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 Compliant - A Guide To Adding Legal Pages To Your Website

One of the worst situations you can find yourself in as a business owner is to be on the wrong side of the law.

Online laws were designed to protect consumers and apply to any person who sells, markets or promotes goods and services online. Every website owner risks being sued for not following compliance laws. Feigning ignorance about the law will not prevent someone from taking legal action against your business.

Recent laws introduced in 2014 regulating 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 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.

Better Business Bureau - Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program

(Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program – BBB)

These laws affect various online business activities, including:

  • Any kind of advertising, like Google AdWords
  • Retarget Marketing
  • Google Analytics (or other analytics software)
  • Affiliate Marketers
  • Product Creators
  • Blogging
  • etc.

If your site does not display certain legal pages (e.g. terms and conditions of use, privacy statement, earning disclaimers, etc.), many sites like Google won’t let you advertise, digital marketplaces like ClickBank or JVZoo will not approve digital products for sale, PayPal could close down your account, Facebook will disapprove your web applications, and you won’t be allowed into many advertising and affiliate merchant networks.

You could also be inadvertently leaving yourself open and vulnerable to expensive litigation.

The purpose of this post is to help make you aware that your website(s) are subject to legal requirements, the importance of remaining compliant with the terms of service of external providers whose services or products you may be selling online, and that there are easy solutions that can help your websites become fully compliant, such as the plugins discussed further below.

Does Your Website Comply With All Legal Requirements?

Is Your Website Or Blog Compliant?

Important Info

Disclaimer: Please note that we are not lawyers and we do not offer legal advice about your website or business. You must do your own due diligence and we recommend consulting legal experts about the best way to ensure that your website is compliant with all legal requirements in your country or region.

Understanding The Importance Of Making Your Website Compliant

Consider what would happen to your business if any of these situations were to take place:

  • A customer suffers a cardiac arrest after using your online workout program.
  • The skin care lotion you promote as an affiliate gives someone who purchases from your link an adverse reaction.
  • You’ve told subscribers that you won’t sell their information, but you haven’t described exactly what you plan to do with their personal details.
  • Someone steals content from your site and publishes it on their own website.
  • You have not divulged to visitors that you’re an affiliate for the product you are selling that you could derive an affiliate commission if they purchase it.
  • You did not spell out the conditions of your refund/return policies.
  • Someone claims that the testimonials on your site are fake and decides to sue you.
  • You have not disclosed that you received a free copy in a product review.
  • Your site publishes adult-related content and you did not take sufficient measures to restrict access by underage children.

Consider also the actual examples of costly compliance breaches below:

  • A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling visitors they would have to give up their personal information to complete a debt reduction offer. Cost = $390,000.
  • 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 internet 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 2010 study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred randomly-picked websites, more than 90% had broken at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% had infringed at least two of Google’s policies, and more than 40% had breached 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 entirely to the Google program with the infringement, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).

Can you see how easy it is to risk becoming exposed to non-compliance?

Regardless of whether you are a:

  • CPA (Cost Per Action) or CPC (Cost Per Conversion) Marketer
  • Network Marketer
  • Affiliate Promoter
  • AdSense Publisher
  • Product Publisher
  • Amazon Associate
  • EBay Seller
  • Publisher Of Adult Content
  • Provider Of Freelance, Coaching Or Consulting Services
  • Online Seller Of Any Service Or Product

it’s important to ensure that your website complies with all laws governing the use of your site, wherever you are located.

Complying With Third-Party Services

Compliance with 3rd-party companies terms and policies is important.

You are obligated to let your site visitors know that your website complies will all laws and recommended guidelines. This not only increases consumer trust and buyer confidence in your website, it’s also required in many cases by most companies you do business with.

Here are just some examples:

Google requires your site to display legal information if using many of their products and service. This includes using services like Google Analytics

Policy requirements for using Google Analytics

(Google Analytics – Policy Requirements)

Generating revenue with your sites using Google AdSense

Google AdSense - policy requirements

(Google AdSense policy requirements)

And even promoting your services using Google AdWords

Policy requirements for using Google AdWords

(Policy requirements for using Google AdWords)

If you plan to sell information-based products through merchants such as ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established online merchant networks, you are required to add legal pages to your website before they will approve your products for sale in their networks …

Policy requirements for selling digital products via ClickBank

(Policy requirements digital product vendors selling through ClickBank)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also requires you to add clear disclaimers and policy statements to visitors, especially if you plan to sell online using testimonials or product endorsements …

Federal Trade Commission - consumer guidelines and regulations

(FTC – consumer policies and regulations)

FTC Regulations – Ensure That Your Website Is Compliant

New FTC regulations governing the conduct of doing business online were introduced in March 2012. Search online and you will see that many business are unaware (or choose to ignore) these requirements. As has already been the case, this typically ends up with 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 plan to do any type of selling online, therefore, it’s best not to take any chances. Even if your business is not located in the U.S. you should protect your business interests by ensuring that your site complies with FTC regulations.

