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 Site

Is your website compliant? Do you know if your site is breaking the law, or contravening the Terms of Service (TOS) of any 3rd-party companies whose services or products you do business with?

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 won’t prevent someone from taking legal action against your business.

New laws introduced in 2014 to regulate how businesses promote advertising on their websites state that if you promote anything on your site for profit, then you will need to follow certain disclosure guidelines to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory departments, such as the US-based Better Business Bureau (BBB). Search online for information about “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

(Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program)

These laws affect various online business categories, including:

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

Without certain legal pages on your site (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy policy, earning disclaimers, etc.), many sites like Google won’t let you advertise, sites like ClickBank will not let you list your digital products for sale, PayPal may shut down your account, Facebook will suspend your web applications, and you won’t be allowed into various advertising or online marketing networks.

If your digital presence 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 article, we discuss the importance of having a compliant website and describe simple resources and solutions to make your site legally compliant in minutes.

Does Your Website Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Is Your Website Or Blog Breaking Rules Or Regulations?

Warning

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we are not providing legal advice on this website. You must do your own due diligence and we recommend consulting a legal expert about the best way of ensuring that your website is compliant with all laws and regulations pertaining to your business.

Why It’s Important To Make Your Website Compliant

Consider for a minute what could happen to your business if these scenarios were to happen:

  • A person has a cardiac arrest after purchasing your online fitness workout.
  • The skin care lotion you promote as an affiliate marketer gives someone skin rashes.
  • You’ve let your subscribers know that you will not sell their information, but you haven’t clearly spelled out what you’ll do with their details.
  • Someone steals your content and publishes it on their own site.
  • There is no statement on your site making visitors aware that you’re an affiliate for the product you are recommending and may get paid a financial benefit if visitors end up purchasing via your link.
  • You don’t spell out the terms and conditions of your refund/return policies.
  • A visitor claims the testimonials on your site are all fake and decides to sue you.
  • You have not disclosed that you received a free copy of a product you reviewed.
  • Your website includes adult-related information and you did not take appropriate measures to keep underaged children from accessing it.

Consider too the actual examples of costly compliance breaches below:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling online users they would be required to give up their 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 information about children.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service does not allow users to scrape Users IDs. Many internet marketers took a risk and lost. Their accounts were shut down, resulting thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
  • An independent 2010 study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred randomly-chosen websites, more than 90% were in violation of at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% were breaking at least two of Google’s policies, and more than 40% had broken 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 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 risk becoming a target of non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA Marketer
  • MLM Networker
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • AdSense Publisher
  • Product Publisher
  • Amazon Associate
  • EBay Seller
  • Publisher Of Adult Content
  • Freelancer, Coach or Consultant
  • Online Seller Of Any Product Or Service

It’s vitally important to ensure that your website has the right legal pages and clearly displayed to your site visitors.

Complying With Third-Party Services

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

You must let your site visitors know that your website complies with all necessary laws and recommended guidelines. This not only increases trust and confidence in your website, it’s also required in most cases by most companies you will interact with online.

For example:

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

Google Analytics - Policy Requirements

(Google Analytics – Policy Requirements)

Earning revenue online with your blog with Google AdSense ads

Google AdSense display advertising policy requirements

(Google AdSense - policy requirements)

And even promoting your site via Google AdWords

Policy requirements for using Google AdWords

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you plan to sell products online with places such as ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant sites, you are required to add various legal pages to your website before your products can be approved for sale …

Policy requirements for selling via ClickBank

(Policy requirements for selling products through ClickBank)

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

FTC - consumer guidelines and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer policies and regulations)

New FTC Regulations Require Your Site To Be Compliant

New FTC regulations governing the conduct of doing business 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 happened in the past, this often prompts the FTC to make an example of businesses and prosecute site owners in an effort to get other businesses to comply.

If you do any type of business 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 all FTC regulations.

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

Structure 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 the law)

Don’t Forget Social Media Applications

If you are planning to create apps that integrate with your website, you will also be required to provide social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others with access to your legal pages …

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Facebook apps also require compliance)

Tip

  • If you are not sure whether or not you are breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of companies like Google, Facebook, etc., then you most probably are.
  • If you plan to promote products or services on your site using affiliate marketing, or generating revenue online with Google AdSense, Amazon, or eBay ads, or driving visitors to your website using Google AdWords, 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 shut down.
  • If you have ever wondered if “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, take proper precautions to protect yourself and your business interests.

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

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

Basic Legal Pages To Include In Your Website

If you suspect that your website is falling short in aspects of compliance, then this section will help you.

