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? Adding Legal Pages To Your Website

Is your website compliant? Do you know if you are breaking the law, or contravening the Terms of Service (TOS) of any third-party companies whose services or products you are recommending or using?

As the cybersphere continues growing at breakneck speed and the rules of the game constantly change, it’s absolutely essential that you stay informed about what’s going on and ensure that your site remains legal, especially if your digital presence is an integral factor in your overall business strategy.

Recent laws introduced in 2014 regulating how businesses promote advertising on their sites state that if you promote anything on your website for profit, you need to follow certain principles of disclosure to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by consumer protection agencies, 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

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

The new laws affect various online business categories, including:

  • Any type of advertising, like Google AdWords or AdSense
  • 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 of service, privacy statement, financial disclaimers, etc.), many third-party sites such as Google won’t let you advertise, sites like ClickBank will not let you list digital products on their network, PayPal may suspend your account, Facebook will suspend your applications, and you won’t be accepted into a number of advertising and online merchant networks.

More importantly, you could also be inadvertently leaving yourself open and vulnerable to legal action.

The purpose of this post is to make you aware that your website or blog(s) may be required to comply with legal requirements, the importance of being compliant with the terms of service of external providers whose services or products you may be recommending on your site, and that there are plugin-based solutions for WordPress site owners that can help your website become fully compliant, such as the tools listed further below.

Does Your Site Comply With The Law?

Does Your Site Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Warning

Legal Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we are not offering legal advice. Do your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with all legal requirements wherever your business is based in.

Understanding The Importance Of Making Your Website Compliant

Is your business at risk? Consider what the implications to your business would be if any of these scenarios were to happen:

  • A person has a heart attack after using your online workout program.
  • The skin care creams you promote as an affiliate gives someone who purchases from your link skin rashes.
  • You’ve told subscribers that you will not sell their information, but you haven’t clearly informed them what you plan to do with their personal details.
  • Someone copies content from your website and puts it up on their own website.
  • You have not divulged to visitors that you are recommending a product as an affiliate and may derive a commission if visitors end up buying through your affiliate link.
  • You have not spelled out the conditions of your refund and return policies.
  • Your visitors claim your testimonials are false and decide to sue you.
  • You have not disclosed in a product review that you were given a free copy of the product.
  • Your site contains adult-related information and you haven’t taken sufficient measures to restrict access by underage children.

Consider too these documented case studies of costly compliance breaches:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling visitors they would be required to give up their personal information to complete an offer they were promoting. Cost = $390,000.
  • A social networking app developer received a whopping $800,000 fine for collecting personal information from mobile device address books without the owners’ knowledge and consent – including storing children’s private details.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service prohibits using software that scrapes Users IDs. Many marketers gambled that they could get away with it and lost. Their accounts were shut down, costing them 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 breaking at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% were in violation of at least 2 of Google’s policies, and more than 40% had broken 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 notices or lose access entirely 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 becoming exposed to litigation through non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • PPA (Pay Per Action) Marketer
  • MLM Networker
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • AdWords Advertiser
  • Niche Marketer
  • Amazon Associate
  • EBay Seller
  • Adult Content Publisher
  • Provider Of Freelance, Coaching Or Consulting Services
  • Online Seller Of Any Product Or Service

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

Complying With Third-Party Services Terms And Policies

All of the big online companies and government trade regulatory agencies emphasize the need of complying with 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 consumer trust and buyer confidence in your business, it’s also a requirement of most companies you will do business with online.

For example:

Google requires you to display legal information if using their services or features. This includes using Google Analytics

Google Analytics - Policy Requirements

(Google Analytics – Policy Requirements)

Making money online with your blogs with Google AdSense ads

Google AdSense ads - policy requirements

(Google AdSense ads policy requirements)

Or promoting your products or services through Google AdWords

Policy requirements for using Google AdWords

(Google AdWords – Policy Requirements)

If you plan to sell information products via companies like ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant sites, you will be required to add legal pages to your website before your products can be approved for sale in their network …

Policy requirements for ClickBank vendors

(Policy requirements for selling products through ClickBank)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also requires that you display clear disclaimers and statements on your website, especially when concerning the use of testimonials or product endorsements …

Federal Trade Commission - consumer policies and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer guidelines and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensure That Your Site Is Compliant

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

If you plan to do any kind 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 by ensuring that your website is compliant with all FTC guidelines.

A number of online business resources provide guidelines and examples on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help you comply with FTC requirements. We provide references and links to additional resources to some of these at the end of this article …

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

(You must word your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of the law)

Don’t Forget Social Media Applications

If you plan to develop applications for your site users, sites like Twitter, Facebook, and many others will require you to provide access to various legal pages …

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

(Apps that interface with social networking sites also require compliance)

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 as an affiliate marketer, or generating revenue online with Google AdSense, Amazon, or eBay ads, or using Google AdWords pay-per-click ads to drive visitors to your pages, 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 shut down.
  • 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 avoid becoming a magnet for litigation.

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

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

What Legal Information Pages Should I Add To My Website To Be Covered Against Legal Compliance Issues?

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

At its most basic, adding the following legal pages to your website will help keep your business out of trouble with most regulatory agencies and 3rd-party providers, and avoid possible legal issues):

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

  • Affiliate Disclosure (if you promote or sell affiliate products and services)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • External Linking Policy
  • Health Disclaimers (if your website provides health or medical advice)
  • Refund Policy (if you sell products or services online)
  • Use Of Media (e.g. if you allow media downloads 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 receive any form of payment for writing the post.
  • Affiliate Links – Discloses to visitors that you will benefit financially if they act on your recommendation and purchase through an affiliate link.
  • Review/Sample Copy – Lets your readers know that you have received a sample or review copy of the product or service by the author or developer.
  • Sponsored Post – Disclosure that informs your visitors that you were compensated in some way to write the post.
  • 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.

