I bet you’re surprised to hear that websites must adhere to certain legal requirements under UK and EU Law. Use the list below to see if yours is on the right side of the law.

All websites must adhere to the following laws and policies;

  1. Company Information
  2. Web Accessibility and the Disability Discrimination Act
  3. The Data Protection Act
  4. The EU Cookie Directive

Ecommerce websites also have a few more requirements they need to follow. But these relate to online selling, which is something we’ll cover in a later blog post.

 1. Company Information

If your website is for your registered business then the following information must be present on your website and emails in legible lettering.

  • registered company name
  • its place of registration
  • registered company number
  • its registered office address
  • and if it is being wound up

You can view our company information at the very bottom of our website. We put this on every page so people can find it easily.

2. Web Accessibility and the Disability Discrimination Act

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium devoted to developing Web standards. The Web Accessibility Guidelines have been split up into three checkpoints. Priority 1 is the basic requirement for all websites.

  • Priority 1: Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents
  • Priority 2: Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents
  • Priority 3: Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents

When we build websites we make sure we follow the guidelines for Priority 1 at the very least (or try our best depending on the project at hand).

3. The Data Protection Act

The DPA gives people the right to know what information is held about them both online and offline. If you collect any information from users of your website, even a simple contact form that asks for a name, email or phone number then you’ll need a Privacy Policy document or page on your site. This policy should inform users how you store, process, disclose and remove their data.

We provide all clients with a basic Privacy Policy template which they can update based on how they process user data online. Check out our Privacy Policy to see what you need.

We also recommend you have a Terms and Conditions document or page which informs users about  your content and how visitors are and are not permitted to use it. See our own T&C’s page.

4. EU Cookie Directive

On May 26th 2012 the ICO created the EU Cookie Law which means any websites that use cookies need to provide information on how and why you’re using them. It’s also advised to instruct or link to instructions on how users can remove cookies from their computers.

A cookie is a small file stored on a users computer by the web browser which can send information back to websites. They can store information like clicked particular buttons, logging in or pages you’ve read in the past.

99% of websites use cookies. Even if you have Google Analytics installed on your website you’re using cookies and need to inform users. This information is usually added to the Privacy Policy. View our own Cookie Policy information.

What to do if your not legal?

If you don’t think your website meets the requirements above then get on the case. Failure to meet these could result in fines from the regulatory bodies, however we’ve not seen this unforced on small or medium businesses, yet!

Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like us to check out your website and make sure it’s on the right side of the law.