The footer section of a website usually refers to the bottom area of the webpage in design. As the information displayed in this section generally is the last thing the online visitors will check, many webmasters simply ignore it or only showcase the copyright notifications, credits and the link to Terms of Services page.
However, the fact is that the footer section is more than simply a place to put some unnecessary information. Instead, it is a foundation of your whole site that needs to be carefully customized. This time, we’d like to introduce some creative methods and tips about how to use WordPress footer section effectively.
Maintain the Standard and Must-Have Items
Surely, you can add and remove various things in your website footer, but you’d better maintain the must-have items that are what readers expect and get used to seeing. These basic elements include the Terms of Conditions, Copyright Notice, Sitemap and Privacy Policies.
In addition, the About and Contact pages are also the standard components in the website footer. As researched, most people are likely to find the information from the footer section when they are looking to know who you are and how to talk to you.
Display the Navigation Link
Generally, people will locate their user-friendly navigation link in the header section so that readers can find the way to go through the whole site easily. However, as the common reading habit is from the top to the bottom, displaying the navigation in the footer area brings the convenience of not having to go back to the top for clicking some links and buttons.
However, instead of presenting the navigation bar in the commonly adopted horizontal manner, you can choose some creative ways to prevent it from looking boring and dull. Personally, we think the below example is a good choice to try, which displays all the hyperlinks via multiple rows and columns. This can result in a great sense of organization for navigation.
Showcase the Recent and Best Blog Posts
Generally, the sidebar is a great section for displaying the most recent and the best posts, but actually, the footer section is also worth considering. By showcasing some core contents on both of these two areas, you can give people a strong impression of what you want them to check. Frankly speaking, this is a great way to promote your new or essential contents and to increase their click through rates.
To maximize the benefits, we think the displayed posts should be no more than 5.
Showcase the Basic Contact Information
In addition to displaying a full “Contact Us” page that allows people to find out the methods for contacting you, we also recommend you to put on the simple contact channels directly in the footer section, which results in the ultimate convenience for your visitors. The below screenshot is a good example that showcases the contact number, email and even the physical location clearly, thus, people can know how and where to find the site owner without the need to click an extra link.
If your footer design allows, you can also put up a contact form. There are a lot of related plugins that allow you to do so, and this time, we recommend the Contact Form plugin.
When installing it successfully, you can directly click the Manager button under the Contact Form tab of the WordPress admin panel. Here, you can find a list of well-created contact forms that come with different highlights. Now, you can choose one and click the Edit button.
In the next screen, you can edit the CSS of this form if you have enough coding knowledge. Or, you can click the Add A New Field button to insert some additional components for your contact form at whatever location you want. Here, there are 14 types of fields you can add, such as the text input, time and date, map, CAPTCHA, PayPal button and many more.
After saving the settings and previewing the form, you can go back to the Manager screen. Here, you can find the exclusive shortcode and PHP code of this contact form for the proper display. In this case, you can paste the shortcode into the footer widget. If your theme does not support the footer widget, you can put the PHP code into your theme’s function file.
Add Google Analytics for Tracking Purpose
Having a tight integration between Google Analytics and your site is a good practice to check how your website is performing online. Generally, to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site, you have to copy and paste the exclusive tracking code of your Google Analytics account into your current theme.
However, if you are not willing to edit your theme files, the footer section can come into play. Here, you just need to install this plugin. Then, in the WordPress settings area, you can click the plugin name and enter the tracking code into the footer area.
Include the Call to Actions
When readers navigate to your footer section, you’d better display the call to actions so that they will be encouraged to do something. Here, we highly recommend you to showcase a signup box for the gathering of email lists if you send the newsletters regularly.
To do this, you can use the widely-installed MailChimp plugin. With it, you can easily connect your WordPress site with the MailChimp account for the sending and managing of the newsletters. In addition, this plugin helps you create and customize the signup box with the full freedom.
Here, you only need to click the Forms button from the MailChimp for WP drop-down. The default box only requires people to enter the email address and to click the Sign Up button. However, you can also add some other fields and variables easily based on your needs.
Even, this plugin gives you enough freedom to decide the feedback messages when people subscribe to your newsletters successfully or unsuccessfully, choose to use the double opt-in or not, enter the redirect URL after the signup practice and determine the display style of the special box.
Now, you can click the Forms button again. In the bottom section, you can find a special shortcode that needs to be entered into your footer widget. Or, you can paste it into the text widget and drag this widget to the Footer or the Content Bottom area.
Display the Social Media Links
To be frank, the footer section gives you the last chance to encourage people to follow your social media accounts. In this case, you’d better display all of these links in a well-organized manner. This time, we recommend you to use the Social Media Buttons plugin, which ensures you the ability to display the social media icons at any place of your site, such as the page, post, footer and sidebar.
After you install it, you only need to click the button of Social Buttons. Here, you can find a list of popular social platforms. You only need to choose your targets and enter the user ID.
If you want, you can also decide the display options, such as determining whether to show the icons below the contents of posts and pages automatically and whether to open the link in a new window, deciding the icon size and margin, as well as entering the caption for the button toolbar.
As for the display of these buttons on your footer area, you can continue scrolling down this settings page. Here, you can find the using method of this plugin – adding the shortcode to the text widget or using the PHP code in the theme files.
Now, people can click these icons to enter your social media accounts easily.