Make sure your website is legal
When you run a business large or small, it doesn’t matter if you are trading millions or nothing at all, your website needs to be legally compliant.
There are many aspects that need to be considered when you are writing your website content, especially in relation to your products and services.
For instance, if you are selling children’s toys and you state that an action figure is 8cm tall, but, it is 6cm tall and the packaging states 6cm then you are breaking the law. You need to be compliant which means your website content needs to be accurate and state the exact details as mentioned in the packaging of the item.
You also need to clearly state how customers are to pay for goods, highlight any delivery charges and if the customer has the right to return or cancel an item and what the statutory cooling off period is.
By not being complaint and stating the wrong details you are heading down a slippery slope, as in today’s world of social media, customers will vent their anger online which can then create bad publicity for your business. You then also need to spend more time on customer service and ensure that all your customers are happy and sort the problem out. Mistakes like this can basically cost you a lot of time and money.
It is the same if you run a service-based business and there are a variety of laws regarding digital content too. If you promise a customer a certain package for a certain price, but you don’t deliver the full package you will be breaking the law. You need to deliver to the customer exactly what is stated on your website and for the quoted price.
It is recommended that your content is proofread by several people before it goes live and that there is an individual who will ensure all the facts within your content are correct before publishing. This requires someone to go through all your products/services and make sure all measurements, prices, service packages and descriptions match with what will be delivered.
There are various other legal matters that you need to consider when you are designing and writing website content. One of these is the Data Protection Act. This states what the UK law for processing and storing people’s information is. It governs the protection of personal data in the UK. This act allows individuals to know what personal information is being stored and states how companies need to handle this data to stay compliant with the law.
All businesses need to notify the Office of the Information Commissioners and inform them that they are collecting data, which needs to be:
• used fairly and lawfully
• used for specific purposes
• used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive
• the date needs to be accurate
• kept only for a certain period of time
• handled according to people’s data protection rights
• all date needs to be kept in a safe and secure location
• data cannot be transferred outside the European Economic Area without adequate protection
Your website will also have to abide by the anti-spamming laws and the laws about cookies, which are small files that are placed on a user’s computer when they visit a certain website. These cookies are used to help track analytics and are a privacy issue, so you need to comply with the EU Cookie Law.
With the law changing all the time, to keep up with technology and advances online, you ideally need someone in your corner to help keep your business’s website on top of the current legalities and ensure you stay legally compliant.
At Green Arrow Consultancy we give our customers peace of mind with our website auditing service. So why not get in touch with Darren and have a chat with him about how your businesses website can stay legal and ensure that you and your customers are protected.