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Website terms of use

Ensuring that your website has an effective and legally sound set of terms and conditions of use will help to protect both your business and website users.

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Website terms of use, also known as website terms and conditions or terms of service, govern the use of a website by visitors. These are distinct from Terms and conditions of business which are concerned with the e-commerce aspects of selling goods or services online, rather than the way in which a website is used.

Website terms and conditions should generally contain: 

  • details of website owner/company including contact options
  • any permitted uses of website content
  • registration requirements, including password and other security measures
  • any necessary fees which need to be paid to use the website
  • if links are provided to other websites, there should be a disclaimer of liability for content on any linked sites
  • if your website allows user comments or enables any form of user-generated content, it’s important to request that users do not post anything illegal or which could be considered defamatory or abusive
  • website availability
  • VAT registration details (if applicable)
  • reference to any Privacy or Cookies policies, preferably together with links

Any business with an online presence - even those which are not actually selling goods or services on their website - must include certain details in order to abide by the Electronic Commerce Regulations, such as full company details. Website terms and conditions are the best places to include such information.

The proliferation of websites that allow user-generated content, together with ever-changing defamation laws, means that it’s important for website owners to be able to prove that they have made every effort to discourage any undesirable activity by users.

Ensuring that your users understand the limitations of how they can use any website content, including text, images, videos and music, helps to secure and protect your intellectual property

A prominently displayed link to the website terms of use should ideally be visible from every page on your site. At the very least, a link should be visible from your homepage. The more visible your terms to website visitors, the more likely it is that they will be considered to have been effectively implemented.

If you have a registration process, this can deal with the agreement of users to your website terms and conditions.

You can also ask users to accept the website terms in order to gain access to certain functionality. Asking users to expressly agree to the website terms, for example, by clicking an ‘I agree’ button, may be particularly relevant if users are entering a restricted area of the website for which they have to register.

Make your Website terms and conditions
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Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest