In this guide, we show you how to remove powered by WordPress or any other promotional link on your theme’s footer.

The footer area is an important part of your WordPress site. You can use it for a number of reasons thanks to widgets and plenty of customization options inherent to WordPress.

One popular use of the footer is to display copyright information, and a good example is the “Powered by WordPress” link.

While default WordPress themes such as Twenty Seventeen and a good number of free WordPress themes put the “Powered by WordPress” link inside the footer.php file, there are developers who place this code inside other files including the functions.php file among others.

Now, removing powered by WordPress from the footer.php is easy, but the second scenario (that involves removing the footer credit from other files) can be challenging not only to beginners, but also advanced WordPress users.

Regardless, removing footer credits from your theme is easy stuff, and we show you exactly how in this post. Note that we use the phrases “powered by WordPress” and “footer credits” interchangeably in this post.

Is It Legal to Remove Footer Credits from WordPress Themes?

how to view your WordPress theme's license

Navigate to Appearance -> Editor to view your WordPress Theme License

Licensing is a complex matter, which might push you to question whether removing powered by WordPress or any other footer credit from your theme is legal.

Well, WordPress is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). This roughly means you “…have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve…” WordPress.

But what about WordPress themes? Does the GPL license apply to WordPress themes? Well, WordPress themes “…contain elements that are derivative works of the WordPress software as well as elements that are potentially separate works.” In other words, all PHP files (footer.php included) in your theme are derivative works of WordPress.

Now, as long as you’re editing PHP files to remove powered by WordPress or any other footer credit, there are absolutely no legal ramifications since the GPL license that applies to WordPress covers your freedoms.

We have seen commercial WordPress themes that prohibit redistribution of the theme, but we are yet to come across a developer who prohibits editing the theme. In fact, the ability to customize a theme extensively is a major selling point for most (if not all) theme developers.

In a nutshell, you will not throw down in a court of law for removing or editing your footer credits, so worry not. Legalities out of the way, let’s get down to business and learn how to remove footer credits from just about any WordPress theme.

How to Remove Powered by WordPress from Footer

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Powered by WordPress footer credit. However, if you’re building a site for a client, you may want to edit a footer that reads “XXX Theme by Company Z” to something like “Designed by 000webhost”. Of course, replace 000webhost with your own business name.

Our author is a WordPress aficionado and bootstrapping ninja, so he prefers to keep the Powered by WordPress link, and add his own custom footer credits. Whatever the reason you want to edit or remove footer credits, this guide offers you just the tips you need to edit more than just the footer credit.

Option 1: Remove Powered by WordPress using WordPress Theme Customizer

Ease of use is one of the main reasons WordPress grows in popularity each new dawn. In line with this, WordPress ships with a Live Theme Customizer that helps you to remove footer credits, provided your theme supports this functionality.

Login to your WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to Appearance and click Customize:

accessing the live theme customizer from WordPress admin menu

This leads you to the easy to use WordPress theme customizer. The options you get in the customizer depend on your theme. Now, good theme developers will have a section dedicated to editing/removing the footer credit. For instance, the Total WordPress theme offers you the chance to remove/edit the footer credit:

editing footer credits in the Total WordPress theme

After editing or removing the footer credit, always remember to click the Save & Publish button at the very top of the customizer.

Note, there are WordPress themes that offer the option to edit or remove footer credits via their own theme options page. If your theme comes with a standalone options page, check if there’s provision to remove footer credits.

Option 2: Editing Footer.php File

There are themes that don’t offer the option to remove footer credits via the WordPress customizer. If this explains your situation, you can customize or remove footer credits by editing the footer.php file.

Before you make changes to your WordPress site, we encourage you to create backups, and more importantly, a child theme. Backups protect you in case of any eventualities.

A child theme ensures that the changes you make to your footer.php file don’t disappear whenever you update your theme.

Since there are numerous ways of creating solid WordPress backups, let us create a child theme before editing footer.php.

Creating a WordPress Child Theme

A child theme is a WordPress theme that borrows design and functionality from another theme known as the parent theme.

While you can create a child theme manually, it’s tedious since it involves a couple of steps and code that might scare the average beginner.

To make your work easier, we use the Child Themify plugin that allows you to create a child theme and copy files from your parent theme. We will copy the footer.php from your parent theme.

Login to your WordPress admin area. Navigate to Plugins on your admin menu and click Add New:

adding a new plugin via the WordPress admin

On the next screen, search “Child Themify”, install and activate the plugin:

installing Child Themify plugin automatically via WordPress admin

Next, navigate to Appearance and hit the Create Child Theme menu item:

creating child theme using the Child Themify plugin

On the next screen, choose your parent theme, which in your case is your active theme:

choosing parent theme screen while creating a child theme using child themify plugin

Once you choose the parent theme, a new field appears allowing you to name your child theme. Just append the suffix “-child” at the end of your parent theme’s name as shown below:

naming a child theme using the child themify plugin

After naming your child theme, click the Show advanced fields link. On this extra screen, tick the footer.php checkbox:

child themify advanced fields screen

Scroll to the bottom of the screen and hit the Create Child Theme button. If everything goes well, you should see this screen:

the success page you see after creating a child theme using the child themify plugin

