A lot has been made over the General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR) law that the European Union put out some time ago. This has caused website owners to overhaul a number of parts on their sites, including having to create GDPR compliant share buttons.
GDPR and how it pertains to your site will vary, as each site has different standards they need to abide by. From plugins to terms of service and the way websites track data, updates had to be made across the board
Since GDPR has become a major issue, there are all kinds of plugin updates that may need to be done to make a website totally GDPR compliant. WordPress has done an impressive job of presenting ways to comply. This includes giving you ways to create custom share buttons that are compliant with GDPR standards.
What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individual citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area.
It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.
The main goal of the law is to give control to individuals over their personal data. The law is vast and complex but does aim to protect people from the perils of being online.
Failure to comply with the law has very harsh punishments. A website that is not compliant can face a fine of up to 20 million Euros ($24 million dollars) or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is higher.
With all of that in place, let’s take a look at a fantastic plugin that you can use on your website to add GDPR complaint share buttons to WordPress.
Shariff Wrapper is a social share WordPress plugin that gives you the ability to add GDPR compliant share buttons to your website. A German computer magazine developed “Shariff,” that follows the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR – Regulation (EU) 2016/679). This plugin adapts the Shariff concept and provides an easy-to-use solution for WordPress.
So you know you are automatically covered as far as GDPR standards go when people use the Shariff WordPress plugin. This social plugin supports 32 services in 25 languages.
Basically, it comes with everything you need to be compliant and requires almost no work to set up. Let’s use this WordPress social share plugin to add our buttons.
Add GDPR Compliant Buttons
Step 1: Install and Activate the Plugin
In order to add GDPR compliant share buttons to your website, you need to install and activate the Shariff Wrapper plugin. You can do this in the admin dashboard of your WordPress website.
Use the available search field and search the plugin by name. Once you see it pop up, install and activate it from there.
Step 2: Access the Main Settings Page
Once the plugin has been installed and activated, click on Settings > Shariff. This is located on the left menu of your admin area. Doing so will take you to the configuration page for the plugin.
You can see that this option is now available in the menu because you successfully activated the plugin.
Step 3: Configure the Plugin
You can configure your custom share buttons however you would like. That being said, let’s take a look at a few items you will see on the configuration page of this social plugin for WordPress.
When you get on the page, you will see 7 tabs. These include:
This is where you will set up the share services you want to include. You also pick the areas of the site you want the GDPR complaint share buttons to be included, i.e. posts, pages, products.
This area is where you can design the layout, look, and functionality of your custom share buttons for your website. This includes things like button language, size, padding, colors, and overall feel.
I recommend testing how the options look on your website before making a final decision.
Setup the advanced options for specific services you may be using here. Custom links, usernames, and IDs can all be configured.
This area and its settings determine how Shariff handles share counts. Set them up how you would like.
The help tab provides you with some helpful information and links to resources. This is good for troubleshooting and set up when needed.
This shows you the status of the plugin and lets you know if everything is working.
The Shariff WordPress plugin ranks all your most popular posts and pages. You can see all those stats here.
Once you have set everything up how you like, you are ready to roll. You will see the share buttons showing and configured properly on the front end of your website.
Note: you can also use the shortcode [shariff] to manually put buttons on other places on your website.
Congratulations on setting up the Shariff and ensuring that your social share buttons are GDPR compliant.
Other Plugins to Consider
WordPress has built up a large library of plugins over the years, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that there are a lot of other options to choose from.
WordPress Social Sharing Plugin
The WordPress Social Sharing Plugin is one of the best at adding GDPR compliant social share buttons to WordPress. It supports over 100 social icons including the major ones like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, etc., and allows you to customize their appearance.
The customization options are more robust than Shariff, so if you were looking for more options, this is the plugin to try.
Social Sharing Buttons
The Social Sharing Buttons plugin can help you easily add social buttons to WordPress while remaining GDPR compliant. This plugin even mentions that it uses the same design concept as Shariff to ensure it is in line with GDPR compliance. It supports all of the major social networks and provides different customization options.
Does GDPR Affect Me?
One of the most confusing points about GDPR is determining if it affects you.
For example, what if you own a restaurant and have a website with store hours, menu, and the ability to order online in the US? Clearly, you are not targeting someone in the EU. However, you may still need to be compliant.
This is because someone from the EU could still visit your website. And while that may sound ridiculous as a local small business owner, it does happen. GDPR covers all EU residents, so in this case, you could be penalized if you actually collect their data.
Thus, regardless of if you have any actual intention of doing business with someone from the EU, you most certainly need to be compliant if you are collecting personal information.
There are exceptions to this, but determining if you are an exception versus just being GDPR compliant, is not worth the trouble.
Thus, I strongly recommend not taking the chance and being GDPR compliant from the start.
Since the GDPR has become such a huge deal over time, it is important that you make sure your website is compliant with its standards. One way to do this is by adding GDPR compliant share buttons.
Now, you can quickly and easily do this without having to worry about it in the future. This prevents you from running into crippling fines later on if your website grows much faster than anticipated.
Remember it’s always better to err on the side of safety when it comes to your website.
Have you started to update your WordPress website to be GDPR compliant? What other GDPR social sharing plugins for WordPress are you using to help?