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

As well as the above pages, you may want to consider implementing any of these compliance pages if applicable:

  • Affiliate Disclosure (if you promote or sell affiliate products and services)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Compensation Disclosure
  • External Linking Policy
  • Financial Disclaimers (if your website provides money-making information)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Video/Audio Terms (e.g. if you provide users with access to download media on your site)
Disclosure Pages – Types

Adding the correct type of disclosure to your website is important. For example:

  • No Material Connection – This lets users know that you are not being paid for writing the article.
  • Affiliate Links – Discloses to users that you may be compensated if they act on your recommendation and buy through your affiliate links.
  • Review/Sample Copy – Lets users know that you have received a sample or review copy of the product you’re reviewing or writing about by the author or developer.
  • Sponsored Post – Disclosure that lets users be aware that you have been compensated in some way to write the post.
  • Third Party Advertising – Lets readers 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 website publishers to display prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

Adding Legal Content To Your WordPress Website

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

Upload Legal Web Pages Manually To Your Website

If someone prepares the legal verbiage for you in HTML format, you can simply upload these to your 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) …

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

(Create a ‘legals’ folder on your web server and upload pages using FTP)

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

WordPress Menu

(Custom WordPress Menu)

Displaying Legal Pages On Your Website

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

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

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

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

Templates

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

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com

(Find Legal Forms)

More info:

Alternatively, you can download a set of cut and paste legal templates drafted by attorney Scott Talbert

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages - Legal Templates

(Scott Talbert’s Website Legal Page Templates)

These legal templates were created 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 details, then pasted into your legal pages.

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

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer (multi-discipline professional disclaimers)
  • DMCA Compliance
  • Federal Trade Commission Compliance (This proprietary FTC page reflects new Federal Trade Commission regulations and guidelines brought into effect in 2012)
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service (ToS) & 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 to add to your website, then paste the content from the templates into your web pages and publish or upload your legal pages to your server as previously described.

More info:

Plugins – Legal Pages

In addition to using copy & paste legal templates, you can simplify things by using WordPress plugins.

Here are some great plugins for WordPress users that you may be interested in using:

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin

WordPress Plugin - WP Legal Pages

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress)

If you don’t want to bother with creating legal web pages manually, then consider using WP Legal Pages instead …

This is not a free plugin, but it’s a low-priced and well-supported premium plugin that will simplify the job of creating and implementing legal pages on your site and save you many headaches.

Here are just some of the reasons to consider using WordPress 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.
  • 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 – Includes fully customizable and completely editable legal form templates (e.g. ToS, Disclaimer, Earnings Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and more!)
  • Easy To Edit Pages – Full WYSIWYG editor lets you edit legal pages like every other WP page.
  • Custom Shortcodes Integration – You can add shortcodes to any of your website or blog pages and the information is then automatically inserted into your pages when you publish.
  • Exclude pages. Exclude pages from menus with a simple checkbox and delete and manage these like any WP page.
  • Forced Options – Force page lockdown. Page unlocks when the user agrees to your legal terms.
  • Additional Features – More features get added to this plugin with each new version.

After installing WordPress Legal Pages, a menu feature will appear in your main navigation menu section …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages – Menu)

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

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Settings

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Settings Area)

With WPLegal Pages, you have the option of easily creating legal pages for different online uses, such as business websites with products, niche websites, e-commerce sites, etc …

WP Legal Pages - Page type dropdown menu

(WordPress Legal Pages – Type of Site drop down menu)

Select from a number of built-in legal templates …

WP Legal Pages Plugin - Legal Templates

(WordPress 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

Go here to learn more this plugin:

Compliance Bar – WP Compliance Plugin

Compliance Bar Plugin - WordPress Compliance Plugin

Compliance Bar is a total compliance and disclaimer solution for your digital business …

Compliance Bar Plugin - WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

More info:

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

Legal Suite Pro For WordPress

(Legal Suite Pro For WordPress)

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 And 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 powered site. Your legal pages can be 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.

More info:

Important

If hiring lawyers to create your online legal documentation is currently out of your budget, consider implementing at least some basic form of legal protection on your site until you can afford to hire the services of a legal form or lawyer.

We want your site to be safe!

Download the Legal Pages Generator software below (it’s FREE!), or consider choosing one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using attorney-prepared legal documents, or plugins as described in the section below.

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator Software)

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

***

As stated earlier, if you do business online (or are planning to), it’s important that your site complies with all government legal requirements and any terms of service and guidelines required by third-party sites that you may decide to promote or sell online. Your digital presence must comply with numerous regulations, some of which you may not even 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 Info

Disclaimer: Once again, please note that we are not lawyers and we cannot provide legal advice on our website. You are strongly advised to do your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way of ensuring that your website is compliant with all legal requirements pertaining to your business.

Additional Legal Information

Below is a time-saving list of sites we recommend you visit to better understand what may be required of your website to stay compliant 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 compliant website. Use the information above to quickly add legal pages to your website or blog using simple and inexpensive methods and resources.

***

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Originally published as How To Add Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site.