EU Cookie Law Compliance for Your WordPress Site

Improving user experience on your website can be done through the use of cookies. However, installing tracking cookies without the user’s consent is a violation of the ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC (EU Cookie Law), which can lead to various issues for European sites. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that your WordPress site is EU Cookie Law compliant. In this article, we’ll discuss cookies, the EU Cookie Law, and how to make your WordPress site compliant with ease.

What Are Cookies?

Cookies are information files stored in a browser that contain data specific to a website visitor. They contain information relevant to the user’s experience on the website. For instance, cookies may retain a user’s search history, remember login details, or make product recommendations based on previous purchases.

How Are Cookies Used in WordPress?

In WordPress, cookies are mostly used to log users into a website. WordPress stores a cookie upon login to verify and store authentication for the backend/admin panel. Another cookie is stored to indicate that the specific user account is logged in, and a few other cookies personalize how the admin panel or even the main website interface appears to the user. Cookies are also stored when users leave a comment.

Depending on the plugins installed or third-party services being used, there could be more cookies scattered around your website. For example, if you’ve added a push notifications plugin or if you’re using Google Adsense, that’s at least a couple more cookies on your website that you should be aware of.

How This Applies to You

It’s safe to assume that everyone using WordPress is also using cookies. The important part here is to disclose to your readers that you’re using them. Currently, in the USA, informing visitors of your use of cookies and their purpose in your privacy policy is enough. But for European-based sites (and websites targeting the European market), the rules are stricter.

What Is the EU Cookie Law?

The EU Cookie Law was formulated to ensure that private user information acquired through cookies (for instance, if they are used for tracking) can only be acquired with the user’s consent. Although certain kinds of cookies are exempt from the law, in most cases, you’ll need to do the following if you use them on your site:

– Let your users know cookies are in use

– Tell your users what the cookies are being used for

– Give users the option to opt in or out of being tracked by cookies

And you’ll need to do this before visitors begin using your website. Failing to comply with the EU Cookie Law could result in incurring a fine, not to mention losing the trust of your users.

How to Make Your WordPress Site EU Cookie Law Compliant

To make your WordPress site EU Cookie Law compliant, there are three steps you’ll need to follow. We’ll walk through each one in turn.

Step 1: Have a Cookie Policy In Place

Your policy document (or “extended notice”) should comprehensively detail your site’s use of cookies. In order to be compliant with the law, this document should include each of the following points:

– A statement clearly informing users that cookies are in use on your website

– An explanation of what cookies are

– An explanation of what kinds of cookies are in use (by you and/or third parties)

– A clear overview of how and why you (and/or third parties) are using cookies

– An explanation of how users can opt-out of having cookies placed on their device(s)

Creating a cookie policy to address these points is necessary. WordPress makes this pretty easy. Just use the built-in Privacy Policy template under Settings > Privacy. Alternatively, you can use a service such as Iubenda to generate your policy.

Step 2: Place a Consent Banner on Your Site

With your privacy policy ready, you’ll now need to add a consent banner (or brief notice) to your website. This should be prominently displayed so it’s the first information a user sees when they visit your site. The important information to include here is a notice that your site does use cookies as well as a link to your policy.

If you’ve created your own privacy policy page, you can use any basic cookie notice plugin to add a simple statement (with links) on your homepage. One good option is the LuckyWP Cookie Notice. If you’ve used Iubenda, you’ll need to use their free Cookie Solution plugin to add your cookie policy and a consent banner to your site.

Step 3: Allow Users to Give Consent

When you make your WordPress site EU Cookie Law compliant, you’ll need to give users the opportunity to accept or decline the use of cookies. If a user does not actively give their consent, you’ll need to block all scripts that install cookies. Fortunately, most cookie consent/notice plugins offer this feature, and the Iubenda Cookie Solution plugin is no different.


Ensuring that your cookie policy and notifications are watertight is crucial in 2021. Plugins like LuckyWP Cookie Notice and Iubenda can make this task much easier for WordPress. If you have any questions about EU Cookie Law compliance or how to make your WordPress site EU Cookie Law compliant, let us know in the comment section below!

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