About five months ago, we released the first version of Real Cookie Banner. With it, we already provided a consent management platform for WordPress that was superior to existing WordPress plugins in many aspects. This also showed in numbers because since then, the free version of Real Cookie Banner has been downloaded more than 125,000 times incl. updates. Moreover, the free and PRO version together is now installed on about 20,000 active websites. For this great usage we can only thank you! Even more great is the numerous feedback we have received from you during this time. Thanks to this feedback, we have been able to continuously improve Real Cookie Banner and also work on larger features that will make Real Cookie Banner the right solution for even more use cases.
With Real Cookie Banner 2.0 we not only summarize continuous improvements of the past months, but announce TCF compatibility, geo-restrictions, revised texts in the cookie banner for more legal security, 10 new cookie banner designs and even more for the first time. Learn more about why you should update to Real Cookie Banner 2.0 today!
100+ service and 60+ content blocker templates
Your cookie banner must not only collect consents in a technically and legally correct way. It is at least as important that you collect consents for the right services and provide exactly the right information for informed consent to your website visitors. Also, if necessary, the service’s scripts, content, etc. must be blocked prior to consent. We invest one to six man-hours to research for each service. This allows us to provide you with comprehensive templates that will do much of the work for you to set up your cookie banner correctly.
In the first version of Real Cookie Banner, we came up with 40+ service templates and 25+ content blocker templates. This was a solid base with which you could add the most popular services in your cookie banner with just a few clicks. However, the internet is colorful and diverse, so every website uses different services. For each additional service and WordPress plugin requested by our users, we implemented new templates. As a result, Real Cookie Banner 2.0 offers you templates for 100+ services and 60+ content blockers. A fantastic collection that makes it easy for you to quickly and easily add everything important to your cookie banner. And if there is still a service missing, request a template for free, and we will take care of it in a timely manner!
Also, as is common in serveral consent management platforms, we called services cookies. This confused some of you. We listened and discussed the wording intensively with some users. As a result, as of Real Cookie Banner 2.0, cookies are consistently called services, which hopefully provides more clarity.
TCF-compatible consent management for WordPress
The Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) is a standard of the European digital marketing industry association IAB Europe. It allows user to consent for data collection and processing in accordance with applicable EU law and to share it with in a standardized format 3th-party services (e.g. advertising networks). Especially if you are serving ads on your website, it is important to collect consents according to the TCF standard. For example, the revenue from Google Adsense can differ greatly depending on whether you collect consents with or without TCF.
Real Cookie Banner 2.0 is compatible with the TCF v2.0 standard and newer versions of it. Moreover, our consent management platform is certified by IAB Europe as fully TCF compliant. So, you can be sure that our implementation of the standard meets all the requirements.
As a result, we have extended and improved numerous features in Real Cookie Banner. Since TCF is an industry standard designed with the support of lawyers, we have again tried to minimize theoretical attack surfaces for e.g. warning letters by providing additional information in your cookie banner.
Cookies, processing of personal data, right of withdrawal, protection of minors, processing of data in the USA, scope of validity of consent, labeling of call-to-actions. There are many texts that you can describe right and wrong in your cookie banner. We try to make the standard texts as clear and compliant as possible for all conceivable cases. In doing so, we have not only stuck our nose into legal texts, but also include court decisions and opinions of high-ranking data protection experts.
We have learned from the experiences and changes of the past half year and have adapted the texts in the cookie banner for you. You can, but do not have to, adopt the new texts in Real Cookie Banner 2.0 with just one click. With this, we want to bring you up to date and offer you generally safer text templates.
Geo restriction for targeted delivery
Cookie banners are annoying! Every time you visit a website, website visitors have to click on the same buttons. However, in the EU and other countries around the world, they are essential to comply with data protection regulations. However, there are plenty of countries outside the EU where cookie banners are not required.
If you run a website aimed at an international audience, you used to have to confront all your website visitors with the cookie consent dialog. Even if, according to the law in their country, you wouldn’t have needed consent at all. Geo-restrictions solves this problem for you. Using an IP-to-country database stored locally in your WordPress, Real Cookie Banner can now determine which country your visitor is from based on their IP address. You can determine per country if a cookie banner should be displayed. If no cookie banner is displayed, you can also determine which consent should be implied.
This allows you to have better e.g. conversation rates and to monetize your website or your business better. In addition, you only annoy as far as necessary and that alone should be a benefit for your website visitors!
Improved PageSpeed Insights by implementing Google’s best practices
Cookie banners are an additional burden when loading your website. They increase the loading time, can lead to jumping effects and to a worse rating in search engines. Google measures the technical performance of your website in several dimensions with PageSpeed Insights.
