Terms and Conditions Agreement: Why You Need One for Your WordPress Site

Terms and Conditions Agreement: Why You Need One for Your WordPress Site

Building a new website can be incredibly exciting. You get to design it, pick a logo, create content, engage with users, and more. However, not all aspects of launching a new site are as fun. You’ll also need to handle details such as drafting terms and conditions agreements, privacy policies, cookie policies, and other documents.

All these documents aim to protect you and your website legally. You can prevent visitors from misusing your site or its content by presenting clear terms and conditions. The more comprehensive this document is, the more protected you’ll be.

In this article, we’ll review several reasons you need a terms and conditions document for your website. We’ll discuss specific concerns and what clauses to include in the document. Then, we’ll show you how to generate a terms and conditions page in WordPress. Let’s get to it!

Why You Need a Terms and Conditions Agreement 

The main goal of terms and conditions agreements is to shield yourself from legal liability. However, this document can also help you inform visitors how you use their data and under which jurisdiction your website falls. Let’s go over each of these points one by one.

Limiting Liability

If you’re a website owner, a Terms and Conditions Agreement can shield you from legal action by your site’s users. Once you post it on your website, visitors are presumed to have read and understood the terms of dealing with your business.

They are presumed to interact with your website with the knowledge of the terms you’re imposing on them. Further, they are deemed to have consented to the same. This is an effective defense for you in a possibly sticky legal situation. 

This is often the case with eCommerce websites and websites that include user-generated content. Such an agreement is essential to an eCommerce website and also protects you from situations arising from linking to third-party sites or utilizing payment gateways.

Content Ownership and Fair Usage

It’s essential to let users know you own the content you create and publish on your website. What better way to state this than to include a clause in your Terms and Conditions Agreement? Here, you can also explain how users can use the website content. 

For instance, you can forbid reuse in any manner, specify ways in which it can be used, or allow reuse with proper attribution. In this way, your Terms and Conditions Agreement keeps you covered on copyright issues related to your content.

Privacy Concerns

As you may already know, data collection and analysis are at the heart of most website marketing strategies. Most website users are okay with websites collecting their personal information in exchange for a personalized experience. 

A generalized terms and conditions agreement (or even a more specific privacy policy) is essential to obtain users’ consent for collecting personal info and enforce other particular conditions to your website.

Such an agreement lets you control how users interact with your website content. Users know their details are being collected and shared securely and permissibly. For instance, visitors may be automatically subscribed to mailing lists. Consequently, relevant ads may pop up on their social media accounts. 

Governing Law and Jurisdiction

With the internet reaching all geographies and nations, knowing which country’s law will be followed in case of any dispute is essential. The appropriate jurisdiction for settling disputes can also be specified. 

By including this information in the terms and conditions, users tacitly agree to resolve disputes as you outline. However, depending on whether the terms you set are legal, this can sometimes be challenged, so we recommend you check your jurisdiction’s laws regarding internet privacy and fair usage.

This clause can be a lifesaver if you are in a dispute. It means you won’t have to hire a foreign lawyer or rush halfway across the world in response to a summons.

What should be included in a Terms and Conditions Agreement?

While a few primary conditions must be included in your Terms and Conditions Agreement, it’s your call to keep it as simple as you want or as detailed as you want to cover every possible eventuality. 

The last section reviewed several ways a terms and conditions document can benefit your website, including some specific clauses. Let’s recap what those clauses are and go over some other elements you should consider, including:

  • Details about your business
  • User guidelines that set out how users can interact with your website
  • Disclaimers
  • Limitation of liability
  • Remedies against abuse 
  • Contact details
  • Any warranties or guarantees
  • eCommerce-related terms and conditions
  • Governing / applicable law and jurisdiction

You’ll need to consult a lawyer if you’re drafting a terms and conditions document from scratch and not using any online services to help you. You must draft a document with as much of a legal basis as possible. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up with terms and conditions that might not be enforceable.

Where and How can you get your own Terms and Conditions Agreement?

The terms and conditions agreement is not standard and varies from site to site. That being said, the core contents of the agreement for most websites can be very similar.

