Although the GDPR came already came into force in 2018, many WordPress users are still struggling to implement the requirements. The upcoming ePrivacy Regulation gives us every reason to stick at this crucial topic and ensure our compliance, however. The great thing for us as website operators is that WordPress now has a number of very useful plugins to help us comply with the GDPR and ePrivacy Regulations. In today's article, I'd like to introduce you to one of these tools – the plugin Borlabs Cookie. Happy reading!
On 29 July 2019, the European Court of Justice declared cookie opt-ins to be a legally enforceable obligation. As a website operator, you shouldn't be asking yourself whether you need to use a cookie banner, but how you can implement it to comply with the relevant data protection laws. Further information on the ECJ ruling can be found by lawyer Dr Thomas Schwenke in the Data Protection Generator Blog (only available in German).
Full control with Borlabs Cookie
The plugin Borlabs Cookie is an opt-in solution for WordPress that helps you comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the upcoming ePrivacy Regulation. With this tool, you can easily control first and third party cookies and have them confirmed by the visitors of your website via a so-called "cookie box" (also called "cookie banner").
The aim of this article is to give you deeper insights into what this particular GDPR plugin can do and the options you have.
The statistics on the dashboard provide you with some particularly interesting information. Here you can see in detail how often users have consented to your cookie settings.
Essential: Cookies enable the basic function of the website
Statistics: e.g. Google Analytics
Marketing: e.g. Facebook Pixel
External media: e.g. Google Maps
Under the statistics, you'll find a quick start guide to help you get familiar with the plugin. In addition, the system status is displayed on the dashboard where you can check at any time whether the plugin is working smoothly.
Borlabs Cookie settings
In the General Settings, you can activate the Borlabs Cookie plugin and make some other settings at the time the cookies are activated.
You can change settings for the so-called "cross domain cookies" on this page too. This means all cookie settings made via a certain path are transferred to all other specified domains at the same time. This is particularly interesting if you operate several websites in the form of subdomains, for example, and don't want users to have to make new cookie settings each time.
This is also where you define the privacy and legal notice pages to be displayed in the Cookie Box.
Layout, animation, presentation & logo
In the Cookie Box settings, you can make changes to the layout, animation, display or logo. You have the option to individually set the layout and color accents of the box, how it's animated and which logo should be displayed.
Using Borlabs Cookie in a privacy compliant way
Note: The latest German Federal Court of Justice ruling states that cookies may only be set if visitors to your website have actively consented to them. You can read about the settings Borlabs Cookie recommends in this article: https://de.borlabs.io/neues-bgh-urteil-bestaetigt-eugh-aktive-einwilligung-fuer-cookies-notwendig.
Buttons & texts
This menu can, of course, be used to customize the output of the buttons and the texts within the cookie box. At the very bottom of the settings, you have the option to make changes using CSS.
The so-called Cookie Groups are individual groupings into which all the cookies you use are divided. By default, Borlabs Cookie Groups are Essential, External Media, Marketing and Statistics.
These groups include, for example, the Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Google Maps, Vimeo, Google AdSense and many more. I will show you exactly what this looks like under the "Cookies" menu. This is where you define the individual cookies and their grouping.
You can edit the individual cookie groups, determine their position in the cookie box and activate or deactivate them. Of course, you can also add new groups at any time.
As already mentioned under the menu item "Cookie groups", the cookies you use can be clearly divided into groups. Users then have the option of fully accepting cookies from a particular group later on as they are also displayed in the cookie box.
Under the menu item "Cookies", you'll find all the groups you have used.
You can add a new cookie to any of these groups by clicking the "Add New" button.
Step 1: Select a service
Step 2: Setting up the service
In the service settings, you define all the information for the cookie. The Borlabs Cookie plugin already provides you with the most important information and you can, in theory, just adopt it one for one.
Nevertheless, you can change the ID, the status or the cookie information here. The respective tracking ID, pixel ID or URL must of course be stored individually for each service so it can be controlled via the Borlabs Cookie plugin.
With so-called content blockers, iFrames within videos or embedded content can be blocked. You can adjust the display of the block message individually.
The standard content that is blocked from the start by Borlabs Cookie includes:
- Google Maps
- Standard (All external content)
Of course, you can adjust or edit each of the content blockers already stored here, e.g. by setting the status to "on" or "off". You can also add new content blockers.
In the settings you'll find a short code to block content from the provider within your website. Under additional settings you can also define appropriate API keys if required.
