Finding that perfect theme can be a long and arduous process. You finally locate that perfect appearance and the theme has all of the features you want. Suddenly, you look at the footer and see the “Powered by WordPress” credits.
Is this line of text marring your theme easy to remove? In reality, this text may be as simple to get rid of as hitting the back button to delete.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to remove that extra text from WordPress and perhaps add your own if you wish.
There are two easy ways you can edit the “Powered by WordPress” text. The best part is that none of these methods are going to hurt search engine optimization or have negative impacts on your site. For instance, some versions of CSS coding sometimes lead to shifting icons around or having problems scoring well in SEO.
Does removing the credit void the license?
One of the beautiful things about WordPress is the GPL license. Essentially, it allows anyone to make changes to virtually any aspect of WordPress without worrying about legal repercussions. As it is an open source platform, you can edit the core as much as you want.
This protection also stretches across themes and plugins you install directly from the WordPress directory. However, I would suggest not making too many modifications unless you know what you’re doing in code. It can be extremely easy to break your site with the wrong command. This doesn’t include implementing coding that may be incompatible with other additions such as plugins or themes.
Using the Theme to Edit the Footer
Some themes offer a way to change the text in the footer of the website. This is done by going into the WordPress customizer and editing the settings.
To access the customizer for your website:
Go to the appearance area of the WordPress admin panel.
From here, you can either click the “customize” button on the theme in the main window or click it under the “Appearance” area on the left admin panel.
Once the customizer opens, look at the bottom left and search for settings regarding the footer area or perhaps copyright information.
If your theme supports editing the credit, you are able to change it to anything you wish.
Once the changes are made, click the “Save” button on the top left and click the “X” in the corner to return to the WordPress admin panel.
You may also want to check the widgets area of WordPress. Some themes will install sections of the theme that can be edited or modified as a widget, which sometimes includes the footer of the site. The widgets are found under the Appearance control.
Unfortunately, not all themes have the ability to edit the text in the footer of the site. However, this is just one method. If the theme doesn’t have this ability, the next thing I demonstrate is sure to work for you.
Editing the Footer.php File
Although the next method may seem intimidating to some, it’s actually quite easy and doesn’t require extensive knowledge in PHP or CSS coding. When the theme doesn’t support editing the footer of the website, you can do so by editing the file directly. Accessing this file can be done easily if you know how to use FileZilla, but it can also be done from the WordPress admin panel.
For this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to edit the footer.php file in the Twenty Sixteen theme available in WordPress.
To do this:
Go to the appearance section in the WordPress admin panel and click on the “Editor” tool located at the bottom.
Use the drop down box on the right to select the Twenty Sixteen theme.
Click the “Select” button next to the drop down box.
On the right, you’ll see a list of files under “Templates.” Locate the file labeled, “Theme Footer.”
Click this file to open it in the editor window.
Back up the coding. Usually, I’ll open Notepad in Windows and paste the code from the file before making changes. This way, I have a copy of the original code that I can paste back into WordPress.
Now, the best way to get rid of the “Powered By WordPress” credits is to remove the link coding itself. While some may suggest simply deleting all the coding in the footer, this will result in disabling some of the functionality of the website. Look for the following line of text and delete it:
Click the “Update File” button on the bottom to save it.
This will remove the credit while leaving the name of your site behind. You could also input your own coding in this section to show your own copyright information or other information for your site. This can be done by replacing the above code with:
You can edit the footer.php of virtually any theme you have available. However, it’s important to note that this code can be removed if the developer puts out an update. This is why it may be more beneficial to use a child theme instead of editing the primary file.
For the most part, credit information is located in the footer.php file of any theme you use. However, the coding will look very much different from the example above. If you’re unsure how to remove it safely, it may be better to seek professional help. It’s better than the alternative of accidentally breaking the site.
Using FileZilla to Edit Footer.php
If you have FTP ability and a good program, such as FileZilla, you can access the footer.php file directly and make the above edits. Just make sure you make a copy of the file in the event something goes wrong.
The footer.php file will be in the “/wp-content/themes/” directory under the folder for your theme.
Are there plugins that can edit the footer.php file?
Unfortunately, I was unable to find a working plugin that would allow users to edit the footer of the website. Although there are plenty to choose from, most simply added code before or after the “Powered by WordPress” section or simply did not work with the newest version of WordPress. A few were even limited to a single theme developer.
This isn’t saying that I tried every plugin in the database. However, I did go through a substantial number of them including some that were more than two years old trying to find one that worked.
Should you find one that is compatible with the newest version of WordPress, feel free to leave a comment and let me know.
To wrap things up…
Removing the “Powered by WordPress” from the website is a fairly easy and straightforward process. Aside from deleting a line of code, there really isn’t much coding involved unless you want to add some. Customize the experience of yourself and your visitors, and discover what else you can do with WordPress.
What kind of custom edits have you made to core or theme files in the past? Do you use a favorite editing program?
Author: Chris Racicot
Chris is the Support Manager at GreenGeeks and has been with the company since 2010. He has a passion for gaming, scripting and WordPress. When he’s not enjoying his sleep, he’s working on his guitar skills and fiddling with 3d printing.