How do I add a privacy policy to my WordPress site?

How to Add a Privacy Policy to WordPress

You know you should have a privacy policy, but you are not exactly sure what it is, where to get it, where to link to it, or what legal text it include. No Worries. We were the same way. Then we did the research and created this post to help others and use it ourselves when we need to create a site and privacy policy.

How do I add a privacy policy to my WordPress site? Follow these steps. First, get the privacy policy text. This usually comes from a free or paid privacy policy generator or the included WP privacy policy template. Second, We add the policy text to the site. This is done by creating a page and adding the text. Third, we set it as your site’s official privacy policy. This is done by selecting it in the WordPress backend. Fourth, we link to it. This is usually done by adding links in the footer on every page.

Adding a privacy policy to WordPress can feel overwhelming but when we take the process step by step it becomes straightforward and easy to accomplish. We do it for every site we create. Now let’s get started.

Table of Contents

A privacy policy is a document that outlines how your site collects, handles and shares any data collected from the site visitors.

Information collected can include, name, email address, physical address, any information collected from tracking scripts such as google analytics, or any data collected if you run an online store. Typically the policy is viewable on a page named privacy-policy and a link to this page is found in the footer on your website.

The more feature-rich the site is the more data that is collected and the more of a need to have a privacy policy. Even if you do not collect any personal information your WordPress site is still using cookies.

Every WordPress site sets two cookies. These cookies help with user login sessions and when visitors leave comments. If you are unfamiliar with cookies we have a great article answering all the questions about How WordPress uses Cookies

Now that you know your site needs a privacy policy, let’s talk about what it should include.

What to Include in the Privacy Policy

Privacy Policies should include sections or clauses about how the data is collected, what is done with it and what users should expect.

The policy should include that cookies are being used and that the information is automatically collected. Personal information can be collected through the use of online signup forms. Tracking Analytics, Advertising, affiliate links, and retargeting can all be sources of personal data that is created and stored.

In addition to the collection of data, some sites give users the ability to manage their own data. Sometimes a copy of this data is kept, after the user has requested data deletion, due to legal requirements.

Different countries, unions, and states have various requirements that your site may be subject to also. This can be GDRR, California privacy rights, and requirements for children under the age of 13.

The policy should also include a date stating the last time the policy has been updated.

As you can see the privacy policy can become a very detailed document with many considerations to take into account. The best way to create this document is to use a 3rd party service sometimes called a privacy policy generator. These services will ask you several questions and then create a policy specifically tailored to your website. We will go into more detail about this later.

Where to Get a Privacy Policy

The best place to get a privacy policy is a 3rd party service. These services will ask you several questions about your site, the services you provide and any 3rd party lools used. The “generator” will then create a policy for your site based on the answers you provided.

These services can be free or paid. The free services do not go into much detail and typically do not provide the details required for sites that use analytics or represent a business.

If you have a business site you will almost always need a paid solution. These solutions are very easy to use and price ranges from $70 to $250. The more complex your site is, the more complex the policy will be and the more the policy will cost.

We have created several posts about the best privacy policy generators and why your site needs a privacy policy.

Create a New Privacy Policy Page

Create a new privacy policy page

Add Text to Content Area of Page

Add text to your newly created privacy policy

Edit an Existing Privacy Policy Page

Edit an Exisiting Privacy Policy Page

Set privacy policy page in WP backend

Now that you have your privacy policy and added it as a page it is time to set it as The privacy policy for your WordPress install.  By doing this you are telling WordPress to use this page as the Official privacy policy should any service request it.

Note: If you followed the steps above you may have already done this but it never hurts to double-check that you have the Privacy Policy Correctly set.

To set the privacy policy go to the

WordPress Admin Dashboard > Settings > Privacy

Settings Privacy

You will now be taken to the screen to set the privacy policy.

Here you will be able to select and set the privacy policy page. If you do not have a privacy policy selected, it will say “Select”

If a page is already selected as the privacy policy then that page will be shown.

Select which page you want to use. Most likely it will be the page named “Privacy Policy”.

Once you have the correct page selected, click “Use This Page”

Set the Privacy Policy Page

Once you have the privacy policy selected and saved the settings page should look like this. 

Saved Privacy Policy Settings

To confirm everything is set correctly, you can log out of your WordPress website then go to the admin login screen and click the privacy policy link and you will be taken to your Official Privacy Policy Page.

If you do not go the correct page, review the steps above and ensure you have the correct page set for the privacy page. 

Privacy Policy on Login Screen

Congratulations you have now created and set a Privacy Policy for your WordPress Website!

Link to Privacy Policy Page in Footer

Now that you have your privacy policy added, it is time to make it easy for visitors to find. The best way to do this is to link to it in the footer.

Using the footer for links to important pages is a tried and true internet standard. If a visitor is looking for a legal page they know to look to the footer for everything important and boring.

WordPress templates vary widely so it will be difficult to provide directions on how to do this for your exact site but we can show you good examples of footer links to privacy policy pages.

Apple Privacy Policy Link in Footer

Apple Privacy Policy Link in Footer

WP Hosting Reviews Privacy Policy Link in Footer

WP Hosting Reviews Privacy Policy Link in Footer

Drudge Report Privacy Policy Link in Footer

Drudge Report Privacy Policy Link in Footer

Additional Legal Pages

Just as an FYI there are some other legal pages and notifications you may want to consider in addition to the privacy policy  

Terms & Conditions

Cookie Policy
This policy is sometimes included in the Privacy Policy and sometimes is its own standalone document. A Cooke policy goes into detail about the cookies on your website. We have a super helpful post about Does WordPress Use Cookies, or you can jump to our post on The Best Options for Cookie Policy Creation

Cookie Policy Notification Popup Functionality
This is the plugin that pops up a notification when a visitor first goes to your site. They have to click that acknowledge the use of cookies on your site.

Copyright Notice
This is pretty simple it has the © symbol, the year and the name of the website or the name of the company that owns the website. This lets people know that you own your content and they are not supposed to use it without your permission.

FTC Notice
This document applies to sites that are using affiliate links or could be paid for blogging about or recommending products and services. If you are an internet marketer, blogger or influencer then you should be familiar with this.

Refund Policy
If you run a store or sell services online, there is a chance you may have an unhappy customer. If you do then you need a refund policy. This document goes into the how and why or refunds and returns.

Conclusion

Thanks for sticking with us all the way to the end. Adding a privacy policy to your WordPress website is not the most exciting topic but it is a very important one.  Letting your visitors know what to expect when it comes to their personal data is the right thing to do.

Now you know the best places to create a privacy policy, what it should include, how to add a new page or edit an existing page if needed.  

If you have any questions or comments please let us know by putting them in the comments or using our contact page. We always want to have the most up to date and accurate posts so all input is welcome!

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