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 Compliant? Legal Pages To Add To Your Site

As a business owner, the last thing you want to do is to learn the hard way that you have broken the law.

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

Recent laws introduced in 2014 that regulate how businesses promote advertising on their websites clearly state that if you plan to promote anything on your website for commercial gain, then you need to follow certain disclosure guidelines to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory departments, such as the Better Business Bureau (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 Website

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

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

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

If your website does not display certain pages (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy policy, legal disclaimers, etc.), many sites like Google won’t let you advertise, sites like ClickBank or JVZoo won’t allow you to list digital products, PayPal may suspend your account and withhold payment of your funds, Facebook could disapprove web applications, and you won’t be allowed into a range of advertising and online marketing networks.

If your business online is not in compliance, you could also end up facing a number of penalties, including fines, having your website shut down, even jail time!

The purpose of this guide is to make you aware that your website are subject to legal requirements, the importance of being compliant with the terms of service of third-party providers whose services or products you may be selling on your website, and that there are solutions that can help your websites become compliant, such as the plugins listed further below.

Is Your Website Legally Compliant?

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With The Law?

Useful Info

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we do not offer legal advice. You must do your own due diligence and we recommend consulting legal experts about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with all legal requirements wherever your business is based in.

Why Ensuring That Your Website Is Compliant Is Important

Consider for a minute what the implications to your business would be if the situations below were to occur:

  • A customer suffers a cardiac arrest after using your online fitness workout.
  • The skin cream you promote as an affiliate marketer gives a number of users allergic reactions.
  • You’ve let your subscribers know that you will not sell their information, but you have not informed them exactly what you’ll do with their details.
  • Someone copies your content and publishes it on their site.
  • There is no statement on your site making your visitors aware that you are promoting a product as an affiliate that you may derive financial benefits if they purchase it.
  • You don’t spell out the conditions of your refund/return policies.
  • Online visitors claim that your testimonials are misleading and decide to sue you.
  • You haven’t disclosed that you have received a free copy of the product you reviewed.
  • Your site publishes adult information and you didn’t take sufficient measures to restrict access by underage children.

Consider now 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 personal information (including credit card info to complete an offer they were promoting. In addition to a hefty $390,000 fine, they’ve also been ordered to issue everyone he does business with for the next 20 years, a copy of the judgement — including employees.
  • A social networking app developer was slapped with 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 prohibits users from scraping Users IDs. Many internet marketers took a risk and lost. Their accounts were shut down, resulting thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
  • An independently-conducted study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred randomly-chosen websites, more than 90% had breached at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% were breaking 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 with warnings or lose access to the Google program whose policies they had infringed, 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 non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA (Cost Per Action) or CPC (Cost Per Conversion) Marketer
  • Network Marketer
  • Affiliate Product Marketer
  • AdSense Publisher
  • Niche Marketer
  • 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 important to make sure that your online business complies with all laws and regulations governing the use of your site, wherever you are located.

Compliance With Third-Party Companies Terms And Policies

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

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

For example:

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

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Generating revenue online with your websites using Google AdSense

Google AdSense - policy requirements

(Google AdSense advertising - policy requirements)

And even promoting your site via Google AdWords

Google AdWords - Policy Requirements

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you plan to sell digital products via companies like ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established online merchant networks, you are required to add various legal pages before your products are approved for selling via their networks …

Policy requirements for selling through ClickBank

(ClickBank – policy requirements)

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

FTC - consumer policies and regulations

(FTC – consumer policies and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensuring That Your Website Is Compliant

New FTC regulations governing how business is conducted online were introduced in March 2012. Search online and you will see that many websites are unaware (or choose to flaunt) these requirements. As is already the case, this often prompts the FTC to make an example of businesses and prosecute site owners for breaches of regulation in an effort to get other businesses to comply.

If you plan to do any type of business online, therefore, it’s best not to take chances. Even if your business is not physically located in the U.S. we strongly recommend protecting your business interests by making sure that your website is compliant with all FTC guidelines and regulations.

Various resources online provide guidelines and examples on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help you comply with FTC requirements. See the 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

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

Don’t Forget Social Media Applications

If you plan to develop apps for your site users, you will also be required to provide social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others with access to your legal pages …

Apps that interface with social networking sites like Facebook also require compliance

(Facebook developer app – policy requirements)

Tip

  • If you are not sure 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 services or products on your site using affiliate marketing, or generate revenue with Google AdSense, Amazon, or eBay advertising, or driving visitors to your website with Google AdWords, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you need to provide on your site to comply with their Terms Of Service and policy requirements - don’t risk having your accounts terminated.
  • If you’ve been wondering whether “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, then it’s best to act now and take proper precautions to protect yourself and your business.

