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 Website

Is your website compliant? Do you know if your site is breaking any laws, or breaching the Terms of Service (TOS) of any companies whose services or products you are offering or recommending?

Online laws and regulations were designed to protect consumers and apply to anyone who markets, sells or promotes products or services online. Anyone who owns a website risks being sued for not following compliance laws. Feigning ignorance about legal requirements won’t prevent you from being slapped with a legal notice.

Recent 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 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 for more details.

Better Business Bureau Website

(Better Business Bureau Website)

These laws affect various online business activities, including:

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

Without certain legal pages on your site (e.g. terms of service, privacy policy, earning disclaimers, etc.), many third-party sites such as Google won’t let you advertise, sites like ClickBank won’t allow you to list digital products on their network, PayPal may close down your account, Facebook will disapprove your applications, and you won’t be allowed to enroll in various advertising or online merchant networks.

In addition, you may also be inadvertently leaving yourself open and vulnerable to expensive litigation.

In this guide, we discuss why it’s important to have a compliant website and how to quickly add legal pages to your WordPress website.

Does Your Site Comply With The Law?

Is Your Website Or Blog Compliant?

Info

Disclaimer: Please note that we are not lawyers and we cannot offer legal advice. As stated above, the purpose of this article is only to help make you aware that your website may be subject to certain legal requirements in accordance with the laws governing business practices online and that compliance may be required with the terms of service of third-party providers whose products or services you advertise on your website or blog

Why Ensuring That Your Website Is Compliant Is Important

Is your business at risk? Consider what would happen to your business if these scenarios were to take place:

  • A person has a heart attack after using your online fitness workout.
  • The skin care products you promote as an affiliate marketer gives someone who purchases from your link an allergic reaction.
  • You’ve informed subscribers that you won’t sell their information, but you haven’t informed them exactly what you plan to do with the information you’ve collected.
  • Someone copies your content and publishes it on their site.
  • There is no statement on your site letting your visitors know that you are endorsing a product as an affiliate and may receive a financial benefit if visitors buy it.
  • You didn’t spell out the terms of your refund and return policies.
  • Someone claims that the testimonials on your site are all fake and tries to sue you as a result.
  • You did not disclose in a product review that you were given a free copy of the product.
  • Your website contains adult information and you didn’t take sufficient measures to restrict access by underage children.

Consider also these documented case studies of costly compliance breaches:

  • 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 give everyone he does 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 from mobile device address books without the owners’ knowledge and consent – including storing children’s private details.
  • Facebook’s Terms Of Service does not allow users to scrape UIDs. Many internet marketers took a risk and lost. Their accounts were shut down, costing them thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
  • An independently-conducted 2010 study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred randomly-chosen websites, more than 90% had infringed 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 infringed 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 entirely to the Google program 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 litigation?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA, CPC or PPA Marketer
  • Multilevel Marketer
  • Affiliate Product Promoter
  • AdSense Publisher
  • Product Marketer
  • Amazon Associate
  • e-Commerce Store Owner
  • Publisher Of Adult Content
  • Freelancer, Consultant Or Coach
  • Seller Of Any Product Or Service Online

You need to ensure that your digital presence remains fully compliant with the law.

Compliance With Third-Party Companies Terms And Policies

Leading online companies and government trade regulatory agencies emphasize the importance of observing the terms and policies of service providers.

You are required to let your site users know that your business complies with all necessary laws and professional guidelines. This not only improves consumer trust and confidence in your website, it’s also required by most companies you will engage with.

For example:

Google requires websites to display certain information if using many of their products. This includes using features such as Google Analytics

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Policy requirements for using Google Analytics)

Generating revenue online with your WordPress blogs using Google AdSense ads

Google AdSense online advertising - policy requirements

(Google AdSense ads - policy requirements)

Or promoting your site through Google AdWords

Google AdWords - Policy Requirements

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you plan to sell information products using merchants such as ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established online merchant networks, you will need to add certain legal pages to your website before they will approve your products for sale …

Policy requirements for using ClickBank

(Policy requirements for vendors selling via ClickBank)

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

Federal Trade Commission - consumer guidelines and regulations

(Federal Trade Commission – consumer policies and regulations)

FTC Regulations Require Your Website To Be Compliant

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 ignore) these requirements. As documented on their website, this typically ends up with the FTC making an example of businesses and prosecuting companies in an effort to get other businesses to comply.

If you do any kind of business online, therefore, it’s best not to take any chances. Even if your business does not operate in the U.S. it’s best to protect your business interests by ensuring that your website is compliant with FTC regulations.

Various sites provide guidelines and examples for structuring disclaimers and disclosures to help your site comply with FTC requirements. We provide references and links to resources to a number of these at the end of this article …

Structure your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of the law

(Word your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of the law)

Don’t Forget Social Media Applications

If you are planning to develop applications that integrate with your site, you will also be required to provide social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others with information about your legal pages …

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Facebook developer app – policy requirements)

Useful Tip

  • If you are not sure whether or not you are breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of websites like Google, Facebook, etc., then it’s best to assume that you most probably are.
  • If you are considering promoting services or products on your site via affiliate marketing, or monetize your pages with Google AdSense, ads for eBay or Amazon products, or using Google AdWords to drive visitors to your pages, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you are required to provide on your site to comply with all Terms Of Service and policy requirements - don’t risk having your accounts suspended.
  • If you’ve ever wondered if “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, take proper precautions to protect yourself and your business.

