With the alarming rate of data breaches and hacks, people are now more concerned about online privacy than anything else. As a result, the European Union has introduced specific laws to protect user privacy. You may actually be violating these laws without knowing it.
If you have a WordPress site or blog, you are probably already using cookies to collect user data and provide certain features of your site. And, if you are not displaying a cookie consent notification on your site, you could be fined or have a serious problem.
Do not worry. Setting up a cookie consent notification is quite easy. In this guide, we will walk you through the process step by step. But first, let’s learn a little about cookie law and why you need to show cookie consent notifications on your site.
What is Cookie Consent?
Not to be confused with the baked cookies you eat, an HTTP cookie or a browser cookie is a type of file that websites use to collect and remember user data. This file is stored in your browser so the site remembers who you are.
For example, when you sign in to Facebook, it stores a cookie in your browser to remember your email and password, so that next time you can instantly access the website.
Even though these types of cookies may seem harmless, you are still collecting data from your visitors without them knowing. This is why cookie consent was introduced as a way of notifying people that you are using cookies on your site and giving them the option to continue browsing or leaving the site.
See what a cookie consent should be, according to the European Union.
The European Union Cookie Law
Showing a cookie consent notification on your site is a good practice that will help build trust and loyalty to your audience. However, it is now also required by law, especially if there are visitors visiting your site from Europe and the US.
The European Union has introduced EU legislation on cookies. This “requires prior informed consent to store or access information stored on a user’s terminal equipment” – The ePrivacy Directive – Article 5 (3)
As you can imagine, showing a cookie consent notification is more than complying with the law. It is also an important part of making your site reliable and a safe place for your visitors.
How to Write a Cookie Consent Message
Here is a simple example of a message you can customize and use on your WordPress blog by showing a cookie consent notification:
How to Set Up a WordPress Cookie Consent Notification
Thanks to the plugins, it is very easy to set a cookie notification on your site. We will use the free GDPR Cookie Consent Banner plugin to complete this work.
Step 1: Install the Cookie Consent Plugin
Sign in to your WordPress admin panel and go to Plugins> Add New.
Look for the GDPR Cookie Consent Banner plugin and click the Install button. Then click the Activate button to activate the plugin.
Step 2: Customize the Settings
When the installation is complete, go to the Settings> Cookie Consent page to customize the plugin settings.
From here you can choose how the notification is shown to your visitors. You can allow people to close the notification by clicking or set a timer to automatically close the notification.
You can also choose to exclude notification from appearing in specific regions of the world. You will need to install the GeoIP Detect plugin to enable this feature.
In the Styles tab, you can choose where the notification will be displayed and customize its colors.
Step 3: Edit the Message (Notification)
Go to the Content tab to enter your custom cookie consent notification message.
After making changes, click the Save button.
Our final result looks like this:
This is especially important if you are using a third party or native advertising. And it will help you avoid problems and make your site more GDPR compliant.