Website Legal Documents. What do I need?

This is either a really common question asked by someone looking to have a website designed for themselves or their business, or it is something that is completely overlooked and over shadowed by more appealing factors such as design, graphics, colour schemes and user interface.

Below are 5 of the most common website legal documents you may want to consider before revealing your brand new site to the world.

1: Privacy Policy

A privacy policy is essential for nearly all websites. In simple terms, if you are collecting ‘personal information’ from your visitors, then you need a privacy policy. Do you have a contact form on your website? Then you need a privacy policy explaining what you plan to do with this information.

Other forms of collecting personal information are things such as through an e-commerce site – collecting names, addresses and payment info; if you have a blog with the ability for users to comment, these generally have email address verification or a simple subscription list.

And 99 times out of 100, you’re collecting personal information whether you know it or not. If you have any social sharing tools, Google Analytics, YouTube videos or any other popular third party plugins on your website, then you are collecting personal information through cookies.

The Cookie Law was introduced in 2011 to help make consumers aware of how information about them is collected and compliance with the law means telling your visitors what cookies your site sets, what they’re used for and gain their consent to use this information. Usually, in the form of a privacy policy acceptance.

2: Website disclaimer

A website disclaimer is essential, not only to protect your audience, but to protect yourself. If you’re publishing information or advice on your website then people could be relying incorrectly on the information or advice you give out.

You could publish a fashion and beauty blog which gives tips on how to apply a specific skin product. However, this doesn’t mean that this specific product is suitable for all skin types.

Protect your readers and yourself by having a website disclaimer.

3: Terms & Conditions

T’s and C’s are required if you sell products or services through your site. They do exactly what they say on the tin – set out the terms and conditions of buying from you and how you do business.

If you have an e-commerce site selling physical products you will want to stipulate that you comply with consumer law on delivery and refund processes. You can outline your refund policy and shipping details within your terms of service or as separate documents.

Its good practice to have a check box where the buyer can state that they agree with your terms and conditions at the point of sale, that way you’ve covered all bases!

4: Terms for advertisers

Online advertising is an ever growing field. If you have a high performing website with loyal subscribers and plenty of visits, then advertisers in your industry may want to purchase space on your website.

If you already allow advertising on your website, then you should have additional terms of use for advertisers in place. If not, or you’re thinking about including this on your website, you should consider including these.

5: Terms of use for contributors

You may already know the benefits of having a blog on your website. And like many others, you may have guest, readers or friends in your industry contribute to your blog.

Like with advertising, you should have some terms of use for contributors. Setting out the do’s and do not’s of posting on your website.

So, hopefully this top 5 will give you food for thought when thinking about what legal documents you need on your site. If there’s any that you’ve used and we haven’t pointed them out, please let us know by commenting below.

If you need any advice on what your site should be displaying in terms of legal documents, we’ll happy take a look for you. Just get in touch!

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