7 Best WordPress Cookie Consent Plugins for Data Law Compliance

CookieYes GDPR Cookie Consent & Compliance (CCPA Ready)

Today, I will be talking about WordPress cookie consent – what it is, why you need to respect it, and how you can implement it on your website. It’s a subject that we all love to hate: on the one hand, those popups asking you to consent to cookies are very annoying, but on the other, they are there for a reason, as I shall explain.

Cookies are text files created and stored by a server whenever it connects to your site. It contains data like your username, password, location, browser and device type, etc., to identify your computer on the network.

Privacy laws have gotten stronger in recent years and now encompass how electronic data is captured, stored, and used. Previously, servers could gather a lot of data about you and your habits online without you even knowing about it. However, governments globally –particularly the European Union (EU) – are trying to give users better control over the data collected about them and how it is stored and used.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became active in May 2018. It requires websites that reach users in the EU to obtain their explicit consent to cookies that capture personal data, plus they must also agree to the use of cookies used for tracking purposes.

Cookie consent legislation is not restricted just to the EU. For example, the State of California in the USA has the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which has similar rigid protections that must be adhered to. Failure to obtain users’ explicit consent to the use of cookies in jurisdictions that require it can lead to legal consequences. Therefore, my advice is to get users’ consent regardless of where they are.

You may have seen some websites have a full-blown cookie policy alongside (or included in) their privacy policy. Generally speaking, it is not essential to have a cookie policy, although you do need to state how your site uses cookies.

The easiest way of staying on the right side of the cookie laws is to use a WordPress cookie consent plugin. Generally, these will display a cookie consent popup whenever a user first lands on your site. The user is usually given options to either consent to them all, choose the ones they are happy with or reject their use entirely. However, if a user does not consent to cookies, access to the website or specific content should be restricted.

There are numerous WordPress cookie consent plugins available, and I will now show you seven of the most popular on the market. All of them will ensure that you gather the necessary consent, while some will also help you create a cookie policy.

Despite its long-winded name, CookieYes GDPR Cookie Consent & Compliance Notice (CCPA Ready) is a very popular (over one million WordPress downloads) freemium plugin for ensuring your site complies with cookie laws. In addition to the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, the plugin also assists in complying with the CNIL (France), LGPD (Brazil), and POPIA (South Africa).

Of the plentiful features included in the free version, the following are worthy of mention:

7 Best WordPress Cookie Consent Plugins for Data Law Compliance 1

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  • Enables a WordPress cookie notice with options for users to reject or accept cookies. Alternatively, acceptance can be automatic if the user scrolls
  • One-click auto-scanning and categorization of cookies
  • Display a list of cookies used by your site on your cookie policy page
  • The cookie banner can be in the header or footer, with configurable visibility
  • Fully customizable to match your website branding
  • Option to add a CCPA ‘Do Not Sell My Personal Information’ option to the cookie notice
  • qTranslate and Polylang support

Upgrading to the Premium version costs $69 per year and adds lots more functionality:

  • Cookie list and category management
  • Scan and auto block scripts, including Google Analytics, FB Pixel, etc. until the user grants consent
  • Location-based exclusion of cookie notice e.g., EU countries
  • Cookie policy generator
  • Customizable cookie banner privacy overview
  • Import and export cookies
  • Optional consent-renewal following a change in policy
  • Updates and support
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

CookieYes has an excellent 4.9/5.0 star rating in the WordPress plugin directory, and even in its free form, it is a perfect option for adding GDPR cookie consent to your WordPress site.

Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA

I now have an excellent free option for you – Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA. This plugin provides a cookie notice bar to ensure your site is cookie compliant in many jurisdictions globally. Furthermore, it can also work with a web-based application to give you a consent management platform (CMP) to monitor and manage consents.

