What is a “Terms and Conditions Policy”? This is a common question and one many website owners often ask. The next question usually is “Does my site need terms and conditions page?” Look no further. We have the answers and details behind this often-overlooked page.
Let’s get into a little more detail for each of the elements typically found on the page as well as where to create the page and where/how to add it to your site.
Table of Contents
What is a terms and conditions page?
This page limits and outlines all of the conditions that visitors must agree to if they want to use your website. It also explains and limits your web sites liability. In addition to defining the liability of the site, it accomplishes several additional tasks.
These items include but are not limited to stating the country of operation, establishing copyright, informing the terms can change at any time.
Stating the country or state of operation defines what laws the website operates under. This is important if it has a site that operates worldwide or can be used to limit liability to a single country.
Additionally, it sets the copyright information and gives them the preferred method of contact should they have any questions
Finally, it should include any site-specific considerations. These considerations can vary widely and if the company is big enough an attorney should be used to craft the causes.
What should be in the terms and conditions page?
The terms and conditions page is customized for its website and business it represents. The terms and conditions will contain some or all of the following elements.
Limit of Liability
This section is a disclaimer stating that the visitor is using the site “as is” and at “their own risk.” Additionally, you are stating you, the business or website owner, are not liable for any errors in the content on the site.
The limit of liability section should also include a clause stating you are not responsible for the information added by editors or comments left by visitors. This would pertain to any hateful or offensive content.
Finally, the liability should be limited by any third parties or third-party services that you could run on your site. Let’s say you run ads on your site and one of these ads is offensive, you are not responsible for it since it was added by a third party ad service.
This section states that you own the information on your website and that others can not use it.
In addition to having “Copyright YEAR MYDOMAIN.COM” or you can use the symbol “© YEAR MYDOMAIN.COM” the terms and conditions page should have a section stating that you have the copyright on your site.
A good place to learn more about Copyright is the page at Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright
Country of Governance
This section informs the visitor what County, State, or Government the website falls under.
If you are in the European Union then you would be subject to the GDPR, if you are not in the EU then these laws do not apply. This is why it is important to let visitors know where you are located and what laws you are operating under.
Another example is the new California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). If you are located in California then you are subject to these laws. So if you are not in California then let people know.
Change and Amendments
When changes are made to the terms and conditions visitors will be notified via the change of date at the bottom of the page.
How to Contact
Another good section is how the visitor should contact you with any questions. Typically this can be an email address or link to the site’s contact page.
As a good business practice, this method of contact provided should be reliable so that anyone who does have questions is able to contact the correct person or department at your company
Where to get Terms and Conditions Policy
There are two main ways to get a Terms & Conditions Policy.
- Terms and Conditions generator service
Either of these services work very well. It is MUCH more common for people to use the generator service. It is much more cost-effective, efficient and faster. Plus these 3rd party services.
The few times when we have seen companies use attorneys or law firms it is when they are very large companies and have in house lawyers.
One of the most important things is do not copy other websites’ terms and conditions page. The text in that document is specific to that website and you need a document that is specific to your website. You would not want to be in court and have to explain to the judge that you ‘borrowed’ the text from another website would you.
Terms and Conditions Generators
The easiest option is to use a terms and conditions generator. This is a third-party tool to ask you a few questions about your website and your business and then creates a term of use policy specifically for your website.
The cost of one of the services is anywhere from $30-$80 depending on the complexity of your website.
A few Terms & Condition Generators to Check out:
- Terms and Conditions Generator at TermsFeed.com
- Terms and Conditions Generator at WebsitePolicies.com
- Terms & Conditions Generator at PrivacyPolicies.com
- Terms & Conditions Generator at FreePrivacyPolicy.com
- Termly.io – This is a subscription service
Attorney or Law Firm
Unless you have an attorney or thousands of dollars to spend the terms using the terms and conditions generator is probably your best option.
Steven Johnson, a WP Hosting Reviews senior editor, works from Atlanta and covers all things related to WordPress and Hosting.
He graduated from Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, has managed hosting companies and now builds WordPress and Joomla Websites for small to medium companies full time.