Hit the Go check it out link to access the themes screen. Alternatively, you can navigate to Appearance -> Themes. Next, activate your child theme:

activating a child theme in WordPress admin

Now that we have a child theme going on for you, let us modify the footer.php file you copied from the parent theme earlier. Navigate to Appearance and click Editor:

accessing the theme code editor within WordPress admin

This loads the Edit Themes screen with your child theme’s stylesheet (style.css) pre-loaded. We are, however, interested in the footer.php file that you can access from the Templates panel to the right side of the screen:

accessing footer.php file within the WordPress theme editor

Click on the Theme Footer link to open the footer.php file. Now, here’s where things get a bit confusing. Most theme’s will have the footer credits inside the footer.php file, which makes removing the credits as easy as pie.

For instance, to remove Proudly powered by WordPress link in the Twenty Sixteen theme, you simply need to delete the respective link and click the Update File button as shown below:

how to remove powered by wordpress footer credit in twenty sixteen theme

Since each theme is different, we can’t possibly guess how your footer credits are set up. If you cannot find footer credits inside footer.php, let us know in the comment section and we will help you. In most cases though, the footer.php will hold the footer credits or at least show you where the footer credits are located.

If we look at the Twenty Seventeen’s footer.php file, for example, we see that the footer credits are inside another file as evinced by this piece of code:

locating footer credits in twenty seventeen wordpress theme

But since we cannot access this file within the WordPress admin, it means you have to log in to your web server via your favorite FTP program (our author’s favorite is FileZilla) and edit your footer credits from there:

the public_html directory as seen via the filezilla ftp program

Next, navigate to wp-content -> themes -> twentyseventeen -> templates-parts -> footer:

the folder that holds footer credits in twenty seventeen theme

Right-click on site-info.php and choose View/Edit:

editing the site-info.php in twenty seventeen theme via ftp

Remove this link and save changes:

removing powered by wordpress footer credit in twenty seventeen

Go back to FileZilla and click Yes on the popup that appears:

confirming changes you made to a file remotely via filezilla

This will remove the Proudly Powered by WordPress footer credit in Twenty Seventeen theme. Your theme might have the footer credits directly inside the footer.php like the Twenty Sixteen theme, or it could use a different approach like the Twenty Seventeen theme.

Option 3: Hiding Using CSS

If the above procedures don’t work for you, you can choose to hide your footer credit using CSS. This is the simplest of the three procedures but it’s frowned upon by many since Google is disdainful of hidden links.

Well, that’s true if you’re hiding links in a malicious way, but for a simple link with legit reason, you’re in the clear. How then do you remove footer credits using CSS? It’s incredibly easy.

First things first, you have to determine the CSS selector of your footer credit. A CSS selector allows you to target any element on your website for styling.

Simply right-click on the footer credit in your browser and select Inspect:

how to access chrome dev tools

The procedure is virtually the same whether you use Mozilla Firefox, Chrome or Microsoft Edge. We are using Chrome. Doing this launches Chrome Developer Tools with the footer credit pre-selected:

chrome developer tools

Our code of interest is the part that reads <div class="site-info">and more specifically “site-info“. Our CSS selector in this case is .site-info. If the code above was <div id="site-info">, our CSS selector would be #site-info. Note the difference in the usage of the period (.) for classselectors and hash (#) for idselectors.

Now that we know our CSS selector is .site-info, log in to your WordPress admin area. Navigate to Appearance and click Edit CSS:

accessing the additional css screen in wordpress theme customizer

This launches the Additional CSS section within the WordPress Customizer:

additional css screen in wordpress customizer

Add the following code below the line that says /* You can add your own CSS here. Click the help icon above to learn more. */:

.site-info { 
  display:none;
}

Replace .site-info with your CSS selector. Then hit the Save & Publish button at the top:

how to save and publish your css changes via wordpress customizer

This nifty piece of code hides your footer link like magic.

Adding Custom Message in Your Footer

Instead of removing your footer credit altogether, you can edit it to anything you desire using the WordPress customizer or by editing the footer.php file.

The operating assumptions here are:

  1. Your theme supports editing footer credits via WordPress Customizer/Theme Panel
  2. Your footer credit is inside the footer.php file

If the footer credit is inside another file other than footer.php, copy the respective file over to your child theme’s folder and edit that file instead. Instead of removing the link, you can replace it with <p>Your Custom Message Goes Here</p>or <a href="http://example.com">Your Business Name Here</a>.

Conclusion

If you were looking to remove powered by WordPress or any other custom footer credit, we hope this guide helped you. Are you having problems removing your footer credits? Contact the author via the comment section, and he will be more than glad to help you for free. Whichever theme you have, we can point you in the right direction.

Wow us with your experiences, suggestions and questions in the comment section below!

 

1 Comment

  1. Leslie

    I’m looking to remove powered by WordPress or any other custom footer credit and this guide helped me a lot.

    Reply

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