It's not something I do regularly, but I recently found myself needing to know how to change a footer in WordPress.
I'd recently converted my WordPress site to the new Shapeshift theme from Thrive Themes. I realized later I had left the copyright notice off. Shapeshift is their first theme compatible with their newly released Theme Builder.
During the conversion process, I used their site setup wizard. It was reasonably quick and straightforward to use. However, at each step, you had to make a choice of which template to use. In most cases, I opted for the minimalistic version.
Since then, I've found the need to revisit some of these template choices. The footer happens to be one of those elements I decided to resolve.
Create a New Staging Site
The first step when making structural changes to your site's layout is to create a staging site. I go through how to do this in my article How to Set Up a WordPress Staging Site.
The Design of My Current Footer Content
What I wanted to change is to include the copyright notice on the left side of the footer.
On the right side of the footer, I wanted to eliminate the About and Contact Information links. I also wanted to remove the drop-down menu choices so that a link for each category would appear instead.
I'd no desire to edit the footer code directly. The theme builder should have a drag and drop solution; there was something better than that.
Changing the Footer Section Using Thrive Theme Builder
I'm using the Shapeshift theme from Thrive Themes on my website. So I decided to look for an existing footer section I could change to avoid building it from scratch. Thrive Theme Builder is an extremely flexible theme customizer.
Editing your theme template is straightforward. From within, "Thrive Architect" is a gear icon next to the word "Page" at the editor's top left. A window displays the different sections of your page template. I clicked on the footer section.
Clicking the footer option brought me the next choice of editing the current footer or changing it. I wanted to change the footer.
A new window popped up with at least a couple of pre-build footers to choose from. I wanted to keep the minimalistic style yet include the copyright along with the legal links. I selected the Shapeshift Menu 03.
Changing the Footer Menu Using WordPress
The new footer style I selected was close to what I wanted, but not perfect. The new footer included a menu element. So to display the links I wanted, I had to change the menu in the WordPress admin.
You will find menus under the WordPress Appearance menu. It's appropriately named "Menus."
I selected the Footer Menu to edit. I then removed the links I no longer wanted and flattened the menu structure to display all the category links.
This menu change brought me one step closer to my end goal. It's hard to see, but the logo and the menu elements are in different columns. Thrive Architect uses nested elements to achieve the end layout.
In this case, the "Columns" element included two separate "Column" elements. There is a dividing line between the two "Column" elements. I have a red square around it in the image below.
I had to slide this divider to the left. This change made room for the entire footer menu to appear on one line.
The only task left was to set up the legal page links in the new footer.
Adding the Legal Links to the WordPress Footer
The legal links are a different kind of thrive Architect element. You can see they are part of a text element instead of the menu element. You can also see the name Legal with square brackets.
In Thrive Themes terminology, these are called Smart Site settings. You can access them from your Thrive Dashboard in your WordPress administration menu.
Smart Site settings provide a means to define global fields. Global fields allow you to use these fields at any place in your site layout. The value of these, however, is determined in a central location.
Most often, you would use these with standard information that does not change frequently. Examples of this would be your company details, including name, address, phone numbers, and email addresses.
The new link value automatically updates all links in my site, which used this global field symbol.
Original Goals of Changing My WordPress Footer Completed
What I wanted to change in my WordPress website footer has now been completed. It has Powered by WordPress in the footer now also.
In the process, though, I realized that I needed the disclaimer and terms and conditions legal pages. The easiest way to this is by using the WP Legal Pages WordPress plugin.
My new WordPress footer is complete. At least until I think it needs changing again. For now, this concludes how to change a footer in WordPress.