How To Edit the Footer in WordPress Using Every Method Possible

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How To Edit the Footer in WordPress Using Every Method Possible
Oct 27, 2021




How To Edit the Footer in WordPress Using Every Method Possible

Since a WordPress footer is so useful, at some point, you must learn about the footer, how it works, what’s possible in terms of editing it, and how to remove preset footer content that’s not relevant to your brand. That’s why we want to show you how to edit a footer in WordPress, along with a full explanation of a footer’s benefits and what can go into one.

Website footers have a long history of containing whatever information doesn’t fit within a website’s main menu. From links to support documents and social media pages, various elements go rather well in a footer.

Let’s get started!

What Is a WordPress Footer?

Footers aren’t exclusive to WordPress. Most website builders and content management systems offer the ability to include a footer. However, WordPress offers its unique footer functionality, along with a preset footer design that generally comes with the theme you install.

A WordPress footer sits at the base of your website. It’s a static content area that shows up at the very bottom, regardless of which page a user lands on. Although not as visited as the header, the footer is still extremely important to provide users with social media buttons, customer support links, and contact information.

An example restaurant footer menu.

Overall, if you make a website on WordPress, you can expect to see a footer placed in your design by default. WordPress has a core file built into its system specifically to manage the footer (footer.php).

Footers come in all shapes and sizes, and you can edit them to include different colors, fonts, and backgrounds. You can also insert content elements within the footer, such as blog post lists, security badges, and even forms and images.

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The footer is like the conclusion to your entire website. It shows essential links and information for those interested in and dug deep into your content. Finally, the footer completes the overall design of your site, much like the final slide in a slideshow presentation or the conclusion to a speech.

A footer with contact and copyright information

A footer with contact and copyright information

Reasons To Have (and Edit) a WordPress Footer

It’s tempting to forget about your footer or leave it as the last item you design. Many people even want to remove their footers since they don’t see much value in them. This isn’t the greatest plan. The footer does have value, even if it’s not viewed or clicked on as much as your main menu or primary content areas.

To give you an idea of what makes a footer valuable, here’s a list of all the reasons to have one and learn how to edit a footer in WordPress to fit your brand.

  • The WordPress footer offers a static module shown on every page of your website, making it more visible than a standard page that disappears when someone clicks away.
  • It completes the website’s design, both visually and in your WordPress files. It tells WordPress where to end its code and indicates to users when the content ends. Not to mention, it makes for a cleaner interface.
  • Many internet users have come to expect specific links and content in the footer, so they’ll go directly to the footer to find them. Think support links and social media buttons.
  • The footer provides more conversion and engagement opportunities, like a call to action at the end of a blog post. You can add forms, links to other content, or even a company tagline.
  • It’s a place to include important links that may not make the cut for the main menu.

Now that we know the benefits of using a footer, the big question of what to place in the footer comes into play. All themes differ, but it’s common to see a “Powered by WordPress” message in the footer after installing a new theme.

The The

The “Powered By WordPress” credit.

Other times, theme developers might include their own premade designs or messages about who made the theme.

A simple default footer provided in a free theme.

A simple default footer in a free theme.

None of that’s bad, but the goal is to customize your WordPress footer to link to your valuable pages, include content related to your brand, and clear out the default content like messages from theme developers or WordPress. It’s also wise to adjust the styling to match your branding with custom fonts and colors.

So, what are some elements to put inside your WordPress footer?

  • Forms for users to subscribe to your newsletter messages or blog updates
  • Links to customer support resources, like FAQs, knowledgebase articles, and forums
  • Icon links to download digital products like apps and podcasts
  • A list of upcoming events
  • A list of recent blog post articles
  • Links to loyalty and affiliate programs
  • Links to informational pages, like an About Us or Career page
  • Badges and icons to promote your reputation, past awards, or site security
  • Social media icons that link to the pages
  • A full sitemap for easier navigation throughout your website
  • Legal statements like copyright claims, privacy policies, and terms and conditions
  • Contact information such as your address, locations, phone number, and business hours, or a contact form
  • A search box for improved navigation
  • Any other additional pages that don’t fit in your main menu but still need a place on your site
Footer with an email subscription form, social buttons, and copyright information

Footer with an email subscription form, social buttons, and copyright information

How To Edit a Footer in WordPress (Self-Hosted Version)

There are a handful of tactics to edit the footer of a WordPress.org (self-hosted) website. In the following sections, we’ll talk about editing a footer in WordPress using the theme customizer, widgets, plugins, and code. As a bonus, we’ll discuss managing the WordPress footer with a visual page builder like Elementor.

Edit WordPress Footer with Theme Customizer

The fastest and most efficient way to edit a WordPress footer is by utilizing the built-in WordPress Theme Customizer. The Theme Customizer settings vary depending on your chosen theme, but the customizer itself is always located in the exact location on the WordPress dashboard.

To begin the process, go to the dashboard and click on Appearance and then Themes.

The Themes button in WordPress.

The Themes button in WordPress.

Then, click the Customize button underneath the currently active theme.

