How to setup a Cookie Notification plugin on your website

how-to-set-up-a-cookie-notification-plugin-website

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.

Uhm, I’m not sure if my website uses cookies …

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:

add new wordpress plugin

 

In the search-box type ‘Responsive Cookie Consent’ to find the plugin and then click the ‘install’ button.

installing the responsive cookie consent plugin

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.

Responsive Cookie Consent settings

 

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)’.

Then under ‘Cookie Policy Message’ either leave the suggested text or insert your own. We like something along the lines of: ‘Your privacy is important. We use a minimal set of cookies to provide our services and measure traffic to this site.’

Now, under ‘Cookie Policy URL’ you can set the place you’d like people to go when they click the ‘more info’ button. This should link to your cookie policy – the page on your own site where you have published your cookie policy.

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:

Copying the cookie consent code

Now go to your website’s dashboard.

If you use the Divi theme

If you use Divi the next step is super-easy:

  1. Navigate to Divi Theme Options
  2. Go to the ‘Integration’ tab
  3. Make sure header code is enabled
  4. Paste the code you just copied from the Cookie Consent site into the < head > code box
  5. Save your changes and you’re done.

 

Steps to enable header code in the Divi Theme Options

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

We find  Suzanne Dibble’s free GDPR checklist very useful – it gives you a quick overview of what you need to do to make sure your business is GDPR compliant. Suzanne is a Data Protection Lawyer.  By requesting the free list you’ll also be invited to her free facebook group where you’ll find lots of further guidance and free videos, and you can learn more about her GDPR Compliance pack, with 20 legal templates to help you get set up with your Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and much more. We have bought this pack, many of our clients have also – we find it very useful,  affordable, and highly recommend it to make all of this much easier!

You can download the free GDPR checklist here.

Please note that we earn a small commission if you decide to buy the legal pack from Suzanne through our referral here 🙂

with love,

Helena

 

 

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