There are many online resources that can provide guidelines on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help your site comply with FTC requirements. We provide additional references at the end of this article …

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

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

Social Media Apps - Don’t Forget These

If you plan to create apps that integrate with your website, social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others require you to provide access to various legal pages …

Facebook developer app - policy requirements

(Apps that interface with social networks also require compliance)

Useful Tip

  • If you are unsure as to whether or not you are breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of sites like Google, Facebook, etc., it’s best to assume that you most probably are.
  • If you are considering promoting products or services on your site using affiliate marketing, or generate revenue online with Google AdSense, ads for eBay or Amazon products, 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 need to display on your site to comply with all Terms Of Service and policy requirements to avoid having your accounts suspended.
  • If you have been wondering if “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 services require you to comply with their terms of use and policies

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

What Compliance Information Do I Need To Add To My Site To Be Compliant?

If your website or blog is lacking in areas of compliance, then you will find this section helpful.

Adding the following legal pages to your site should help your website stay out of trouble with many regulatory authorities and 3rd-party service providers, and avoid potential legal issues or even threats of legal action (e.g. “cease and desist” notices):

In addition to the pages above, you may want to consider implementing one or more of these pages if applicable:

  • Affiliate Agreement (if you sell products or services through an affiliate program)
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • External Linking Policy
  • Health Disclaimers (if your website provides content about health or medical areas)
  • Refund Policy (if you sell products or services online)
  • Use Of Media (if you allow media downloads on your site)
Disclosure Pages – Types

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

  • No Material Connection – Lets visitors know that you will not receive for writing the post.
  • Affiliate Links – Notifies users that you may derive some form of financial benefit if they buy through one of your affiliate links.
  • Sample Or review Copy – Lets users know that you have received a review or sample copy of the product or service.
  • Sponsored Post – Disclosure that informs your readers that you have been compensated in some form to write the article.
  • Third Party Advertising – Lets users know 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 consult a lawyer or a legal firm and ask them to prepare the verbiage of your legal documents. Once this has been completed, there are several ways to add them to your website.

Uploading Legal Pages Manually

If someone prepares the legal content for you in HTML format, you can simply upload these to your server, or have someone upload these pages for you.

We recommend adding a legal folder to your server and uploading your legal pages to this folder (e.g. using FTP) …

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

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

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

Custom WordPress Menu Feature

(Custom WordPress Menu)

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

It's important to display links to your legal pages on all of your site's pages

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

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

Templates

You can easily find attorney-drafted disclosures and downloadable forms and agreements just by searching online, or by going to websites like the ones shown below:

Find Legal Forms

Find Legal Forms

(Find Legal Forms)

For more details, go here:

Another option is to download a set of legal templates written by legal attorney Scott Talbert

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages

Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages - Legal Templates

(Cut & Paste Website Legal Pages – Legal Templates)

These legal templates 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 legal web pages.

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

  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • Copyright Notice
  • Disclaimer: multi-discipline professional disclaimers
  • DMCA Compliance
  • Federal Trade Commission Compliance (This proprietary FTC page accommodates Federal Trade Commission guidelines that came into effect in March 2012)
  • Privacy Policy: Google, DART, etc.
  • Terms of Service (ToS) & Conditions of Use: includes inter- & intra-page redundancy, Contra Proferentem provision, reservation of rights, and exclusive social media admonition.

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

Go here for more details:

Plugins – Legal Pages

As well as using legal templates, another option for adding legal pages to your website is to use WordPress plugins.

Here are some great legal plugins for WordPress-powered sites worth looking into:

WP Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress

WP Legal Pages Plugin

(WP Legal Pages)

If you don’t want to bother with creating legal pages manually, then consider installing WP Legal Pages

The WP Legal Pages plugin is not free, but it’s a reasonably low-priced and well-supported premium plugin that will simplify the job of creating and implementing legal pages on your site and save you a great deal of time.

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

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

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

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Menu

(WP Legal Pages Plugin – Menu)

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

WP Legal Pages - Settings

(WordPress Legal Pages – Settings Screen)

You can easily create legal pages for different online uses, such as business websites, affiliate websites, medical sites, etc …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin For WordPress - Create different legal pages

(WordPress Legal Pages – Page Type)

Select from a number of pre-written legal templates …

WordPress Legal Pages Plugin - Built-In 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

Visit the plugin site to learn more about the benefits of using this handy plugin:

Compliance Bar Plugin – WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar - WordPress Plugin For Website Compliance

Compliance Bar is a simple plugin for WordPress users containing over 20 customizable legal pages for your site …

Compliance Bar - WordPress Compliance Plugin

More info:

Legal Suite Pro

Legal Suite Pro For WordPress

(Legal Suite Pro For WordPress)

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 And Conditions
  • Earnings Disclaimer

Legal Suite Pro For WordPress - Professionally-written legal forms

(Legal Suite Pro Plugin 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 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 less than one minute and the license allows you to install and use this plugin on all of your sites.

Visit this website to learn more:

Important

If using the services of lawyers to create your legal documentation is currently out of your budget, consider implementing at least some basic form of legal protection on your website until you can afford professional legal services.

We want your business to be legally safe!

Download the FREE Legal Pages Generator software below, or choose one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using ready-made legal content, or plugins - see section below.

Legal Pages Generator Software

(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 we’ve previously pointed out, if you make money online, it’s important that your website complies with regulatory agencies and the guidelines and terms of service (TOS) required by 3rd-party products and services that you may decide to promote or recommend online. Your website or blog must comply with various regulations, some of which you may not 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 Info

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

Additional Legal Information

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

Plus …

We hope you have found this article useful and that it has helped you understand the importance of having a compliant website. Use the information provided above to quickly add essential legal pages to your site using simple and cost-effective legal resources and plugins.

***

"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

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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.