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Are You Going Around in Circles? It Could Be Your Cookie Widget-Plus an update to GDPR #MPBooks

If you’ve recently been visiting any WordPress.com website you may have noticed a banner appearing which has some small print that says something about Cookies and Privacy and asks you to accept to continue using the website.  But many of us have recently experienced an annoying glitch with this banner.  When click accept we seem to be going around in circles as the whole page we were just looking at refreshes.  The refreshed page then re-appears only to display this banner again.  And so some of us have been going around in circles as we click accept -> refresh -> accept -> refresh, etc.  Well there’s a solution, at least a temporary one…

Fixing the merry-go-round

For most of us this cookie banner has been appearing ever since we’ve added the widget to our blogs.  For those of us who aren’t sure what this widget is, or forgot how we put it there let me explain.  Most of us know what widgets are but for those who are new you need to visit your dashboard.  For those with a free plan the address is YOURBLOGNAME.wordpress.com/wp-admin.

appearance to widgets menu
Click on ‘widgets’

Once you are in your admin dashboard you’ll notice a menu on the left.  each item you click on in the menu has a sub-menu and we’re looking for the widgets that appear in the Appearance menu.  Look down the menu on the left.  Click on Appearance -> Widgets.

Once you’re in the widgets menu you’ll notice a whole lot of different widgets you can put into columns or footers in your blog.  The number of sidebars you have available depends on the theme and it’s something I can explain more in another post however we’re all looking for the cookie widget.

 

Cookies and consent banner widget
Find this widget on your sidebar

Now, for those who’ve never used the cookie widget don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything.  But for those of us who’ve been to the widgets menu before and used this widget on our blog we’re going to have to locate it in whichever sidebar we put it in.

The Cookies & Consent Banner as it’s called says that is will “Display a banner for EU Cookie Law and GDPR compliance”.  In theory, according to the most recent news I’ve heard, WordPress.com sites can now opt to have this banner as the only banner negating the need for a separate Privacy Policy page, so many of us would think it’s a good idea to put this widget up on our blogs.  But recently all it’s done is conflict with a new update to WordPress sites which means that all this banner does is take you around in circles of refreshing the page.

So the solution: Take the widget out of your blog…Delete it.

WordPress Privacy update

WordPress’s recent update means that all sites now automatically display a Cookies and Privacy banner so there’s no need to add the widget at the moment.  The downside to removing the widget is that can’t customise it anymore with your own text.  This is bad news at the moment for international, non-English speaking bloggers who might want to display the widget in their own language.  However the upside is that you won’t have this constant banner re-appearing on your blog which could irritate some visitors and cause them to leave.

The Cookies and Privacy

The Privacy and Cookies banner which appears on all blogs automatically now looks like this:

Privacy and cookies banner
This banner displays at the bottom of the page when you first visit.

This new banner is apparently GDPR compliant.  It’s apparently enough for most WordPress.com blogs to display this banner rather than a separate privacy policy page.  There is a clickable section which takes visitors who want to know more to this page.  One thing I don’t like about this banner personally, as a visitor though, is that although the page does contain all the information you need to know on what personal info the site may collect and store about you, it’s the heavy usage of the word ‘Cookie’ and the fact that it’s called the cookie policy which may make some people confused over the whole privacy issue.

It is GDPR compliant though so for those of us who were worried this new banner and it’s link does cover most bloggers, although you might want to give it a read and check for yourself.

Thanks for reading and just wanted to reassure those who’ve been miffed by the whole GDPR thing that WordPress is working on it.  And will hopefully work on bringing us a customisable privacy & cookie banner soon too (I hope).


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19 thoughts on “Are You Going Around in Circles? It Could Be Your Cookie Widget-Plus an update to GDPR #MPBooks

    • Thank you so much for reblogging. I didn’t realise blogs might need some sort of policy for GDPR myself until Thursday night, the night before it was implemented! Thankfully wordpress seem to have put in a banner that now automatically appears when people first visit your blog so that should take care of the GDPR thing, although I plan to leave my own privacy policy up at this time, went to too much hard work to want to delete it to be honest.

      Liked by 2 people

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