Do you need cookie consent if you have a WordPress site?
What does the EU cookie law mean for your website and cookie notice? Are you compliant?
What is a WordPress cookie plugin, and why should you choose Cookiebot?
Read the article and get the answers!
Should I use cookie consent if I have a WordPress site?
It depends on how you use WordPress and how it is set up.
A clean version of the WordPress code without plugins doesn't set any user related cookies. It only sets cookies when a site admin logs into the backend of the system. In this case, you don't need a cookie consent on your website, as there are no cookies.
Very few people use WordPress in its basic form. Once you start to install plugins on your site, you either need to check the plugins to ensure that they don’t set cookies, or you need to implement a cookie consent function on your site.
Most hosted versions of WordPress set cookies per default, such as WordPress sites hosted on WordPress.com.
Hence, we recommend that you always use a cookie consent solution to ensure that you comply with the GDPR and the EU ePrivacy directive.
You can try our Compliance Test if you are in doubt about what cookies are in use on your site.
What does the EU cookie law mean for my WordPress website and cookie notice?
They mean that you have to take measures to ensure that your website meets the requirements and is compliant with the regulations.
Otherwise, you risk heavy fines of up to €20 million, or 4% of the organization's global yearly turnover, whichever is higher.
Basically, what you have to do is to go through your data processing activities and revise how the user data is handled on your website.
Websites typically manage data by means of cookies and online tracking technologies.
Be aware that you are responsible not only for the data handled directly by you and your site, but also for that which is handled by any third parties in use on your site.
Most sites make use of some kind of third parties.
For example, social media buttons, embedded videos, and tools for analytics all are data-gathering third parties on your website.
The EU regulations are complex. Luckily, there exists a user-friendly plugin for WordPress sites that ensures that your website meets the requirements and complies in one single stroke regarding everything that has to do with cookies and online tracking.
Is my WordPress site compliant with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and ePrivacy directive?
At Cookiebot, we have developed a service that scans your website for cookies and analyzes them.
A detailed report is automatically produced and sent to you about the cookies in use on your site, including information on their purpose and provenance.
The service is free of charge and has no strings attached.
For your WordPress site to meet the requirements and hence comply, make sure that you:
Inform your users:
Provide a clear and specific information on the cookies in use on the site, what types of data are processed, for what purpose and where in the world they are sent.
Get prior consent:
Ask for consent before setting cookies. Only strictly necessary cookies may be set prior to the reception of the consent.
Keep record of all received consents as evidence that the consent has been given.
Protect the data:
Ensure that all personal data is securely stored. Only transmit data to the EU and other adequate countries.
Give your users a true choice:
Make sure that your users have the possibility to see the cookies, select, accept and reject them. The site must function even though the user has rejected cookies.
Provide the option for your users to change their mind:
Give access for the users to see and change their choice of accepted and rejected cookies on your site. If the user so requests, you must be able to erase their data.
In the case of a breach, alert securities and affected users within 72 hours.
Also check out the nice infographic by the EU explaining the regulations in plain language and what they mean for your business.
What is a WordPress cookie plugin?
However, this is not sufficient to comply.
An adequate WordPress cookie plugin takes care of all the processes concerning cookies on your site, so that everything in relation to cookies and online tracking on your website complies with the GDPR and ePrivacy directive.
What is the difference between paid WordPress cookie plugins and free ones?
There exists a vast range of cookie plugins for WordPress, both free and paid. Their functionality and quality varies accordingly.
What you need to look for when choosing a cookie plugin for your website, is whether it meets the actual laws and requirements.
NB! Be aware that the rules have changed.
With the enforcement of the GDPR, the requirements have become both stricter and more complex.
Therefore, be careful and bear in mind that a great deal of the existing cookie plugins for WordPress that explicitly claim to be compliant, are not. Even though they have “EU law” in their name or EU stars in their icon!
The price for making the wrong choice is very high.
For a WordPress cookie plugin to be compliant, it has to:
- Provide clear and specific information about data types and purpose of the cookies.
- Block all but strictly necessary cookies until the visitor has given consent - a feature called ‘prior consent’.
- Keep a full documentation of all given consents.
- Contain the possibility for users to reject superfluous cookies and still use the website.
- Give users the possibility of withdrawing their consent whenever they want.
Cookie solutions that don’t have those features are not GDPR compliant.
Why should I choose the Cookiebot WordPress plugin?
Cookiebot is one of the only fully GDPR and ePrivacy directivecompliant cookie solutions on the market.
It is based on years of thorough research on the regulations and ensures full compliance and full control at a fair price.
