Scroll down to the very end of a WordPress website, and you’ll see the copyright notice in the footer. You’ll also likely see ‘Proudly powered by WordPress’ and perhaps a mention of the theme developer.
Not many visitors (and website owners, for that matter) pay attention to this and leave it as it is.
While only fair to give credit where it’s due, if you’re building a business website, having ‘Proudly powered by WordPress’ or ‘Developed by XXX’ isn’t what users want to see.
If it’s your personal website, you can leave these notices unchanged.
If it’s a business website, or you are developing the website for a business, you need to change them.
If you want to know how to edit the footer in WordPress, I’ll show you how.
Are you allowed to change the footer copyright notice?
Let’s get the legalities out of the way first.
WordPress is an open-source platform licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
If you check the terms of the license, you’ll see that you can change all aspects of the core WordPress files, including all parts of the theme.
This covers the ‘Proudly powered by WordPress’ notice because it is located in the footer. In fact, anything you download from the official WordPress sources can be modified and distributed as you see fit.
If you opt for a theme created by a WordPress developer, you need to check the terms of the license before changing their notice if one appears in your footer.
Usually, under the terms, the theme is released under a modified GPL version, where you can change the theme but can’t distribute it.
However, if you have any doubts, it is always good to contact the developer and ask their opinion.
Back up your website before making changes
I always recommend taking a full site backup before making any changes.
While changing the notices in the footer might not look like something that could break your website, it’s always good to follow the proper process for making changes.
You never know when a seemingly minor change might break something important!
If you are unsure how to backup your website, read this guide on backing up WordPress websites.
Should you hide the footer notice?
I would recommend not hiding the footer notices. You can safely remove ‘Proudly powered by WordPress’ and any developer notice if the license permits, but I recommend keeping a copyright notice.
If you don’t have a copyright notice on your website, you won’t have the full protection of copyright law should someone copy your work.
If you display a copyright notice, you can take legal action, if necessary, should any infringement take place. The vast majority of websites would never find themselves in this situation, but for a single line on a website footer, it makes sense to us to keep a copyright notice in place.
Now that all the legalities and cautions are out of the way, I’ll cover some ways of editing the footer notice.
Before that, I suggest you write the new copyright notice. It should include the name of the business and the current year.
If you’re writing a copyright page to further protect your work, you can add a link to that too.
If you need more help in drafting the copyright notice, check this resource.
How to Edit the Footer Copyright Notice
WordPress offers several ways of editing the footer copyright notice. It doesn’t take long and is something anyone can do, even if you have little or no experience.
Edit the copyright notice via WordPress theme options
A simple way of editing the copyright notice is to go to the theme’s options and find the link to the footer.
Usually, you’ll find it in the general options. Some themes place the copyright notice in the footer options or even in the widget options.
If you use the Astra theme, you’ll get access to our unique Header Footer builder that makes short work of customization.
To edit the notice, go to Appearance > Customize. This will take you to the theme options.
Here you can see that the theme offers a dedicated footer builder module.
At the moment, there is only one widget in the theme’s footer. Click the copyright widget, and it will take you to the copyright edit screen.
I’ll edit the copyright notice to Copyright – All Rights Reserved. Add the text to the field and click Publish.
Refresh the website, and you will see the new copyright notice.
Note that we used the free version of Astra that comes with a dedicated footer builder. Other themes might have this option in the footer widgets or similar areas.
Edit the copyright notice with a plugin
There’s a plugin for everything these days, including a plugin that takes care of editing the footer.
Remove Footer Credit is a simple plugin that replaces or removes the copyright notice
After installing the plugin, go to Tools > Remove Footer Credit.
You will see two fields. Enter the current footer text in the first field and the text you want to change in the second.
Hit Save, and the text will be replaced.
Edit the copyright notice by editing the footer.php
If you want to get your hands dirty, you can edit the footer.php file of your WordPress theme.
This method requires an understanding of PHP and WordPress code but I’ll show you everything you need to know.
You can access footer.php in Appearance > Theme File Editor.
This opens up the theme file editor screen. In the right sidebar, you’ll see the list of the theme files.
Scroll down to find footer.php. Click it to open it in the editor.
Scroll down to find the portion of the code that displays the copyright notice. Edit the part or replace it with the custom code snippet.
Remember to click Update File to finalize the change.
The code you’re looking for is this:
Delete the entire section from within footer.php and the ‘Powered by WordPress’ entry will disappear.
Important: Footer.php is considered a core file, and many web hosting providers often disable direct access to these files. If that’s the case, we recommend using an FTP client to access footer.php.
Edit the copyright notice using page builders
If you are comfortable using a page builder, this method can help you edit the footer copyright notice of your website.
Page builders offer a dedicated footer section where you can tweak how the footer elements, including the copyright notice, appear.
The theme structure and how it chose to render the copyright notice is another important factor in deciding the edits to the copyright process.
To demonstrate the process, I’ll use Elementor. However, this demonstration will apply to all page builders with some changes.
Start the process by clicking Edit with Elementor button at the top.
Now, click to expand the hamburger menu at the top to enter Site Settings. You’ll see the option for editing the footer.
In the first section of the footer panel, you have the toggles for Site Logo, Tagline, Menu, and Copyright.
If you choose, you can toggle off to remove the copyright notice from the footer.
Next, scroll down to the Copyright section and you’ll see the copyright-related options. You can edit the text of the notice, the fonts, and the colors of the copyright notice.
Once you have tweaked the copyright notice, remember to hit UPDATE to finalize the changes.
I shared 4 ways of editing the copyright notice in the footer of your website. The idea was to give you alternatives if one method doesn’t work for you.
While it seems such a small thing, if you’re building a business website for yourself or someone else, it’s all about that business. There should be no distractions and no credits given to other people.
It’s a small thing but every detail can be important in business!
Do you know of any other ways to edit footer notices? Let me know which methods you tried and what’s your favorite!
This content was originally published here.