Since the first line of code of Real Cookie Banner we made sure that our Cookie Banner is as performant as possible to keep the negative effect for your website as low as possible. For example, we deliberately do not use a 30.4 kB (gzipped) jQuery as a prerequisite for our cookie banner, as more and more WordPress themes are also abandoning its use. Instead, we use the only 4 kB (gzipped) small alternative Preact as a base.
Google has published best practices for cookie banners in March 2021. These are intended to lead to optimal load times and smallest possible impact on website load time. We have implemented, as far as applicable, all suggestions of Google in Real Cookie Banner and the effect is again clearly noticeable. Until the cookie banner is displayed in Real Cookie Banner 2.0 compared to older version takes about 50% less time. In addition, your website can get up to five points more in the PageSpeed Insights scores by the further optimization. This will allow you to achieve a page speed score of up to 100 in your WordPress with the cookie banner active. And this, even though Real Cookie Banner 2.0 brings new features, which also need their space. So, you can call your website superfast even with cookie consent without hesitation!
Real Cookie Banner 1.x has offered you 10 design templates to look good in popular themes like Divi, Astra or Avada without much customization. However, you can also freely customize the cookie banner in the WordPress Customizer to fit your needs. We were excited to see which designs we will see in the “wild” on real websites. And we were more excited to see how creative some of you were with your cookie banners.
Inspired by the best designs of Real Cookie Banner users, we have integrated 10 more design templates into Real Cookie Banner 2.0. These are not based on well-known WordPresss themes, but on purposes. Are you looking for something more creative or a clear business touch? We have the right design template for many tastes!
We also revamped the default Real Cookie Banner design for new installations. From a very direct and somewhat flashy green character, we’ve switched to a more professional and classic blue look. This adjustment is also based on feedback from our users, who more often requested a more subtle look.
Content blocker with inline style splitting and automatic video playback
Content Blockers in Real Cookie Banner make sure that e.g. YouTube videos, but also fonts from Google Fonts, are not loaded until you have a consent for it. This worked with ease since the first version of Real Cookie Banner thanks to a comprehensible syntax and content blocker templates for website owners.
However, there were two pain points that Real Cookie Banner users brought to our attention and for which we implemented deeply integrated solutions:
- Inline Style Splitting: Occasionally themes and page builders, like Thrive Architect, use CSS inline styles in which not only the styles of the individual subpage are defined, but at the same time, for example, fonts from external sources are loaded. If you block the complete inline style, it will break the whole layout of the website. If you don’t block it, you transfer data before consent and violate data protection regulations. Therefore, we have established an automatic system to block inline styles automatically at the level of CSS properties. This way, exactly what needs to be blocked can be blocked, but the rest of the style statements will still be executed.
- Video playback: If a visitor initially does not consent to e.g. YouTube, but later decides to change his mind and consent by using a content blocker, then he had to click once for consent and then again to play the subsequently loaded video. This is not very convenient for the visitors. That’s why we have established a mechanism for YouTube and Vimeo videos, with which videos, if a consent was just given via a content blocker, automatically play after the consent.
Compatibility with TranslatePress and Weglot for multilingual websites
Real Cookie Banner could be used on multilingual websites so far, if they used WPML or Polylang. However, there are other multilingual plugins for WordPress that are used by thousands of users. All of these systems offer advantages and disadvantages and sometimes rely on other concepts to translate WordPress websites.
We are happy to announce that with Real Cookie Banner 2.0 the cookie banner can also be translated using TranslatePress and Weglot. Both systems rely on the concept of strings translation, which Real Cookie Banner now fully supports.
We have designed Real Cookie Banner – like all our plugins – so that you can use it intuitively, without having to read long explanations. However, the legal and consequently technical requirements imposed by legislators to website operators regarding data protection are complex. They are often not explained in a few sentences and are hard to implement for laymen without detailed instructions.
That’s why we have written more than 20 partly very detailed articles about Real Cookie Banner in our knowledge base. These will also be displayed when you try to open a support ticket, so that you can get to the solution of your issue as soon as possible.
Real Cookie Banner 2.0 goes one step further and links all relevant knowledge base articles to places where you might ask questions, right in the WordPress plugin. Through “Learn more” badges you will be signaled from now on, when there is more background information on certain topics, instructions, etc., so that you come as easy and understandable as possible through the setup of your cookie banner!
Do you have any other wishes?
We have spent a lot of time and energy in the past months on further development, so that all frequently requested features are now available in Real Cookie Banner. However, we still have some ideas open that individual users requested. If you have any wishes, constructive feedback or ideas for Real Cookie Banner, please be sure to let us know. Open a support ticket, and we will take a look at your wishes and answer you!
For now, we wish you a lot of fun with Real Cookie Banner 2.0 and the new possibilities to use the consent management on your website even better!
Pssst: You don’t use Real Cookie Banner PRO yet? Order until 05/18/2021 and save 35% in the first year with the coupon “RELEASE-2-0”!