Every time we plan a web design project in West Palm Beach, we make sure to include utility pages. While this sometimes surprises clients, utility pages are actually one of the most important elements of a website.
Now, you’re probably wondering, what are they? Well, what if we told you that you often see them whenever you’re browsing different sites? You’re just unaware that they’re actually called website utility pages!
This post will tell you everything you need to know about these pages – what they are, the different pages your website should have, and several tips to ensure you’re doing it right. With these things in mind, let us begin!
To put it simply, utility pages are web pages that contain all the legal aspects of your website and business. This includes:
For e-commerce sites, it also usually includes a return policy page and a Manage My Account page.
The links to these pages are typically found in less prominent but still visible areas, either above your main navigation bar, at the top right corner of your website, or at the footer.
Considered the world’s strongest set of data protection rules, the GDPR is required for websites that target users in the European Economic Area (EEA). If you happen to be one, you will need to provide visitors transparent information about how their data is collected and handled.
Whereas the GDPR is aimed at businesses that target users in Europe, the PIPEDA is made for those that operate in Canada. It focuses on 10 privacy principles, including accountability, consent, openness, and safeguards.
Think of the T&C agreement as a one-stop shop for all the important information your visitors need before they make a purchase or use your services. It gives you the freedom to set the rules and guidelines they must agree to and follow so they can use and access your website, as well as the consequences they’ll face when they fail to abide (e.g., If they break the T&C, you might choose to disable their account).
Despite the fact that businesses aren’t legally mandated to have a terms and conditions page, it’s still smart to have one. Not only will it make your site more professional, but it also establishes the rules that allow you to make your services available to your consumers. Explicitly stating your terms can avoid misunderstanding and complaints from customers.
An ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance statement is a message you relay to your visitors that your website content is accessible to everyone. It outlines the policies, goals, and strategies implemented to ensure your website is open to individual with disabilities – such as those who with visual, auditory, and speech impairment, and those with cognitive and neurological disorders.
While an accessibility statement isn’t mandated for everyone, it’s best that you have it on your website just in case. Marc Dubin, the CEO of ADA Expertise Consulting, pointed out that the lack of this statement is often the first thing a plaintiff’s lawyer will look for when deciding who to sue for discrimination and non-compliance with the ADA regulations.
Having an entire page dedicated to answering common queries will no doubt improve your customers’ experience and make it known to them that you’re there to help them. At the same time, providing basic information helps consumers make a purchasing decision.
And, since you’ll also be dealing with general questions regarding the industry you’re in, you can bring in people who aren’t familiar with your business.
A return and refund policy outlines two main things: under what conditions your customers can return an item they bought from your online store and whether you’ll reimburse them or not. It also tells buyers the time frame within which you can accept returns.
Although there’s no federal law in the US that requires businesses to display this policy on their websites, it’s still wise to do so. Most customers aren’t comfortable shopping at stores that don’t have a return and refund policy in place. They want to have the reassurance that they can return a product and get their money back.
That makes this utility page essential for e-commerce businesses.
As the name implies, this is where users view and edit their account info, personal details, activity, privacy preferences, and security options.
Your privacy statement should have an accurate representation of your website’s data collection and use. It should be clear, direct, and easy to understand. That way, you won’t have to worry about misinterpretations later on.
Privacy laws change constantly to keep up with technology. We will update this list regularly to reflect these changes.
As with any other contract, a T&C agreement needs several things to make sure it’s fully enforceable under contract law. It must possess these four characteristics: fair, lawful, agreed to, and clear.
Keep in mind that there’s no rule for how long your T&C agreement should be, as it all depends on your business needs. What’s crucial is that it comes with these clauses:
If you run an e-commerce website, you might also want to include clauses on:
Digital Resource, a leading West Palm Beach web design company that specializes in creating sites for businesses, will be more than happy to get the job done for you. Our dedicated web specialists have the know-how to build you these pages, with our SEO team ensuring that these pages can be found easily in Google and other search engines.
Talk to us today to learn more!
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