Feel free to swap out themes to see how the footers change from theme to theme.

Customize your active theme.

Customize your active theme.

As a slightly faster alternative, you can also click on Appearance > Customize, which brings you directly to the WordPress Theme Customizer for the active theme.

Click the Customize button.

Click the Customize button.

The WordPress Theme Customizer presents a visual of your website on the right side and several menu items on the left that lead to settings and customization tools. Again, every theme has varying customization options, so your screen may look a little different than what’s in our screenshots.

The Theme Customizer with footer in view.

The Theme Customizer with footer in view.

A wonderful place to start with your footer customization is with the colors.

Our current theme has a Colors button, making it easy to identify where we need to go.

Select the Colors button if that’s available in your theme.

The Colors tab.

The Colors tab.

Choose the Select Color button under the Header and Footer Background Color field.

Use the color picker to test all types of colors and see which ones match your brand or look good towards the end of your page.

With this particular theme, any color modifications actually adjust the font colors as well, making them look clear regardless of the background color.

Select a Header and Footer Background Color.

Select a Header and Footer Background Color.

As you can see, a darker WordPress footer color automatically changes the font colors for links, headers, and paragraph text, eliminating the need for you to do that on your own.

The text changes colors when you modify the background color in this theme.

The text changes colors when you modify the background color in this theme.

Now let’s try another theme. In this case, we’ve swapped out the Twenty Twenty theme for the Storefront theme.

Sure enough, the WordPress Customizer for the Storefront theme displays buttons not shown in the Twenty Twenty theme.

Therefore, your theme dictates how much control you have over the footer in the WordPress Customizer. Some themes are better than others in this respect.

For the Storefront theme, we have a Footer tab. Click on that to see what’s available for customizing the footer.

The Footer tab in the Storefront theme

The Footer tab in the Storefront theme

Unlike the previous theme, Storefront doesn’t automatically change text and link colors when you adjust the background colors. However, you are able to control all of these colors on their own, with fields for the Background Color, Heading Color, Text Color, and Link Color.

Footer color settings.

Footer color settings.

Footer color settings

A quick selection reveals the results in our WordPress footer preview. After this, you should click on the Publish button to see the new footer colors on the front end.

A new background and text color in the WordPress footer.

A new background and text color in the WordPress footer.

But what about the links and text elements presented by default in the footer?

Again, the primary method to adjust the footer content is in the WordPress Customizer. In the coming sections, we’ll explain how to add and remove text and link content from the footer using two methods: as menu items and as widgets.

Adding Widgets to Your WordPress Footer

One way to edit the footer content is by adding widgets. WordPress widgets have many functions, along with several locations for them to go, including the sidebar and footer, provided your theme supports that.

Back in the WordPress Customizer, look for the Widgets tab.

The Widgets tab.

The Widgets tab.

Peruse the list of areas to place widgets on your website. You may see options for regions like the sidebar, top menu, and bottom menu. Hopefully, your theme also includes the footer as an area to place widgets. If not, there are other ways to edit your footer, though if you’d rather go with widgets, consider switching to a different theme that allows for widgets inside the footer.

This theme actually provides four widget locations in the footer, arranged in four columns stacked side by side to make a beautiful format that fits as much content inside the footer as possible.

Choose a footer column.

Choose a footer column.

Click on any of the footer widget locations to reveal an area to Add A Widget. Click on that button to show a slideout view of all available widgets on WordPress and the theme. Once again, you may see a completely different set of widgets, considering some themes include their own widgets, or you may have installed an extension or plugin to add more widgets to your dashboard.

Common widgets range from Archives to Audio and Custom HTML to Product Filters.

All you have to do is select the widgets to add to this particular widget area. They’ll show up on the left-hand side for you to reorganize and configure their individual settings.

Scroll through the list of widgets.

Scroll through the list of widgets.

After some quick work, we’ve placed several widgets in three of the footer column modules, including a main menu, a list of recent posts, and a few of the products from our shop. You’ll also notice we added a search bar to make navigation a little easier for our users.

One important area to note is the widget settings section. Each widget has its own settings on the left, so be sure to walk through those fields and make them look exactly as you want.

A completed WordPress footer with several widgets.

A completed WordPress footer with several widgets.

As you may learn while browsing through the theme settings, not all themes have ways to add menus directly to the footer area using the standard Add Menu setting. Our theme here, for example, has spots to activate menus as primary, secondary, handheld, and mobile menus, but nothing for footers.

We’ll cover menus in the next section, but we wanted to explain a quick workaround to add a menu with a widget, just in case your theme doesn’t support menus in the usual manner.

Some themes don't have spots to put menus in footers.

Some themes don’t have spots to put menus in footers.

Essentially, all you have to do is go to one of your widget footer modules and search for the Navigational Menu widget. Here, you can click on a dropdown field to view all created menus on your website. Feel free to generate a menu specifically for your footer (in the Menus section of the dashboard) and add it as a widget in this section.

As an alternative, opt for the main menu, or whatever menus you’ve created. They should all show up in the menu widget dropdown.

