Today’s topic might not be fun, but it is vital if you want to make your website more professional. Make sure, that you take care of all the essential legal aspects. For Europeans, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)/Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (DSVGO) are also important to keep in mind. The two critical factors of the GDPR are to keep customer data secure and make marketing communications as clear as possible.

As a website owner, you might store or process data like contact forms, analytics, email marketing, online store, membership sites, etc. Depending on which plugins you are using, you would need to make sure that your website is GDPR compliant. So, look through your website with the following questions in mind:

1.) Are your legal & privacy notice up to date? And, if you are European, are they compliant with the GDPR / DSVGO? I use eRecht to generate GDPR/DSVGO compliant pages for my clients. It is available in German and English. Sidenote: I often get asked, if you need legal & privacy notices in German and English, if you have an English website f.e., but are based in Germany and speak to German visitors as well. Yes, you need both.

2.) Do you use a double opt-in for newsletter subscribers? And are you making it easy for subscribers to opt-out or unsubscribe?

3.) Does your contact form have a tick box for users to confirm that they accept the terms of using your website and agree to be contacted by you? Edit all of your forms by adding a description of what the user is signing up for.

4.) Make sure your social media buttons are compliant with the regulations mentioned earlier.

5.) Do you have a cookie alert banner, if your website is using cookies? Or could you refrain from using cookies at all?

6.) Comments on blog pages can be critical, so look into that as well.

7.) Do you use an SSL certificate? This is also necessary for some browsers like Firefox because if not, they would grade your website as insecure.

GDPR/DSVGO is a broad topic, and I am not an expert, so make sure, to do your research if your website needs some updates in that area.