In today's digital world, cookies are an essential part of the internet. They play a central role in the functionality of websites and offer both users and website operators numerous advantages.
For WordPress websites, cookies are particularly important for personalizing user experiences and managing important functions such as user logins or shopping carts.
However, with the increasing awareness of online privacy and data protection, cookies have also become the focus of data protection laws such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
These laws require websites to be transparent about the data they collect and to obtain the consent of their users for the use of certain types of cookies.
In this context, WordPress cookie plugins have become increasingly important. They help website operators to comply with legal requirements by ensuring that cookies are only set after users have given their consent.
However, choosing the right cookie plugin can be a challenge, especially if you have a limited budget, are looking for free options and aren't exactly a WordPress freelancer yourself is.
In this article, we will therefore look at the best free WordPress cookie plugins.
We provide an overview of their functions, the legal framework under which they operate and tips on how to choose the right plugin for your needs. The aim is to provide you with a sound basis for making an informed decision and making your website GDPR-compliant.
Top free WordPress cookie plugins for WordPress
Below are some of the best free WordPress cookie plugins to help meet cookie consent and privacy compliance requirements. These cookie plugins offer various features, from basic cookie notices to advanced configuration options.
Provides a highly customizable cookie banner to manage user consents and allow users to opt-in or opt-out of different cookie categories.
GDPR Cookie Compliance - WordPress cookie plugin
This plugin supports cookie compliance and offers settings for the consent notices on your website.
Cookie Notice for GDPR - WordPress cookie plugin
CookieYes GDPR Cookie Consent - WordPress cookie plugin
Offers complete customization options to adapt the style of the cookie notice to the appearance of your website. Colors, fonts, styles, position on the page and the behavior when clicking on "Accept" can be adjusted.
GDPR Cookie Consent Banner - WordPress cookie plugin
One of the simplest and most popular cookie consent plugins. It facilitates compliance with data protection regulations such as the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive.
BST DSGVO Cookie - WordPress cookie plugin
A plugin specially developed for the GDPR that helps to manage cookie consent in accordance with the regulations.
Cookie Notice - WordPress cookie plugin
A simple plugin that displays a cookie notice bar on the website and offers basic customization options.
Asesor de Cookies - WordPress cookie plugin
A plugin developed specifically for the Spanish-speaking user group to facilitate compliance with local data protection laws.
EU Cookie Law - WordPress cookie plugin
Simple and effective plugin for managing consent to cookies in accordance with EU regulations.
Italy Cookie Choices - WordPress cookie plugin
Specially developed for Italian websites to support compliance with Italian data protection laws.
WF Cookie Consent - WordPress cookie plugin
Allows users to give and customize their consent to cookies on your website.
cookie-cat - WordPress cookie plugin
A plugin that provides information about the cookies used on the website.
Cookie Bar - Cookie Plugin
A simple cookie notice plugin with basic customization options.
Implied Cookie Consent - Cookie Plugin
Provides a simplified solution for obtaining cookie consent.
This list offers a diverse selection of free plugins tailored to different needs and preferences. When selecting a plugin, you should consider the specific requirements of your website and the desired functions.
Comparison of the functions of the best free WordPress cookie plugins
The listed free WordPress cookie plugins offer a variety of functions and customization options. A comparison of some key functions can help you choose the right plugin for your website:
Customizability of a cookie plugin:
- Cookiebot, CookieYes GDPR Cookie ConsentOffer extensive customization options for the cookie notice, including colors, fonts and position on the page.
- GDPR Cookie Consent Banner: Easier to configure and suitable for users who require less customization.
User consent and categorization of a cookie plugin:
- Cookiebot, GDPR Cookie ComplianceAllow a detailed choice for users to give their consent to different cookie categories.
- Cookie Notice for GDPR, Easy Cookie LawSimple consent management without extensive categorization options.
Compatibility and multilingualism of a cookie plugin:
- Many of the cookie plugins, such as Cookiebot and GDPR Cookie Consentare compatible with multilingual plugins such as WPML and Polylang, which makes them suitable for multilingual websites.
- Asesor de Cookies, Italy Cookie ChoicesSpecially developed for specific language areas, making them ideal for websites in these areas.
Simplicity vs. advanced functions:
- Cookie Bar, Implied Cookie ConsentProvide basic functionality for websites that only require simple cookie notices.
- CookieYes GDPR Cookie Consent, GDPR Cookie Consent BannerProvide advanced features for websites that require more detailed control and documentation of user consents.
- Most of these cookie plugins, such as Cookiebot and GDPR Cookie Compliancesupport compliance with data protection regulations such as the GDPR, which is particularly important for websites in the EU.
It is important to note that the requirements for cookie notices may depend on the specific data protection laws of your country. Therefore, when choosing a cookie plugin, you should not only consider the technical functions, but also the legal requirements.
In addition, it is advisable to regularly check whether the selected plugin still complies with the current data protection regulations, as the legal requirements may change.
Basics about cookies
What are cookies?
Cookies are small data sets used by websites to store and retrieve information about visitors and their use of the website. They are stored in the user's browser, whether on a smartphone, tablet or PC. Cookies serve a variety of purposes that improve the online experience and make it more efficient.
The main functions of cookies include
User recognition and personalization:
Cookies help websites to recognize returning visitors. They store information such as login status, website settings or shopping cart contents. This function enables websites to offer personalized experiences, for example by automatically logging users in when they return to the website or retaining their preferred settings.
Each cookie is linked to a specific domain. This means that the information stored in a cookie can only be retrieved by the website that set the cookie. This is important to ensure the security and privacy of users.
In the context of WordPress websites, cookies are used for a variety of functions, from storing login information to collecting visitor statistics. Understanding how cookies work and how they are used on your website is crucial to both providing an optimal user experience and complying with privacy policies.
Types of cookies
When discussing cookies on websites, it is important to understand the different types of cookies. These can basically be divided into two main categories: technically necessary cookies and technically unnecessary cookies. In addition, a distinction can be made between first-party and third-party cookies.
Technically necessary cookies:
- These cookies are essential for the functioning of a website. They enable basic functions such as logging into a user account or saving products in the shopping cart.
- Examples of technically necessary cookies are those that store login data or manage settings such as language and accessibility options.
Technically unnecessary cookies:
- This category includes cookies that are not strictly necessary for the basic functions of a website. They are generally used for marketing, web analysis or advertising purposes.
- Examples of this are cookies from services such as Google Analytics or Google AdSense. These cookies require the explicit consent of the user before they can be set.
- First-party cookies are set by the domain of the website visited. They are often used for the functionality of the website itself, such as storing login information or preferences.
- These cookies are generally less of a concern in terms of data protection, as they are managed directly by the website visited.
- Third-party cookies are set by domains that do not belong to the website visited. These are often used by advertising networks or social media to track user behavior across different websites.
- Due to their potential for data protection concerns, third-party cookies are often viewed critically and are subject to stricter regulations.
Understanding these different types of cookies is crucial for Website operator and WordPress programmerto ensure compliance with data protection laws such as the GDPR. In particular, the correct handling of technically unnecessary and third-party cookies is important in order to protect the privacy of users and avoid legal consequences.