Knowledge Base

Consent forwarding: Setup for multisite, multiple installations of WordPress and multiple languages

You can run Real Cookie Banner in a multisite installation, in several WordPress installations or in multilingual with e.g. WPML, PolyLang or TranslatePress. This works without further configuration. However, you can also set up a forwarding of the consent. This way, the cookie banner will only be displayed on one of your sites and consent will count for all connected sites or languages. How to set up a consent forwarding is explained in this article.

We must point out that the following statements do not constitute legal advice. Therefore, we can only give you evaluations from our intensive experience with the EU legal regulations in practice and a technical assessment of the situation.

Advantages of consent forwarding

Opt-in cookie banners are a necessary means to comply with privacy regulations. But they also lead to more users leaving your website early. Especially in advertising campaigns, this can reduce the conversion rate and cost money. Therefore, as few cookie banners as possible should be displayed.

If your potential customer has already been on your blog (a WordPress site) and is then redirected to the specific product on your company website (a second WordPress site) via retargeting advertising, for example, a cookie banner should not appear again on the company website.

At this point, the forwarding of consent comes into effect. It forwards the already given consent from the blog to the company website. The cookie banner will not be displayed again, but the user will receive cookies only according to his or her consent. This allows you to set cookies in compliance with data protection regulations without annoying your potential customers repeatedly with cookie banners.

Example of a consent forwarding

In the following, we explain how to set up the consent forwarding of your cookie banner based on the following scenario. Of course, you can configure this for other scenarios as well:

  1. Company website: Part of your WordPress Mulisite. Contains all cookies and services used by your company.
  2. Landingpage: Part of your WordPress Mulisite and contains only a part of the services your company uses. Consent from the company website should also apply here.
  3. Blog: Separate WordPress installation and contains all services your company uses. Consent of the company website should also apply here. Consents collected on the blog should also be applicable on the company’s website.

Setting up the consent forwarding

In the following we will set up the forwarding of consent for the scenario mentioned above step by step.

Step 1: Activate forwarding of consent

In your WordPress backend you can activate the option Consent Forwarding under Cookies > Settings > Consent Forwarding. This must be enabled in all WordPress Sites (no matter if it is a WordPress Multisite Website or a standalone WordPress installation).

Step 2: Set up forwarding of consent to the target

In the settings of the previous step, additional options are now visible. Including Forward to. In this field you have to enter to which WordPress websites, which are part of the Multisite installation, the permissions collected on this website should be forwarded. In our example the forwarding to the landing page must be defined in the settings of the company website.

The option External ‘Forward To’ endpoints can be used to define the technical interfaces of WordPress installations that are not part of the (multisite) WordPress installation, but to which a forwarding should still be set up. In our example, the endpoint must be specified in the options of both the corporate website and the blog. The endpoint of each page is specified below the External ‘Forward To’ endpoints field.

Step 3: Setup cookies and content blocker

All services and content blockers can now be set up in the respective websites under Cookies > Services (Cookies) or Cookies > Content Blocker. The services and content blockers must be created separately in each website. Previously created services and content blockers can of course still be used.

Please note that when creating and editing services, a new field called Consent Forwarding Unique Name is displayed to forward the consent. The unique name of each service whose consent is to be forwarded must be exactly the same in all WordPress websites. For example, if consent has been given for Google Analytics, which should be valid on all three sites according to the previously configured redirection, the Consent Forwarding Unique Name field must have the same value in the corporate site, landing page, and blog (e.g. “google-analytics”).

Legally, the content (title, description, technical definitions, etc.) of each service whose consent is forwarded should be the same on every page. In addition, the data protection declaration of all websites must indicate to which other websites the consent applies. You are responsible for this yourself.

Step 4: Testing of the setup

Everything is set up, and you can now test if the consent is forwarded correctly.

In our scenario, you can, for example, give consent to all services on the company website. Then you can find the consent in the backend of the website under Cookies > Consent > List of consent. The same consent should also be found in the backend of the landing page and blog. Here the consent should be marked visually as forwarded consent.

Forward consent to other languages

If you run a multilingual website with e.g. WPML, PolyLang or TranslatePress, you can forward a consent to other languages. This allows you to display the cookie banner only once for one language, if the user changes the language, the cookie banner will not appear again.

To do this, simply navigate to the tab Cookies > Settings > Consent Forwarding, activate the option and then select ‘Forward to‘ in the dropdown menu.

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