How to Remove the Powered by WordPress Footer Links

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This quick tutorial shows you how to remove the annoying Powered by WordPress footer links. WP has a lot of fans and powers about 40% of all websites online. But not every site owner wants their project to be a mascot for the platform. Well, you don’t have to tolerate the WordPress footer credits that come with many of the native themes.

The Legality of Removing WP Footer Credits

Don’t worry; there are no legal ramifications for removing Powered by WordPress footer credits. WordPres.org is free, opensource software licensed under the General Public License or GPL. Anyone has the right to add, remove, modify, and redistribute WordPress as they see fit. That extends to all products from the official WordPress.org theme directory.

Why Remove ‘Powered by’ Footer Links?

Footer credits can make an otherwise professional website look tacky and amateurish. It makes no sense to have footer links that are unrelated to your blog or business. It’s not only WordPress, either. Some developers cheekily add ‘Powered by (Author Name) into their theme footers.

There are 4 ways to remove the Powered by WordPress and theme copyright links in footers.

  1. Via the active theme customizer
  2. Use a plugin
  3. Edit the footer PHP file
  4. Add a code snippet to the CSS file (not recommended)

The fourth method works, but it should be avoided (see next).

Why CSS is a bad idea

Many tutorials show how to remove footer credits from WP blogs and websites via CSS. This tutorial isn’t one of them as it uses the CSS code display:none. The search engine giant Google frowns upon websites that hide a footer message or text links using CSS. That’s because it’s a tactic widely used by spammers. So, it’s of no help, as you risk losing search engine rankings.

Back Up Your WP Website and Database

Doing a complete backup of your WP site and database is a good habit to form before making any changes. You can then quickly restore the site to its earlier working state if necessary. Too many people lose valuable data, functions, or even an entire site by skipping backups.

#1 Remove Footer links via the Theme Customizer

Sometimes, it’s possible to delete footer credits via the WP Theme Customizer.

Log into your WordPress Admin area.

Go to Appearance => Customize from the Dashboard side menu.

The active theme on the sample site is Twenty Twenty-One. It doesn’t have an option to remove footer links from the theme customizer. Some WordPress themes do, so check here first if you’re not using this one. You may have an option to disable the credit link and customise the text.

Move to the next method if you don’t have any luck in the Theme Customizer.

#2 Remove Powered by WordPress with a plugin

There’s a plugin for everything, including this. The developer aptly named it, Remove “Powered by WordPress”. It’s a quick and painless procedure for anyone who’s familiar with plugins. If you’re a WordPress novice, you may want to read my Beginner’s Plugin guide before you begin.

Install and Activate the Remove “Powered by WordPress” from your Add Plugins screen.

Go to Appearance => Customize from the Dashboard side menu.

Click Theme Options from the customizer menu.

Put a tick (check) in the Remove Powered by WordPress box.

You can see the footer credit disappear in the live preview pane (right).

Click Publish to save the changes.

All done! There’s nothing else to click, select, or save. The downside is you add another active plugin to your site. That’s not ideal for administrators who try to limit their active plugins.

#3 Remove Footer Links Using the Footer PHP File

Every WordPress theme has its own set of files, and the footer.php is one of them. That means you must repeat this process if you switch to another theme.

It’s not difficult to modify the footer.php from your WP Dashboard. But it’s also easy to make a mistake if you’re a raw novice. Ask someone with more experience to do it for you if you’re uneasy modifying theme files.

Go to Appearance => Theme Editor from the Dashboard side menu.

You’re now at the Edit Themes screen.

  1. Click the Theme Footer (footer.php) link in the Theme Files column (left)
  2. Click inside the file, then press CTRL + F to call the search box
  3. Type Powered by into the search box and hit Enter
  4. Delete all code from <div class=”powered by”> to </div><!– .powered by –>
  5. Click Update File to save the changes

You’ve now removed your Proudly Powered by WordPress link from the site footer.

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