For this reason, it may not be a bad idea to look at the agreements on other websites to understand how your Agreement should appear. Alternatively, you could also copy/paste from freely available legal templates. Then, you can always tweak the contents to suit the specific needs of your website.

You can also generate the agreement using an online tool. However, if you’re a serious business, it’s always advisable to get professional help from legal personnel.

If you’re a WordPress user, there’s another way to add legal pages to your website. You can have the pages up and running in no time at all by simply installing a plugin and using it to generate terms and conditions agreements.

How to Add a Terms and Conditions Agreement to Your WordPress Site 

Let’s go through a step-by-step tutorial on how to add a Terms and Conditions Agreement to your WordPress site using the WP AutoTerms plugin:

The WP AutoTerms plugin

We recommend this plugin because it can help you set up pages for terms and conditions agreements, privacy policies, and cookie policies. If you use the plugin’s premium version, it can even set up policy and agreement templates for you.

Step 1: Activate WP AutoTerms and Configure the Plugin

First, you’ll need to install and activate the plugin:

Installing the WP AutoTerms plugin in WordPress

Then, go to the WordPress dashboard. Find WP AutoTerms and open the plugin’s Settings page.

Fill in the details of your website on that page. Ensure the information you fill in is correct before creating your legal pages.

Configuring the WP AutoTerms settings.

You can update this information at any time. However, remember that using the wrong information might void the validity of your terms and conditions agreement.

Step 2: Create a Terms and Conditions Page

After setting up your plugin, click WP AutoTerms > Add Legal Pages > Create. Here, you can create a Terms and Conditions Agreement or a Privacy Policy page for free or your own custom legal pages. 

For this tutorial, let’s go with the Terms and Conditions. Click on Create within that section:

Creating a Terms and Conditions Agreement

You’ll then see a new page open up, and you’ll be required to fill in some details so that your Agreement will be populated with your company information. 

These details include your company name, country, website content ownership, liability limitation, etc. Once you’re done, click on Create:

Customizing a Terms and Conditions Agreement

After that, open your new Terms and Conditions page at WP AutoTerms > All Legal Pages. Go ahead and make any changes required. Then, save the changes.

Legal Pages in the WP AutoTerms plugin

Remember that this doesn’t automatically display the terms and conditions page on your website. It would be best if you still decided where to show the agreement. We’ll cover that in the next section.

Step 3: Display the Terms and Conditions Agreement on Your Website

Now that you have your agreement ready, all that’s left for you to do is create a link to the document within your website. Most commonly, this appears as a link in the footer, which users can click to view the full page. Let’s discuss how to copy that approach.

You can use the WP AutoTerms plugin to display a clickable Terms and Conditions link in the footer. To do this, go to Compliance Kits > Enable and click on Configure in the Links to Legal Pages section:

Enabling Compliance Kits in WP AutoTerms

A page will open where you can choose the background color, text color, and fonts and add custom CSS to the page. Customize the page as you see fit and save the changes when you’re done:

Customizing Links to Legal Pages in WP AutoTerms

The link to the terms and conditions agreement is ready at this stage. To check it out, open any page from your website and look at the bottom of it. It’ll be hard to miss the Terms and Conditions link at the bottom in the footer. 

Clicking on that link will take a visitor to your Terms and Conditions page, where you can include the clauses that you need for your website:

Terms and Conditions link in a website footer

If you’re unsure what clauses to incorporate, check the previous sections covering what information to include in the agreement. You can also use an agreement generation tool to help you get a basic terms and conditions document ready (which you can then customize).

Wrapping Up

Almost every WordPress website needs a terms and conditions agreement, whether you’re running a blog, an online store, an affiliate site, or even a portfolio. The clauses included in this type of agreement will vary from site to site. It’s more important for some websites to outline clear, fair usage clauses. Other websites need strong privacy policies or even dispute resolution clauses.

We recommend using a plugin if you’re ready to add a terms and conditions agreement to your WordPress website. Here’s the process, step by step, including the plugin we recommend:

  1. Activate WP AutoTerms and configure the plugin.
  2. Create a Terms and Conditions page.
  3. Display the Terms and Conditions Agreement on your website.

Do you have any questions about setting up a terms and conditions page in WordPress? Let’s discuss them in the comments section below!

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