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 - What Legal Pages To Add To Your Site

Is your website legal? Do you know if you are breaking any laws, rules or regulations, or breaching the Terms of Service (TOS) of any companies whose services or products you are doing business with?

As the internet continues to grow at breakneck speed and the rules of the game keep changing, it’s absolutely vital that you stay on top of what’s happening and to make sure that your site remains compliant, especially if your digital presence is important in the success of your overall business strategy.

New laws introduced in 2014 that regulate how businesses promote advertising on their sites state that if you promote anything on your site for profit, you need to follow certain principles of disclosure to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory departments, such as the (US based) Better Business Bureau (BBB). Search online “The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program,” which regulates behavioral advertising across the internet to learn more.

Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program - Better Business Bureau

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

The new laws has consequences for various online business categories, including:

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

If your website does not display certain pages to visitors (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy statement, financial disclaimers, etc.), many sites like Google won’t let you advertise, online merchants like ClickBank or JVZoo will not approve digital products for sale, PayPal could close down your account, Facebook will disapprove web applications, and you will not be allowed to enroll in a range of advertising and online merchant networks.

If your online presence is not compliant, you could face a multitude of penalties, including fines, having your website shut down, even jail time!

The purpose of this post is to make you aware that your site(s) are required to comply with legal requirements according to laws that govern businesses online, the importance of remaining compliant with the terms of service of external providers whose products or services you may be advertising online, and that there are plugin-based solutions for WordPress that can help your websites become compliant, such as the tools that we list further below.

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With The Law?

Does Your Website Or Blog Comply With The Law?

Warning

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we do not offer legal advice. As previously stated, this article is designed only to make you aware that your website may be subject to certain legal requirements in accordance with federal, regional or local laws and regulations governing business practices online and that you may be required to comply with the terms of service of third-party companies whose services or products you offer on your website

Why Having A Compliant Website Is Important

Is your business at risk? Consider for one minute what the implications to your business would be in the following scenarios:

  • A user suffers a cardiac arrest after they use your online fitness program.
  • The skin cream you sell as an affiliate gives someone allergic reactions.
  • You’ve informed your subscribers that you will not sell their information, but you haven’t defined what you plan to do with the information you’ve collected.
  • Someone steals your content and puts it up on their own website.
  • You haven’t advised visitors that you are promoting a product as an affiliate and may receive a commission if visitors buy it.
  • You don’t spell out the terms and conditions of your refund and return policies.
  • Someone claims that the testimonials on your site are fake and tries to sue you as a result.
  • You have not disclosed that you have received a free copy of the product you are reviewing.
  • Your site contains adult information and you have not taken sufficient measures to keep underaged children from accessing it.

Consider now the real examples of costly compliance breaches described:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling visitors they would have to give up their personal information to complete an offer they were promoting. In addition to a significant $390,000 fine, he was also ordered to issue everyone they do business with for the next 20 years, a copy of the judgement — including employees.
  • A social networking app developer copped a whopping $800,000 fine for collecting personal information without users’ knowledge and consent – including storing private details about children.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service does not allow users to scrape UIDs. Many marketers took a risk and lost. Their accounts were shut down, resulting thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
  • An independent study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred websites chosen at random, more than 90% were in breach of at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% had broken at least 2 of Google’s policies, and more than 40% were breaking at least 3 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 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 you could easily be exposed to the risks of litigation?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA (Cost Per Action) or CPC (Cost Per Conversion) Marketer
  • MLM Networker
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • AdWords User
  • Product Marketer
  • Amazon Affiliate
  • e-Commerce Store Owner
  • Adult Content Publisher
  • Freelancer, Consultant Or Coach
  • Online Seller Of Any Service Or Product

It’s imperative to make sure that your website or blog has the right legal pages and clearly displayed to your site users.

Compliance With 3rd-Party Services

All of the leading online companies and government trade regulatory agencies emphasize the need and importance of observing the terms and policies of third-party service providers.

You must let your visitors know that your website complies will all legal requirements and recommended guidelines. This not only improves consumer trust and buyer confidence in your website, it’s also a requirement of many companies you interact with online.

For example:

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

Google Analytics - Policy Requirements

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Generating revenue with your website using Google AdSense ads

Google AdSense advertising - policy requirements

(Google AdSense policy requirements)

And even promoting your products through Google AdWords

Google AdWords - Policy Requirements

(Google AdWords – Policy Requirements)

If you plan to sell information-based products using companies like ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established online merchant sites, you will be required to add legal pages before they will approve your products for sale …

Policy requirements for selling via ClickBank

(Policy requirements for ClickBank digital product vendors)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also requires you to display clear disclaimers and policies on your website, especially if you plan to use product testimonials or endorsements …

Federal Trade Commission - consumer guidelines and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer guidelines and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensuring That Your Website Is Compliant

FTC regulations governing how business is conducted online were introduced in March 2012. Search online and you will see that many sites are unaware (or choose to ignore) these requirements. As has already been the case, this typically results in the FTC making an example of businesses and prosecuting companies 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 making sure that your site is compliant with all FTC regulations.

Many business resources provide guidelines on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help you meet FTC requirements. We provide a number of references at the end of this article …

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

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

Don’t Forget Social Media Apps

If you plan to develop social networking applications for your website users, you will also be required to provide sites like Facebook, Twitter, and many others with information about your legal pages …

Social networking apps also require compliance

(Facebook developer app – policy requirements)

Useful Tip

  • If you are unsure as to whether you are breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of service providers like Google, Facebook, etc., then you most probably are.
  • If you are considering promoting anything online using affiliate marketing, or making money online with Google AdSense, Amazon, or eBay advertising, or driving visitors to your site with Google AdWords, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you need to include on your site to comply with all 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, then it’s best to act now and take proper precautions to protect yourself and your website.

