How To Write Your Legal Pages

by David Utke | Last Updated: May 23, 2019

For your website you need to create various legal pages that should be linked to from the footer of your blog or website. It’s not fun to create these, but they are essential. Think of it like hygiene. It’s just something your visitors are going to expect and in this free guide I’m going to give some advice on how to create them.

Please note that once your website is generating money sit down with an accountant and a lawyer to properly craft these pages.

Privacy Policy Page

  1. The whole point of a privacy policy is to tell your users what the information gathering process is for your site.
  2. For example, when you create your own website it will record web traffic and keep a log of it. You can also install web analytic software to track web visitors to your site so you know how many visitors a day you are receiving, what pages they hit the most, how long they stay on the site etc. EVERY website uses tracking software – but you still need to disclose this.
  3. Specifically mention that you will not share personal information and disclose what information you actually have access to. You normally only have access to an IP address.
  4. If you are running an email list then people who sign up are giving you their email addresses. State this and also state you will not sell or share this information (unless you are!).
  5. If you decide to use Google’s Adsense program to run advertising on your site you are REQUIRED by Google to have a privacy policy stating that your site uses Google’s Dart Cookie and if users wish to opt out show them how.

So, no need to go into legal speak. Simply inform your visitors of any tracking software you have, Adsense or ad programs and what data they collect, what you do with your email list and any other information gathering you do or a 3rd party (like Adsense) does.

Terms of Use Page:

  1. The point of a terms of use page is to describe to people what they are agreeing to abide by when visiting your site, and if they don’t wish to abide then tell them how to opt out (usually by simply leaving the site).
  2. It’s like inviting people over your house, just say what you expect from your visitors.
  3. For a content site key focuses are if your site is copyrighted or not. If it is, then say it is and tell people what they are allowed to do. Normally that it’s fine to link to my site, but not acceptable to copy or sell content.
  4. Also tell the user they are responsible for what they do, don’t do, or neglect to do with your content.

Terms of Use Generator

If you’re to lazy to write your own this is a good template to use.

Disclosure Page

  1.  The point of a disclosure page is to disclose and make certain interests obvious that otherwise might not be.
  2. Disclose how your website makes money.
  3. Disclose any conflicts of interest.
  4. Disclose any form of compensation you receive. An example would be if you run a travel site and companies occasionally pay you to visit their hotel and accommodation for a review. That needs to be disclosed. If you receive payment for any products or services you recommend. That needs to be disclosed.
  5. Again, compensation and conflicts of interest that might not otherwise be obvious need to be disclosed.

Again, don’t try to sound lawyerly (unless you are a lawyer). Use plain speaking.

David Utke is a professional blogger, web designer and a highly rated user experience consultant. He translates technical skills in an easy to understand way for beginners with his educational tutorials based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 16k YouTube subscribers.