After that, the menu of your choice shows up in the footer, as long as you’ve added the Navigational Menu widget in the right footer area and clicked the Publish button. You can even type in a title for that menu if you’d like to explain what the following links contain.

A Navigation Menu widget.

A Navigation Menu widget.

How To Insert Custom Text, Images, and Code as Footer Widgets

Many WordPress widgets offer pre-configured lists of content, like the Recent Posts widget or the Search Bar.

However, sometimes you may want to edit the WordPress footer to include entirely custom content, such as simple text, images, or a bit of code, to create something completely new.

WordPress provides a widget for each of these.

All that’s required is to go to the Theme Customizer > Widgets. Then, choose the widget area that reflects where you want the widgets to go in the footer.

Click on the Add A Widget button and search for “image”.

Add the Image widget and customize the title. Click on Add Image, then consider including a link to the image as well. You can edit the image size by clicking on Edit Image.

The Image widget.

The Image widget.

Next up, search for “text” in the widget library.

Add the Text widget to your footer and type in anything you want. It also has a title field along with a visual editor, much like you receive when making a blog post or page in WordPress. We’ve tried inserting images through the Text widget (since it’s technically possible) but many themes don’t allow it.

The Text widget.

The Text widget.

Finally, you may find that using a Custom HTML widget is the best course of action, especially if you want full control over the footer design or to incorporate a unique design for something like an email signup form.

For that, search for “HTML” in the widget library and choose the Custom HTML widget.

The Custom HTML widget.

The Custom HTML widget.

Paste or type in your custom HTML and keep an eye on the right-side preview to ensure it looks the way it’s supposed to. You may also have to add some CSS styling to make it appear the way you want.

Paste HTML code into the widget.

Paste HTML code into the widget.

As always, remember to click the Publish button at the end.

Adding Menus to the WordPress Footer

You make menus in WordPress by going to Appearance > Menus. Once you’ve established a menu, it’s ready to add, at least the locations supported by your chosen theme.

It’s also possible to create your menu within the WordPress Customizer, so it just depends on where you feel most comfortable adding new pages and links to your menus.

As a reminder, not all WordPress themes allow for menus within the footer. In fact, some of them only have one or two menu locations, so you’ll have to check to see if your theme supports menus. If not, refer back to the previous section for a workaround that uses a widget to incorporate a menu in the footer.

If using a theme that allows for menus in the footer, go to the WordPress Customizer and click on the Menus tab.

The

The “Menus” tab

You’ll most likely see an empty menu page with several buttons to decide on. One of the buttons lets you select which menus to reveal and where to show them. The View All Locations tab shares where menus are supported on your theme.

Finally, the Create New Menu button works much like the standard menu creation panel in the dashboard, except it doesn’t require you to exit out of the Customizer.

Click on the Create New Menu button. If you already have a menu ready to go, you can add it to the footer by going to View All Locations.

“Create New Menu” button

Name your menu (in this case we’ll go with the obvious Footer name) and check the box called Footer Menu. This tells WordPress you want the Footer menu you create to show up in the Footer location. They’re separate things; one is the actual menu and the other is the region of your website where the menu goes. You’re more than welcome to switch the name of your footer menu if you find it a bit confusing.

Click on the Next button at the bottom of the panel to proceed.

Add the Footer Menu.

Add the Footer Menu.

Now you have a menu named Footer, but it lacks any buttons or links to make it a truly functional menu.

Click the Add Items button to start placing links and buttons to pages in your menu.

The Add Items button.

The Add Items button.

A new slideout panel appears with all the options to add to your menu. For instance, you can include custom links to internal or external pages, posts from your blog, pages from your own site (already created pages), products, tags, and categories, along with whatever other types of content pages you may have.

Add pages and other elements to the menu.

Add pages and other elements to the menu.

Each menu item you choose gets placed and shown in the menu panel, where you’re able to reorganize them and click on each one to edit their individual settings. For this example, we’ve added five links to pages throughout our website, including the blog, a livestream page, and an About The Company page.

Refer back to our list at the beginning of this article for ideas on what to include in your footer.

An example of a menu inside the footer.

An example of a menu inside the footer.

Edit Footer in WordPress With Plugins

WordPress already has built-in tools to modify your footer, but the extent to which you can edit your particular site’s footer relies on your theme of choice and whether or not you want to mess with any code.

As you’ll learn further down in this article, removing the default “Powered By” text requires you to tap into the footer.php file and remove some code. Therefore, it’s clear several aspects of footer editing may be out of your reach if you don’t have the experience or willingness to mess with code or find a new theme.

That’s where WordPress plugins come into play. Quite a few plugins offer footer editing and expansion features to remove the need to edit code manually and sometimes to make quick changes to your footer, like with colors and columns.

