GDPR and Making Your WordPress Website Compliant

Hello and welcome to this article about GDPR and making your WordPress website compliant. If you have stumbled upon this post from Gawd knows where, you may be interested to know that this is from a series of articles from a Kindle eBook called, “How to Set Up a WordPress Website from Scratch.” If you would prefer to buy the book to make life easier, feel free to download it by clicking the image below.

I decided I would write a separate article because GDPR is extremely important and there are a few different steps you need to take to make sure that your site is compliant when it comes to EU law. 

GDPR Is NOT That Difficult to Comply With

The important thing to remember is that there have been a lot of scare stories about GDPR. In fact, even though it’s been over a year and a half since it was introduced, you can still find US websites blocking EU traffic.

This is ridiculous. You are legally allowed to take any data you want although you should only ever collect the data you need. Then, as long as you tell your visitors what data you’re collecting, your site will not be breaking any EU laws and you’ll have nothing to worry about. It really isn’t rocket surgery.

One other thing I would like to point out that if you are American and your site is or will be based in America, do NOT think that you have nothing to do. If your site has or will have EU visitors, which it will, then you need to comply with GDPR. 

You may think it’s not fair or that the EU shouldn’t be telling you what to do, but the fact of the matter is that it’s not about what’s fair and what isn’t. It’s about a big, powerful organisation telling you what to do and you have to do it. Think of it as the EU equivalent of the IRS!

Right, now we have gone through that let’s make sure that your site is compliant by installing the best plugin for GDPR Cookie Consent. And, as usual, there is a video for this which you can find here. However, don’t forget to read this entire chapter. There are things in here that may not be in the video. 

Step 1: Installing a GDPR Plugin

We’re going to use the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin which is a simple way to show that your website complies with the EU Cookie Law/GDPR. Go to your plugins page, click add new, type GDPR Cookie Consent in the search box, and install/activate the one created by WebToffee.

Step 2: Setting Up Your Plugin

Once you have installed it and activated it, you’ll find yourself on the plugins page. Scroll down to the plugin, and click on settings. You’ll get taken to another page where you’ll see a bunch of tabs that you can click on and under most of those tabs, there are sub-tabs that look like links, which you can also click on. 

GDPR

Now we’re at the ‘Tabs’ page. You’ll start at the ‘General Settings’ tab, which you can leave as it is. The next tab is the ‘Customise Cookie Bar’ where you can change the settings, colours, and font if you want, but I wouldn’t bother. 

Step 3: Cookie Settings

We’ll do another step here because this one’s a bit longer. Now we get to the ‘Customise Buttons’ which needs some work. Underneath the tab, you will read “Accept Button | Reject Button | Settings Button | Read More Link”. Click on the ‘Read More Link’ and you will see something like the image below.

GDPR

Now, we haven’t created a cookies page so we need to do that now. Click on the blue ‘here’ button and follow the instructions. You don’t need to change anything in the page itself, but you may want to go back later and make it look prettier. Make sure you hit publish.

You now have a ‘Cookie Policy’ page. However, it’s not in the ‘Top Menu’ with all the other pages, so we need to go back to the ‘Menu Settings’ page and add the ‘Cookie Policy’ page.

Updating Your Website’s Menus

Just in case you don’t remember how to do that, hover your cursor over ‘Appearance’ and click on ‘Menu’. Make sure that you have selected the ‘Top Menu’ on the ‘Edit Menu’ tab. Then, add the ‘Cookie Policy’ page to the menu. Check out the image below to help you.

Once you have added the ‘Cookie Policy’ page to the ‘Top Menu’, you can rearrange the pages to suit you. I put the ‘Privacy Policy’ first, ‘Terms & Conditions’ second, the ‘Cookie Policy’ page third, then the ‘Earnings Disclaimer’ page, and finally, the ‘Contact Me’ page. Once you are happy, make sure that you save your new menu.

Now, you need to go back to ‘Customise Buttons’ tab (it should still be open somewhere on your computer). Make sure that you refresh the page so that all the data is new. Scroll down a little and you’ll see ‘URL or Page’. 

Click on the ‘Page’ radio button. The box below will change and you should see a new box with a small arrow. Click on it and you should see ‘Cookie Policy’ on the drop-down menu. If you can’t see it, you probably haven’t refreshed the page. Once you have it, select it and save your settings. 

One more thing to do. At the top of the ‘Read More Link’ tab, you’ll see this: [ cookie_link ] (without spaces). Copy it and click on the ‘Customise Cookie Bar’. In the message box, paste [ cookie_link ] (without spaces) at the end. See image below. Update your settings once more and you should be sorted.

GDPR

Step 4: Checking Your GDPR Popup

Open up your website and you should now see the GDPR bar at the bottom of your page. You should see the message, Cookie Settings, ACCEPT, and ‘Read More’. You can click on each and see what happens. 

And that’s it for the GDPR compliance. Well done. As you can see, it really isn’t that difficult, which is why I never really understand why there is so much fuss made about it. Just follow the above steps and you’ll be totally sorted.

Michael Williams

Blogger, writer, teacher and an all-round good egg.

View all posts by Michael Williams →

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