Since footer is usually the last thing to get readers’ attention, many WordPress users have ignored its importance and only put a copyright notice in it.
You may have noticed that the footer of your WordPress site gets low click-through rates, so you excluded it when customizing your site. However, you have to know that the efficiency of a footer is decided by not only where it is, but also what are placed in it. If it is customized with some creativity, it can be useful and make a difference to user experience.
The essential of using a footer effectively is to make sure it provides things that your readers are looking for. Once readers find something interesting, they will stay on your site for more time. So in this post, we are going to show you some creative practices that you can apply to your WordPress footer.
Basic Things to Include in WordPress Footer
The footer of your WordPress site does not need to be the same as any other’s, and you can decide with complete freedom what to include in it. But no matter how you plan to customize your footer, we’d suggest you to consider the following two elements.
These are some of the things that your readers need most. Although you have a navigation menu at the top your site, you still need the links to important pages like the About Us page, Contact Us page, portfolio, blog and store in the footer section, so that readers can get some ideas about what to see next without having to scroll back to the header. If you want a little creativity, you can put eye-catching icons before the links.
Links to the popular or recent posts
The popular posts and recent posts are the content that most of your readers will be interested in. Including a section for either of them in the footer, you are reducing the bounce rate and increasing page views in an effective way.
These links work better for normal blogs than those business sites. And the number of posts to display is usually 3-5, depending on the design of your footer. For business sites, links to recent news or promotions would be more useful.
Practice 1: Include Social Media Buttons in Footer
Footer provides a good place for you to allow your readers to follow you on social networking platforms. If your content is helpful or interesting, then you can expect a faster growth of the followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. But at first, you need to add the necessary social media buttons in the footer.
An easy way to do this is by using a WordPress plugin like Menu Social Icons. This plugin makes it easy to add social icons to WordPress menu items and any of the widgetized areas on a WordPress including the footer.
After installing and activating the plugin, go to Appearance > Menus. Firstly, create a new menu with a menu name you like. Secondly, open the “Custom Links” tab, select a social icon from the available options, and enter the appropriate link in the “URL” field. At last, add the custom link to the menu created before. Repeat these actions to add all the social icons you want to use, and then save the menu.
Now go to Appearance > Widgets, drag the “Custom Menu” widget to the footer section, then enter a title for the widget and select the menu you created from the dropdown. Once the widget is saved, you can visit your site and see the social media buttons are placed in your website footer.
Practice 2: Include a Simple Contact Form
Sometimes a simple contact form in the footer gets you more contacts than the official “Contact Us” page and the popup contact form because your visitors do not need to leave where they are. Other contact information like email address or phone number also works well in the footer. If you want contacts and suggestions from your readers, you can have a try.
But remember, the contact form in footer must be simple. Do not require the readers to enter endless personal information before they can send a message to you.
You can get a contact form created and placed properly by trying a plugin named cformsII – contact form. It allows you to create forms easily based on AJAX, and when forms are created, you can insert them as shortcodes in the footer widgets.
Practice 3: Showcase Your Clients, Awards or Security Seals
Another good idea of utilizing footer is to display the logos of your clients, the awards you have received, or some security seals. These things contribute a lot to the credibility of your site and increase the potential of purchases and page views.
Showcasing any of the discussed logos can be done with the use of the Footer Putter plugin. This plugin creates two widgets: a trademark widget, and a copyright widget. The former takes advantage of the link categories and allows you to display “Trust Marks” by specifying the image and URL. And the latter enables you to add contact information, privacy policies, terms and conditions, etc.
To use either of the widgets, you only need to drag the corresponding widget to your website footer after making the necessary configurations.
Practice 4: Include an Email Opt-In Form
Many bloggers place a newsletter signup form in the sidebar or in a popup to collect subscriptions, but have you ever considered adding one in the footer section? Although such a signup form might be ignored by a number of visitors, if your content is great, those scrolling down to the bottom of the page will be prone to subscribe. Besides, the contact form in footer is less annoying compared with that in a popup, thus it still guarantees the user experience.
If you are using MailChimp, you can install a plugin named MailChimp for WordPress for the creation of the email opt-in form. The plugin is free to use, and it makes adding forms in the footer an easy thing by offering a signup form widget. You can either create new forms or take advantage of the plugin’s integration with Contact Form 7, Event Manager, and several other WordPress plugins.
Practice 5: Showcase Some Works in Your Portfolio
In the case that your WordPress site has a portfolio section, you can select several of the best works and display them in the footer. Doing so, you are able to show your visitors what you are capable of even if they do not visit your portfolio. This is a great way to promote your works and business.
To showcase your works, you need to add images and links in the footer section, and these can be done with the Header and Footer plugin. The plugin allows you to add HTML code to the header and footer and manage all code from a single interface.
After installing the plugin, you can go to Settings > Header and Footer, and then add images and links in the place you want with the same code you use when inserting images in posts. After saving the changes, you can visit your site to see how your works are displayed. Regarding the image size, make sure that the images you upload are in the exact size that you want to use in the footer.
Practice 6: Create a Sticky Floating Footer Bar
Being different from all the practices discussed above, this one is not about adding anything in the existing footer section. Instead, it requires you to create an independent sticky footer bar. You may not have tried such a footer bar, but we have seen many big blogs are using it to:
- Promote their services.
- Guide visitors to the most popular pages on their sites.
- Get visitors’ attention to the email opt-in form, or anything else.
Many experienced users code their own sticky footer bar by editing the footer and the stylesheet, but for beginners, the Simple Sticky Footer plugin could help. When this plugin is activated, you only have to create a page with the content you want to display in the floating footer bar, and then go to Appearance > Sticky Footer to configure the plugin.
On the configuration page, you can select the page for the footer bar, select the width and animation effect, and add additional CSS rules for customization. If you want to show the footer bar on specified pages only, you can enable shortcodes and then insert the shortcodes on those pages.
Some Other Practices to Use WordPress Footer
In addition to all the items above, you can still add some of the following things in the footer. Which to use depends on what you need and what your visitors will want.
- Event calendar
- Search form
- Tag cloud
- The author’ biography
- The links to other sites you operate
- Top users of your site
- A back-to-top button
Remember that you must use these tips selectively and do not overdo. Also, you have to keep your footer section clean and user-friendly. Try not putting too much content for the sake of the site performance.