WordPress footer plugins we recommend include the following:

  • Footer Mega Grid Columns — This plugin fixes any problems you have with a theme where the footer lacks a grid format with three columns. Some themes only offer one or two columns, while other times a footer gets entirely stripped from the theme. Footer Mega Grid Columns adds a footer widget to not only display three columns but additional ones if needed.
  • Remove Footer Credit — Use this plugin to completely remove the footer credit placed there by WordPress or your theme developer. You also have the option to type in your own HTML code to create a footer credit or a bit of content that’s more suitable for your site.
  • Header Footer Code Manager — This plugin has a slight learning curve, but it’s an ideal solution for intermediate WordPress users who would rather have access to footer and header coding areas in the dashboard, as opposed to opening up the site files. You can add an unlimited number of styles and scripts to the footer, which often comes in handy for showing information after every blog post or page.
  • Footer Putter — Use this plugin to insert a widget for copyright information or for your trademarks. This is a rather useful solution for placing details about your company in the footer area, including things like links, business hours, telephone numbers, and more.
  • Footer Text — As one of the simplest ways to modify your WordPress footer, the Footer Text plugin activates a frontend and backend editing panel to change what’s in your footer. It comes with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, so it’s possible to format your text and potentially add items like pictures.

In the following sections, we’ll explore how to use some of these plugins for tasks like adding social media buttons or inserting custom code into the WordPress footer.

Manually Edit the WordPress Footer With Code

A more technical way of editing your WordPress footer involves tapping into the footer.php file and editing its contents.

You must have experience with coding — or be eager to learn — in order to make this method useful for you, but there are some minor tweaks that all beginners can handle (mainly just removing preset text in the footer). Take a look at our guide to adding header and footer code for the most detailed information.

To access the footer.php file, link to your WordPress site files by using an FTP client. We also recommend checking out this article on how to use SFTP to link to WordPress as SFTP is more secure than FTP.

Once connected to your WordPress site files through your FTP client, locate the /public folder. Click on /wp-content and then /themes to reveal all themes currently installed on your WordPress dashboard. Note which theme is active on the site and open the folder for that one.

Use an FTP client to open your site files.

Use an FTP client to open your site files.

All WordPress themes have a footer.php file somewhere in the theme folder. Scroll through the batch of files to locate that footer.php file.

Choose the footer.php file for the right theme.

Choose the footer.php file for the right theme.

Open the file with the editor of your choice. Once in there, you can edit the current code or add new content depending on what you’re trying to achieve. The get_template_part section is often modified to insert new bits of text, but we’ll leave that up to you since every footer is different.

The opened footer.php file.

The opened footer.php file.

As an alternative, you can edit the footer code by using a plugin that displays a visual field for the footer.php file. This way, you don’t have to install an FTP client and link it to your website. It’s also a more intuitive, beginner-friendly process that remains available on your dashboard at all times for future edits.

To make this happen, install and activate the Header Footer Code Manager plugin.

The Header Footer Code Manager plugin.

The Header Footer Code Manager plugin.

Once it’s been installed, click on the HFCM tab that appears in the WordPress dashboard. Then, name the snippet, choose where you want it displayed and set the location as Footer.

The most important part is the Snippet/Code field, which you’ll fill in with whatever code you want. Some people use this plugin for things like verification or tracking codes that don’t show up on the front end. However, it’s also available for you to use for typing in new text and gaining almost complete control over the content in your footer.

Make sure you click on the Save button to see the results.

Paste in a Snippet or Code.

Paste in a Snippet or Code.

Use a Page Builder With Footer Designer

A bonus way to modify your WordPress footer, without the need for code or many of the standard WordPress footer tools, is with a page builder. Not all page builders offer footer editors, so it’s important to conduct some research and ensure that either your current page builder offers it or the one you plan on buying has footer features.

Regardless, this is a relatively basic feature for a page builder, so it’s a good idea to only go for a page builder if you plan on customizing your entire site with it.

A few other page builders offer footer editing, but our favorites include Elementor and Visual Composer.

To create a custom footer with Visual Composer, you must have the Pro version. There are some workarounds to edit the lower part of your website with the free version, but the true drag-and-drop builder for the footer requires an upgrade.

Once installed, click on the Pages button in your dashboard. Scroll through the pages you want to edit and select the Edit With Visual Composer link on any of those pages.

Edit With Visual Composer.

Edit With Visual Composer.

That brings up the Visual Composer designer, with a live preview of your webpage on the right side and drag-and-drop design tools like elements and templates on the left.

One of the easiest ways to implement a beautiful footer is to simply choose a template (many of which are free). These templates provide professional designs for your entire site, along with a nice footer that’s customizable.

A premade footer that comes with one of the Visual Composer templates.

A premade footer that comes with one of the Visual Composer templates.

To see what’s available, you can click on the Templates tab, then the Get More Templates button. Visual Composer offers templates for all aspects of your site, including headers, footers, and sidebars.

The next window shows a large library of templates, all categorized under filters for things like Elements, Templates, Blocks, and Footers.

Choose the Footers tab to show all premade footer templates.

Once again, this part of Visual Composer requires the Pro version. Once active, you can scroll through the dozens of footer templates to implement them on your website and edit them as you please.

Footers in Visual Composer.

Footers in Visual Composer.

One of the other page builders with footer editing tools is called Elementor. Much like Visual Composer, Elementor provides a full website builder for constructing homepages, product pages, footers, and more.

