Making Your Website Legally Compliant - Legal Pages To Add To Your Site

Is your WordPress site legally compliant? Do you know if you are breaking any rules or regulations, or breaching the Terms of Service (TOS) of any third-party companies whose products or services you use or recommend?

As the digital realm continues to grow at an extraordinary rate and the rules of the game constantly change, it’s absolutely essential that you stay on top of what’s happening and make sure that your site remains compliant, especially if having an online presence is important in the success of your overall business strategy.

Recent laws introduced in 2014 regulating how businesses promote advertising on their sites clearly state that if you plan to promote anything on your site for profit, then you need to follow certain disclosure guidelines to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by consumer protection departments, 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.

BBB - Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program

(Better Business Bureau Website)

These laws has implications for several business categories, including:

Without certain legal pages on your website (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy statement, legal disclaimers, etc.), many third-party sites such as Google won’t let you advertise, sites like ClickBank or JVZoo will not allow you to list digital products, PayPal could close down your account and withhold payment of your funds, Facebook could reject web applications, and you will not be allowed to promote most advertising or affiliate merchant networks.

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

The purpose of this post is to help make you aware that your website may be subject to legal requirements according to laws that govern online businesses, the importance of being compliant with the terms of service of other providers whose services or products you may be selling on your website, and that there are solutions that can help your online properties become fully compliant, such as the plugins listed further below.

Does Your Website Comply With The Law?

Is Your Website Legally Compliant?

Disclaimer

Disclaimer: Please note that we are not lawyers and we do not provide legal advice in this article. You must carry out your own due diligence and consult a legal expert about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with all legal requirements in your country or region.

Why It’s Important To Make Your Website Compliant

Consider for a minute what the implications to your business would be if any of these scenarios were to occur:

Consider now the real examples of costly compliance breaches listed below:

Can you see how easy it is to risk being exposed to litigation?

Regardless of whether you are a:

It’s vitally important to ensure that your website stays fully compliant with the law.

Compliance With Third-Party Services - ToS, Policies, etc.

Leading online 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 legal requirements and recommended guidelines. This not only improves trust and confidence in your website, it’s also a requirement of many companies you do business with online.

Here are just some examples:

Google requires websites to display legal information if using their services. This includes using Google Analytics

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Google Analytics – Policy Requirements)

Earning revenue online with your website using Google AdSense ads

Google AdSense online advertising policy requirements

(Google AdSense advertising - policy requirements)

And even promoting your services through Google AdWords

Policy requirements for using Google AdWords

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you sell digital products through companies such as ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant networks, you will need to add a number of legal pages to your website before they will approve your products for sale in their marketplace …

ClickBank - policy requirements

(Policy requirements for selling through ClickBank)

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

FTC - consumer guidelines and regulations

(FTC – consumer guidelines and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensure That Your Website Is Compliant

FTC regulations governing the conduct of doing business online were introduced in March 2012. A quick search online will reveal that many websites are still unaware (or choose to flaunt) these requirements. As has happened in the past, 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 do any kind of selling 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 interests by ensuring that your website complies with FTC guidelines.

Various online business resources provide guidelines and examples on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help you comply with FTC requirements. See the references and useful resources section at the end of this article for more information …

It's important to 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)

Social Media Applications Also Have Compliance Requirements

If you are planning to develop social networking applications that will integrate with your site, sites like Twitter, Facebook, and many others require you to provide access to your legal pages …

Social networking apps also require compliance

(Apps for social networking sites like Facebook also require compliance)

Practical Tip

In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, most 3rd-party services require you to comply with their policies and guidelines

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

Basic Legal Pages To Include In Your Site

If you suspect that your website or blog lacks in terms of compliance, then this section will help you.

