How to Remove the “Powered by WordPress” Footer Links

One of the benefits of using a WordPress site is the amount of customization that it offers. From themes to plugins, there are seemingly endless options to create a perfectly personalized site. However, there’s one element that seems a little trickier to change: the “Powered by WordPress” footer links.

Fortunately, there are several methods that you can choose from to remove these credits. Even better, there are methods to suit all types of users.

In this tutorial, we’ll look into some of the reasons you might want to delete these links and explore the precautions you can take during the process. Then, I’ll take you step-by-step through three popular methods for removing them. Let’s dive right in!

More than 40% of all websites are running on WordPress. Based on those statistics alone, chances are you’ve noticed that a couple of sites you visit have the same footer: “Proudly Powered by WordPress”:

Clicking on it will redirect you to the WordPress.org homepage. You’ve probably also seen some websites using WordPress but don’t display the footer credit. There are a few potential reasons as for why this is.

Sites that choose to hide this footer link may do so because they’re trying to achieve an image of self-sufficiency.  You might choose to do so for a similar reason if you’re building a resume site to advertise your skills. You also might just want to keep it empty for aesthetic reasons. 

Freeing up the footer space can also leave room for more site customization; some examples include adding functional code or an Instagram widget. The footer appears on every page of your website, so it’s also a good place to put your contact info or a call to action (CTA).

However, there are also some reasons to keep the footer link. WordPress is free and effective, making its footer links an easy and subtle way to credit the platform that has helped you build your site. 

They can also act as a resource. The link can point visitors who are curious about website creation towards some powerful tools to build a site of their own. 

These are some of the factors to consider when deciding if you want to remove the “Proudly Powered by WordPress” footer links. The good news is that it’s a fairly straightforward process that you can always go back and undo if you change your mind.

The first thing to keep in mind is that yes, it’s legal! The fact that WordPress doesn’t provide an easy way to remove these links might give you the impression that it’s not allowed. On the contrary, this freedom is just one benefit of the platform’s open-source nature.

WordPress is released under the GNU General Public License. This means that you’re free to change the software in practically any way you want — including the footer. Doing so might not be readily obvious, but it’s completely above board and within your power. 

Even so, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start the removal process. For one, if you use the CSS method, you could affect your search engine optimization (SEO).

We’ll discuss it more later, but this operates in a very similar way to hidden spam links that list repeating, hidden keywords to cheat the search rankings. As such, using CSS could lead to Google categorizing your site as spam and demoting it accordingly. 

As with any big changes to your site, I strongly recommend performing a site backup before you start. Not only is this generally good security protocol, but it also safeguards you in case the worst happens. 

With all of that covered, let’s get into removing the “Proudly powered by WordPress” footer links.

If you’re looking to remove the default WordPress footer links, there are three effective methods for you to choose from.

Depending on your theme, you may just need to adjust some settings to get the job done. Many developers anticipate that users will want to customize this part of their footers and make the option available. 

If easily removing the WordPress footer links is important to you, it might be a factor worth considering when you’re selecting a theme. An example of one that offers this functionality is Sydney Pro — we’ve outlined how to do this within our documentation.

Essentially, the approach is the same regardless of the theme you choose. First, head to Appearance option in the WordPress dashboard sidebar and select Customize. In the Customizer, you’re looking for something similar to Footer, Footer Options, or Credits (the exact name of the menu depends on the theme).

Within this section, there should be an option where you can change the footer content using code. This can be used to add both the theme’s copyright and the WordPress links to your footer:

An example of editing a footer credit

If you want to get rid of all the text, simply delete the code and leave an empty box. This should result in a blank footer. You can also adjust the footer if you’d like it to display different text or redirect somewhere else.

2. Directly Modify Your Theme’s Code

Another way you can remove the footer is by directly modifying your theme’s code. As stated before, I highly recommend completing a backup before you start.

It’s also important to modify code with a child theme and not the parent theme itself. This is another way to protect against accidentally breaking your core files and the appearance of your site. 

This method requires a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client. I recommend FileZilla since it’s a solid free way to manage your files. Once you’re familiar with how to operate it, it’s easy and stable to work with.

To start, open the parent theme with FileZilla. Find the footer.php file and make a copy of it, but don’t delete it from the parent theme’s files. Instead, save the copy in the child theme’s folder under the same name. 

Once you’ve moved it, look for some code like the following:

<div class=”powered-by”>
<?php
printf(
/* translators: %s: WordPress. */
esc_html__( ‘Proudly powered by %s.’, ‘twentytwentyone’ ),
‘<a href=”‘ . esc_url( __( ‘https://wordpress.org/’, ‘twentytwentyone’ ) ) . ‘”>WordPress</a>’
);
?>
</div><!– .powered-by –>

</div><!– .site-info –>
</footer><!– #colophon –>

</div><!– #page –>

<?php wp_footer(); ?>

Once you’ve found it, delete that portion of the code from the child footer.php file. Save your changes and activate your child theme from your WordPress dashboard. 

Your WordPress site should now be displaying an exact copy of the original theme but without the WordPress footer link. You can continue to customize and adjust the child theme as you normally would.

3. Use CSS for a Quick Fix

Like I said before, the CSS method does carry some risk. It can have negative effects on your SEO due to Google flagging it as a spam technique since the WordPress footer link will be hidden and not actually removed. 

Also, this method doesn’t work with all themes. Its success rate is a bit hit or miss, depending on how the theme you’re using has been written. For these reasons, it’s not recommended.

However, it’s undeniably a quick and easy way to remove the WordPress footer links from view. If you’re in a pinch and need it gone quickly, this is a good option to tide you over while you look into the other methods. 

It might be a good idea to take other precautions for your search engine rankings if you’re going to use this method, such as choosing an SEO-friendly theme.

Once you’ve gotten all of that squared away, start by making sure that the theme you want to hide the footer link for is activated. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard and find the Appearance option in the sidebar.

Select the Theme Editor option. You’ll probably automatically be taken to the Stylesheet page under Theme Files on the right side. However, you might want to double-check before you add anything.

The Twenty Nineteen style sheet.

Next, scroll to the bottom of the style.css file and paste the following code:

.site-info { display: none; }

Finally, click the Update File button. This should hide the footer links.

You can also add the custom CSS from the Customizer. For this method, open the customization page of your theme by clicking the Appearance > Customize menu in your WordPress admin area. Here, select Additional CSS from the sidebar and paste the same code as above into the field.

The screen for additional CSS with code to remove the footer links added.

Once you hit Publish, the CSS should have taken care of the footer links. I want to reiterate that I only recommend this as a short-term fix to use while figuring out which of the other methods will work best for your site due to SEO concerns.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to fully personalize your WordPress site, the “Powered by WordPress” footer links might not match your image. Fortunately, with a little bit of time spent getting familiar with your theme, it can be easily taken care of.

In this article, we covered three ways to remove these footer links:

  1. Choose a theme that comes pre-programmed with an option to disable them
  2. Carefully alter your theme’s code
  3. Weigh the pros and cons of inserting additional CSS

How will you use these methods to customize your site? Let us know in the comments section below! 

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John Hughes

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