Keep in mind that you do receive footer content blocks for free with this method, but the actual footer builder uses the Pro version of Elementor. Like Visual Composer, you need to upgrade for full functionality.

To get started, install and activate both Elementor and the Elementor Header Footer and Blocks Template plugins.

Elementor plugins.

Elementor plugins.

Click on Templates > Theme Builder to open the complete website builder from Elementor.

The Elementor Theme Builder.

The Elementor Theme Builder.

Here, you’ll see a menu to edit various parts of your site such as the header, footer, and single pages.

Select the parts of your site you want to customize on the left side menu or with the icon buttons in the middle of the page. As you can see, there’s a Footer link in two places.

Footer editing options in Elementor.

Footer editing options in Elementor.

The footer editor works similarly to every other editor in Elementor: You can change the layout, adjust the style, and click on the block to type in new content. Every aspect of the footer is customizable when using Elementor, making it one of the more flexible and desirable options when it comes to footer control and learning how to edit a footer in WordPress.

Editing the footer with Elementor.

Editing the footer with Elementor.

The Header Footer and Blocks plugin provides content modules made specifically for headers and footers. In terms of the footer blocks, you can choose from modules like copyright information, images, site titles, and taglines.

To utilize these blocks, go to Appearance > Header Footer and Blocks in the dashboard.

You can also make a unique block and choose to edit it in the Elementor page builder. Once in Elementor, scroll down to the block collection for Headers Footers and Blocks, then drag any of these elements into your current design to activate some of the more common content items within a footer. As mentioned, you can find everything from search bars to site logos and cart icons to copyright text in these blocks.

Footer block examples.

Footer block examples.

How To Edit a Footer in WordPress.com

WordPress.com, the hosted version of WordPress, includes footers for many of its themes, with options to remove or change the footers with a few clicks. The methods for editing footers in WordPress.com are somewhat similar to how it’s done in the self-hosted WordPress.org version, but with a few differences.

First of all, the interface doesn’t look exactly the same.

You must log in to your WordPress.com dashboard and manage your footer in the Theme Customizer. Luckily, many of the themes offered for WordPress.com are similar or exactly the same as what you’d find for WordPress.org. However, that also means the way in which you edit the footer in WordPress.com depends on which theme you install.

To begin, go to Appearance > Customize in the dashboard.

Go to the Theme Customizer.

Go to the Theme Customizer.

Look at the Theme Customizer tabs available for that particular theme. Most themes have a Widgets tab, but you must figure out if a footer area for placing widgets is provided with your theme. Click on the Widgets tabs to find out.

Click on the widgets tab to view

Click on the widgets tab.

This current theme we’re using provides a Footer Widget module. If you don’t see an option to put widgets in the footer, consider trying a new theme, or use menus instead of widgets.

For this example (with a footer widget area), click on the Add A Widget button.

Add A Widget button.

Add A Widget button.

A slideout menu appears with a collection of widgets. You can select whichever widgets make the most sense for your company.

Again, the theme dictates how many widgets you can fit into the footer without it looking too cluttered. It appears this particular theme allows for about three columns of widgets before the design starts looking messy.

For our example, we’ll choose a Contact Info and Map widget, along with a Follow Blog widget, which prompts visitors to sign up with their email addresses.

The long list of WordPress widgets.

The long list of WordPress widgets.

The preview on the right shows the widgets in action. We recommend going through each widget settings panel to configure individual elements like the display text and choose which fields you want to show in each widget.

Make sure you click on the Save Changes button so the widgets appear on the front end of your website.

A completed footer with contact info and subscription widgets.

A completed footer with contact info and subscription widgets.

You also may notice that WordPress.com automatically adds your site title and a WordPress credit at the very bottom of your footer. You can usually get rid of the site title if you want, but the WordPress credit removal requires you to pay for the Business Plan.

To modify both of these elements, click on the Site Identity button.

Go to Site Identity.

Go to Site Identity.

First off, go to the bottom of the settings to find the Footer Credit field. Click that dropdown to reveal all possible options.

The Footer Credit dropdown.

The Footer Credit dropdown.

Every one of the credits has some sort of reference to WordPress. A WordPress credit isn’t a big deal if you’re running a personal blog or online journal, but we suggest you upgrade to the Business Plan and remove the credit if your site is for a legitimate business.

After that, you can click on the dropdown menu and choose the Hide option to get rid of the credit completely.

You must have the Business Plan to hide the WordPress credit.

You must have the Business Plan to hide the WordPress credit.

The credit then disappears in the preview, leaving whatever widgets you added to the footer along with the site title.

A footer without the WordPress credit.

A footer without the WordPress credit.

Some themes have the ability to remove the site title from the footer as well. The easiest way is to uncheck the Display Site Title and Tagline box. That gets rid of the site title in the footer and potentially the header. For the header, we recommend uploading a logo anyway.

Other themes have different ways of removing the site title and tagline. Sometimes it’s not possible at all, while other times the site title isn’t included in the footer, to begin with. When in doubt, try deleting what’s inside the Site Title field if you don’t have the Display Site Title and Tagline check box.

