GDPR is a buzzword and a trending term these days bounding website owners to think about the compliance of their websites with the regulation and the probable impacts of the violation. However, people often get confused with the buzzword and the impacts of the same on their website. Hence, If you are a website owner running a WordPress website and wondering about what is GDPR and how it is going to impact your WordPress website then this article is for you. For your ease, we have divided our article into different sections that include the following
- What is GDPR?
- Main goals behind GDPR
- For whom GDPR is?
- How GDPR can impact your WordPress site?
- Why making your WordPress site GDPR compliant is important?
- Possible ways to make your WordPress site GDPR compliant?
- List of WordPress plugins for GDPR compliance
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is nothing but a European Union law that permits EU citizens to have full control of their personal data. The law came into effect on 15 May 2018 with the main goal of defending consumers from the careless management of their personal data. This personal data generally comprises the name, email address, IP address, photo, location, mobile number, health status, and so on. In and all, the GDPR law applies to both the personal as well as the sensitive data of the user.
- A website user has the privilege to know about how its data will be collected and utilized.
- Users must always be free to restrict the processing of their personal data whenever they want.
- No business can sell the data of the customers without their permission.
- Businesses must delete the account of the user and remove them from their email list if the user wants.
- Businesses must report the data violations, if any, to the users within 72 hours of knowing about the same.
Main goals behind GDPR
- User’s personal data should be handled with care and should be processed keeping in mind the complete security of the data.
- User’s data should be treated fairly and processed transparently.
- The collection of user’s data should be limited to only the necessary details. There should not be any demand for irrelevant and unnecessary stuff.
- The data should be gathered for a specific purpose and should be utilized to fulfil that purpose only.
- User’s data should be valid and up to date.
- The data should be identifiable only for the period it is needed.
For whom GDPR is
Now, when we have understood what is GDPR law and what are the main goals behind the creation of this law, the next important thing we need to understand is – where is this law applicable? Is it applicable to my website? Well, this is a common question that must be arising in every individual running a website over the internet and the answer for them is – Yes,
GDPR is applicable to every website all over the world connecting visitors from the European countries regardless of the location and the country where the business is established. For example, if you are running a WordPress community website that gathers the personal data of each and every user, an eCommerce site that stores user’s information to make the digital sales, or a WordPress blog that enables visitors to post their comments then GDPR is for you.
How GDPR can impact your WordPress site
WordPress, as we all know, rules over 30% of the overall websites present on the internet, the probabilities of getting WordPress websites impacted by the law are significantly higher. GDPR can impact your WordPress website in a number of different ways no matter if you are a website owner, a content marketer, or a developer.
A few of your websites’ areas that have a higher possibility of having GDPR impacts include – Google analytics, contact forms, email marketing, eCommerce, and so on.
For example – let’s assume you are a web developer then GDPR may affect you in developing plugins or themes that are likely to include forms to collect user information, in utilizing third-party themes and plugins, in coding functionality that may include identifying the user through its location, IP address, and so on.
Secondly, if you are a website owner then also GDPR has a lot of rooms to impact on you. A few of them include the data collection forms like payments, contact forms, etc., how and where you gather the analytical data, where do you utilize the customer data, the ways you get in touch with the customers and contacts, what plugins and themes you utilize to create your website and so on.
Luckily, a number of the prominent WordPress plugins have already incorporated GDPR compliance innovations into their functionalities for your ease.
Why making your WordPress website GDPR compliant is important
GDPR is a strict law applicable to each and every website likely to have visitors from the European countries. If your website does not comply with GDPR’s rules, you may have to pay huge penalties of up to 4% of the global annual revenue of your company or euro 20 million (whichever is higher). These penalties are so high that they can easily put an individual and its business into big trouble. Hence, to protect yourself from the serious consequences of violating the GDPR rules, making your WordPress website GDPR compliant and playing safe is highly crucial.
But, hold on, there is no need to get panic on this as the government is not going to impose a fine on you directly, in fact, it will raise and warning first then will go with a reprimand then will come to the deferment of data processing and still if you don’t stop to break the rules then only the turn of the penalty will come.
Possible Ways To Make Your WordPress Website GDPR Compliant
There is an ample number of practices that you can follow to make your WordPress website GDPR compliant. A few of them are listed out as under
- By installing a Firewall plugin like All in One WP Security and Firewall to ensure better protection of both your website as well as data.
- By enhancing your login security using two-factor authentication methods.
- By utilizing GDPR plugins.
- By going transparent with the user on how, where, and for what purpose their data has been stored and will be utilized.
- By ensuring better protection of your mailbox.
- By getting an SSL certificate.
- By providing ease to the users for requesting or deleting their information anytime.
- By upgrading your WordPress version to 4.9.6 or higher.
- By analyzing and improving your information collection and processing tactics.
- By saving user’s data in the encrypted format.
- By keeping a check on your themes, plugins, and APIs.
- By attaching a cookie consent.
- By giving data portability facilities to the users.
List Of WordPress Plugins For GDPR Compliance
Although no plugin can guarantee complete legal GDPR compliance of your website still, there are a few plugins that can aid you to automate the GDPR compliance of your WordPress website to some extent. These plugins can be seen as under
- Shared Counts
- Delete Me
- Cookie Notice
- WP Forms
- Monster Insights
- WP Security Audit Log
- WP GDPR Compliance
GDPR is for everyone collecting user’s data for whatever purpose. Making your website GDPR compliant is definitely a tough chore but if you want to target the visitors from European countries and increase the amount of traffic towards your website then you have no option other than making your website GDPR compliant. The compliance with the GDPR law offers a lot of other benefits as well including aiding you to increase the possibilities of online business by gaining the faith of your customers and boosting your sales and profits.
When it comes to WordPress websites, there are a hell lot of things that need to be practised to ensure better security and the protection of user’s data. However, at the same time, this compliance is highly crucial to keep yourself protected from the adverse consequences of violating the law and putting yourself in big troubles.
Hence, if you are running a WordPress website then do make sure it is following all the GDPR compliance rules. If you are still having confusion or facing tough times with the same, and need assistance, you can hire dedicated WordPress developer straight away to get the problem resolved easily!
Vaibhav Pandya is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Senior Contributing Editor at IndyLogix - Digital Marketing Agency, where he has spent 9+ years growing the organization and establishing it as a credible market leader. An operational executive by day and an avid writer by night, he loves to read, write, and speak about Digital Marketing, SEO, NFT, Blockchain, AI, Web 3.0, and more. Catch up with him at @pandyavaibh
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