All About Website Terms + Conditions
Do you have the right website policies?
It’s so common for business owners to skip the website policies or to borrow one from google.
That’s a bad idea for a few reasons.
Why You Need a Website Policy
Without a website policy, you’re bound to default sales rules (like a 30 day return policy, paying for return shipping.)
A website policy is how you change those rules. You can make items final sale, you can change the cancellation policy, you can add an exchange policy, you can make customers pay for return shipping, etc.
You need a good website policy to protect your bottom line and ensure that you’re not paying for needless shipping charges or issuing unnecessary refunds.
It’s good to put these terms on an FAQ page for customer reference, but that’s not binding. You need customers to actually click to accept the terms.
So you need a website policy!
Why You Shouldn’t Copy + Paste Someone Else’s Website Terms
You’re bound by these website terms.
If you ever have to go to court, you’ll be held to the website terms on your site.
So you need to know that they’re written by an attorney and that they work with your business.
For example, we know one business owner who was based in Texas but had to travel to Arizona to enforce her website terms because that’s what they said. She found the website terms online and she didn’t read them all the way through.
Or take our website terms. They’re specific to attorneys. If you copied and pasted them, you’d be bound to a lot of rules that you don’t need to follow if you’re not an attorney.
So here’s what we recommend:
Find website terms written by an attorney
Make sure they apply to your business
What your Website Terms Should Say
Terms + Conditions
These policies tells customers what they need to know about browsing your website.
You'll want to spell out the rules for using the site, sharing content, when you’ll remove comments, and where users can contact your company.
You’ll also want to include things you’re not responsible for, like bad links, the site crashing, or spreading a virus.
If you run an ecommerce site, make sure to spell out how you handle orders, returns, and shipping.
This tells users how you'll store their information: whether you'll sell it, collect their cookies, track their location, and how they can opt out of data collection.
Disclaimers about what information you store (via forms or cookies)
This includes first and last names, emails, addresses, birthdays, phone and credit card numbers, criminal history and other personal characteristics - basically anything that could identify someone.
It includes what you do with trackable non-personally identifiable data like IP addresses, other location data, passwords, shopping cart info or security answers.
It also includes mentioning your Do Not Track (DNT) protocol
2. What you do with the information gathered from site (and app) users.
Do you keep it confidential?
Do you sell it?
Do you share it with a website provider, like Squarespace or Shopify?
Where to Put Your Website Terms
Add your website terms to a new page on your website.
Make sure the page is accessible from the bottom of the homepage.