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

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

Common Legal Pages You Should Add To Your Site

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

Adding the following legal pages to your site will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory agencies and third-party providers, and even help you avoid potential legal issues):

Additionally, you may want to consider implementing one or more of these legal pages where applicable:

  • Affiliate Disclosure (e.g. if you provide information about affiliate products or services)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Compensation Disclosure
  • External Links Policy
  • Financial Disclaimers (e.g. if your website or blog provides general content about financial areas or money-making opportunities)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Use Of Media (e.g. if you allow users to download media on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

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

  • No Material Connection – Lets users be aware that you will not receive compensation for writing the article.
  • Affiliate Links – Lets your visitors know that you will be compensated if they purchase through your affiliate links.
  • Sample Or review Copy – Lets site users be aware that you have been given a review or sample copy of the product you’re reviewing or writing about by the author or developer.
  • Sponsored Post – Disclosure that lets readers know 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 satisfy the “enhanced notice” the Better Business Bureau has been requiring website publishers to display prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

How To Add Legal Pages To Your Site

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

Upload Legal Web Pages Manually To Your Site

If someone prepares and delivers the legal verbiage for you as standard web pages (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 (e.g. via FTP) …

Upload legal pages to your web server via FTP

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

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

WordPress Menu

(Custom WordPress Menu Feature)

Displaying Legal Pages On Your Site

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 your WordPress sidebar (or the footer of your website or blog) so that visitors will be able to access the information from every page …

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

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

If you need help adding links to pages on your sidebar using widgets, refer to this tutorial:

Ready-Made Legal Templates

You can easily find downloadable attorney-drafted internet forms and agreements by searching online, or going to sites like this one:

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com

(Find Legal Forms)

Visit this site to learn more:

Alternatively, you can download a package of cut & paste website legal templates written by attorney Scott Talbert

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages - Website Legal Pages

(Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages – Legal Templates)

Cut & Paste website templates were written by an attorney and feature less passive voice and more plain language phrasing and can be customized with a quick search and replace to insert your own details, then pasted into your pages.

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

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer
  • DMCA Compliance
  • FTC Compliance (This proprietary FTC page reflects new FTC guidelines brought into effect in 2012)
  • Privacy Policy
  • ToS & Conditions of Use.

You can either create a new WordPress page for each legal form you want added 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 info:

Plugins – Legal Pages

As well as using legal templates, another option is to use a plugin.

Here are some legal WordPress plugins that you may be interested in using:

WP Legal Pages

WordPress Plugin - WordPress Legal Pages

(WordPress Plugin – WordPress Legal Pages)

If setting up legal pages manually seems too time-consuming for you, then consider choosing WordPress Legal Pages

WordPress Legal Pages is not a free plugin, but it’s a reasonably low-priced and well-supported premium plugin that will help make the work of creating and implementing legal pages on your WordPress site much easier and save you time.

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

  • Pre-written Templates – Over 20 built-in legal page templates created by professional lawyers.
  • Very Quick And Easy To Use – You can set up most of the legal pages you will need in a few minutes with a few mouse clicks.
  • Fully Customizable Pages – Includes fully customizable and easily 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 just like every other page on your website.
  • Custom Shortcodes Integration – You can add shortcodes to any of your WordPress pages and the information will be automatically inserted into your pages when published.
  • Exclude pages. Exclude pages from menus with a simple checkbox and delete and manage these like any other page on your website.
  • Forced Options – Force page or post lock down. When users agree to the terms, the page unlocks.
  • Additional 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 main dashboard menu …

WordPress Legal Pages - Menu

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Legal Pages Menu)

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

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Settings

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Settings)

With WPLegal Pages, you can create legal pages for different types of sites, such as business websites with products, review websites, AdSense sites, etc …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Create different legal page types

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Create different legal page types)

You can also select from several pre-configured legal templates …

WordPress Legal Pages - Legal Templates

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – 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 about this powerful plugin:

Compliance Bar Plugin – WP Website Compliance Plugin

Compliance Bar - WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

The Compliance Bar Plugin is a complete compliance & disclaimer solution for your digital presence …

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

For more details, visit the plugin site here:

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

Legal Suite Pro For WordPress

(Legal Suite Pro)

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

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin – 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. 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.

Visit this website for more information:

Important

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

We want your site to be safe!

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

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator)

Legal Pages Generator Software allows you to easily generate basic 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 do business online, you need to make sure that your website is compliant with regulatory agencies and the terms of service and guidelines provided by third-party products and services that you may be promoting or endorsing online. If your website doesn’t comply with laws designed to protect consumer rights, you’re breaking the law.

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?

Info

Disclaimer: Once again, we are not lawyers and we are not offering legal advice in this article. We strongly advise you to do your own due diligence and consult legal experts to ensure that your website is compliant with the law concerning your specific business.

Resources

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

Plus …

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the importance of having a legally compliant website. Use the information presented above to quickly and easily add all necessary legal pages to your WordPress website or blog using inexpensive solutions.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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