The 3 Best Cookie Consent Plugins for WordPress

Are you looking for the best cookie consent plugins for WordPress?

A cookie is a small text file stored in your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome etc.) to help remember things like your preferences, shopping basket data and more. The data that they store is anonymous, but they are used to create a better user experience for visitors to websites.

To comply with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) your website should make it clear to visitors from the EU that your site uses cookies (if it does), how they’re used and how to disable cookies if they decide that they don’t want cookies stored in their browsers.

If you’re worried about whether or not your site complies with GDPR, you should check out Aleena at The Blog VA, one of my biz BFFs, who offers GDPR services.

What to look for in a plugin?

When I’m looking for a new plugin I look at 3 sets of criteria, which are how many current active installs there are, how recently the plugin has been updated and it’s star rating.

A high number of active installations means that a lot of people have it installed and are using it (otherwise they’d deactivate and uninstall it).

How recently a plugin has been updated is very important. If it’s being regularly updated it means that if any security problems come to light they’ll be fixed pretty soon.

In my experience, people tend to leave reviews of stuff they loved or hated. I’ve never left a review for something I thought was just ok. Unless a plugin has a 4+ star rating I’m generally not interested.

Now we’ve chatted about how to choose plugins in general lets get to the good stuff.

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The 3 Best Cookie Consent Plugins for WordPress

Cookie Notice

This is the cookie consent plugin that I use. It’s really easy to set up. You can write your own message and I was able to set up a button to take users to my own cookie policy. You can also add a button to let site visitors refuse to accept cookies.

There are a few design options too, like where you want the banner to display (top or bottom of the screen), the background colour and text colour of the bar, as well as the button design.

For me it’s a pretty good plugin, it does the job it needs to and lets you customise it enough so it fits in with your site. Unless I find something else head and shoulders above it, I won’t be switching to another plugin any time soon.

Active Installs: 1+ million active installs

Star Rating: 5*

Last Updated: 2 months previous to time of writing.

Compatible Versions of WordPress: 4.3 or higher

GDPR Cookie Consent Banner

If you’re looking for a super-customisable plugin, this is the one for you. You can choose how your users close the popup, either on click, on scroll or timed. My personal preference is for on click so that you know your visitor has actively chosen to close and therefore accept. This isn’t gospel, just what I prefer.

If you want to install another plugin you can choose to display the cookie notice to certain parts of the world only.

You then have the message and button settings are pretty similar to Cookie Notice, so there’s nothing to choose between them in that department.

It’s the style settings that really set Cookie Consent apart from Cookie Notice. You can choose whether or not you want it to display as a banner across the screen, or whether you prefer a square box to appear in any corner of the screen instead. There are also a load of button customisation optins from text colour to drop shadow.

Another feature of this plugin is that you can change the settings in the WordPress general customiser, so you can preview your style changes as you make them.

Personally, I think this plugin is a bit overkill. Yes having more control on how it looks and where the notice is displayed on screen is nice, but do you really need it? I can’t say I’ve ever come away from a site either loving or hating it because of the cookie notice.

Active Installs: 200+k active installs

Star Rating: 5*

Last Updated: 2 months previous to time of writing.

Compatible Versions of WordPress: 4.3 or higher

GDPR Cookie Consent

So this plugin is the new kid on the block which has replaced another entry on the original list and I must say, I’m impressed.

Not only does it have the customisation options of the other two, but it also comes with a policy generator and allows you to set non-necessary cookie settings area for you to manually include code to enable non-necessary cookies (e.g. Google analytics) only if visitors consent to them.

The customisation options for the cookie bar and buttons are presented really clearly.

The bar’s behaviour and colour settings are split into 2 tabs, and then there’s a 3rd tab for the buttons.

A really neat feature is that you can set it to display a little tab at the bottom of the screen when visitors have clicked to accept or reject cookies, which means that you could get away with not manually adding links to your cookie and privacy policies elsewhere on your site, if you didn’t want to.

There’s a place for you to list all the cookies used on your website, for that list to then be used in the cookie policy generator. You can also add custom code to the non-necessary cookie tab to enable non-necessary cookies only if your visitors consent to your site using them.

Active Installs: 400+k active installs

Star Rating: 4.5*

Last Updated: day before the time of writing.

Compatible Versions of WordPress: 4.3 or higher

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The 3 Best Cookie Consent Plugins for WordPress: Verdict

Up until I updated this post Cookie Notice was the winner by a mile however, since I’ve come across GDPR Cookie Consent, I think there’s a real contender for that crown.

The way that everything’s separated into separate tabs when it comes to setting fonts and colours really appeals to me. I’m a sucker for a clean, uncluttered layout.

Then there’s the cookie policy generator. This uses the screen where you can actually list the cookies used by your site .

And then there’s the non-necessary cookie settings which you can switch on or off as well.

So far I’ve only played with it on my demo site and I’m actually dying to give it a go on my main site and testing out the non-necessary cookie feature to see how it goes.

If you’re looking for a solid, does what it says on the tin, kind of option – then go for Cookie Notice. It’s the plugin I’ve always used, up to now, so I know it’ll do you a good job.

Like I said earlier, if how your cookie message looks is really important to you then go for Cookie Consent. That’s where you’ll get the most options to change colours and buttons etc. It doesn’t really float my boat but if everyone was like me, the world would be a pretty boring place.

Do you use any of these plugins? Are there any others that you think should get a mention when it comes to the best cookie consent plugins for WordPress? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

While you’re here check out these related posts:

The 3 Best Cookie Consent Plugins for WordPress

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14 Comments on “The 3 Best Cookie Consent Plugins for WordPress”

  1. Found this incredibly overwhelming but so useful. I’ve just gone from Blogger to WordPress and Blogger already did my cookie message for me. I didn’t think to create my own now. Thank you x

  2. Did you have to customize or add any php to make it work. I installed the plugin that you did and it worked for a few days, but now it isn’t. When I’ve checked the plugin’s support, there’s something about adding some php re: Google Analytics. (wayyy beyond me). Was just wondering if you initially encountered any problems. I see yours does work.

    1. I’m sorry no I didn’t have any problems with it. Is it just for you or have your readers having problems too? It might be worth clearing your browser cache/cookies to see if that’s the problem. If you’re not sure how to do this, let me know which browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox) and I’ll talk you through it.

  3. I use your preferred cookie plugin too for all my sites.

    Now that the Cookie Notice plugin has died (removed from WordPress repository) what do you suggest using now?

    Going through 20 sites to change it is not a job I’m looking forward to!

    Many thanks


    1. It looks like Cookie Notice has been updated, so you should only have to update those 20 sites rather than replace it

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