Adding Legal Pages To Your Site

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

Upload Legal Pages To Your Site

If someone prepares the legal verbiage for you in typical 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 directory to your web server and uploading your legal pages to this directory (e.g. using FTP) …

Upload legal pages to your web server using FTP

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

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

Custom WordPress Menu

(Custom WordPress Menu Feature)

Where To Display Legal Pages On Your Site

Make sure that your legal pages are up-to-date and clearly visible to visitors. You can insert these into the sidebar menu (or the footer section of your website or blog) so that visitors have access to the information from all of your pages …

Display links to your legal pages 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 WordPress sidebar, refer to this tutorial:

Using Ready-Made Legal Templates

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

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com

(FindLegalForms.com – Attorney-prepared legal forms)

For more information, go here:

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

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages

Website Legal Pages

(Website Legal Pages)

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 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 (multi-discipline professional disclaimers)
  • DMCA Compliance
  • FTC Compliance
  • Privacy Policy: Google, DART, etc.
  • Terms of Service (ToS) & Conditions of Use.

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

More info:

Legal Page Plugins

In addition to using templates, you can simplify things using a plugin.

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

WordPress Legal Pages

WordPress Plugin - WordPress Legal Pages

(WordPress Plugin – WordPress Legal Pages)

If you don’t want to spend time creating legal web pages manually, then consider choosing WordPress Legal Pages instead …

The WP Legal Pages plugin is not free, but it’s a low-priced and well-supported premium WordPress plugin that will help make the job of creating and implementing legal pages on your site a lot easier and save you many headaches.

Some of the reasons to consider using WordPress Legal Pages plugin are:

  • 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 a few 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!)
  • Editable Pages – WYSIWYG editor lets you edit all legal pages like any WP page.
  • Custom Shortcodes Integration – Add shortcodes to any of your pages and the information is then automatically inserted into your pages when you publish.
  • Exclude pages. Exclude pages from menus with a simple check box and delete and manage these like every other page on your website.
  • Forced Options – Force page lock down. When a user agrees to the legal terms, the page unlocks.
  • New Features – More features get added to this plugin with every new version.

After installing WordPress Legal Pages, a menu item is added to your navigation area …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Legal Pages Menu

(WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress – Legal Pages Menu)

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

WP Legal Pages Plugin - Settings Area

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Settings Area)

With WP Legal Pages, you have the option of creating legal pages for different types of sites, such as business websites with products, affiliate/review websites, Amazon sites, etc …

WP Legal Pages Plugin - Page type menu

(WordPress Legal Pages – Page Type)

Choose from various pre-configured legal templates …

WordPress Legal Pages - Pre-configured Legal Templates

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Built-In 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 this plugin:

Compliance Bar – WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar - Total Website Compliance And Disclaimer Solution

Compliance Bar is a simple plugin for WordPress-driven websites with over 20 customizable legal pages for your online business …

Compliance Bar - Compliance Plugin For WordPress

Go here to learn more:

Legal Suite Pro

Legal Suite Pro Plugin For WordPress

(Legal Suite Pro)

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 & Conditions
  • Earnings Disclaimer

Legal Suite Pro Plugin - 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 have packaged high quality, professionally written legal disclaimers into a plugin that can be installed quickly on any WordPress powered site. You can have legal pages installed and set up on your site in less than one minute and the license allows you to install and use the plugin on all of your sites (even sites that you decide to sell).

More info:

Important

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

We want your business to be legally protected!

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

Legal Pages Generator

(Legal Pages Generator)

Legal Pages Generator Software quickly generates necessary legal documents for your website including ToS, Privacy Policy, Copyright Notice, Website Disclaimer and Earnings Disclaimer.

***

As we’ve previously pointed out, if you make money online (or plan to), you need to make sure that your website remains compliant with legal requirements of government agencies that regulate business practices online and any guidelines and terms of service (TOS) provided by 3rd-party services and products that you may be promoting or endorsing online. If your website doesn’t comply with laws intended 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?

Important

Legal Disclaimer: Once again, we are not lawyers and we are not offering legal advice on our website. You must do your own due diligence and consult a legal expert to ensure that your website fully complies with all legal requirements pertaining to your business.

Legal Resources

Below is a useful list of sites we suggest you visit to help you better understand what your website may require to stay compliant and meet legal requirements and guidelines:

Plus …

We hope this article has helped you understand the importance of having a compliant website. Use the information presented above to quickly and easily add all necessary legal pages to your site using simple resources and solutions.

***

"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

***

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use cPanelHow To Use cPanel

cPanel is a powerful and simple-to-use web hosting management software application that gives website owners the ability to quickly and easily manage their servers and websites using a simple and intuitive dashboard.

This video course will teach you how to use the main features of cPanel to manage your web hosting.

More info: How To Use cPanel

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use Amazon S3How To Use Amazon S3

Learn how to set up and use Amazon S3 to upload, store, manage, and protect your site’s images, large media files, downloadable files, stream videos and more.

More info: How To Use Amazon S3

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Optimize WordPressHow To Optimize WordPress

Learn how to optimize your WordPress site and improve your page loading speed.

More info: How To Optimize WordPress

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Use FTPHow To Use FTP

This video course shows you how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to transfer and upload files between your hard drive and your server using a free FTP program called Filezilla.

More info: How To Use FTP

Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users

How To Set Up WordPress On LocalhostHow To Set Up WordPress On Localhost

Learn how to install, set up, and locally host a fully functioning WordPress site on your computer.

More info: How To Set Up WordPress On Localhost

Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

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