The feature list of the plugin is extensive, but here are the key ones:

  • Customizable notification banner with intentional consent buttons
  • Consent via click, scroll, or close
  • Multiple cookie expiry options
  • Consent duration selector
  • Option to link to your privacy policy
  • Metrics displaying user consents and blocked/allowed third parties
  • Analytics
  • Automatic script blocking
  • Consent record storage with export option
  • Multilingual support
  • SEO friendly

That list is not exhaustive, and the features provided with this plugin are impressive, particularly considering it is totally free.

Currently, over a million active downloads of Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA exist, and it has earned an average user score of 4.9/5.0 stars.

WP AutoTerms

WP AutoTerms wordpress cookie consent

Not only will WP AutoTerms help create all the legal agreements your website needs to avoid falling foul of data privacy laws, but it will also add a cookie notice banner to your site.

Key features of this plugin include:

  • Create various GDPR and CCPA compliance documents, such as a privacy policy, terms and conditions, and legal page
  • Add a cookie notice banner to your site
  • Create an endorsements disclaimer (e.g., for affiliates or sponsors)
  • Customizable to match your site’s branding

The plugin costs $39 per year, with discounts for more domains. A free version is also available, although that does not cover all the requirements of the GDPR or CCPA.

WP AutoTerms has a 4.8/5.0 user score and has been downloaded more than 100k times.

Get WP AutoTerms


Complianz wordpress cookie consent

Complainz is a full-featured cookie consent plugin that makes it easy to create cookie notices for a selected jurisdiction, with the premium version also allowing multiple regions to be covered simultaneously. Furthermore, it is possible to have a regular cookie consent banner or a ‘cookie wall’ that grays-out content until consent is given, depending on the jurisdiction(s) to be covered.

Features of the free version are understandably limited but may be sufficient if you only need basic cover in one region:

  • Customizable cookie banner including animations and templates
  • Configure one region but apply worldwide
  • Create a cookie policy and terms & conditions 
  • Option to add a CCPA ‘Do Not Sell My Personal Information’ option to the cookie notice
  • Consent management features include proof of consent, cookie scan, DNSMPI requests, and auto consent for bots
  • Script blocking until consent given
  • 39 translations available

Upgrading to the premium plugin costs $45 per year and brings many additional features. Here are some of the key ones:

  • Multi-region support
  • Create more legal documents such as privacy statements, disclaimers, etc.
  • More CMP functions, including records of consent, consent per region, A/B testing, and more
  • Legally validated translations done by professional translators
  • Support and updates
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

The free version of Complianz is a great option if you only need to target one particular jurisdiction (e.g., the EU), as it includes enough features to get you on the right side of the cookie laws there. However, if you need to cover multiple regions, then the premium version offers great value that puts many more useful features at your disposal.

The free plugin has been downloaded over 200k times from WordPress, and it has maintained an excellent user rating of 4.9/5.0 stars.

Get Complianz

GDPR Cookie Compliance

GDPR Cookie Compliance is another plugin that has been downloaded over 200k times just from the WordPress plugin directory. This plugin helps ensure your website is both GDPR and CCPA cookie-compliant by displaying the necessary notices and capturing consent. Furthermore, the banner is fully customizable and editable even in the free version, plus it is responsive and will display correctly on all devices.

Key features bundled with the free version of GDPR Cookie Compliance include:

  • Users have complete control over stored cookies, plus they can revoke consent at any time
  • Load scripts by default or when after user consents
  • Settings for consent expiration
  • Privacy policy page link
  • SEO friendly
  • Optimized for WCAG/ADA compliance
  • Supports most caching servers and plugins
  • Translated into 14 languages

A premium upgrade will cost you £49 per year. That figure adds many more cookie compliance tools, including:

  • Cookie wall and full-screen options
  • Option to hide the banner on selected pages
  • Cookie declaration to display details of the cookies your site uses
  • Options to accept on scroll and hide the timer 
  • Optional consent-renewal following a change in policy
  • iFrame blocker to prevent users from viewing third party content until they accept cookies
  • Geolocation only displays the consent banner to visitors from countries with cookie laws
  • Consent log
  • Analytics
  • Support and updates
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

GDPR Cookie Compliance scores 4.5/5.0 stars with users. It’s an ideal option for ensuring your WordPress site is GDPR compliant.

