terms and conditions

If you have used or made a purchase from any ecommerce website, you must have noticed or skimmed through its terms and conditions. All professional websites must have a page to display terms and conditions, but some make the page more prominent than others. Websites selling products online often include a link to their terms and conditions on their checkout page as well.

If you are thinking of building a website and are looking to create terms and conditions for it, you have come to the right place. In this post, we will be discussing all you need to know about the terms and conditions of a website.

What are Terms and Conditions?

The terms and conditions define how the site’s users or visitors are allowed to interact with it. They act as an agreement between the website owner and its users or customers. They set the rights and responsibilities of both sides and determine what is legal and what is not in the way both parties interact with each other.

When users use a website in any way, they must agree with and abide by the terms and conditions of the site. The site owner must also abide by the responsibilities stated in the terms and provide users with services according to those terms.

The terms and conditions are often referred to as the terms of use (ToU) or terms of service (ToS). These different terms can be confusing. Are they completely other agreements, or are these just different names of the same agreement? Well, the answer is the latter. There is not much difference between these three. They are more or less the same thing. Any of these three can be used to name the agreement that indicates the same document. Some websites even use the name ‘user agreement’. Many websites use these names interchangeably. It is just the information stated on the page that has value. The name doesn’t make much difference.

Purpose of Terms and Conditions

The purpose of terms and conditions is to set the stage for building successful relationships between a business and its audience. They make things clear between the two parties. They set the roles of each party into the right perspective and clarify the guidelines that govern the relationship.

Terms and conditions are not really legally required. But they help avoid misunderstandings between businesses and their customers, especially if the business is selling products or services directly through the website.

They also allow a website owner to determine and state what is acceptable and what is not regarding anyone’s behavior with the site. They make the site owner realize what type of conduct on the user’s part can lead them to terminate their relationship with the user.

For example, let’s say you are running a website, and you have policies regarding what type of content users can share on your site. If someone posts or comments something that goes against your website policies, you would have a basis to take a stand and take that content down.

Terms and conditions also help site owners limit their liability towards the users in certain situations. This really prevents them from getting into lawsuits and reduces the damages they might have to pay, should they get involved in a risky situation. As long as they can display terms and conditions that the user had agreed and checked on the site, they can defend themselves in such troublesome situations.

Another way of saying this is that the terms and conditions help site owners maintain their ownership and control over their product and support them in maintaining a cordial relationship with their users. They also keep the users aware of what kind of behavior conforms to the site’s policies.

Lastly, terms and conditions address most of the questions that users may have in their minds before, during, and after they browse through a website. If these questions are not addressed in the terms, users would have to reach out to the site’s admin or owner to get their answers. Hence, posting the terms and conditions clearly saves the time and resources of both parties. They clarify things right off the bat and avoid confusion from the beginning.

What to Include in Your Terms and Conditions?

Before you create terms and conditions for your website, you need to know what components to include. The page to display terms and conditions needs to be drafted with the requirements and specifications of your business in mind.

The first step is to identify the risks and liabilities involved in your business and website and address them in your draft. Following are some clauses that are considered standard for most terms and conditions contracts.

1. General Conditions and Termination

The general conditions include the generally accepted terms for anyone to use your website. Normally the first section of the terms and conditions page lists down the general guidelines and prohibitions to be followed by all site visitors. These can be stated in broad terms or even be quite specific.

An example of a broadly stated clause could be stating that your products and services cannot be used for unlawful or illegal purposes. You can mention that users are not allowed to test or breach the vulnerability of your business network.

If your website is a collaborative platform, you can include specific community guidelines. This means you can mention that users are welcome to share your website content on social media sites.

T&C describing the general conditions of a Strikingly user's website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

This section also allows you to mention that you can terminate the agreement or deactivate user accounts if they violate any of the clauses mentioned in the terms. This is called the termination clause and is very commonly included in the terms and conditions of most websites.

2. Copyright and Intellectual Property

Having a clause stating that nobody has the right to copy and use your content without your permission does not protect it fully, but it certainly acts as a deterrent. This clause confirms to your users that all the content on your site belongs to you, and should not be used without crediting or linking it back to you. It is a warning to all your website users against copyright infringement. It conveys that your content should not be reproduced or reused unless you give express permission for it.

3. DMCA Takedown Process

This section is called the DMCA policy, and it explains your process of dealing with and responding to DMCA takedown notices.

4. Products and Services

If you are selling products or services directly through your website, this is the most important clause to include in your terms and conditions. This section states that you have done your best to make sure that your product descriptions are accurate. But you will not take responsibility if any discrepancies are found in the size, colors, shape, or other minor features. This could actually happen because sometimes the customers’ computers might be showing them the product pictures differently. The same applies to product availability. You can mention that you do your best to ensure the product ordered is in stock but won’t be held liable if suddenly it gets sold out.

In this section, you can also clarify that errors can happen, and if they do so, you will take suitable measures to correct any wrong information about your products or services on your site. Normally, businesses also state here that they reserve the right to alter the features of their products and services and these terms at their discretion from time to time.

T&C describing the services of a Strikingly user's website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

5. Limitation of Liability or Disclaimers

This is one of the main reasons for including the terms and conditions on your site. This clause simply states that your liability towards any mishaps occurring on your website is limited.

T&C stating the limitations on liability of a Strikingly user's website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

6. User-Generated Content

Suppose your website has the feature to allow users to post comments, reviews, or pictures. In that case, you might want to include a section on policies regarding user-generated content in your terms and conditions. This will simply state what is acceptable and what is not for being posted on your site.

Positive reviews displayed on a website built on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

7. Subscription and Payment Information

If you accept payments from customers on your site, it is important to add the payment methods that your site can receive in your terms and conditions. If you use a subscription model, you need to state when exactly the customers will be charged. If a customer wants to cancel their subscription, state clearly how they will be charged. If you offer a free trial period, what will happen at the end of that period must be clarified.

8. Shipping, Refunds, and Returns

If customers can purchase physical products from your ecommerce store, you must include your shipping policy and refunds or returns policy in your terms and conditions.

How to Show the Terms and Conditions on a Strikingly Website

Follow these steps to display terms and conditions on a website built on Strikingly.


Image taken from Strikingly

  1. Select ‘Settings’ from the left panel of your Strikingly editor.
  2. Click ‘Advanced’ and then ‘Legal’.
  3. Select the option that says ‘Show Terms & Conditions’.
  4. Type in, or copy and paste your entire policy in the text body field. By default, a button or link for this will appear on your site’s footer.
  5. Click ‘Update’ or ‘Publish’ and check the live website.

Now you know how to create terms and conditions that can protect you as a website owner. If you want to know more about Strikingly, you can continue to read our other posts about creating a full-fledged website on our platform.

Terms and conditions are just one component of your overall web design and content. Strikingly offers tons of valuable and professional tools that help you build a website all by yourself without having to write a single line of code.