Since 2012 there’s a European Union regulation that requires websites to notify their visitors if they place any cookies in their visitors’ browsers. You’ve probably seen such notifications and to many people they seem just an annoyance. But with the stricter EU privacy laws from 2018 and 2019, it may be important for your website to display such a notification. In this article we look at two nice and simple ways to implement a cookie notification on your website.
In a nutshell, cookies are little snippets of code that websites place in your browser to them remember stuff. Most websites need them. If your website uses any kind of analytics or social sharing functionality, it almost surely places cookies. There’s a really nice and succinct explanation on the Cookies & You website (have a look at the video, it’s nice).
2 Easy ways of setting up a cookie notification on your (WordPress) website
Quite a few talented developers have worked hard to make it easy to setup a cookie notification on your website. If you run a WordPress website, there are several plugins that can help you. And there’s also a free and open source cookie solution for all websites (including WordPress sites) that we really like.
Method 1: Displaying a cookie notification with a WordPress plugin
There are several good WordPress plugins to notify visitors of cookies on your website. If you search in the WordPress plugin directory for ‘cookie consent’, you’ll find several dozens. It’s always good to choose one that’s in active development and that has good ratings. There are a few very popular ones and they would be an excellent choice. But we like a lesser known plugin called Responsive Cookie Consent, because it’s simple and lightweight and you can easily customise the styling to match your site.
Installing the plugin
To install it login to your WordPress dashboard and go to ‘plugins > add new’, like so:
In the search-box type ‘Responsive Cookie Consent’ to find the plugin and then click the ‘install’ button.
Wait a few moments until the plugin is installed and then click the activate button. The plugin is now active on your site and only need to make a few settings to make it work.
Setting up the plugin
To setup the plugin navigate to ‘Settings > RCC’, to open up the plugin’s settings page.
There are a few settings you need to make. To start under ‘Display’, check the boxes for ‘Enable the Cookie Consent Bar’ and ‘Display at bottom of screen (Use this option if your theme is using a fixed header)’.
Finally, under ‘Styling’, set the colours to match those of your site. Now save your settings and you’re done.
Method 2: Display a cookie notification with a third-party script
We personally prefer this approach over the plugin route, because it’s nice and elegant and also has more styling options – so you can make your cookie notification blend in very well with your site.
To start go to the Cookie Consent website and click the download link.
Customizing your cookie notification
At the bottom of your screen you now see the cookie bar with its default options. And by going through the configuration option on the left you can change the way it looks. So simply go through the steps until you’re satisfied with the result. As a suggestion, under layout the ‘edgeless’ option looks very nice. There are some nice standard colour palettes you can choose from, or create your own to match your site’s colours. We recommend you leave all other options to their default dettings, possibly only adjusting the deafult message text to the one we suggested under method 1.
Getting it onto your website
When you’re done customizing, you need to get this notification onto your own site. On the right there’s a box with code – that’s what you need. Simply click the ‘copy’ button to put that code into your clipboard:
Now go to your website’s dashboard.
If you use the Divi theme
If you use Divi the next step is super-easy:
- Navigate to Divi Theme Options
- Go to the ‘Integration’ tab
- Make sure header code is enabled
- Paste the code you just copied from the Cookie Consent site into the < head > code box
- Save your changes and you’re done.
If you ever want to make any changes, you can go to the Cookie Consent site again and generate a new code. Then just overwrite the code from step 4 above.
If you don’t use Divi
If you use a different theme, it may well have similar functionality and allow you to paste in the code into your site’s header just like Divi. Check your theme documentation to find out.
Alternatively, there a nice plugin that lets you add code to your site’s header and footer easily: Head, Footer and Post Injections. Install that and add your code (check the plugin documentation if you’re not sure how).
If you’re a web-developer with access to your site’s theme files you can also consider placing the code manually directly in your theme’s header file or through a must-use plugin.
More info & Free GDPR Checklist
We hope the info here helps you to set up a cookie notification for your website, one of the steps towards GDPR compliance. There is more to GDPR than just your website:
Checklist for all GDPR related things you need to do for your biz
Please note that we earn a small commission if you decide to buy the legal pack from Suzanne through our referral here :)