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Document and article by on October 31, 2023 Written by Easy Legal Docs Editorial Team

Website disclaimers are essential components of any online platform. In this guide we ask what are they, and why are they important. Plus, you can download our free template to create your own website disclaimer.

What is a Website Disclaimer?

A website disclaimer is a legal statement that aims to limit the responsibilities of the website’s owner towards its users. It addresses potential areas of concern, such as content accuracy, external links, professional advice, and potential risks associated with using the website.

The purpose of the disclaimer is to protect the website owner from legal claims, ensuring users are well-informed about the nature of the content and any associated risks.

Why Should Every Website Have One?

Let’s dive into the core reasons for integrating a disclaimer on your website.

  • Legal Protection: It safeguards the website owner against potential liabilities.
  • Sets Expectations: It informs visitors about the accuracy and intention of the content.
  • User Trust: Demonstrates professionalism and establishes trust with your audience.

Recognizing the need for a disclaimer can save website owners from potential pitfalls while giving users clarity on what to expect.

Key Components of a Solid Website Disclaimer

Every website is unique, but there are some components of a website disclaimer that are more common than others. These include:

  • General Disclaimer: Addresses the accuracy and reliability of the website’s content.
  • External Links Disclaimer: Clarifies that the site might link to other websites outside its control.
  • Professional Disclaimer: Specifies that the site’s content isn’t a substitute for professional advice.
  • Affiliates Disclaimer: Discloses any affiliate relationships and potential commissions.
  • Testimonial Disclaimer: Addresses the authenticity and origin of testimonials on the site.

Remember, the specifics of the disclaimer should always align with the nature and needs of your own website.

Acquiring Consent: Why It’s Crucial

It’s one thing to have a disclaimer, but ensuring your users are on board with it is equally essential. It’s about creating a mutual understanding.

  • Acknowledgment: Users should know they’re agreeing to the terms set forth in the disclaimer.
  • Protection: Gaining consent solidifies the website’s protection against potential claims.

But how exactly can you ensure that users give their consent?

Methods to Obtain Consent:

  • Pop-up Notifications: As soon as users visit your site, a pop-up window can display the essential terms and request users to agree before proceeding.
  • Checkbox Confirmation: Especially useful during sign-up processes, where users need to check a box indicating they’ve read and agreed to the terms.
  • Footer Links: Always keep a link to your disclaimer and terms of service in the footer. Prompt users to read and understand them before using the site extensively.

By incorporating these methods, you ensure users are well-informed. When users agree to your terms, it fosters trust, making your website a more welcoming space for them.

How to Fill Out and Use the Free Website Disclaimer Template

Step 1: Update the Date

Start by updating the ‘Last updated’ section with the current date. This gives visitors an idea of the recency of the disclaimer’s terms.

Step 2: Insert Your Website’s Name

Wherever you see the placeholder [WEBSITE NAME], replace it with the official name of your website. This personalizes the disclaimer for your platform.

Step 3: Provide Your Website’s URL

Locate the [WEBSITE URL] placeholders in the template. Here, you should input the full URL of your website to specify which website the disclaimer applies to.

Step 4: Customize the Professional Disclaimer (If Needed)

If your website offers specialized advice or information, ensure that the professional disclaimer section appropriately reflects the nature of the content. For instance, if your site offers financial advice, you may want to specify that the content isn’t a substitute for professional financial counsel.

Step 5: Update Affiliate Information

If your website doesn’t engage in affiliate marketing, you can consider removing the “Affiliates Disclaimer” section. Otherwise, leave it intact to inform visitors that you might earn commissions from third-party links.

Step 6: Edit the Testimonial Disclaimer

If your website doesn’t showcase testimonials, this section can be omitted. If it does, this part helps ensure visitors understand that testimonials reflect individual experiences and are not guaranteed outcomes.

Step 7: Clarify Changes and Amendments Procedures

This section tells visitors that the website reserves the right to update the disclaimer. Ensure this reflects how you intend to notify users of any changes, be it through website notifications, emails, or other means.

Step 8: Insert a Contact Email

Finally, replace [SUPPORT EMAIL] with the appropriate email address where visitors can reach out with any questions regarding the disclaimer.

Once you’ve completed all the steps, review the document to ensure consistency and that all placeholders have been adequately replaced. After finalizing, integrate this filled-out template into your website, ideally in a location that’s easily accessible, such as the footer or a dedicated ‘Legal’ section.

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Document Sample

Website Disclaimer Template

Below you can see a sample of the Website Disclaimer template:

Template Website Disclaimer

Website Disclaimer FAQs

What is a website disclaimer?

A website disclaimer is an official statement or notice that sets forth the general guidelines, limitations, disclosures, and terms of use of your website. It discloses the limitation of liability regarding your website's content and use and renounces any implied warranties or representations thereof. It serves as a warning sign that notifies site visitors or users that you or your company will not be held liable for losses or damages suffered from the use of information or content on your website. This content may also include any offered services or products on your website.

Do I need a website disclaimer?

A website disclaimer can help protect your company, business, or brand against legal liability. It gives you added legal protection against claims regarding the use of your website's products or services. Having a website disclaimer could provide you with the legal backing you need to make a strong defense against a lawsuit and protect your online services or products. It includes a clause that the site visitor or user consents to assume all applicable risks associated with the site's use. Even if it does not prevent someone from bringing an action against you, it limits your liability.

Where should a website disclaimer be placed?

Though a website disclaimer can be placed in several locations on your site, you should have a separate web page to display your disclaimer statement. You may have seen some websites combining their disclaimers within their terms and conditions since site visitors agree to these by default when they browse your website. While this approach may be acceptable, it is not necessarily advisable. The location of disclaimers must be prominent and easily accessible.

How do I write a website disclaimer?

How you write your disclaimer and what to include in it depends on your website's content or use. You can choose to include all or a combination of clauses depending on the scope of limited liability and the site's purpose. Your website disclaimer should be written in concise and clear language. And you can divide your disclaimer into clause sections to make it more visible and accessible to site visitors and users. While it might seem easy to write a website disclaimer, you still need that extra help to get started with the relevant clauses and avoid costly errors. Our website disclaimer template makes things easy as you can download, edit, and customize to suit your preferences. At Easy Legal Docs, our template is free and available for download in Microsoft Word (.doc), Adobe (.pdf). You can also copy on your Google Docs account or print an online copy directly from your browser.

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