So, your website has finally come together. You’ve stormed up an eye-catching header, your content is on point, and you are ready to unleash your site to the world.

Then you notice the “Proudly Powered By WordPress” link on your footer. Is your masterpiece forever condemned to being a WordPress mascot, or can the footer be removed? The good news is, it CAN.

WordPress footer credits
If you run a business website you’ll want to change or remove the footer credits.

You’ve probably noticed the footer message that links back to Proudly Powered by WordPress.

It’s a small message that lives in the footer section of several native WordPress themes, which rightfully gives a shout to the WordPress project volunteers. But while some people may not find this unappealing, you may have bigger plans for your website and this ‘shoutout’ may not be aligned with your plans. So here you are, trying to figure out how to remove the “proudly powered by WordPress” credit from your site. And that’s precisely what this post aims to help you achieve.

Is It Legal to Remove the WordPress Footer Credits?

You will be pleased to know that if you remove the WordPress footer from your website, you won’t get into trouble.

WordPress, as an entity, is free and licensed under the GPL (General Public License). This basically means you are well within your rights to use, modify, and even redistribute WordPress.

If that’s not enough reassurance for you, any WordPress theme you download from the official theme directory is covered by the license. So, you’re also free to make edits to those.

With that out of the way, in the rest of this post I will show you how to edit or even remove the WordPress copyright footer from your website – especially if you are using a WordPress default theme.

Looking to rebrand or white label your WordPress site completely including the login page and dashboard? Check out Branda. Branda lets you remove or replace the WordPress branding your theme can’t, without having to touch a line of code.

Always Backup Before Making Changes

First things first. Before making any changes on your website, it is always a good idea to back up the contents of your site, so that if you accidentally break anything, you can quickly fix it by restoring your website to an earlier version. Many people have lost valuable information and even whole websites by failing to back their websites up, and we would hate to see the same happen to you.

If you’re a WPMU DEV member you can schedule your site to backup automatically with Snapshot. You can get both Snapshot and Branda when you start a free trial. Now, let’s delve in and explore the various ways through which you can remove the “powered by WordPress” footer from your website.

How to Hide the WordPress Copyright Footer

To hide the proudly powered by WordPress in the footer you’ll need:

  • Access to your WordPress admin area

Using CSS

This is the quick, easy but unsavory method that deserves a mention, but it is one that you should avoid. It involves adding some CSS to the Theme Customizer, and here’s how you can do this:

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize on the WordPress dashboard
  2. Click Additional CSS at the bottom of the menu
  3. Paste in the CSS code below

While this might seem like a quick, easy, workaround, the potential detrimental effect on your website SEO is not worth the risk. Spammers use a similar technique to hide links from users so Google could flag your site.

If however, you’re a bit of a dare-devil or losing search traffic doesn’t concern you (maybe the majority of your traffic doesn’t come from searches), feel free to use this method. If you’re more cautious or if the majority of your site traffic is from searches, read the next alternative option.

How to Remove the WordPress Copyright Footer

To change the footer you will need:

  • Access to your WordPress admin area
  • A text editor on your computer

Method #1: Via the WordPress Theme Customizer

Depending on what theme you are using, you may have the option to remove or edit the powered by WordPress footer directly in your theme customizer.

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize on the WordPress dashboard
  2. Click Footer > Bottom Bar
  3. You can either Disable Footer Credits or put your own text in Edit Footer Credit

Method #2: Via the Native Theme Options.

This works best for most third-party themes. Sometimes, the native WordPress theme customizer may not be equipped to edit the footer in WordPress, so your best bet is to check in the theme settings first.

If you have been unable to locate the option to disable footer credits inside the theme customizer, you could also check the ‘Widgets’ section, or inside the individual theme’s options.

Method #3: Editing Footer.php

If maintaining your website’s SEO is important to you, editing your theme’s footer.php file is another easy way to remove the WordPress footer credit link. The footer.php file contains the information your site needs to display the footer of your site, including, you guessed it, the WordPress credit link.

The safest way to edit the WordPress footer code on your website is by using an SFTP file manager such as Filezilla to access your core files. For security reasons, some web hosts disable the option to edit your theme code directly from inside your WordPress admin area. If you notice that you are unable to locate your website’s theme editor inside your WordPress admin area, it might have been disabled by your host. This means that you will need an SFTP file manager to access your files. But don’t worry – we have you covered on how to go about this.

  1. Connect to your site using an SFTP file manager. If you’re uncertain about how to do this, this in-depth tutorial will guide you through the process.
  2. Navigate to the public_html/wp-content/themes directory.
  3. Open the directory containing the theme you wish to edit.
  4. Locate the footer.php file, then copy it to the appropriate child theme directory.
  5. Open the footer.php file using a text editor and search and delete the footer code, depending on what theme you’re using.

Twenty Sixteen theme:

Twenty Seventeen theme:

Twenty Nineteen theme:

  1. Click “Update File” and the footer credit link will be gone or modified.

Quick warning: Before making any changes to your WordPress theme, it’s always a good idea to create a child theme, rather than directly edit your WordPress website’s code.  There are a couple of reasons why you should do this:

  1. Any updates that bring your theme up to the latest version could potentially undo all your hard work and revert your footer back to its pre-edited state.
  2. By editing the code directly on your website, there’s a chance that you could change or delete the wrong code and break your website.

If you’re new to creating child themes, you can read more about it in our guide How to Create a WordPress Child Theme.

Happy Coding!

I hope you found this post useful for removing or editing the “Proudly powered by WordPress” footer link credit in your website. As you can see, there are several ways to skin the cat, so please feel free to try out other methods mentioned above if one does not work. If you have any questions about removing the WordPress copyright footer from your website, please do not hesitate to drop a comment below. Also, if you need any help with customizing your WordPress website, please reach out to our friendly support team who would be more than happy to help!

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