Your website is a digital extension of your physical business. As you wouldn’t operate your business outside of the remit of the law, there is no reason why the digital side of your business should be any different.
Under the Equality Act 2010, a website operator is required to make reasonable adjustments to ensure its site can accommodate all users, including those with any disabilities. This does not just mean font size, as where information is displayed through images, animation or multimedia, this may place those with a visual impairment at a disadvantage, and may prevent them from accessing the website. You should discuss requirements with your website designer or developer, particularly around practical measures to adopt to make it easier for the visually impaired to access and view your website.
Selling items online
If you sell items online, you will need terms and conditions upon which you trade with buyers. You may already have your own set of trading terms and conditions and these can be adapted to your e-commerce solution. If you do not have terms and conditions and you only plan to trade online, you will need terms and conditions detailing provisions relating to price, payment, delivery and the liability of each party if things go wrong.
Dealing with consumers
If you sell to consumers through your website, there is a raft of additional rights that they have in respect of buying goods, services or digital content from you. This includes automatic terms about quality and standard of those goods, services or content (some of which cannot be excluded in any circumstances) but there are also Regulations that give consumers rights to cancel contracts even if there is nothing wrong with the supplied product or service (a cooling off period). In the last 12 months there are also obligations on companies operating websites that sell to consumers to give them additional rights of recourse if a complaint cannot be settled between you
Finding out where your host is
Website operators may have establishments which hold data in a number of countries (particularly if you do not directly host your own website on a server operated at your premises). If so, you will need to ensure that you comply with the data protection laws in each of those jurisdictions. Whilst the position across the EU is fairly similar, outside of the EU there are additional protections that should be sought before agreeing with your website provider to host content on those sites. As the website owner, you are ultimately liable for any loss of personal data to your clients, customers and users. As of 2018, new data protection laws will come into effect which are stricter in both their nature and also the penalties for non-compliance (particularly in respect of cross border transfers).
If you have interactive services on your website which allows users to submit information (which they may be publically viewed by other users), you should have an acceptable use policy to ensure such contributors know what they can and cannot submit to the website. You may then rely on such rules to a) prevent unauthorised reproduction of material; or b) undesirable user behaviour such as uploading illegal or defamatory content. The terms would then allow the website owner to remove the offending material and to suspend, or permanently disable, a user's right to access and/or contribute content to the site.