At its most basic, adding the following compliance pages to your website will help keep you out of trouble with most consumer protection agencies and third-party service providers, and help to avoid potential legal issues or even threats of legal action (e.g. “cease and desist” notices):

As well as the above pages, you may want to look into including any of these pages where applicable:

Types Of Disclosure Pages

It’s important to add the right disclosures to your website. For example:

How To Add Legal Content To Your WordPress Website

Ideally, you should consult lawyers or a legal firm and ask them to 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 To Your Website

If someone prepares and delivers the legal verbiage for you in HTML format, you can simply upload these to your web server, or have someone upload them for you.

We recommend creating a legals folder in your server and uploading your legal pages to this directory 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 via FTP)

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

Custom WordPress Menu Feature

(WordPress Menu)

Displaying Legal Web Pages On Your Website

Make sure that your legal pages are up-to-date and display clearly to all site visitors. You can add links to your legal pages to the sidebar menu (or place them in the footer section of your website or blog) to ensure that visitors will be able to access the information from all pages …

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

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

We have written a detailed tutorial on adding links to pages on your sidebar here:

Legal Templates

You can find downloadable attorney-drafted forms and agreements just by searching online, or visiting websites like this one:

Find Legal Forms

FindLegalForms.com - Legal forms

(FindLegalForms.com)

For more information, go here:

Another option is to download a package of legal templates written by legal attorney Scott Talbert to help businesses protect themselves online …

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages - Website Legal Pages

(Scott Talbert’s Website Legal Forms)

Cut & Paste website legal pages were created by an attorney and feature less passive voice and more plain language phrasing and can be customized with simple search and replace to add your own business name and URL, then pasted into your web pages.

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

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 pages and publish or upload the pages to your web server as previously described.

For more information, go here:

WordPress Plugins – Legal Pages

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

Here are some great legal plugins for WordPress-driven sites you may be interested in using:

WP Legal Pages Plugin

WordPress Plugin - WP Legal Pages

(WP Legal Pages Plugin)

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

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

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

When you install WordPress Legal Pages, a menu feature will display inside your main dashboard menu …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Menu

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

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

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Settings Screen

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Settings)

The plugin gives you the option of creating legal pages for different types of sites, such as business websites with products, niche sites, AdSense sites, etc …

WP Legal Pages - Type of Site dropdown menu

(WP Legal Pages – Create different legal pages)

Select from various pre-written legal templates …

WordPress Legal Pages - Legal Templates

(WordPress Legal Pages – Pre-configured Legal Templates)

Legal page templates include:

To learn more this plugin, go here:

Compliance Bar – Website Compliance Plugin For WordPress

Compliance Bar Plugin - Compliance Plugin For WordPress

Compliance Bar is a simple plugin for WordPress websites and blogs with over 20 customizable compliance pages for your website …

Compliance Bar - WP Website Compliance Plugin

Learn We’ve written a detailed article about this plugin here:

Legal Suite Pro

Legal Suite Pro

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin)

This plugin lets you easily install professionally-written legal pages such as:

Legal Suite Pro Plugin - Professionally-written legal forms

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin – Professionally-written legal forms)

Additionally:

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 plugin licensing is very flexible, allowing you to install and use this plugin on all of your sites (even sites that you decide to sell).

Go here for more information:

Important

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

We want your site to be legally safe!

Download the FREE Legal Pages Generator tool below, or use one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using ready-made legal content, or a legal pages plugin - see section below.

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator)

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

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As stated earlier, if you are making money online (or are planning to), you need to ensure that your site is compliant with regulatory agencies and the terms of service (TOS) and guidelines for third-party services and products that you may decide to promote or offer online. Your internet presence must comply with various 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

Legal Disclaimer: Once again, we are not lawyers and we are not offering legal advice. You must do your own due diligence and consult a legal expert about the best way of ensuring that your website fully complies with the law pertaining to your specific business.

Additional Information

Below is a time-saving list of sites we recommend you visit to better understand what may be required of your website to remain compliant and meet its legal obligations:

Additionally …

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 and easily add essential legal pages to your site using simple and cost-effective solutions.

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum