Scrolled to the bottom of your WordPress website and decided changes need to be made? That area, called the footer, appears on every page of your website below the content, unless specifically disabled. It is also the area that is usually edited last because it’s usually out of sight and website owners don’t find it as significant. In reality, there are plenty of ways to utilize it. You can add various links to help visitors, put images to help your branding, write a summation of your website’s purpose, or improve WordPress SEO. Piqued your interest? Let’s not mince words then, here’s how to edit the footer in WordPress.
1. Steps to edit footer widgets in WordPress
After installing a WordPress theme you’ll notice there is generic text and/or images in the footer area, usually split into 2 to 5 rows. Here are the steps required to customize footer widgets:
- Access the WordPress Admin Section.
- In the WordPress sidebar on the left, select Appearance, then click on Widgets.
- You will see a list of already created widgets that are theme-specific. Simply drag them to the Footer area on the right side.
- You can click on the widget itself to apply small changes.
- Save changes, preview the result, and rearrange widgets if needed.
How to make a new footer widget
This is ideal if you have a few links or items you want to place inside the footer and none of the offered widgets fit. Here’s what to do to create a brand new widget:
- Select Appearance again, but this time click on Menus.
- At the top of the page, click on the create a new menu link.
- Pick any name, for example, Navigation Menu.
This name won’t appear in the frontend.
- On the left, under Add menu items, you have multiple options: Pages, Posts, Custom Links, Categories, and Formats.
- Click on any of them, then put a checkmark in front of an item you want to add, then click Add to Menu. You can change their order by dragging-and-dropping.
- Tip: The number of items you can add to one menu depends on the theme you’re using. An optimal number is 4 or 5 items in one row. Some themes automatically expand, others break or won’t display more than a pre-determined number. If an item is missing, come back to make the necessary changes.
- Click on Save Menu.
- Return to the Appearance > Widgets section, and you’ll see the widget you just created. Drag it to the Footer area, save changes, and check the frontend for the result.
2. Edit footer contents from the home page
- Make sure you’re logged in on an Administrator account.
- On the frontend, click on Customize in the top left corner.
Alternatively, you can click on Appearance > Customize in the Admin Dashboard.
- Scroll down to the bottom and click on the pen icon in the footer.
You can also click on Footer or Footer Bar in the menu on the left.
- Using the Footer options on the left, replace the text or change the layout, if the theme allows it.
- You can see the changes in real-time but they won’t be applied.
- Click on Publish when you’re done.
3. Editing footer code manually
This is rare nowadays since most themes are beginner-friendly and don’t require coding. However, sometimes a theme you love doesn’t allow for alterations using the methods above. We recommend you create a backup of the file before you start making changes. Here are two ways to edit the footer code directly:
1. Use WordPress Theme Editor
After signing in to the WordPress Admin Section, do this:
- Select Appearance, then Themes in the menu on the left WordPress sidebar.
- Under Themes, select Editor.
- In the top right corner, select your active WordPress theme if it isn’t already.
- A list of PHP files that are associated with the theme will appear under Templates.
- Click on footer.php and you can edit text directly.
2. Use an FTP client
- Access your WordPress website via FTP.
- Open the root folder (could be titled www or public_html).
- Go to wp-content, then themes.
- Open the folder with the name of your active theme.
- Find the footer.php file inside.
- Right-click on it and select View/Edit.
4. How to add a code snippet to the footer in WordPress
Inserting code snippets usually has to do with external sources, for example, Google Analytics code. When it comes to adding a code snippet to the footer in WordPress, the popular example includes adding social media buttons. And while you can paste the code into footer.php directly, it isn’t ideal. It might interfere with another theme file, you might decide to change the theme in the future, and it’s hard to find and customize among hundreds of lines of code. The best practice is to install a separate WordPress plugin dedicated to adding header and footer code independent of the theme. Here’s how to insert code snippets into the footer in WordPress:
- Install and activate a dedicated WordPress plugin.
- We’ll demonstrate the process with Insert Headers and Footers.
- In the WordPress Admin Section, expand the sidebar on the left.
- Select Settings > Insert Headers and Footers.
- Paste the code into the text field below Scripts in Footer.
- Click on Save.
- Clear the WordPress cache if you don’t see a difference on the frontend.