In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, most third-party websites 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)

What Compliance Information Does Your Website Need To Be Covered Against Legal Compliance Issues?

If your website lacks in aspects of compliance, then this section will help you.

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

Additionally, you may want to look into including any of the pages listed below where applicable:

  • Affiliate Agreement (e.g. if you sell products or services through 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 information)
  • Refund Policy (if you run an e-commerce site)
  • Use Of Media (if you allow media downloads on your site)
Disclosure Pages – Types

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

  • No Material Connection – This lets visitors be aware that you will not receive any form of payment for writing the content.
  • Affiliate Links – Lets users know that you may benefit financially if they purchase through an affiliate link.
  • Sample/Review Copy – Informs readers that you have been given a review or sample copy of the product.
  • Sponsored Post – Disclosure that lets readers know that you were compensated in some form to write the post.
  • 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 show prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.

Adding Legal Pages Content To Your Site

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

Uploading Legal Web Pages Manually To Your Website

If someone prepares and delivers the legal verbiage for you in standard web page formatting (e.g. HTML), 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 HTML pages containing your legal documentation to this folder using FTP …

Upload legal pages to your server using FTP

(Upload legal pages to your server using FTP)

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

WordPress Menu

(WordPress Menu)

Displaying Legal Pages On Your Website

Make sure that your legal pages are up-to-date and clearly visible to your visitors. You can add links to your legal pages to the sidebar (or place them in the footer of your site) so that users can access the information from all of your pages …

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

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

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial about displaying links to pages on your WP sidebar or footer, see this tutorial:

Templates

You can easily find downloadable attorney-prepared forms and agreements by searching online, or by visiting websites like the ones listed below:

Find Legal Forms

Find Legal Forms

(Find Legal Forms)

Go here for more info:

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

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Scott Talbert's Website Legal Templates

(Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages – Website Legal Pages)

These legal pages were written by an attorney and feature less passive voice and more plain language phrasing and can be customized with a simple quick search and replace to add your own business name and URL, then pasted into your web pages.

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

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer: multi-discipline professional disclaimers
  • DMCA Compliance
  • FTC Compliance (This proprietary FTC page reflects Federal Trade Commission guidelines brought into effect in 2012)
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service (ToS) & Conditions of Use.

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

For more details, go here:

Legal Page Plugins

As well as using copy & paste templates, another option for adding legal pages to your site is to use a plugin.

Here are some legal plugins for WordPress users that you may be interested in checking out:

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress

(WP Legal Pages Plugin)

If you don’t want to bother with creating legal web pages manually, then consider choosing a plugin like WordPress Legal Pages

This plugin is not free, but it’s a reasonably affordable 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 a great deal of time.

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

  • Built-in Legal Templates – Over 20 built-in legal page templates created by a team of professional lawyers.
  • Very Quick And Easy To Use – Set up most of your basic legal pages in around 3 minutes with just a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Fully Customizable Pages – The plugin includes fully customizable and easily editable legal form templates (e.g. ToS, Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Earnings Disclaimer and more!)
  • Easy To Edit Pages – WYSIWYG editor lets you edit all legal pages just like any page on your website.
  • Custom Shortcodes Integration – You can add shortcodes to your WordPress pages and the information will be automatically inserted into your pages when published.
  • Exclude pages. The plugin lets you exclude pages from menus with a simple checkbox and delete and manage these like every other WordPress page.
  • Forced Options – Force page lockdown. When users agree to your terms, the page unlocks.
  • Additional Features – More features are being added to this plugin with each new version.

After installing WordPress Legal Pages, a new menu item will display inside your main dashboard menu …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Legal Pages Menu

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

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

WP Legal Pages - Settings Area

(WP Legal Pages – Settings Area)

The plugin gives you the option of creating legal pages for different online uses, such as business websites, affiliate/review sites, AdSense sites, etc …

WordPress Legal Pages - Page type dropdown menu

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Page type menu)

Choose from various built-in legal templates …

WP Legal Pages Plugin - Built-In Legal Templates

(WordPress Legal Pages – 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

To learn more this plugin, go here:

Compliance Bar – WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar Plugin - WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar is a simple WordPress plugin that contains over twenty customizable compliance templates for your online business …

Compliance Bar - WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Go here to learn more:

Legal Suite Pro Plugin

Legal Suite Pro For WordPress

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin)

Legal Suite Pro 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 Service
  • 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 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 the plugin on all of your sites.

Go here for more details:

Important

If using the services of a lawyer to create your online legal documentation is currently out of your budget, consider implementing some basic form of legal protection on your website until you can afford a solicitor.

We want your website to be safe!

Download the Legal Pages Generator tool below (for FREE!), or consider choosing one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using ready-made legal documentation, or plugins - see section below.

Legal Pages Generator Software

(Legal Pages Generator Software)

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

***

As we’ve previously pointed out, if you engage in any form of commercial activity online (or plan to), you need to make sure that your website is compliant with legal requirements of government agencies that regulate online business practices and the terms of service and guidelines provided by 3rd-party sites that you may decide to promote or recommend online. Your digital presence must comply with a number of regulations, many of which you may not even be aware of.

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?

Important Info

Legal Disclaimer: Once again, please note that we are not lawyers and we cannot provide 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 concerning your specific business.

Additional Legal Information

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

Also …

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand why it’s important to have a compliant website. Use the information provided above to quickly and easily add essential legal pages to your website.

***

"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.