How to Change Copyright in WordPress

WordPress’ user-friendly interface and customisation options allow website owners to not only express their creativity but also protect their digital assets through the proper display of copyright information.

Though many people usually overlook the copyright notice on a website, it is important to include it, especially if you’re using your website for business purposes.

In this guide, I will show you how to change copyright in WordPress; allowing you to customize it to fit your business or brand.

Depending on your WordPress theme, you can change your copyright in one of these ways:

  • Edit the footer section in the theme customizer; Appearance > Customize > Footer > Copyright.
  • Edit the footer in theme options; Appearance > Theme options > Custom Copyright.
  • Install a footer editing plugin
  • If you have some coding experience you can also edit your footer.php file or even create a child theme.

I’ll be discussing each of these in detail, but first…

Does WordPress allow you to change copyright info?

Before making any changes to your website’s copyright notice, let’s first understand the legal implications and permissions surrounding this modification. 

Here are a few key points to note:

  • Because WordPress itself is an open-source platform licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

    This allows users to modify the core WordPress files, including the footer copyright notice.

  • However, you need to make sure the theme you’re using is also licensed under the GPL or other compatible licenses for you to be able to change the copyright.

  • If the theme you’re using was created by a specific developer, you should check its license agreement to see if you can modify the copyright notice or not.

Tip: Remember to be cautious and respect the licensing terms when making any modifications to the copyright on your WordPress website.

Before making changes to copyright

After confirming that you are using the default WordPress theme that allows modification of copyright, or after getting permission from the developer of any other theme you are using, you are now ready to change the copyright.

But before you proceed, you need to back up your website

I know you’re probably wondering; “create a backup when I’m going to edit something as small as a footer!” 

Yes, this may seem like a non-risky task but it’s always better to take precautions. 

So, please back up your website so you can easily restore it in case anything goes wrong during the editing process.

You can do this with the help of WordPress backup plugins or you can manually export the database and files, depending on your preference.

5 ways to change copyright in WordPress

Customizing your footer copyright notice in WordPress can help you personalize it and align it with your brand, and it can be an essential step toward making the website truly your own. 

How to change copyright in WordPress via Theme Customizer

This is one straightforward and user-friendly way to modify your WordPress website’s copyright info.

It will allow you to make changes directly within the WordPress customizer or theme settings. 

Several WordPress themes, including Astra, Divi and OceanWP, come with built-in options to edit the footer copyright notice.

If you are using one such theme, follow these steps to change your copyright info:

Step 1: Log into the backend of your WordPress website and navigate to Appearance > Themes > Customise

WordPress theme customizer

Step 2: When your customization page opens up, look for the Footer section and click on it

Calvary Child theme options

Step 3: Under the Footer section, find the Copyright option and select it. 

Theme Copyright Widget
Edit WP theme copyright text

Here, you can input your desired text or HTML code. You can make your text bold or italic, and you can even add a link.

When you’re done, click Publish to update your copyright notice.

How to change copyright in WordPress using Theme Options

This is yet another simple way to change your copyright notice.

All you must do is go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Theme Options.

WordPress Theme options

Scroll down to the Custom Copyright section and type in your preferred copyright notice then click the Submit button.

Custom copyright in WordPress

How to change copyright in WordPress using Plugins

Given WordPress’ diverse supply of plugins, there can’t fail to be at least one for editing copyright. 

Actually, there are a couple of these including Footer Putter, Footer Mega Grid Columns, Insert Headers and Footers, all of which can simplify the process of editing the footer copyright notice. 

Note:

Changing copyright using a plugin is entirely dependent on which theme you are using for your website. 

For some themes, you might be able to deactivate the original footer copyright notice and then replace it with another footer you create with a plugin.

For other themes, you may not be able to change or deactivate the footer or change the copyright info.

To install a plugin:

Go to your WordPress Dashboard, navigate to Plugins, and click Add New.

Add new WP plugin

Search for your plugin, for example, “Insert Headers and Footers” and when you find it, Install and Activate the plugin.

WordPress header and footer plugin

After activating your plugin, follow the plugin’s instructions to customize your footer copyright to your liking.

Tip: The specific steps of this process might vary slightly depending on the plugin you choose to use.

How to change copyright in WordPress using a Child Theme

WP child theme search

A more advanced way to change your copyright info in WordPress is by creating a child theme to overwrite the footer section and insert the content that you want.

With a child theme, you have full control over your footer copyright notice

If you are not code-savvy, you can create a child theme by simply using a plugin like Child Theme Generator,  WP Child Theme Generator or any other plugin that can generate a child theme to use on top of your theme.

After creating your child theme, go ahead and customize the footer section to your preference, this will overwrite the existing section in your current theme.

How to change copyright in WordPress by editing the footer.php file

Theme editor stylesheet.

For WordPress users with coding abilities, manually editing the footer.php file can provide greater flexibility in customizing the copyright notice. 

This method requires knowledge of HTML, CSS, and WordPress file structure. 

You can access the footer.php file through your WordPress theme editor, locate the section responsible for displaying the copyright notice and make any necessary modifications directly in the code. 

Note that this option is still dependent on the theme you are using. Some themes do not permit you to make changes to their code.

With these methods at your disposal, you can easily customize the footer copyright notice in WordPress and ensure that it accurately reflects your brand and legal requirements.

FAQ

Why is copyright protection important?

Copyright protection is crucial for safeguarding your intellectual property and ensuring that others do not unlawfully use or reproduce your work. 

Displaying a copyright notice in the footer of your website helps you assert your ownership rights and let your visitors know that your content is protected. 

This can prevent potential infringers and provide you with a legal resort in case of copyright violations.

Do I need to check the theme’s license before editing the footer copyright notice?

Yes, it would be wise to review the terms of the theme’s license before making any changes to the notice in your footer. Also, contact the developer for clarification if needed.

What if my theme doesn’t have built-in options for changing the copyright text?

If your theme does not have inbuilt customization options, you may need to edit the theme files directly. 

Alternatively, you can create a child theme or use a custom CSS plugin. This will ensure you safely update your theme without losing data.

Can I add additional information to the copyright notice, such as a link to terms of use or privacy policy?

Yes, many customization options or plugins allow you to add more than just the copyright symbol and year. You can include additional information or links as needed.

How often should I update the copyright notice on my WordPress site?

It’s a good practice to update the copyright notice annually to reflect the current year. This shows that your content is regularly maintained and reinforces your ownership.

Is it possible to hide the copyright notice on specific pages or posts?

This will depend on your theme or customization options. Some themes may allow you to hide or customize the footer on specific pages or posts 

You can explore your theme’s settings or consider using custom CSS for more advanced modifications.

Conclusion

In closing, customizing the footer copyright notice in WordPress is a small but significant step towards asserting our ownership and digital identity, and protecting your creative endeavors by personalizing your website and giving it a professional touch. 

With the right tools and understanding, you can seamlessly update the copyright notice to reflect the current year, ensuring that your audience recognizes your ongoing commitment to your digital domain.

Remember to consider the legal implications of changing the footer copyright notice. Understand the terms of the theme’s license if you are using a WordPress theme created by a developer, then proceed from there.

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Grace
Grace is an Editor at GoTechUG and she has written many articles about website design and social media. She has experience in IT and loves to tinker with anything to do with computers. In her spare time, she loves music, movies, reading books, and learning Spanish.

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