How to Write a Terms and Conditions Page for a Website

by Steve Smith

If you are running a website that provides pricing information, advice or any other service, you may want to consider adding a terms and conditions page. This will absolve you of responsibility if anyone mistakenly uses your information for the wrong purposes, or wants to hold you liable for damages they have incurred by using your website or its information.

Writing a terms and conditions page is not a science, but there are a few things you should know. This article will show you how to write a terms and conditions page for your website, to avoid legal issues you might encounter.

How to Write a Terms and Conditions Page for a Website

1

First consider what you need to include on your terms and conditions page. What possible problems could someone encounter by using your site? What is your site's main purpose? What does your site not intend to do?

2

Write down these issues and concerns on a piece of paper. Then order them according to importance. If you have a lawyer or know someone who is an expert in the field of law, ask him to look over your list of concerns (and your website) and give you advice on what to say and how to say it.

3

Look at the terms and conditions pages of websites that are in the same industry as yours. Take note of what their terms and conditions are. Many sites that offer pricing information on cars, travel deals or other products always mention that prices can change. They also specfify that they do not sell or promote these products, although they may be affiliated with some of the merchants advertised on their site.

4

Organize your issues and concerns into several topics. Topics that are typically addressed include privacy, copyright information, contact information, data and security, complaints, affiliations or website partners and refunds.

5

Begin to write your terms and conditions. Express them in a clear and user-friendly tone. This is a legal document, but it does not have to be written in an overly legal voice, or be too authoritative or demeaning. Write it to clearly state what your site is about, what service it provides and how it provides that service. Also, be sure to address all legal concerns you might have, and fully explain those liabilities you do and do not accept.

6

Carefully review your terms and conditions for spelling and grammar; then review it for accuracy. If issues arise that are not included in your terms and conditions, update the latter, and be sure to let your customers know that updates have been made. If possible, have a lawyer look over your new terms and conditions. If you can get someone to read your terms and conditions to give feedback, that will also be a great help.

Tips

  • check Making your terms easy to understand will help you avoid confusion and give your site more visitor appeal.
  • check Terms and conditions should be accessible through a bottom navigation bar, and when customers sign up or have to enter their personal information.
  • check Always look at what terms similar sites have listed; it is a great way to generate your own terms and conditions.

Warnings

  • close Writing terms and conditions is an important process that takes some time. Give yourself enough time to explore the liabilities you are exposed to, and always have a firm grasp of the laws that pertain to your site.
  • close Terms and conditions can be legally binding, and if a customer is going to file suit, she may refer to them in her case. Be sure to clearly state your liabilities, and whenever possible, have a legal professional look them over before you publish them.

Items you will need

About the Author

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.