How Does GDPR Affect Your WordPress Website?

Have you noticed a lot more notifications popping up on websites saying things like “This website uses cookies to track data?” or “We’ve updated our privacy policy, click ‘here’ to accept the terms and conditions.”? You may be wondering what’s been going on, or you may already know that it has to do with GDPR compliance but aren’t sure how it affects you, we’re here to help.

We’re going to walk you through what GDPR is, how it affects you, and how to easily ensure your website is compliant. 

Note: We’re not lawyers, nor are we providing legal advice. This is an informational article and includes some of the steps we took when the laws went into effect. For additional compliance information, please consult a lawyer or GDPR consultant. 

What Is the GDPR?

Keeping your wordpress website compliant with gdpr standardsFirst, let’s get to the bottom of what the GDPR actually means (and what the letters stand for!). The General Data Protection Regulation is a set of laws designed to protect the personal information of people living in the European Union (EU). Organizations have to make sure that any personal data they gather is obtained legally and under strict conditions to prevent that information from being misused. 

The data that falls under the GDPR definition of personal data includes: 

  • Name
  • Photo
  • Email address
  • Social media posts
  • Medical information and history
  • IP addresses (a computer’s identity while on the internet)
  • Bank details 

Businesses and organizations who are found to mishandle information or not protect it properly have the potential to be hit with large fines.

Do GDPR Laws Affect My Business?

So, if these are European Union laws, does your website need to follow them if you do business exclusively in the United States?

Probably. Which, in this case, means yes. We’ll explain.

Basically, any business within the EU or one who is doing business with or collecting information from people in the EU has to comply with GDPR. By “doing business with,” we mean selling products or services, while “collecting information from” means getting a visitor’s email, IP address, or name. 

Here are some examples:

  • When a visitor comes to your website, you get their demographic data if you use Google Analytics or similar software;
  • Collecting emails for a newsletter subscription;
  • Having a registration or log in feature on your site;
  • Shipping a product you sell to a resident of the EU and getting their payment information and address;

Since anyone from anywhere can visit a website – even if you’re not targeting your marketing outside the United States – making sure you’re GDPR compliant, or at least adding a Privacy Policy to your website is a good idea.  

Note: Remember, we’re not lawyers. Talk to a legal professional to ensure your website is in 100% compliance if you do business with people in the EU. 

Adding a Privacy Policy to Your Website

Let’s add a Privacy Policy to your website. If you’re picturing a 10,000 word Terms and Conditions-type policy that is filled with legal jargon that no one ever reads, don’t worry! You don’t have to write the whole thing up from scratch. There are plenty of templates and Privacy Policy generators that you can use to add one to your website in just a few minutes.  

Here are some Privacy Policy Generators we recommend:

  • Privacy Policy Online – Popular for getting additional information and complying with relevant regulations. 
  • Iubenda – You can use this for your website as well as Google Ads, mailing lists, social media, and cookies. 

Once you choose your privacy policy, you just need to add a new page to your WordPress website. If you’re not sure, just read our “How to Add a Page to My WordPress website” tutorial. If you get stuck, just ask our Support Team to load the Privacy Policy onto your site! 

Let Us Help You with Your WordPress Website!

If you want a WordPress website for your business that protects your visitors’ data, let WP.digital help! We provide affordable packages that combine business-class web design with on-going digital marketing services to drive traffic to your website and increase your sales. Contact us today to learn more and get started!