Removing Developer/Copyright Information from Free WordPress Themes

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There are many great free themes available to WordPress users. Understandably, theme developers include information about themselves – including linked text – that usually appears at the bottom of any pages utilizing their work. Sometimes copyright information is also included in the same general area. Both developer and copyright information can be removed with very little effort.

Before we explain how to do this, there are a couple of caveats:

  • Theme License – Developers have a number of options when it comes to how they license their products. The option they choose determines how much freedom you have to alter a theme. Make sure you check license information before you make any alterations, especially where removing developer and copyright information is concerned.
  • Theme Support – WordPress users may choose a free theme because they do not want to pay for one, but most of the developers supplying those themes make a living by offering paid products. One way to thank developers for giving you a free product is to leave their information intact. Someone who likes the theme may follow the link, leading to new business for the developer.
  • Coding Restrictions – Some theme developers protect code relating to developer and copyright information so that it cannot be removed from a free version. In such a case, the only way to get rid of it is to purchase the paid version of the theme.

Assuming all of the above concerns do not apply in your case, you can quickly remove developer and copyright information by editing one of the configuration files that came with your theme.

Possible Files to Edit

The early days of WordPress saw most theme developers include developer and copyright information in the style.css file. Some still do it that way today. If that is the case with your theme, you can open this file in the editor and scroll down to the very bottom of the page. Here is where you will likely see code relating to the information as it appears on your site. If you do not see the code, you can always:

  1. go to your homepage;
  2. copy the text in question;
  3. return to the editor and search for that text using your browser’s search function.

If the code you are looking for does not appear in the style.css file, the next obvious place to look is in the functions.php file. If it is located here, it may be a bit harder to find. Many tutorials online tell you to start looking at a particular line number; this is not always applicable due to different developers creating files of various sizes. Your best bet is to use the search function built into your browser by copying and pasting the text in question.

As a last resort, some developers do not use either style.css or functions.php; rather, they use the option.php file instead. Once again, you will want to use the search function with this file due to its potential size and complexity.

Once you find the code you are after, you can either delete it altogether, leave the text intact while eliminating the embedded link, or even change its size or colour. Just make sure you create a backup of the file before you make any changes.

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