Last Updated on July 22, 2021
The footer of a website is oftentimes overlooked or treated as an afterthought when we’re done designing a website. However, it’s easily one of the essential sections in a website. When designed properly, it yields great benefits for our websites.
What is a website footer?
A website footer is the bottommost part of a website. This section could contain various types of information, such as a short description of your website, a more extensive menu, and/or even legal information.
Why are website footers important?
There has long been a myth about footers being unimportant and that website visitors pay no mind to the footer after consuming your website’s content. A study by ChartBeat shows that 66% of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold–meaning that there is a significant amount of people on the internet that scroll all the way to the bottom of a website.
Still not convinced? Making your footer functional will greatly benefit your website. Here are some reasons why:
- Another chance at conversion. Give your website visitors another chance to take a desired action. In doing so, you are making sure your website is optimized to get more qualified leads or a higher conversion rate.
- Better navigation, better engagement, better user experience. Most of the time, we limit what we include in a main menu to avoid overwhelming consumers with too many choices. However, it’s still important to ensure that other pages in a website are still accessible–this is where the footer comes in. By making your navigation fully functional, you increase your chances at building better engagement with your website visitors.
- Build credibility = build trust. You could add some information in this section that will build your website’s credibility. Providing very important information that could be easily digested at a glance will help you build trust with your consumers.
What can I include in a footer?
The footer is a section where you could give your website visitors a brief description of what your website is all about. You could include certifications that would increase your website’s credibility and if you are creating an eCommerce website, it would be helpful to add here accepted payment methods for your products/services.
As previously discussed, you could add here a call-to-action to give your visitors another opportunity to take a desired action. This could be a newsletter signup, contact form, or an invitation to an event.
The footer area is where you could add a more extensive menu or navigation other than your main menu. After scrolling through a landing page or the content that they went to your website for, they get a glimpse of other pages that they can explore. This could range from links to other company information, to various resources like your blog or documentation, and even to your contact information.
Social media links
The footer is a great place to add social media links in the form of icons. This also boosts engagement, but in channels and platforms other than your website.
Now that we’ve gone through why optimizing your footer is an important step you shouldn’t overlook, and what you could include in it, let’s go through how you can edit your footer in WordPress! Sounds good?
Editing the footer in WordPress
How to edit the footer using the WordPress theme customizer
Footer settings vary depending on the theme you’re using. Some themes may have a wide range of customization options for the footer, but some themes may not. Blocksy is a great example of the former and definitely worth checking out.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can use widgets to customize your WordPress website using the Twenty Twenty-One theme! This is already pre-installed on your WordPress website, along with a few other core themes (i.e. Twenty Nineteen and Twenty Twenty)
If you haven’t already, you could download the Stackable theme in the WordPress theme directory, or from your WordPress dashboard. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes. When you get to the Installed Themes library, click Add New on the top of the page, then search for Stackable.
To edit the widgets to your footer, you can do it by accessing Appearance > Widgets. Here you will see a list of widgets you can use. These include plain text, a gallery to display various photos, a navigation menu, custom HTML for further customization, a search bar to allow your website visitors to search for something specific, and many more. There will already be a number of widgets present in your footer. You can take out some of these widgets by dragging them out of the section, or clicking on the widget you would like to delete, and clicking on Delete.
Simply drag a widget you’d like to use, and drop it to the section. In this case, the footer.
If you’d like to edit your widgets visually, and with a live preview, simply click Manage with Live Preview on the top of the Widgets page. You could also access a live preview through the Theme Customizer by clicking Appearance > Customize, then clicking on Widgets on the menu panel.
Here’s another example wherein we add a Form widget. We created a simple newsletter form using WPForms Lite. This is an example of adding a CTA in your footer wherein you can let your visitors know or remind them to join your newsletter. Once you’ve created your form, go back to the Theme Customizer and then the Widgets section. Select the area you want to add your form to and click Add Widget. Scroll until you find the WPForms widget, and then add your form!
Additionally, starting WordPress 5.8, you can use Gutenberg blocks as widgets! Unleash your creativity using different widgets to optimize your footer for better website performance!
How to edit the footer using code
If you’d like to manually change your footer and put additional script to your WordPress website, here’s a way to do it without creating a child theme.
What’s a child theme? Child themes are used when you want to tweak an existing WordPress theme without losing the functionality of the theme and the ability to update it.
You will have to download an additional plugin so you can easily add script to your header and footer. Insert Headers and Footers by WPBeginner is a free and easy-to-use plugin for this. You may install and activate here or from the WordPress plugin directory.
Once you’ve activated the plugin, you can access it from your WordPress dashboard by going to Settings > Insert Headers and Footers.
The interface will look something like this:
Scroll down and you will see the field for additional scripts for the Footer.
In addition to some customizations you might want to add, this is also where most people add scripts for analytics or ad trackers.
There is no fault in utilizing every part of our website to make sure this performs well in every aspect. A website’s footer is no different. Optimizing a website’s footer and ensuring its functionality will surely reap the benefits.
If you found this article helpful, check out our other WordPress guides like How to Backup Your WordPress Site, and our step by step guide on How to Install WordPress Locally on Your Own Computer.