or Product Online

It’s imperative to do whatever is necessary to make sure that your online business remains legally compliant.

Complying With Third-Party Services

Big companies and government agencies that regulate trade emphasize the need of complying with the terms and policies of third-party service providers.

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

For example:

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

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Google Analytics – Policy Requirements)

Earning revenue online with your site with Google AdSense ads

Google AdSense online advertising - policy requirements

(Google AdSense display advertising policy requirements)

Or promoting your services or products using Google AdWords

Google AdWords - Policy Requirements

(Google AdWords – Policy Requirements)

If you sell information-based products through merchants such as ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established online merchant networks, you are required to add legal pages before they will approve your products for sale …

Policy requirements for ClickBank product vendors

(Policy requirements for vendors selling through ClickBank)

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

FTC - consumer guidelines and regulations

(FTC – consumer policies and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensuring That Your Site Is Compliant

FTC regulations governing the conduct of doing business online were introduced in March 2012. Search online and you will see that many sites are unaware (or choose to ignore) these requirements. As documented on their website, this typically results in the FTC making an example of businesses and prosecuting companies in an effort to get other businesses to comply.

If you plan to do any type of money-making activity online, therefore, it’s best not to take any chances. Even if your business is not physically located in the U.S. we strongly recommend protecting your business by ensuring that your site is compliant with FTC regulations.

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

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

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

Social Media Applications Also Require Compliance

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

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Apps that integrate with social networks also require compliance)

Tip

  • If you are unsure as to whether or not you may be breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of companies like Google, Facebook, etc., then it’s best to assume that you most probably are.
  • If you are considering promoting services or products online as an affiliate marketer, or generate revenue with Google AdSense, eBay or Amazon ads, or driving visitors to your website using Google AdWords, 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 terminated.
  • If you’ve ever wondered if “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, take proper precautions to protect yourself and your business.

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

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

What Compliance Pages Should You Add To Your Site To Be Legally Compliant?

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

At its most basic, adding the following compliance pages to your website should help your website keep out of trouble with most consumer protection authorities and third-party service providers, and help to avoid possible legal issues):

As well as the above pages, you may want to consider including one or more of the pages listed below:

  • Affiliate Agreement (e.g. if you provide an affiliate program)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Compensation Disclosure
  • External Linking Policy
  • Health Disclaimers (if your website or blog provides advice about health or medical areas)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Video/Audio Terms Of Use (if you provide users with access to download media on your site)
Disclosure Pages – Types

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

  • No Material Connection – Disclosure that informs readers that you will not receive any type of compensation for writing the post.
  • Affiliate Links – Informs users that you may benefit financially if they act on your recommendation and buy through affiliate links on your site.
  • Sample/Review Copy – Explains to visitors that you have been given a sample or review copy of the product you’re writing about.
  • Sponsored Post – Discloses to your visitors that you have been compensated in some form to write the article.
  • Third Party Advertising – Informs your 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 website publishers to display prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Website

Ideally, you should have a lawyer prepare the verbiage of your legal documents. Once you have this prepared, there are several ways to add them to your website.

Upload Legal Web Pages Manually To Your Site

If someone prepares the legal verbiage for you as standard web pages (e.g. HTML), you can simply upload these to your site, or have someone upload them for you.

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

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

(Upload legal pages to your server using FTP)

You can then add links to these pages from your WordPress site using custom links in your menu feature …

WordPress Menu

(Custom WordPress Menu)

Displaying Legal Web Pages On Your Website

After uploading your legal pages, make sure that these are kept up-to-date and clearly accessible to all site visitors. You can add links to your legal pages to your sidebar (or place them in the footer section of your site) to ensure that users will be able to access legal information from all your pages …

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

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

To learn more about adding links to pages on your WP sidebar using widgets, see this tutorial:

Using Ready-Made Templates

You can easily find attorney-drafted downloadable forms and agreements by searching online, or visiting sites like the ones listed below:

Find Legal Forms

Find Legal Forms

(FindLegalForms.com)

More information:

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

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages

Scott Talbert's Legal Templates

(Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages)

Cut & Paste website legal pages were written by an attorney and feature less passive voice and more plain language phrasing and can be easily 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 Forms include:

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

To learn more, go here:

Plugins – Legal Pages

As well as using copy & paste legal templates, you can keep things very simple by using plugins.

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

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin

WordPress Plugin - WordPress Legal Pages

(WP Legal Pages)

If you don’t want to spend time creating legal web pages manually, then consider installing a plugin like WP Legal Pages

This is not a free plugin, but it’s a reasonably affordable and well-supported plugin that will help make the job of creating and implementing legal pages on your WordPress site a lot easier and save you time.

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

  • Built-in Templates – Over 20 built-in legal page templates created by a team of 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 mouse clicks.
  • Fully Customizable Pages – The plugin includes fully customizable and editable legal form templates (e.g. Terms of Use, Disclaimer, Earnings Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and more!)
  • Easy To Edit Pages – Content editor lets you edit legal pages like any WordPress page.
  • Custom Shortcodes – Add shortcodes to your website or blog 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 check box and delete and manage these like any other page on your site.
  • Forced Options – Force page or post lock down. When a user agrees to your legal terms, the page unlocks, giving them access.
  • Additional Features – More features get added to this plugin with each new version.

When you install WordPress Legal Pages, a new menu item will appear inside your navigation section …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Menu

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Menu)

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

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Settings Screen

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Settings)

With WPLegal Pages, you have the option of creating legal pages for different online uses, such as business websites, affiliate/review sites, medical sites, etc …

WP Legal Pages - Create different legal pages

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

Select from a number of built-in legal templates …

WP 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

Go here for more details about using this plugin:

Compliance Bar – WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

complete website compliance & disclaimer solution …

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

For more details go here:

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

Legal Suite Pro Plugin For WordPress

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin)

This 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 & Conditions
  • Earnings Disclaimer

Legal Suite Pro Plugin - 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 site. Your legal pages can be installed and set up on your site in one minute or less 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 or flip).

Go here for more details:

Important

If using the services of lawyers to create your online legal documentation is out of your budget, then consider implementing some basic kind of legal protection on your website until you can afford legal services.

We want your business to be safe!

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 documentation, or plugins as described in the section below.

Legal Pages Generator

(Legal Pages Generator)

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

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As we’ve previously pointed out, if you do any type of business online (or are planning to), you need to make sure that your website complies with all legal requirements and any terms of service (TOS) and guidelines for third-party services and products that you may decide to promote or use online. Your website or blog must comply with a number of regulations, some of which you may not even 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?

Info

Legal 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 legal experts to ensure that your website is compliant with the law wherever your business is based.

Resources

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

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 above to quickly add essential legal pages to your site using simple and inexpensive legal resources and solutions.

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