If you’re building or managing a website, you may have to deal with privacy laws such as the European Union's GDPR and California's CCPA. These policies protect the privacy of your visitors, but they can also add more to your to-do list as a web developer.
For most sites, the easiest way to achieve compliance is with a dedicated WordPress cookie consent plugin. In this post, we've curated a list of seven of the best cookie plugins for WordPress users, most of which have functional free versions.
Whether you just want to display a simple cookie consent banner or you need a full-featured cookie consent management platform, you'll find a useful option on this list.
Best WordPress Cookie Consent Plugins
Cookie Notice is one of the most popular cookies plugins at WordPress.org, where it has a near-perfect 4.9-star rating on over 2,900 reviews.
There are two parts to the plugin:
- Cookie Notice: This is a simple website banner that notifies your visitors about your site's cookie usage and lets visitors give consent in different ways.
- Cookie Compliance: This is a full-featured consent management platform (CMP) that takes into account guidelines from over 100 countries and provides detailed options to users for managing their privacy. For example, users can choose to allow some cookies but not others.
The Cookie Notice features are 100% self-contained in the plugin, while the Cookie Compliance features require connecting to the developer's web application as well.
You can choose to use just the Cookie Notice features if you prefer — you are not forced to use Cookie Compliance or connect your site to the separate service.
Here are the features of Cookie Notice:
- Display a simple cookie consent banner
- Customize the message and colors
- Assume consent by click, scroll, or close
- Choose how long to hide the notice if a user agrees
Here are the features of Cookie Compliance:
- Includes auto-blocking of non-essential cookies until user consent is registered
- Let users choose to accept all, some, or none of your site's cookies
- Let users specify a duration. For example, they can allow cookies for one month. After that month, the plugin will ask for their consent again
- Divide cookies into different categories based on their purposes so that users can choose to accept or reject
- View users' consent records and store those records while complying with privacy laws. This provides you with auditable proof of consent if needed.
- Track analytics to see how many users give you consent
Here's an example of the Cookie Compliance interface:
The Cookie Notice features are 100% free and available in the plugin at WordPress.org.
However, the Cookie Compliance features come in a free and paid plan. The free plan has the following limits:
- 1,000 visits per month
- 30 days of consent storage
- Support for one additional language
The paid plan allows for unlimited visits and lifetime consent storage and has two pricing options: $14.95 per month or $149.50 per year (you get two months free).
CookieYes is another very popular free cookies plugin at WordPress.org. Like the Cookie Notice plugin, it's also highly rated with a 4.9-star rating on over 1,600 reviews.
CookYes uses the same basic approach as Cookie Compliance when it comes to its functionality and pricing. The free version of the plugin lets you display a stylish cookie consent banner while the premium version offers a full consent management platform with features such as automatic cookie scanning, automatic blocking of certain cookies until consent, and more.
Here are the key features of the free version:
- Display a good-looking cookie consent banner
- Apply consent on click, scroll, or delay
- Customize consent banner text and colors
- Customize consent buttons and link to your privacy page
- Have the option to manually add cookies to the list
The premium version offers everything in the free version plus the following features:
- Automatic cookie scanner (no need to manually add your cookies like the free version)
- Automatic blocking of popular third-party scripts until consent, including Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and more
- Location-based exclusion of the cookie notice for areas where it's not needed
- User consent audit logs
- More layouts and templates
The free version of CookieYes should work fine if you just want to display a basic cookie consent banner.
If you want the premium features such as the consent management functionality, paid plans start at $69 for use on a single site and one year of support and updates.
Complianz is a WordPress cookie consent plugin from the same developer as the massively popular, Really Simple SSL plugin, which helps WordPress sites migrate from HTTP to HTTPS.
It supports GDPR, CCPA, and a number of other cookie consent regulations. It also makes it easy to apply different consent behavior based on users' locations so you can ensure that you have optimal compliance and user experience in every location.
One of the standout details about this plugin is its very detailed and user-friendly setup wizard. If you have no idea where to start when it comes to privacy compliance, this setup wizard makes it really easy to ensure your site is doing things properly.
Here are the main features of the free version of Complianz:
- Setup wizard to help you configure the optimal compliance features for your site
- Configure one global cookie consent rule for all visitors
- Cookie scanner to automatically detect most cookies
- Automatic cookie descriptions (supplied by cookiedatabase.org)
- Customizable cookie consent banner
And, here's what you get with the premium version:
- You can configure different consent rules for different regions (the free version only lets you create one consent rule). You can also automatically redirect visitors to the proper consent policy for their regions
- Generate proof of consent records for an audit
- A/B testing so that you can test which consent notices get the highest acceptance ratios (This is a unique feature compared to other cookies plugins.)
- Generate all required legal documents, including COPPA, CCPA "Do Not Sell My Personal Information", and more
Complianz has a free version that should work for most sites. The premium version starts at $45 for use on a single site.
GDPR Cookie Compliance is another popular free cookie plugin that offers a premium version with additional features. Despite the GDPR-focused name, the plugin supports other regulations including CCPA, PIPEDA, LGPD, and more.