A footer without the Site Title.

A footer without the Site Title.

Another way to insert content in your WordPress footer is by utilizing the Menus panel. Not all themes allow for menus in the footer, but it’s a good idea to at least check.

Click on the Menus tab to continue.

Click on the Menus tab

Click on the Menus tab.

Select View All Locations. This brings up a list of where you’re allowed to place menus in this particular theme.

Select view all locations

Select the “View All Locations” option

For our example theme, we have quite a few menu location options, one of which is for the footer. You won’t be so lucky with every theme you encounter, so be prepared to either swap them out or consider using the widget technique for editing your footer instead.

With themes that support footer menus, click on the Footer dropdown field.

This theme has a spot to put a menu in the footer.

This theme has a spot to put a menu in the footer.

We chose a premade Social menu for the footer. Feel free to select the Create New Menu link if you don’t already have a suitable menu.

The result is a simple text/link menu that appears above whatever widgets you already added to the footer. It’s possible you’re unable to add widgets to your theme, so you may not see the exact same format.

Keep in mind that all menus are simply lists of text and links, so you won’t be able to incorporate something like a social media icon menu unless you consider a separate plugin that supports that.

Adding a menu to the Footer area.

Adding a menu to the Footer area.

How To Add Social Media Icons to WordPress Footer

A mainstay of the footer area is the classic list of social media buttons. Many websites add them in their primary menus, but it’s also a wonderful idea to have them at the bottom of your website as well, or as an alternative to placing the social buttons at the top of your site. In general, if you feel the header is already cluttered, go for footer placement instead.

Quite a few plugins provide widgets to add social media icons and links to your footer and header. Therefore, we suggest straying away from any custom coding here.

Although many social icon plugins exist, the goal for our purposes is to find one that specifically provides a quick widget for adding your links and customizing the buttons.

A popular, highly-rated solution is called Social Icons Widget & Block by WPZoom. It has over 400 icons for social media and other platforms, along with a widget to place your icons directly into your footer. Not only that, but you can upload your own custom icons and switch settings for colors and sizes.

Social Icons Widget plugin by WPZOOM.

Social Icons Widget plugin by WPZOOM.

After installing the plugin, you can go to the Settings page and disable certain font packages if you don’t want them. However, all of them are already active, so skip the settings if you’d rather have everything available to you.

To add social icons to your WordPress footer, go to Appearance > Customize.

Going to the Theme Customizer.

Going to the Theme Customizer.

This brings you into the WordPress Theme Customizer, where you’re able to add widgets to the footer (as long as your theme supports widgets in the footer). As we’ve mentioned earlier in the article, the only way to get around a theme that doesn’t have a footer widget is to find a new theme or custom code the footer yourself.

Find and click on the Widgets tab to proceed.

The Widget button in the Theme Customizer.

The Widget button in the Theme Customizer.

This theme has two areas to add widgets to the footer. That’s not the case with all themes, so you may find that your theme has no footer widgets areas. On the other hand, you might get lucky and have four or five spots to place widgets in your footer. It all depends on the theme you install.

Click on one of the Footer tabs.

The Footer widget locations.

The Footer widget locations.

It’s possible to add a myriad of widgets — or at least whichever widgets you have installed — to the footer.

Click on the Add A Widget button to show the menu of widgets available to you.

The Add A Widget button.

The Add A Widget button.

The slide-out menu provides a search bar and a list of possible widgets. Scroll down to locate the widget called Social Icons By WPZOOM.

The Social Icons widget is located in the widgets list.

The Social Icons widget is located in the widgets list.

You should now see the default social media icons and buttons in the preview for your website.

However, you’ll still need to customize the settings for these buttons to settle on the size of those buttons, coloring, and which links you want them to lead to.

Start by typing in a title for the widget, which appears in the footer (you can also leave this blank if you’d like). Continue by specifying settings like whether you want icon labels, nofollow links, and specific icon alignments.

Change social icon settings and look for the new designs on the right.

Change social icon settings and look for the new designs on the right.

Continue on with the settings to specify the icon style, background style, and padding. You can also choose an icon size and color. Keep in mind that you need to click on the Save button at the bottom of the widget customization module in order to see the results of your changes in the preview.

Adjust settings like Icon Style, Background Style, and more.

Adjust settings like Icon Style, Background Style, and more.

The Icons field already has some default social icons in there for you. Make a list of the social media sites you run for your company, and copy and paste the links into the respective fields. Remove any icons that don’t make sense for your business.

To open up the icon library and add more icons, click on the Add More button at the bottom of the field list.

Add as many social icons as you want.

Add as many social icons as you want.

The plugin offers a large collection of icons, with options to set icon colors, hover colors, and the icon kit source. The primary kit is called Socicons, but several other kits come with the plugin for free. Click on the Select Icon Kit dropdown to see your options.

Finally, browse through the icons provided with each kit. Many of them you may not even recognize, so only stick to the ones that you actively run and which will provide value to your customers.