GDPR CCPA Compliance Support

GDPR CCPA Compliance Support

GDPR CCPA Compliance Support is an entirely free plugin for ensuring your website complies with the various cookie regulations such as the GDPR, CCPA, and others. The plugin uses a handy drag-and-drop visual builder that makes implementing cookie consent child’s play.

Despite its zero-dollar price tag, GDPR CCPA Compliance Support gives you some handy features that extend beyond just cookies:

  • Notify and get user consent to cookies, terms and conditions, and privacy policy
  • Collect data access requests from users and automatically notify admin.
  • Create a ‘forget me’ form so users can request deletion of their stored data with automatic notifications to admin.
  • Users can request corrections to their stored data
  • Data breach notifications
  • Option to either display the cookie popup to users in the EU or refuse them access

More than three thousand active downloads of GDPR CCPA Compliance Support are currently active, and impressively, the plugin scored 5.0/5.0 with users. In my opinion, it is an option worthy of consideration.

Get GDPR CCPA Compliance Support

WordPress Real Cookie Banner

WordPress Real Cookie Banner is a freemium cookie notification plugin for your WordPress site. Not only does this plugin allow you to add a notification banner and manage consents according to the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive, but it also includes content blockers, so you will be compliant even where your theme, plugins, etc., transfer personal data.

The free version has been downloaded over fifty thousand times and has a user score of 5.0/5.0. It bundles an impressive range of features, including:

  • Legal compliance checklist
  • Website cookie scan
  • Extensive consent management features, e.g., execution of opt-in and opt-out scripts, GDPR youth protection, auto consent renewal following updates, etc.
  • Content blockers restrict content until the user consents
  • CMP certified by IAB Europe
  • Translated into English and German
  • Multilingual support
  • Auto deletion of first-party cookies upon opt-out
  • Automatic clearing of all known page caches following changes to the cookie banner or content blocker
  • Most ad-blockers cannot block the cookie banners
  • Import and export consents
  • Developer API

WordPress Real Cookie Banner Pro costs €49 per year. That covers one domain (multi-domain plans are also available) and includes plenty of extra cookie banner and consent management tools, including:

  • Extensive library of service and content blocker templates and cookie banner designs
  • Consent for data processing in the USA which allows services like Google Analytics to be used
  • Option to hide the cookie banner
  • Traceable consents
  • Statistics and analytics
  • Customizable cookie banner and content blocker
  • Geo-restriction to determine where to display the cookie banner
  • Consent forwarding to avoid multiple consents where you have more than one website
  • Updates and support

WordPress Real Cookie Banner offers a great deal of functionality both in its free and paid versions, so I suggest trying out the free version first before upgrading to the Pro plan.

There is no doubt that data privacy rules and regulations are tightening globally, with the EU setting the trend with its GDPR. As a result, implications for all website owners are far-reaching, as it can be easy even for small blogs to fall foul of the regulations without realizing it. Using a cookie consent plugin on your WordPress site will make compliance much less of a headache, especially as plenty of good free options are available.

I’m pretty sure there will be several readers of this article that have not yet added cookie consent to their sites. If that is the case, I’m interested to hear your opinions on the subject and how you plan to get compliant. Furthermore, if your site is already compliant, which plugins have you used to achieve it?

7 Best WordPress Cookie Consent Plugins in 2022: Stay on the Right Side of Data Protection Laws

Keep reading the article at Learn WordPress with WPLift. The article was originally written by Simon Wright on 2021-12-20 23:05:00.

The article was hand-picked and curated for you by the Editorial Team of WP Archives.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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