It’s not widely known, but the footer section of any blog or website has proven to be one of the most important and most clicked on areas of a website. We often see people not using the footer area of their site at all. Ignoring it completely and leaving it blank. We build most of our themes with a three column footer section, but since some viewers have loads of important information (newsletter subscriptions, social media site links, copyright, and e-book sales to name a few), we thought that we would teach you how you can create more footer widget areas in your theme.
Before you make any changes to your site, make sure that you back up your existing design. You can do this with a plugin (such as Backup Buddy or Vault Press) or by simply choosing to copy and paste your coding into a text document and saving it. Be sure that you have access to your hosting account or FTP information in case you mess up and need to fix an error.
First, let’s take a look at the typical coding of most of our themes. I’ll be using the Divine theme as an example for this tutorial, but it will work for any of our themes. From your WordPress Dashboard, you’ll want to click on APPEARANCE > EDITOR to take yourself over to the editing section of the site (depending on your hosting provider, you may have to do this via your hosting file manager or FTP component). Once you get there, click on the functions.php (this will probably also be listed as Theme Functions) file in the right hand column. Once you’re there, scroll down until you see this:
This is the default setting of the Divine theme. This is going to give you those three footer widgets that you see in the demo theme.
But, say you want to change it up and have four, five or six footer widgets. All you would need to do to activate that would be to change that number 3 to whichever number you prefer. Once you do that and click back over to your widget section, you’ll see that your footer widget sections have automatically been added. Once you’ve done that, you can add your widgets.
Now, wouldn’t it be great if that was all there was to it? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Because all of our themes are already coded to hold a certain number of footer widgets, you’ll have to make changes to the themes stylesheet if you decide you want more or less widgets in the footer section. Lucky for you, we’ve made it easy! Below you’ll find the CSS coding for up to six footer widget areas. All ready for you to copy and paste into your theme files!
Now all you will need to do to change out the coding for these footer widgets is to return to your CSS/stylesheet (if you’ve just changed your theme functions/functions.php file, then you’ll see stylesheet listed on the right hand side, under where your function files are; or if you’re in your dashboard, use the same APPEARANCE > EDITOR route and that will land you directly on your stylesheet).
Once you’re there, you can use your keyboard to search for the “footer-widgets” section and add the code above to that section.
Now, you’ll scroll down just a bit until you see the code that looks similar to whichever style footer widget area your chosen theme has by default (you’ll be able to tell by how many Footer Widget areas you have in your widget section or by the number that was there when you made the changes in your function file earlier). Once you identify that section, you’ll want to simply copy the code above for your chosen footer widget number and paste it in place of what is currently there.
Then simply click SAVE!
Our goal here at Restored 316 is to make sure that your theme truly becomes YOUR theme! We aim to create the most customizable themes we can so that you aren’t getting just another run-of-the-mill theme that everyone has. We want to allow you to create yourself using the tools we’ve tried to provide.
Please feel free to ask any questions if you have any issues! We look forward to seeing what you guys can do!