In our example, we’ll choose the YouTube icon to add to our footer as well.

Click on the Save button to place it into the list, then click the next Save button at the bottom of the widget box to see your changes.

The plugin has dozens of icons to choose from.

The plugin has dozens of icons to choose from.

As you can see, we’ve made changes to the size and shape of the icons, while also adding an extra social icon. If your alterations don’t look quite right, go back into the widget settings to resolve the issues.

Always remember to hit the Publish button in order for the widget to take effect on the front end of your website. We also recommend checking the frontend yourself to ensure the social icons appear the right way.

A view of the finished social media buttons.

A view of the finished social media buttons.

How To Add a Background to Your WordPress Footer

Footer backgrounds are possible with the help of some footer plugins and page builders. However, you also have the ability to place an image or color background behind your footer by using the basic settings that come with your theme.

In case all else fails, we’ll show you how to insert CSS code to add a background to the WordPress footer.

Before anything, check your theme settings to see if footer background capabilities come standard. The Abletone Theme, for instance, offers a Footer Background Image tab inside the Theme Customizer.

This theme has a Footer Background Image feature.

This theme has a Footer Background Image feature.

All that’s required is for you to click on the Select Image button and search for an image in your Media Library, upload a new one from your computer, or look for a stock photo that will suit your needs.

The Select Image button in the Theme Customizer.

The Select Image button in the Theme Customizer.

Once uploaded, the image appears as the background for your WordPress footer. Some themes offer additional settings for stretching or tiling the image, but without editing the CSS yourself, you’re stuck with whatever settings come with the theme.

You can see the background thumbnail preview.

You can see the background thumbnail preview.

If you don’t have a theme, page builder, or plugin that does the trick for adding a footer background, though, adding CSS code handles this task regardless of your theme or page builder.

Go to the Theme Customizer in WordPress, then click on the Additional CSS menu item.

Click on the additional css tab

Click on the “Additional CSS” tab

Paste this CSS code into the field, but replace the YOURIMAGEURL with the URL of your desired image:

footer  background: url(YOURIMAGEURL) repeat; 

You can find the URL for any image in its details view after it’s been uploaded to your Media Library.

Be sure to click on the Publish button to see it on the front end.

You can also insert other bits of code to change elements like sizing and background stretch size or repetition. As you may imagine, adding the CSS code is a little less simple than clicking on plugin buttons, but a quick search online can help you find the right code for your needs.

Paste your own CSS code into the field.

Paste your own CSS code into the field.

Removing “Powered by WordPress” Text

In the previous section, we covered how to remove the WordPress credit in your WordPress.com footer. It’s a little tricker on a self-hosted WordPress site since most themes don’t offer a way to remove the credit in the Site Identity section of the Theme Customizer.

Therefore, we must look at other ways to remove the “Powered by WordPress” text in the footer.

An example of the

An example of the “Powered By WordPress” message.

To tackle this process, read our in-depth guide on removing the “Powered By WordPress” tag in your footer. This knowledge base article covers all of the following topics:

  • Why you may want to remove the “Powered By WordPress” message
  • When you might not want to remove it
  • Methods to avoid when trying to remove the credit
  • How to remove the credit with a plugin
  • How to manually remove the “Powered By WordPress” credit
  • Replacing the footer credit with your own code

Editing the footer credit with a plugin is significantly easier for the average WordPress user. However, going the manual route ensures you have full control over the footer, and it eliminates the need to have another plugin installed on your dashboard.

Is It Legal to Remove “Proudly Powered by WordPress”?

Considering that WordPress makes it a little tricky to remove the “Proudly Powered by WordPress” text from your footer, you may wonder whether it’s kosher to get rid of the message.

The answer is that you’re more than welcome to take out the “Powered by WordPress” text in your footer without having to worry about any legal repercussions or violations of the WordPress Terms of Service. This is because WordPress use falls under a GPL (General Public License), meaning anyone can redistribute and alter WordPress in any way they see fit.

Overall, we highly recommend removing the “Proudly Powered by WordPress” text since it has nothing to do with your brand and simply promotes another organization. Yes, it’s nice to get the word out about WordPress, but not at the expense of your own branding and valuable website space.

Now, footer messages shown by your theme developer are a different story. We’ll talk about that in the next section.

How to Remove “Powered by XYZ Theme” Text in WordPress Footer

We now know that you’ll have no problems with the law or WordPress when eliminating the “Proudly Powered by WordPress” footer message. But what about some of the theme developers who put “Powered by XYZ Theme” in the footer?

Luckily, the vast majority of WordPress themes also fall under a General Public License, making it entirely acceptable to cut out that text and replace it with something more suitable for your business. However, it’s prudent to double-check with your theme developer to ensure they don’t have a requirement in their terms and conditions that stipulates that you keep the development credit in the footer.

You can do this by simply asking the developer if the theme falls under a General Public License. And if it doesn’t, or their terms and conditions make it a requirement to leave the credit, we suggest seeking out another theme, as that’s not exactly a desirable item to have on your website.

