Disclaimer: Electric Studio are not legal experts and these are just our suggestions on the matter which we hope will be useful. It is not intended as legal advice.

On May 26th 2011 a new EU originated law came into effect that requires website owners to make site visitors aware of what cookies your website sets and what they do.

If you are using a WordPress website, then it’s fairly straight forward to comply. In theory you need to do two things, 1) add a “about cookies” page on your website explain what cookies are being used and for what, 2 ) flag this up and offer a way to decline or accept this using our “Electric Studio EU Cookie Law Compliance” WordPress plugin. If you want to take it to the extreme, allow for people to turn off any non essential cookies using a functionality on your site, or explain how to use the browsers settings to do the same. By non essential cookies we mean cookies that are there for your needs only, eg Google Analytics or similar cookies used for user behavioural tracking.

Cookies deemed necessary are cookies used for example in eCommerce solutions to remember what items you have added to the basket, or if you are logged in etc. You don’t need to highlight the use of these cookies, or offer the option to opt out of these.

1. Explain what cookies are used for on your website and why

On our WordPress website we use Google Analytic’s, so in our Privacy & Cookies page we explain this and state what each cookie does. This should, according to our understanding, be enough as long as there is a clear link somewhere on your website to this page. We recommend linking from all pages, either in the footer (see our footer) or header.

2. Install and setup the Electric Studio EU Cookie Law Compliance WordPress plugin

Electric Studio have a number of web design customers which use WordPress and as such we needed a way to install a EU Cookie Law compliance notice fast across multiple WordPress websites, so we created a plugin. Simple. And in pure WordPress community spirit, we share it with you for free.

Download from the WordPress Plugin Directory

It quite simple, install, link to your cookie page and comply. It looks a bit like the BBC website notice and just works.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q – What settings can I change?
A –  You can select to use the standard CSS (styling of the plugin), or to create your own. You can edit the notice text, and you can choose what page to link to for more information about cookies on your site

Q – What version of WordPress do I need
A – We have only tested with WordPress 3.4.1, but please, if you have got it working on older versions, let us know in the comments below.

Q – How much does it cost?
A – Nothing, it’s free

Q – It doesn’t work!
A – It is usually down to an old version of JQuery being used, add this to your functions.php file to load the latest versions:

function es_load_jquery () {
 $url = 'http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.8.2/jquery.min.js';
 $check_url = @fopen( $url, 'r' );
 wp_deregister_script( 'jquery' );
 if( !$check_url )
 wp_register_script( 'jquery', 'http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.8.2/jquery.min.js', false, 1 );
 wp_register_script( 'jquery', get_template_directory_uri() . 'LINK-TO-JQUERY-IN-YOUR-THEME', false, 1 );
 wp_enqueue_script( 'jquery' );
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'es_load_jquery' );