How to edit footer in WordPress? That really depends on how much customization you want, what you want to change, and how you want to change it. Footers, in general, on a website can play a significant role in terms of branding, having important legal links, and also for general site links such as contact us, about us, and other miscellaneous items.
When it comes to WordPress, you do have some flexibility in adjusting your footer, but how much of it you can tweak will be a bit more conditional on what theme you have. In fact, to regular WordPress users (who are not core coders, developers, or experts), the theme will determine your versatility.
In any case though, to edit the WordPress footer (to an average user), you can use any of the following 3 methods.
Method 1: Playing Around With footer.php or Similar
A WordPress site and its functionality is typically broken down into sections. (In general, most of the websites are). One of those sections happens to be your footer.
The core file, or in simpler terms, the code that powers your footer is usually your footer.php file. (May be different depending on your theme, but there should be a similar PHP file).
If you’re one of those folks who likes to play around with code, and make adjustments, you can make changes here. The only caveat I’ll throw is to ensure you have a backup of a working PHP file handy, in case your changes end up breaking the site. Not judging your expertise here, but things can break — even by an experienced professional.
Some of the common changes and updates one can make here are:
- Removing copyright information, and replacing it with their own. Note that you have to make sure if you can legally do so. One of the reasons I chose the WordPress Twenty Twenty theme was primarily for this reason. It was okay for me to remove the classic “powered by WordPress” message. Whether you can do so, will be contingent on your theme.
- Inserting Footer Scripts: Sometimes you might have third-party scripts, and others that you need to load, but not necessarily in the header. In those instances, you can insert those scripts here by making changes to your PHP file.
- For advanced users, they can change some of the functionalities and functions, or even add their own.
The way to access this specific file is very easy. All you to do is navigate to your WordPress Dashboard > From there, go to “Appearance” > “Theme Editor” > And lastly, Select the relevant footer file.
Method 2: Leveraging the WordPress Visual Customizer
This is the part that will be heavily dependent on your theme selection. For me, personally, I don’t get anything because of my theme, but you might.
Usually, your footer setting options can be accessed via the “Customize” Option. See screenshots below for reference:
Some of the everyday use cases for this method are:
- Removing copyright messages. If you remember, I also discussed this to do so via the PHP file. However, if you’re a bit nervous doing it via that method, do it here (if you can get the option to do so). As mentioned before, I don’t get anything here, so I was forced to use the core PHP file.
- Changing font colors, background colors, font-styles, maybe even controlling the number of columns, and more (dependent on your theme).
- If you do need a visual representation of how that could look like, explore some images in Google.
Pro Tip: It’s easy to get lost in the pursuit of having an impressive customized footer. And while it can certainly have its benefits, be careful of all the extra code, scripts, and files that can bog down your site, and affect your speed, or in rare circumstances, make your site not mobile-friendly.
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Method 3: Footer Widgets
WordPress footer widgets can help you provide more wiggle room to control how it looks visually, and more importantly, what items to display. By items, I am referencing to WordPress elements such as pages, recent blog posts, categories, RSS feed, etc.
As an example, I have a 2 column footer, where I am choosing to display the following:
- In column 1, I have a search bar, and my categories.
- In column 2, I am choosing to showcase some of my pages — while excluding a few.
See the screenshots below for reference.
WordPress footers can be a great value driver if used in the right context of branding, user experience, and links. However, the caveat here would be to not go overboard where you end up compromising other technical areas of your website such as speed, mobile-friendliness, crawlability, etc.
Plus, you always have an option to hire an experienced web developer to customize your footer further if you’re assuredly serious about your footer game. The benefit of hiring a professional will ensure that you’re maintaining your site’s technical integrity, while at the same time, achieving your dream footer — so to speak.