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

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

What Legal Information Pages Does My Website Need To Be Compliant?

If your web site is falling short in aspects of compliance, then you will find this section helpful.

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

As well as the above pages, you may want to look into implementing any of the pages listed below:

  • Affiliate Agreement (if you provide an affiliate program)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • External Linking Policy
  • Health Disclaimers (e.g. if your website or blog provides general health or medical advice)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Use Of Media (e.g. if you provide users with access to download videos or audio files on your site)
Types Of Disclosure Pages

It’s important to add the right types of disclosure pages to your site. For example:

  • No Material Connection – This lets site users be aware that you’re not receiving compensation for writing the content.
  • Affiliate Links – Lets users be aware that you may derive some form of financial benefit if they act on your recommendation and purchase through your affiliate links.
  • Review/Sample Copy – Informs your readers that you have received a review or sample copy of the product by the author or developer.
  • Sponsored Post – Disclosure that informs your visitors that you have been compensated in some way to write the content.
  • 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 online publishers to show prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

How To Add Legal Pages Content To Your WordPress Site

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

Upload Legal Pages Manually To Your Site

If someone prepares the legal content for you in standard 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 legal folder to your web server and uploading your legal pages to this directory (e.g. via FTP) …

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

(Upload legal pages to your web server via FTP)

You can then add links to your pages in WordPress using custom links in your menu admin area …

Custom WordPress Menu Feature

(WordPress Menu)

Displaying Legal Web Pages On Your Website

After uploading your legal pages, make sure that these are kept up-to-date and display clearly to your visitors. You can insert links to your legal pages into your WordPress sidebar (or place them in the footer section of your website or blog) so that users will be able to access legal information from every page …

Display links to your legal information to visitors on all of your website's pages

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

We have created a detailed tutorial on displaying links to pages on your sidebar here:

Templates

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

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com - Attorney-prepared legal forms

(Find Legal Forms)

For more details, go here:

Another option is to purchase a package of website legal templates designed by attorney Scott Talbert to help businesses protect themselves online …

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages - Legal Templates

(Website Legal Pages)

These legal pages 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 pages.

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

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer: multi-discipline professional disclaimers
  • DMCA Compliance
  • FTC Compliance
  • Privacy Policy: Google, DART, etc.
  • 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 these to your web server as described earlier.

To learn more, visit this site:

WordPress Legal Plugins

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

Here are some great WordPress plugins that you should check out:

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress

WordPress Plugin - WordPress Legal Pages

(WP Legal Pages Plugin)

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

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

Here are just some of the benefits of using the WordPress Legal Pages plugin:

  • Pre-written Templates – Includes over 20 built-in legal templates created by 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.
  • Customizable Pages – The plugin includes customizable and easy to edit legal form templates (e.g. ToS, Disclaimer, Earnings Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and more!)
  • Easy To Edit Pages – WYSIWYG editor lets you edit all legal pages just like every other page on your site.
  • Custom Shortcodes – You can add shortcodes to your WordPress pages and the information will then be automatically inserted into your pages when published.
  • Exclude pages. The plugin lets you exclude pages from menus with a simple check box and delete and manage these like every other WP page.
  • Forced Options – Force page or post lockdown. When a user agrees to your terms, the page unlocks.
  • New Features – New plugin features get added when new versions are released.

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

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin – Menu)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Settings

(WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Settings Area)

The plugin gives you the option to create legal pages for different online uses, such as business websites, niche websites, Amazon sites, etc …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Page Type

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Page Type)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Pre-configured Legal Templates

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Pre-configured 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

For more details about using this plugin, visit this website:

Compliance Bar – Website Compliance Plugin For WordPress

Compliance Bar - WordPress Website Compliance Plugin

Compliance Bar is a complete compliance & disclaimer solution for your online business …

Compliance Bar Plugin - Compliance Plugin For WordPress

Learn We have written a detailed review of this plugin here:

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

(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 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 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 license allows you to install and use the plugin on all of your sites (even sites that you decide to sell or flip).

To learn more, go here:

Important

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

We want your business to be safe!

Download the FREE Legal Pages Generator tool below, or consider using one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using attorney-prepared legal templates, or plugins as described in the section below.

Legal Pages Generator

(Legal Pages Generator)

Legal Pages Generator Software allows you to easily generate essential legal documents for your website including ToS, Privacy Policy, Copyright Notice, Website Disclaimer and Earnings Disclaimer.

***

As stated earlier, if you engage in any form of commercial activity online (or are planning to), it’s important that your site is compliant with legal requirements of government agencies that regulate online business practices and the guidelines and terms of service for third-party services and products that you may be promoting or selling online. If your website doesn’t comply with laws intended to protect 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?

Useful Information

Disclaimer: Once again, please note that we are not lawyers and we provide no legal advice. We strongly advise you to do your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with all legal requirements pertaining to your business.

Additional Legal Information

Below is a time-saving list of sites we suggest you visit to better understand what your site may require to comply and meet its legal requirements and guidelines:

In Addition …

We hope this article has helped you understand why it’s important to have a legally compliant website. Use the information provided above to quickly add all necessary legal pages to your site.

***

"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

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