Like most of the other plugins on this list, the free version is mainly focused on just helping you create a cookie consent banner, while the premium version gets more into compliance management with features such as consent logs and cookie blocking until acceptance.
Here are the key features in the free version of this plugin:
- User-friendly cookie consent notice — displayed as a top or bottom banner
- Customized text and style of the consent banner
- Users can consent and revoke consent
- Consent expiration settings
And here's what you get if you upgrade to the premium version:
- Cookie wall/full-screen layout so that users must consent before they can interact with your site
- Consent on scroll or timer
- Only show the consent banner to visitors from geographic areas where it's needed
- Block third-party resources/iframes until a user consents to cookies
- Cookie declaration to state what types of cookies your site uses
- Consent logging for audits
- Analytics to see your cookie acceptance rate
The free version of the plugin works fine if you just want to display a cookie consent banner. If you want the more advanced features, the paid plan starts at £49 for a single site and one year of support and updates.
Termly is a SaaS cookie consent and compliance service that you can easily integrate with your WordPress site thanks to its dedicated plugin.
Termly caused a bit of controversy when joining the WordPress space because it acquired an existing free cookie plugin and relaunched it as an integration for the SaaS Termly product. This resulted in a number of one-star reviews from people who had previously been enjoying the free plugin.
However, if you're new to the plugin, that's not an issue because you'll be operating with Termly's SaaS approach from the beginning — We're just explaining why the plugin has collected a lot of one-star reviews recently.
The advantage of Termly is that it handles all of the technical compliance details for you. However, the disadvantage is that it's more expensive than native WordPress plugins, though there is a limited, free plan.
Here are the key features of this plugin:
- Fully automated SaaS solution that has a dedicated WordPress integration plugin (the plugin requires a Termly account to function)
- Fully customizable cookie consent banner — edit text, colors, translations, and more
- Only display cookie consent banners in regions where they're required
- Automatic cookie scans, including connecting to a cookie database to automatically generate cookie descriptions and categories
- Automatic blocking of third-party scripts and tracking mechanisms until consent
- Users can choose granular cookie permissions, such as only opting in to certain categories
- Generate important pages such as privacy policies, disclaimers, and more
- Consent logs to comply with audits
Termly has a limited free plan that supports up to 10,000 monthly visitors. However, this plan includes the Termly logo on the consent banner and some other limitations.
The paid plan costs $15 per month for unlimited visitors, more frequent cookie scans, no Termly logo, and more. This puts it on par with the Cookie Compliance feature in the first plugin on our list.
Cookie Consistent is a premium, but affordable, cookies plugin that's sold via Envato's CodeCanyon marketplace.
This one is quite simple — it helps you display a stylish cookie consent bar or slide-in on your site. You can customize its content and style using a simple editor and then display it in various positions.
It does not include the more advanced compliance features in some of the other plugins on this list. But if all you want is a stylish cookie consent banner, this plugin is an easy and affordable way to achieve that.
Here are the key features of this plugin:
- Stylish pre-made designs. You can also customize the style if needed
- Customize all of the content, including the button text and policy links
- Multiple placement options — top or bottom banner or a floating box on the left, right, or center
Cookie Consent costs $20 with standard Envato licensing, which gets you six months of support and lifetime updates for a single site.
WP Cookie Notice for GDPR, CCPA & ePrivacy Consent isn't quite as popular at WordPress.org as some of the other free cookie consent plugins, but it's well-reviewed and growing quickly.
It's also one of the more affordable premium options on this list, which makes it good for those on a budget. Plus, there's also a free version that will work for most Wordpress websites.
Here are the features available in the free version of the plugin:
- Show a flexible cookie consent notice
- Fully customize the notice text and colors
- Accept consent on click, scroll, or time on site
- Let users opt-in to all cookies or only cookies in specific categories
- Automatically block common third-party scripts
- Option to save consent logs to your site
- Shortcode to display cookie information, such as including cookie details on your privacy page
Here's what you get with the premium version:
- List all cookies, including their categories
- Automatic cookie scan so you don't have to manually add cookies
- Sync cookie information with the cookie information database
- Geotargeting to only show the cookie notice bar where needed
- More pre-designed templates for the cookie consent notice
The free version of the plugin is pretty generous with its features, so it might be all that you need. If you want the premium version, it's still one of the more affordable options on this list. Plans start at just $17 for use on a single site and one year of support and updates.
Which is the best WordPress cookies consent plugin?
The best cookies plugin really depends on your specific needs and budget.
For example, do you just want to display a cookie consent banner or do you actually need a full-service consent management platform where you can list all cookies, give users granular control over cookie permissions, keep auditable consent logs, and so on?
If you just need a simple cookie consent banner, pretty much all of these plugins can get the job done — usually for free.
However, if you want a full consent management platform, you'll probably want to start your search with the following plugins:
- Cookie Notice (more specifically the Cookie Compliance service that's contained in the plugin)
Originally published Jan 26, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated January 26 2022