Adding a cookie policy to your site – Part 2: How?

Posted on July 29, 2019

 

Last week, we discussed the reasons why your site should have a cookie policy. If you’re not sure why, or don’t understand what cookies are, have a read of Friday’s blog.

Today, we’re going to look at how to do it.

How do I find out what cookies my site is using?

There are free online tools that allow you to enter your URL and get an audit of your website emailed to you, detailing the cookies being used and whether prior consent is enabled. Overall, we’ve found these tools a bit hit and miss. Often, although they’re free, they’re designed to be a taster for a premium product, so don’t be surprised to get a response along the lines of “your site could be better, and you’ll have to pay to find out why!”

A quick and easy solution is CookieServe.com, which will tell you the cookies used on any site without you needing to sign up to anything. A more detailed answer can be gained from a bit of manual work and help from Google Chrome, with a guide on how to go about this available here.

How do I actually write a cookie policy?

The policies themselves are quite long, dry and formulaic, so it’s easy to be put off integrating what you’ve learned about your cookies into your site. There are templates around that can help you though, such as this one from SEQ Legal.

Take a look at cookie policies on other sites too. You shouldn’t simply copy and paste them, but they should give you an idea of the structure required.

Remember that it’s not enough to squirrel your cookie policy somewhere in the darkest depths of your site. You need to inform first-time users of it as soon as they visit via a pop-up.

Above is an example of one I saw this morning while reading the aforementioned Business Insider article about how many people agree to policies without reading them. Of course, I agreed to this one without reading it, but whether I read it or not is irrelevant – the pop-up is telling me what the site is doing and directing me to further information should I wish to read it.

You can be a bit more creative with your pop-up than you can with the much terser policy itself. Some pop-ups allow the user to choose between “all cookies”, “recommended cookies”, “minimum cookies” etc. If design isn’t your forte, Cookie-script.com is a free tool that can help you create one.

Need help?

At Engage Web, we’ve certainly found that GDPR has been a real game-changer for SMEs, with the potential 4% of turnover fine for non-compliance a chilling reminder of its importance. If you’re not sure whether your site is fully complaint, or need help with your cookie policy, why not contact our team?

John Murray

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.

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