Cookiebot is really easy to implement and use. The experience is user-friendly and transparent for both you as a website owner and for your users.
Cookiebot informs about all cookies in use in a clear and simple manner, gives your users the free choice of opting in and out of the different types of cookies, and securely stores all consents as documentation.
With Cookiebot, you are in full control. See an overview of all of the functions on Cookiebot.com
What cookies are in use on my WordPress website or blog?
The cookies in use vary from site to site, also depending on what plugins are in use and where the site is hosted. Generally speaking, WordPress sites may use the following:
Strictly Necessary Cookies:
For example authentication cookies, used to know whether the user is logged in or not.
Stores preferences set by users such as account name, language, location, and whether the user has chosen to view the mobile version of a site.
Collects information on how users interact with websites hosted on WordPress, including what pages are visited most, as well as other analytical data. These details are used to improve the performance of the website’s functions.
Used to target the advertising to visitors on WordPress sites, as well as to track the volume of visitors. They track details about visitors such as the number of unique visitors, number of times particular ads have been displayed, the number of clicks the ads have received, and are also used to measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns by building up detailed user profiles. These kinds of cookies are set by trusted third party networks, and are generally persistent in nature.
Cookies set by Third Parties/Embedded Content:
Sites hosted on WordPress make use of different third party applications and services to enhance the experience of website visitors. These include social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter (through the use of sharing buttons), or embedded content from YouTube and Vimeo. As a result, cookies may be set by these third parties, and used by them to track your online activity.
Web beacons and other tracking technologies:
Both websites and HTML e-mails may also contain other tracking technologies such as ‘web beacons’. These are typically small transparent images that provide WordPress with statistics, for similar purposes as cookies. They are often used in conjunction with cookies, though they are not stored on your computer in the same way. As a result, if you disable cookies, the web beacons may still load, but their functionality will be restricted.
Cookie checker: How can I check the cookies on my WordPress website?
Find out what cookies are in use on your WordPress site, where they come from and what purpose they serve by taking an audit of your website.
Our service is free of charge and with no strings attached.
You will receive a complete overview of the cookies in use on your site in the report.
- What types of cookies are set on the user’s browser when they visit your site
- How long they persist on the user’s browser
- What data they track
- For what purpose (functionality, performance, statistics, marketing, etc.)
- Where the data is sent to and with whom it is shared
- How to reject cookies, and how your users subsequently can change the status regarding what cookies they have accepted and rejected.
However, with the GDPR, you have to make sure that the part containing your cookie declaration is updated at all times.
Examples of WordPress cookie policies
Keep in mind, however, that your policy should be revised and updated regularly, to make sure that it informs about the actual cookies in use on your site.
What is a WordPress cookie banner?
A WordPress cookie banner is a banner, that shows up on a website the first time a user visits it.
With the enforcement of the GDPR, the information should be specific, clear and transparent, and the user should be provided the option to accept or reject different types of cookies.
Cookiebot does all of the above directly in the banner, thereby complying with the regulations with a minimum impact on the overall user experience.
Once 12 months has passed since the specific user gave their consent, the cookie banner should show up again upon the user’s first visit to the site, asking for renewed consent.
What is a cookie notice?
With the EU cookie law and data protection regulation, all users should not only be informed about the specific cookies in use, but given a real choice to opt in and out of them.
Examples of cookie notice texts
Be aware that the rules have changed, rendering many cookie notices obsolete. Here is an example of a cookie notification, that doesn’t comply with the regulations:
Here is an example of a compliant cookie notice:
What are the cookie requirements for WordPress Free domains?
Provide clear and specific information about data types and purpose of the cookies. Keep a full documentation of all given consents. Give your users the possibility to reject superfluous cookies and still use the website. Give your users the possibility of withdrawing their consent whenever they want.
Check out our Cookiebot plugin for WordPress, which is one of the few GDPR compliant solutions out there.
What should a WordPress cookie notice or warning contain?
A cookie notice or warning should contain specific information about the cookies in use on the website, including cookies and other online tracking technologies set by third parties.
The notice should inform about the types of cookies in use, their provenance and purpose, and provide your users with the possibility to opt in and out.
Remember, also, that the notice should be given before any cookies are set (except for strictly necessary ones), and that the cookies are not allowed before the user has given their consent to it.
The General Data Protection Regulation
The ePrivacy Directive
Cookiebot plugin for WordPress sites
Check if your website complies with the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive
Data Protection - Better rules for small businesses
GDPR adequate countries
Cookiebot Plans and pricing
Blogpost: Cookies and WordPress: How to Set, Get and Delete