So how do you go about removing the “Powered by XYZ Theme” text in your footer?

Some plugins that remove the “Powered by WordPress” message also can scrap any messaging inserted by the theme developer. However, this isn’t a sure thing.

Therefore, we suggest opting for one of the following methods:

  • Edit the footer site files directly to eliminate the credit message.
  • Ask the developer to remove it for you.
  • Upgrade to the premium version of the theme.

Editing the footer site files takes a bit of technical knowledge, but you can often get this done in a matter of minutes. Asking the developer to remove the theme developer credit could end up working, but you’re essentially hoping you’ll get a friendly developer who’s willing to walk you through the process. Usually, they won’t offer this if you’re only using the free version of their theme.

The easiest option is to upgrade to the premium version of that theme. Many premium theme developers give away simplified, free versions of their themes in the hopes you’ll upgrade for improved features and increased control.

Since upgrading to a premium theme and speaking with the developer can be done on your own, we’ll mainly talk about how to edit the theme site files to get rid of that credit message.

To begin, check out your theme’s footer to confirm if you have developer credit on the bottom. If so, take note of the exact text being displayed, as this could help seek out the message in your site files.

A theme developer credit in the footer.

A theme developer credit in the footer.

Connect to your site files using an FTP client, as discussed earlier in this article. Each theme developer differs on where they put the footer credit, but a good place to start is going to /public/wp-content/themes.

Choose the theme you have activated on your website.

Find the right theme folder.

Find the right theme folder.

From here, one option is to open the main footer.php file in a text editor or PHP IDE and search for references to the footer credit. Use the Find function in your chosen editor to type in and search for the exact text that appears as the credit message in your footer.

As with all themes, this may not be the right file for removing the footer credit; it entirely depends on how the theme was built. If you have no luck with the footer.php file, continue looking elsewhere.

The footer.php file

The footer.php file.

One of the most common places to find the footer credit information code is in the /template-parts folder. We found this was the case for the current test theme we have installed for this tutorial.

We can go to the /footer folder, then click on the site-info.php file. That site-info.php file (or some variant of that) is a common place for storing the theme’s footer credit information.

The site-info.php file

The site-info.php file.

Feel free to either delete the footer credits or replace them with something else. For this situation, we’ll simply remove the credits hook and the do_action credits code at the bottom.

Remove the credits hook and the do_action credits code

Remove the credits hook and the do_action credits code.

And that’s successfully removed the entirety of the credit being shown for the theme developer. It also didn’t have any effect on the footer content, like our widgets and menus.

No more footer credit!.

No more footer credit!.

As mentioned before, one way to hide the footer credit, while also supporting the theme developer and receiving far better features, is to upgrade to the premium version of the theme. Keep an eye out for a button in your dashboard to upgrade to a Pro version, or go to the developer’s site to make a payment.

Consider upgrading to premium theme versions to remove footer credits.

Consider upgrading to premium theme versions to remove footer credits.

How To Remove the WordPress Footer Entirely

Although not recommended for most sites, it sometimes makes sense to remove the WordPress footer in certain situations altogether.

If you find that a WordPress footer causes too much clutter (which is common with landing pages), or if you’d instead the footer didn’t get crawled by search engines, taking the footer out of the equation entirely may not be a bad option.

Keep in mind, however, that you’re not deleting the footer from your WordPress files. The footer.php file is a core part of the WordPress files, so you must leave it. However, we can use CSS code to tell WordPress not to display the footer and its content.

To hide the WordPress footer completely, go to the Theme Customizer and click on the Additional CSS tab.

Click on the additional css tab

Click on the “Additional CSS” tab.

The goal is to paste CSS to tell WordPress that we don’t want to see the footer on our website.

We’re trying to hide everything in this example, from the copyright information to the WordPress and theme developer credits. You can also use this method to hide items like widgets and menus within your footer.

The Custom CSS module.

The Custom CSS module.

Go ahead and paste the following code in the CSS box:

footer

display:none;


This tells WordPress to hide everything within the footer.php file. The file remains inside your file directory, just in case you’d like to re-add content in the future.

The Theme Customizer preview should now show a blank space. Make sure you hit the Publish button to see the results on the front end.

Paste in the CSS code.

Paste in the CSS code.

Although that CSS should work for most themes, you may find that the theme developer has a different file configuration. Another way to potentially remove most of the footer content is by using the following code instead of the previous code discussed:

.site-info  display:none; 

This option is less likely to work, but it’s not unheard of for theme developers to make a file called site-info.php in a footer’s template-parts folder.

From links to support documents and social media pages, your website footer contains a lot of important info. 💪 Learn how it works in this guide ⤵️Click to Tweet

Summary

WordPress footers have many purposes, from adding social media buttons to displaying recent blog posts, support pages, and forms. The goal is to take advantage of this extra space, since it’s not wise to pack your main menu with too many links or try to fill your sidebar with an onslaught of content.

You’ve learned many ways to edit a WordPress footer. We hope you can now successfully edit and customize footers on any WordPress site!

Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions about editing the footer in WordPress!


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