When you think about developing a website for your business, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? As in the case for most people, it’s probably the website’s design that demands the most attention from you. After that, you think about user-friendliness, content, functionality, and other elements of your website. However, the things that should get priority instead of all these are the legal requirements your website needs to meet.
Anyone can buy a domain and set up a website these days. So, to keep all these websites in check, governments and local and international authorities have laid down different guidelines. These guidelines exist to ensure that the website is accessible to all kinds of people. The guidelines also ensure that user content, data, and privacy are secure at all costs.
So, what are these guidelines that govern websites in 2022?
#1 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – ADA Compliance
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – WCAG – dictates how you can make a website accessible for specially-abled people. Complying with these guidelines helps maintain the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design (or ADA Compliance, in short).
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Unless your website is ADA compliant, authorities will not see your website as accessible to all types of people. Those people can even file lawsuits against you if that’s the case.
Companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Nike have faced similar lawsuits in the past.
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They, too, failed to comply with these guidelines. Thus, you must maintain these standards at all costs.
Among all the web accessibility guidelines, here are some of the most crucial ones.
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- Use alt text for images.
- Use captions and subtitles for videos.
- Use contrasting colors.
- Place ads away from the main content.
- Use headings carefully and maintain a hierarchy while composing and arranging the text.
#2 Data Privacy and Collection – General Data Protection Regulation
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes from the European Union (EU). In the US, similar data protection regulations are in place both on a national level as well as state levels.
Data privacy and collection regulations have been under scrutiny by the general public in the past few years. The Cambridge Analytica scandal has opened the eyes of millions and made them aware of their data privacy rights. That’s why your users are now more concerned than ever about the data you’re collecting from them.
Another vital feature to add regarding these regulations is a data collection form. Users can know what data you have collected from them through this form.
#3 Copyright Requirements
Copyright requirements are necessary not just for your website but also for your content. By no means can you use content that you copied from elsewhere. Doing so will get you into a lot of legal trouble. In some cases, authorities can take down the copied content.
When using visuals, you can avoid copyright infringement by using free-source images and videos. In some cases, the owners of the visuals will ask you to credit them. You can also avoid getting caught up in these matters by simply using paid images and videos. Since you’ve already paid for them, you can use them as per the contract in your invoice or transaction.
#4 Data Security Measures
The data security measures protect your users’ data by ensuring that you protect your website. Your website can hold a lot of information, including personal and financial details. Besides, you will also be responsible for secure transactions if you’re running an eCommerce site.
The data security measures are your users’ right to have you protect their data. To protect the data, you will need to take whatever measures possible. SSL certification and transaction monitoring are just two of the many ways to handle this. These measures are different and vary from website to website. However, the general principle is to protect your user or visitor data from security breaches.
#5 eCommerce transactions and compliance
The eCommerce compliance guidelines are similar to the data security measures point we discussed earlier. Except, in this case, it’s mostly related to financial transactions users make on such platforms.
When running an eCommerce site, you must protect the user’s information and not misuse it. So, you mustn’t charge their cards unless authorized by the user. It’s best to use a third-party payment gateway to handle these things, especially on CMS like WordPress.
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These are all the legal requirements you need to be aware of for your website. So, ensure that you’re abiding by them while developing and maintaining a website.