If you are running a WordPress website, by now you are probably familiar with the ominous, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which went into effect in 2018. It is a set of EU (European Union) regulations that have an impact on US businesses that do business with EU residents. GDPR is concerned with data privacy and data security, and it is having an impact in those areas throughout every business on the globe that does business online and serves EU residents.
You have likely been asking, “How are these regulations impacting my business?” The answer is that GDPR regulations touch many aspects of your WordPress website. But there are a lot of smart people who have generously broken down this complex set of legal requirements so that the average business person can implement them without too much difficulty.
In this article, we will look at five WordPress GDPR compliance plugins that will help you run your website more efficiently and stay within the law. If you are looking for WordPress GDPR compliance services for your site or ecommerce shop, we can help.
Table of contents:
- Is the WordPress CRM GDPR compliant?
- What are the basic requirements for GDPR compliance for my WordPress website?
- 5 WordPress plugins to consider for GDPR compliance in 2022
- Resources for conducting a GDPR compliance audit for your WordPress site
Is the WordPress CMS GDPR compliant?
You can breathe easier about GDPR because you are running a WordPress website which is already GDPR compliant. However, the nature of WordPress with all of the themes and plugins you can add to customize it adds another layer of complexity. You must make sure that all the plugins you are using are GDPR compliant, and you will also need to examine what types of data you store about your customers, how secure that data is, how you use it, and how you would notify your customers should a data breach occur.
While the core WordPress installation is GDPR compliant, you still need to make sure that all of the plugins you use are compliant and that the way you handle customer data comports with these new regulations.
What are the basic requirements for GDPR compliance for my WordPress website?
The GDPR governs the collection, use, and storage of the personal information for the visitors and customers of your website. GDPR protects people from being spammed with unsolicited emails and marketing messages. It prevents businesses from reselling their customers’ data without their consent, and it requires businesses to make it easy for users to delete their personal information and unsubscribe from all subscriber lists. Finally, businesses must report data breaches and take full responsibility for protecting the data they collect about their customers.
In a previous FreshySites blog post, we shared:
5 steps to make your WordPress site become GDPR compliant
- Ensure your plugins comply with GDPR.
- Limit the data you collect via forms.
- Review your email marketing strategies.
These are a compact summary of the factors that GDPR impacts on your website and your business.
Next, we will look at the five WordPress GDPR compliance plugins that can help you manage these steps.
5 WordPress plugins to consider for GDPR compliance in 2022
The following is a roundup of five of the dozens of WordPress plugins available to support you in bringing your WordPress website into compliance with GDPR regulations.
The GDPR Framework for WordPress By Data443 is a WordPress GDPR compliance plugin that is full of features to help website owners become GDPR compliant. It comes with an easy installation wizard to help you get up and running quickly. The privacy features include:
- Do not sell my private information capability
- Multilingual Plugin WPML
- The ability to enable DSAR on one page
- Gives you the option to delete or anonymize data automatically or manually
- Users can track, manage and withdraw their consent
- It works with Contact Form 7 and Contact Form Flamingo plugins
The GDPR Framework for WordPresshas available add-ons such as:
- Formidable Forms
- Gravity Forms
- Ninja Forms
This plugin also offers a full Site Owners Guide to help WordPress website owners learn about GDPR requirements and how they impact their website.
This multi-purpose WordPress plugin covers several areas of legal requirements for GDPR which include:
- Compliance kits which support the announcement of your update notices of legal pages
- Cookies notice announcement bar
- Endorsements for disclosing the presence of affiliate links on your website.
The Cookies Yes plugin is a GDPR compliant WordPress plugin that will help bring your site into GDPR compliance along with a host of other global data privacy and security regulations. It is a plugin with more than 1,585 five-star reviews, and a host of features such as:
- Enables a WordPress cookie notice with Accept and Reject options
- Allows a single click automatic scanning and categorization of cookies
- Adds a cookie banner to show your compliance with GDPR regulations.
- Integrates with the Facebook pixel, Smash Balloon, Instagram Feed and Twitter Feed.
- It also integrates with WPML and qTranslate so you will be able to communicate your cookie compliance in multiple languages.
Pricing: Free trial and monthly plans per domain.
Cookie Notice is a WordPress plugin that provides a banner for your site to demonstrate your compliance with cookie consent requirements for GDPR and CCPA. It allows website owners to comply with data protection and users’ consent laws in a proactive way by allowing visitors to understand the decisions they are making about their data privacy. The Cookie Notice plugin has more than 2,809 five-star reviews, and it covers a host of data privacy regulations in the US, EU and other countries.
Every online business must collect names and email addresses of their customers, but GDPR requires that this process be done in a way that protects the user’s privacy and secures their personal data. The WP email capture plugin creates a name and email capture form which is a double opt-in. You can export the list of subscribers as a .CSV file to your favorite email marketing software or service such as Aweber, Active Campaign or MailChimp, and it works with reCAPTCHA integration.
There is a premium version of WP Email Capture which includes:
- Stat tracking
- Multiple lists
- Custom fields
Resources for conducting a GDPR compliance audit for your WordPress site
There are many resources online informing you about GDPR compliance. Your first step in tackling this important process is to do a GDPR audit on your website. A good resource to start with is the GDPR Compliance Checklist. This is a web application survey that you fill out by answering questions about how you interact with customer data and manage data security. Answering these questions will get you on the road to hardening your compliance with GDPR regulations.
The CP.Protect blog has a GDPR compliance audit checklist, which is a generic list of items that would vary depending on the nature of your business. Some important items on a GDPR audit compliance list might include how your website business handles the following:
- Governance & Accountability
- DPO (Data Protection Officer)
- Privacy by design/Secure processing
- Founding principles/Processing activities
- DPIA (Data Protection Impact Assessments)
- Information disclosure/Consent
- Interactions with data subjects
- Data subject rights
- Third parties/Data sharing
- Breach management
You might consider an internal GDPR compliance audit before you are required to submit to an external one.
The nerve-wrecking aspect of GDPR is that there are fines (4% of annual revenue or €20 million whichever is greater) associated with being in violation of these rules. Compliance with GDPR is mandatory and complicated.
Here is a link to a thorough GDPR compliance checklist issued by the EU which explains why US companies must comply with the GDPR, and how they can make sure that they are doing so.
The EU’s GDPR regulations have forced all website owners who serve European visitors to be responsible and diligent when it comes to data privacy and collection. The goal is to get your data privacy and security in order so that you can prove that you were in compliance should you suffer a data breach or if a customer complains about your data collection policies.
In this article we have looked at the ways the core WordPress software is GDPR compliant, we covered the basic requirements for GDPR compliance for your WordPress website, and we offered a quick roundup of five WordPress GDPR compliant plugins to help bring your website up to the legal standard for protecting data privacy, improving data security practices. Finally, you now have some resources for conducting a GDPR compliance audit for your WordPress website.
Are you a WordPress website owner and you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of managing your site’s GDPR compliance? At FreshySites, we can support you through making a series of changes to your website to bring it into compliance with the GDPR regulations. Contact us today and schedule a consultation to discuss our WooCommerce and WordPress GDPR compliance services.