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How to Add Footnotes in WordPress Posts Easily

How to Add Footnotes in WordPress Posts Easily

A footnote is a great method to explain certain words in a post clearly without disturbing the manner of writing. That is regarded as one of the essential writing tips and commonly used in WordPress posts for better reading experience. This guide briefs you on an easy way to add elegant and concise footnotes in your posts with two plugins, including FD Footnotes Plugin and Simple Footnotes.

In this way, a numerical symbol is displayed on the top right corner of a word to be explained. That directs readers to a list of notes under the post, including explanations for all marked words. Start with the plugin installation and that comes with a brief introduction for selected plugins.

Method 1: FD Footnotes Plugin

Having the plugin installation done via WP admin is the most effective way for that purpose. You are required to log into your website backend and then search for FD Footnotes Plugin via Plugins > Add New.

Install FD Footnotes Plugin

Upon activation, a new item named as Footnotes appears under Settings.

Settings Footnotes

Click Settings > Footnotes and access to the Footnotes configuration page. There are two options available to determine where to show footnotes and when to collapse a footnote. Here, we check both options and confirm settings by clicking “Save” button.

Footnotes Configuration

Note that, the option “Only show footnotes on single post/page” will display all footnotes on another page instead of the current one. Besides, the option “Collapse footnotes until clicked” allows readers expand explanation for a word when clicking the corresponding footnote number.

FD Footnotes Plugin allows you to add footnotes in your posts with the shortcode [1. This is a footnote.]. Since you have all preparations done, go to Posts > All Posts and “Edit” a post that needs to be noted. Here, we take the BlueHost Review as an example and plan to make an explanation for Linux and shared web hosting.

Select Words for Footnotes

Add the shortcode [1. This is a footnote.] after selected words and then replace This is a footnote to an explanation as planned. That should be modified as the following screenshot.

Footnotes Example

Check this post via website front-end. The word “Linux” and “Shared Web Hosting” are followed by number 1 and number 2 respectively. Readers are able to expand all footnotes by clicking “Show 2 footnotes” below the current post or view a certain footnote by clicking the footnote number after corresponding word. Add more footnotes in your WordPress posts in the same manner.

Post Footnotes Sample

Method 2: Simple Footnotes

Simple Footnotes is another method worth going thanks to its simplicity. Before everything, you should install and activate this plugin on your website via WP admin. After that, get started to add footnotes to your posts. Here, we also take the BlueHost Review as an example and add footnotes after Linux and Shared Web Hosting.

Open the post edit screen and add the shortcode [ref]Your Footnote[/ref] after the selected words. You are required to replace the content enclosed in the shortcode to a footnote. Since you have added all footnotes in the current post, preview it to check if there is something wrong with the footnotes. That should be like the following screenshot.

Simple Footnotes Sample

You don’t need to add a number to each footnote and that will be generated automatically in order. Each footnote number directs readers to a detailed footnote below that post so as to enables a quick look for targeted explanations.

What’s more, you are allowed to adjust the footnotes replacement via Settings > Reading. That enables two options for positioning footnotes, including “Below content” and “Below page links”. Make a decision and click “Save Changes” to confirm it.

Footnotes Placement


Both FD Footnotes Plugin and Simple Footnotes have the wonder of using different shortcodes to achieve equally satisfactory results. Even for beginners, it is easy to handle the two methods without striking a blowing. Select the more favored one and then take a good use of it by following the guide mentioned above.


Lucy has been a very experienced SEOer, technical writer, web developer, c# developer since 2002. Now she owns a startup in San Francisco, CA, focusing on running a couple of blogs to share knowledge and experience with global readers and deliver exceptional results to global sponsors by leveraging the power of Internet.


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