Example: Live view of the Content Blocker
Google Maps / Open Street Map
YouTube / Vimeo
Facebook / Instagram
Content Blocker: General Settings
Here you can, for example, create a Host Allow list in which the content blockers should not be active.
You can also change the appearance of the block here. This means setting a font and its size, determining the colors for text, buttons or links and much more.
Import & export
The import and export function allows you to easily import and export general settings, cookie settings and content blockers.
To use the function, you just need to copy the settings from the respective Export Box and paste them, for example, into the respective Import Box on a different WordPress installation.
In the license settings, you can view your current license information at any time. This information includes the current license status, license type and also the date until which you will continue to receive support and updates.
You can delete your license from the domain you're currently using in these settings, for example if you want to use it on another domain.
You can also use the plugin here within a test environment without needing a license.
First of all, there's a so-called cookie list where all the accepted cookies are listed:
Furthermore, there's a button that allows users to change their consent to the individual cookie groups:
Other useful functions at a glance
CMP in IAB Europe's Transparency and Consent Framework
Since 2020, Borlabs Cookie has supported the official framework of the IAB, originally introduced in 2018. With the help of this framework (TCF), consumers have a choice as to which data may and may not be processed by large advertising networks.
The aim of IAB Europe's TCF (Transparency and Consent Framework) is to create a uniform standard for a GDPR-compliant solution in digital advertising. Borlabs provides a fully functional beta version for download when you purchase a license.
All options in the Cookie Box can be accessed by visually impaired or blind people via the keyboard.
If desired, opt-in codes can be executed directly in the <head>, i.e. prioritized. You can easily set this individually for each cookie.
Borlabs Cookie can be used in several languages without any problems. If you want to implement a multilingual website using a plugin, Borlabs Cookie recommends WPML and Polylang in particular: Read more on multilingualism in their article. Borlabs Cookie can, however, also be used with other plugins like Multilingual Press or Weglot.
Google Tag Manager
If you use the Google Tag Manager for your tracking tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, etc., you can also use them in a GDPR-compliant way with the relevant settings in Borlabs Cookie. More in this article
Two Borlabs Cookie alternatives at a glance
In the following overview, I'd like to introduce you to two credible alternatives to Borlabs Cookie, both of which are convincing in their functionality.
Borlabs Cookie Alternative: WP GDPR Tools
The WP DSGVO Tools (GDPR) plugin from legalweb.io is also a consent tool for WordPress. It has a paid premium version which equally offers an integrated privacy and legal notice generator. Just like Borlabs Cookie, it includes embedding for YouTube, Vimeo, Google Maps or Instagram, for example. The range of functions is very similar to Borlabs Cookie and differs only in a few points.
Borlabs Cookie Alternative: Pixelmate
Pixelmate was one of the first GDPR plugins available for WordPress. At the beginning, the plugin's functions were limited exclusively to the Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics. In the meantime, Pixelmate – just like the other premium consent Tools – offers numerous other integrations for e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Google Maps and many more.
Moreover, the WordPress plugin also has a script blocker – just like Borlabs Cookie. If desired, scripts can therefore be blocked until consent is given.
Borlabs and alternatives in comparison
|Borlabs Cookie||WP GDPR Tools||Pixelmate|
|Embeddings||YouTube, Vimeo, Google Maps, Instagram & dynamic detection of iFrames + Script Blocker||YouTube, Vimeo, Google Maps, Instagram & dynamic detection of iFrames||YouTube, Vimeo, Google Maps, Instagram & dynamic detection of iFrames + Script Blocker|
|Tag manager||Google Tag Manager, Matomo Tag Manager||Google Tag Manager, Matomo Tag Manager||X|
|Layouts / designs||✓||✓||✓|
|Languages||FR, DE, EN, IT, NL, PL, ES||AT, DE, EN, ES, IT, FR, HU||DE, EN|
|Privacy / legal notice generator||X||✓||X|
|Opt-in & opt-out||✓||✓||✓|
|Compatible CMS||WordPress||WordPress, Drupal, Typo3, Magento||WordPress|
|Price from||39,00 €||132,00 €||39,00 €|
Final thoughts on Borlabs Cookie
I myself already use the Borlabs Cookie plugin on several projects and I'm completely satisfied with it. For me, it's one of the best GDPR and e-privacy solutions currently available on the market.
The plugin is only available in a premium version but the wide range of functions and the clear backend make it a worthwhile investment.
In summary, Borlabs Cookie gives you a wealth of options to comply with all the current GDPR requirements and the upcoming ePrivacy Regulation.