Yes, I know – what an amazingly dull read for a blog. Who wants to read about cookies and privacy law? Voiceovers are a creative bunch and understandably this topic probably isn’t going to inspire you. Unfortunately, as boring as this is, it’s an often-missed legal requirement and as a voice actor you need to ensure you know what the requirements are, and how to ensure you are compliant.
It’s dull. It’s not at all sexy or fun. It’s also quite technical, so I’ll do my best to summarise the key bits for you and give you some how-to guides to get your website compliant. I’ll cover the main website platforms – WordPress, WIX and Squarespace.
The quick answer is YES. You need both.
Every single website collects data in some shape or form, and if you are based in the European Economic Area (EEA), the United Kingdom or Switzerland you need to comply to the GDPR laws.
I’m in no way a legal professional, so this is where you can read the full GDPR policy here,
For those of us in the UK, we don’t yet know the changes Brexit will make to our data protection laws, but for now we need to comply.
I hired someone to build my site and I’m worried it doesn’t comply
Professional web designers and developers should know the laws for regions they offer services in. If you’ve hired a web designer or developer to build your website they should have already added these features to your website if they are needed.
A good way to check if you have the cookie banner is look at your website in ‘incognito mode’ from your browser. Does a cookie banner pop-up or not?
If you’re not sure or think it’s missing, get in touch with me or send your developer/designer a friendly worded email asking for their help to check and get your website legally GDPR compliant. It’s usually a 10 minute job and I’m sure most businesses will be happy to help you free of charge. It is a legal requirement after all.
What are cookies? Does my website even use them?
Some cookies are temporary and expire as soon as the browser is closed. Others stay on your hard drive until you erase them. Some are used by the site you visit, some by third-party apps (like an embedded YouTube player).
Some cookies are essential – your website simply wouldn’t work without them. Some allow certain features to work, some collect analytics data, others track online activity to help advertisers send what they term ‘relevant’ marketing directly to you.
Not every website has every type of cookie, but there are always some active.
And don’t forget – if you are asking visitors to contact you, you’ll also be collecting their personal data in the form of email addresses. Yes, you need to do this, but you also need to state how you store that information.
How to add a cookies popup banner for…
… WordPress sites
The plugin I use is GDPR Cookie Consent by WebToffee.
Not all cookie banner plugins available through WordPress are GDPR compliant – this one is. And with 900,000+ installs you can be confident it won’t have negative impacts on most other plugins/areas of your site.
A feature I particularly like is you can set it to only show to new visitors or again on the 3rd or 4th visit so it’s not every single time.
This is how to add it:
- Log in to your WordPress Dashboard
- Go to plugins > add new and search for ‘GDPR Cookie Consent’ by WebToffee
- Click ‘install and activate’
- Go to ‘GDPR Cookie Consent’ tab and click on ‘general settings’. Here you can:
- Enable the cookie bar
- Select the type of law (GDPR, CCPA or both)
- Set auto-hide settings
There are other settings too and they differ between the free and paid version. You can also access help guides from the settings tab too.
… Squarespace sites
Squarespace has a built-in cookie banner. This is how to activate it:
- In your ‘home menu’ click ‘settings’ and then click ‘Cookies & Visitor Data’.
- Select ‘Enable Cookie Banner’.
- You can use the default message, or add your own.
- Next you can style your banner – there are a few options to set how your banner displays, where it is positioned on the page and style settings. When you are done, click ‘save’ (you’ll get the option to preview how it looks)
For a more detailed guide, visit Squarespace Support here.
… WIX sites
WIX has a built-in option to add a cookie banner. All you have to do is enable it – simple!
Step 1 – enable WIX cookie banner
- Go to Privacy & Cookies in your site’s settings.
- Click Edit Cookie Banner.
- Click the Display Cookie Banner on Site toggle.
- Click Save & Publish to display the default banner on your site.
Step 2 – Customise how your banner looks
Under ‘Text & Display Settings’, you can customise your banner colours, button and fonts.
Step 4 – review the requirements
You’ll need to tick the checkbox saying you’ve read and understood WIX’s Ts&Cs.
Step 5 – Advanced settings
There is default text in the cookie banner, but you can customise that here.
Step 6 – Save and Publish
Once you click ‘save and publish’ your cookie banner will activate on your website.
For more details about WIX cookie banners and how to customise the banner, go to this help page.
If you’re not using any of these and don’t have a friendly web person to help you, then make sure you search for GDPR compliant when you look for other how-to guides. Or ask me and I’ll lend a helping hand.
If you need any additional help, remember Helen offers one-off or ongoing website and design support from £50 per hour* – contact Helen to find out more.
*prices correct as of November 2020.
You might also like to read…
- Beginners guide to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for voiceoversWhat is SEO and why should you you care? Helen looks into the basics and gives some simple tips to improve your website raking.
- A voice artist’s guide to great photographyHelen give tips and things to think about to ensure you always have great images to use on your website and in your social feeds.
- 3 voiceover website content and review tipsWhether you hire someone to build your website or you do it yourself, these things should be considered when you’re planning your content.