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How to Legally Protect Your Website
At the bottom of every website, you’ve likely noticed links to legal notices. These tend to include privacy policies, terms and conditions, disclaimers, cookie policies, and more. But how do you know which ones you need for your website? And where do you find them?
In this article, I’ll walk you through the recommended legal documents to protect your website.
Since building hundreds of websites over the years, I’ve scoured the internet for the simplest solution to get your website covered. But before we get to the resources, let’s talk about the suggested documents and why each of them is important.
Next, you’ll want a terms and conditions document.
Next, you’ll want a cookie consent manager (or pop-up).
This one is a bit newer per the new GDPR regulations and EU Cookie laws. Essentially a cookie consent manager allows your website visitors to easily consent (or not) to you tracking their activity via cookies. Your consent manager or pop-up should also link to the specific cookies your site uses.
Lastly, you might need an earnings disclaimer.
If you participate in any affiliate programs or do any affiliate marketing, you’ll want to add an earnings disclaimer. When you share an affiliate link you’ll need to note that is an affiliate link and you’ll earn a commission if they sign up with your link. But it’s also a good idea to add an overall earnings disclaimer or affiliate disclaimer to the footer area alongside your other legal documents. This document should have a list of all of your affiliate partners.
Now that you have a clear picture of what legal documents you need, let’s move on to how to create and publish these documents to protect your website.
You can certainly hire a lawyer and have them draft up these documents and then add them to your website. However, this can get costly and time-consuming. Any time a law changes you’ll need to go back and have them update the documents accordingly.
You could also Google free privacy policies, free terms and conditions, and free cookie consent managers but these free versions are usually unable to be tailored to your specific website and business needs.
Important! DO NOT copy someone else’s legal documents. Not only is this illegal and considered a copyright infringement but it’s not tailored to your business. There will likely be gaps that won’t cover your website fully.
My recommendation is to use a service like Termly.io to get all of these taken care of in one swoop.
You can get everything noted above for just $10/month when you pay annually. You can sign up for free and generate your first policy for free and then upgrade to begin creating the others.
An alternative to this service would be purchasing a template and customizing it for your business.
The Contract Shop has a Contract Bundle that includes your Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies for a one-time fee. With this purchase, you’ll also get their free guides on how to customize and use these templates.
However, you’ll still need to need a solution for your cookie consent notice on your website.
Over the years I’ve used several different methods for my website and have recently moved over to Termly.io to simplify and streamline covering my website legally.
I also like the ease of their setup and implementation on my website. There’s no guessing on what to include and they’re always on top of the ever-changing laws.
I’ve recorded a brief video walking you through the setup for my own website. My hope is it will not only give you a sneak peek at the software but walk you through the process of getting your website legally protected.
Regardless of what method you choose, the important thing is to choose something. This certainly is one of those fun parts of being a business owner, but it’s important to protect yourself and your business.
Earnings Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you use my links to signup for an account I may earn a small commission. Please know I only recommend tools I’ve personally used (& loved) in my own business.