Adding Content to the Footer Using Widgets

Appearing at the bottom of every page on your site, the footer is an ideal location for universal links and information.

Because the footer is available on every page of your site, it’s useful for providing context. Who owns this site, and how do I get in touch? Footer content can also support site objectives by providing important links or information that isn’t easily accessible from the header or main menu.

At minimum, a website’s footer should include:

  1. The group responsible for the website and their contact information
    Learn how to edit your footer contact information »
  2. A copyright statement and legal/policy information or links
    The copyright statement is included as part of the WashU Web Theme.

Additional information that might be useful in a footer includes:

  • A brief description of your group’s relation to a broader initiative or entity
    Ex: The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is a division of the Washington University School of Medicine human resources office.
  • Links to important pages that are not listed in the main navigation
  • A secondary call to action, such as links to schedule a visit, sign up for a newsletter or make a donation
  • A certification or award that is significant to your group’s impact or story
    Ex: The Office of Residential Life is proud to be a gold-certified green office.
    Pro tip: The example above links to the Office of Sustainability website. Even better would be linking to a page on the Residential Life website that describes Residential Life’s commitment to and actions toward sustainability. Include photos, bullet points and stats, and your content is golden.

 It’s tempting to fill the footer with quick links, mission and policy statements, graphics and awards. However, the more “noise” visitors encounter, the less likely they’ll be to read the content.

Make your footer the product of intentional choices. If the footer turns into grab-bag of content, look for larger issues with the site. For example, if visitors are having difficulty finding information, the navigation menu may need to be reorganized or relabeled.

How to update the footer

Footer content other than the contact information is added as a widget. WordPress widgets are small modules that can include HTML, images, categories or other content.

To add a footer widget: 

  1. From the black admin bar at the top of any page, click Customize, or go to Dashboard > Appearance > Customize
  2. On the left side of the window, click Widgets > Footer
  3. Click Add a Widget
    If you’re editing an existing widget, click the widget name instead.
  4. Select the Text widget
    Additional widgets listed are default options offered through WordPress and are not recommended for WUSM Web Theme sites.
  5. Enter a title (optional) and text
    See tips for editing the text widget »
  6. Click the blue Save & Publish button at the top of the panel
  7. To reorder widgets: Hover over the title and drag and drop it to the desired location; then click Save & Publish
  8. To delete a widget: Click the title to expand the dropdown; then click Remove or Delete at the bottom left