We explore the implications of the new GDPR data legislation.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the 25th May heralded the start of the end for websites and Email newsletters. We are referring, of course, to a certain piece of legislation that you are most likely to be sick to your back teeth of hearing about. We promise that we won’t mention this European data protection law by name in this post.

This new legislation is not actually such a disaster for website developers and administrators as you may first think.

As most of the emails that you will have been receiving regarding this particular data legislation say, you can’t avoid it and if you administer a website there are some aspects that you need to consider to comply. Most of the focus has been on data collected through contact forms and newsletter subscription forms but you should also consider whether your EU Cookie Law notification is compliant with the new requirements for website users to specifically opt into the use of their data. In our opinion, to be compliant with the new data legislation, your website visitors must be directed to an explanation of what you use cookies for and they must have the option of stopping you using cookies when they visit your site.

If you are one of the website owners that is now thinking “I don’t have to worry because I have never set up the use of any cookies on my site” then think again. There are many instances of cookie use that you may not have considered. For example, do you have Google Analytics implemented on your website for gathering website use statistics? If you do, you should probably be giving your website users the option to opt out of this as it uses several tracking cookies. Another service that many of you will use is Facebook Pixel tracking which allows targeted Facebook adverts aimed at those who have visited your website – again you should provide the option of opting out of this.

We settled on a solution that makes use of a free WordPress plugin:
This is an easy to implement plugin that advertises itself as plug ‘n play. There is some very basic configuration needed but it more or less is as advertised.  These are the steps we are carrying out on our new – soon to be launched – website:

1. Download and install the plugin from WordPress
Does your website comply with the new EU data laws?

2. Activate and enable the plugin:

This WordPress plugin is easy to use to help your website comply with new EU data rules

3. Configure the required options. The one that is most important is the setting which means that cookies are not used by default and the user must “opt-in” to their use:Following the step by step guide helps you ensure your website complies with new EU data laws.>

4. On the banner setup tab you can enter your own message using the familiar WordPress visual editor:Once you have added the plugin and completed the steps your website should be compliant with the new EU data laws.

The use of a simple placeholder short-code inserts a link to the privacy policy page that you have specified in the Privacy Policy tab in the plugin’s settings but it is also very simple to add your hyperlinks using the editor as you would do in your WordPress posts and pages.

We found this plugin works well and is very straightforward to implement. You may find that it is not compatible with some other plugins – especially those that request information from website users and this has the potential to cause errors. A way around this is to disable the plugin for specific pages where errors are caused which is easily done from the plugin’s settings (select the required pages from a drop-down menu).

There are many cookie consent plugins out there but one of the reasons that we went with this one is because it integrates with another plugin that we use – PixelYourSitePro – out of the box. All you need to do is set Facebook Pixel Pro to respect the users’ choice made through the cookie consent banner and you are good to go.

PixelYourSitePro Integration

To ensure that the Ginger Cookie Consent plugin can control the Facebook tracking cookies used by PixelYourSitePro, you will need to set up PixelYourSitePro to work with the cookie plugin. You’ll find the options you need on the PixelYourSitePro Settings page, linked to from the left side admin menu.

Set up PixelYourSitePro

“Enable tracking before consent”– if you enable this option, the Facebook pixel will be active before the visitor interacts with the consent banner. Once the visitor has given or declined to give their consent to use cookies, PixelYourSitePro will respect their decision.

“Enable Ginger EU Cookie Law plugin”– When this plugin is active on your site you enable the integration with PixelYourSitePro by switching on the toggle switch.

Have you updated your Cookie Notice banner yet? Have you given your users the option to decline cookie use? What solutions have you implemented and how did you find it?