How to Remove the Copyright Credits in WordPress Themes

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Most WordPress themes have a copyright notice along with the theme name, a link, and some other stuff right down at the very bottom of the page. This text is part of what is called the “footer”. The footer can contain a lot of things and it’s generally a good idea to keep it in place – a lot of themes have really important stuff in there. But there are at least a couple of problems when it comes to having copyright notices and other links at the bottom of your website.

The first problem is that you would have some outgoing links from your blog. Whether or not this is a good thing to have is a matter of debate in the modern SEO age – the practice of “pagerank sculpting” seems to be pretty outdated right now, at least when it comes to things like this instead of nofollow comment links etc. You might not want to impact the branding of your site by mentioning a third-party product, let alone linking to it. It might also not be part of your aesthetic plan for the blog.

The second problem can occur if the credit section also contains login and logout links for your WordPress site. In the first place, if you do not want this kind of public facing functionality, it’s merely useless. And second, it can provide hackers with a ready-made link for accessing the login page of your website. Here’s what my copyright notice looks like on a Genesis child theme:

link and login

A long time ago I’d written an article on how to rename your WordPress admin and login pages so that they would not be easy targets for hackers to access. Instead of giving them the opportunity to try various username/password combinations, they simply received a 404 error message. But all of that work goes out the window if there are easily accessible links to the login page on the website itself! All a hacker would need to do is to click that link and they would be taken to your renamed login page. This removes one additional layer of security.

So let’s look at how to remove the copyright/credits text in regular WordPress themes and Genesis in particular.

Removing Credits from Regular WordPress Themes

It’s difficult to give general instructions since themes vary widely in their implementations of the footer as well as the actual text in the copyright section. But if your theme is coded the same way as the default TwentyFifteen WordPress theme, you need to access a file called “footer.php”. To do this, go to your WordPress dashboard and under the “Appearance” submenu, click “Editor”. This will bring up a screen with a list of theme files on the right-hand side. Search for the one labeled “Theme Footer (footer.php)” and click on it. This will bring up the file for editing in the text area.

access the theme footer

In here, search for the code that contains the copyright/credit section and simply delete it or change it to whatever you want. In the TwentyFifteen theme, you’re looking for code like this:

<a href="<?php echo esc_url( __( '', 'twentyfifteen' ) ); ?>"><?php printf( __( 'Proudly powered by %s', 'twentyfifteen' ), 'WordPress' ); ?></a>

Delete that, and you’re done!

For Genesis and Other Modular Themes

Many themes don’t manually code the credits line into footer.php. Child themes of Genesis don’t even have a footer.php file! Instead, we can modify them using filters and actions. For example, to remove the credits text in a Genesis child theme, simply place the following into your functions.php file:

function remove_the_footer_entirely( $creds ) {
	return '';
add_filter('genesis_footer_creds_text', 'remove_the_footer_entirely');

The hooks into the appropriate filter and returns an empty string instead. Other modular themes will have their own actions and filters that you may need to dig a little bit to find out about. Each theme would have named it somewhat differently and you might be able to remove the credits with just a single line of code.

So that’s how you erase the copyright/credits attribution at the bottom of your WordPress theme. It may be a good idea both for security as well as aesthetic reasons.

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