Awesome Plugins To Customize the Header And Footer Of Your WordPress Site

Awesome Plugins To Customize the Header And Footer Of Your WordPress Site

The header of your site is the first thing that your visitors see, so it’s important to create a good impression. An eye-catching header will encourage people to explore further. Here’s a look at some plugins that can help.

This article will take a look at some plugins that can help amplify the headers and footers of your WordPress site, and also we’ll go over some other information about what headers & footers contain differences between the two and more.

We’ll be going over:

So, let’s begin!

What Headers and Footers Contain

Most website headers will include a combination of some of the following:

  • Site title, site description and/or logo
  • Navigation
  • Social media icons
  • Hero images
  • In some themes, a header widget area

Likewise, your website’s footer can be overlooked but can hold plenty of useful information. This is where you can put useful links and credibility boosters. Don’t ignore footer content: a “Copyright 2020” notice in your footer makes you look like you haven’t updated your site since then.

Footers may contain:

  • Widget areas (“Fat footers” have become popular in recent years)
  • Copyright information with the current year, or an older year to the current year
  • Credits e.g. “Proudly powered by WordPress”
  • Links e.g. privacy policy, terms and conditions, sitemap, or custom menus.
  • Social media icons
  • Contact details
  • Email newsletter sign up forms
  • Website trust marks
  • A Back to Top link

Sometimes it’s better to use custom code to make a header or footer change. If you are adding a header widget area to a child theme, it needs to be compatible with your theme layout.

In other instances, it’s quicker and easier to use a plugin to make a header or footer modification. In fact, it’s surprising just how many header and footer enhancements plugin developers have thought of!

The Difference Between <head> and <header>

The header area is the top part of the page before the main content, after the <body> tag. It may be marked up as <div id=”header”> or with HTML5, the <header> tag.

The <head> element comes after the <html> tag and before the <body> tag. This holds information such as the page title, meta information, scripts and styles used on the page.

None of this information in <head> shows on the actual page as rendered, so strictly speaking it’s not part of the header. But a number of plugins tagged as “header” plugins actually target the <head> section.

What Plugins Can Add or Change in Headers and Footers

A lot, actually. When it comes to modifying headers and footers, plugins can:

  • Add notification bars, including messages, social media icons, and contact links
  • Include navigation enhancements e.g. mega menus (link) and menu icons
  • Add stickiness – fixing header elements to the top of the screen when you scroll
  • Provide custom headers (images)
  • Replace text or HTML code
  • Give you the ability to add mail signup forms

And more.

That being said, let’s take a look at available Header and Footer plugins. Each of these falls into a category of its own (e.g advertising, footer credits, etc).

Please note that these are NOT affiliates (we never have affiliate links), but good recommendations from us and others in the WordPress community.

Advertising

  • Ad Inserter

    Do you wish to monetize your site with ads? Try Ad Inserter. It injects ads either before or after the header tag or in your site’s footer and many other locations.

    It supports a ton of various ads (e.g. Google AdSense, Infolinks, etc) and can automatically insert ads on posts or pages. If you’d like to step it up a notch, Ad Inserter Pro plugin allows more precise ad placement, plus many other features.

    This 5-star rated plugin has over 200K active installs and is a safe bet for your ad inclusion.

    For additional options, check out other plugins which place ads.

Footer Credits

  • Remove Footer Credit

    Tired of “Proudly powered by WordPress” or similar? Ditch credits completely with this plugin, or replace them with text or HTML of your choice with Remove Footer Credit.

    It might take trial and error to find the right code to remove, however, it’s a simple and easy-to-use plugin.

    Plus, it’s popular. Currently, it sits with a 5-star rating and over 100k active installs.

    Interested in Remove Footer Credit?

Header and Footer Code

  • Head, Footer and Post Injections

    The Header, Footer and Post Injections plugin was made so you can simply copy code that services give you (e.g. Google Analytics) in a centralized point to manage them all.

    Plus, you can change your theme without losing the code injected.

    Some of its features include:

    • Adding code before, after, and within posts
    • Adding code before and after pages
    • Using PHP, JavaScript, and shortcodes

    It’s a 5-star plugin with over 300K downloads, so worth checking out to ensure your code stays in place.

    Interested in Head, Footer and Post Injections?

  • Branda

    Our very own Branda is a free WordPress white-labeling plugin that allows you to customize every aspect of WordPress, including headers and footers.

    You can quickly and easily remove the WordPress logo, include custom text in the footer, add color schemes, and much more. Even if you have a Multisite network, you can embed footer content.

    Branda features a ton of customizable options that go way beyond just headers and footers. Be sure to give it a try. After all, it’s rated 5-stars and has over 10k active installs.

Header Images

  • Unique Headers

    Well-chosen images can add extra visual appeal to your header area, and that’s where Unique Headers can help.

    Unique Headers shows different header images on different pages, depending on your configuration and theme support.

    You can adjust the header image on posts, pages, categories, and tag archives (BasePress only shows headers on the latter two).

    The custom header on a category archive page can be different from that on other pages
    The custom header on a category archive page can be different from that on other pages

    This plugin does not crop images to fit your theme, so make sure that you upload the correct image size to avoid stretching – 1600 x 640 px in my theme’s case. Check the header size of your theme in the Customizer.

    It’s a popular plugin, with over 30K active downloads and a 5-star rating.

    Interested in Unique Headers?

Menu Modification

  • Menu Icons by Themeisle

    Menu icons can enhance usability if partnered with appropriate navigation labels. This plugin adds icon sets including Dashicons, Font Awesome, and Genericons. SVG and custom images are also supported.

    One thing to keep in mind is you might need to add some custom CSS to change the menu display.

    That being said, it’s a good choice to try out with a 5-star rating and over 200K active downloads.

    Interested in Menu Icons by Themeisle?

  • Ivory Search

    For larger, content-heavy sites especially, it’s useful to have a search facility in the header. Adding the search to the navigation makes sense, as the top right is where many users would expect to find it.

    The Ivory Search plugin enhances the default WordPress search and additionally allows you to create custom search forms.

    Some other features include index & search shortcode contents, the ability to create an unlimited number of search forms, and can use multilingual search.

  • Max Mega Menu

    Install Max Mega Menu to build a stylish mega menu, or simply use it to alter the style of your header navigation.

    This plugin automatically converts your existing menus into a mega menu. You can also add widgets to the menu, restyle, and much more.

    The Max Mega Menu is extremely popular, with over 400K active installs and a 4.5-star rating.

    For more on how to use this plugin, read How to Add a Stunning Mega Menu to Your WordPress Site.

    Interested in Max Mega Menu?

Notification Bars

  • Speed Contact Bar

    Best used in the header, Speed Contact Bar is ideal when you want visitors to get in touch fast – for example, if you run a service business.

    The bar stands out well, the phone number is configured to dial directly if you’re on a mobile, and it comes with many design options.

    This plugin has over 10k active installs and a 4.5-star review.

    Interested in Speed Contact Bar?

Ribbons and Banners

  • Show Support Ribbon

    Do you have a cause to highlight? The Show Support Ribbon plugin adds a banner, ribbon, or button to your header, which can link anywhere.

    It will show on the top right corner of the page by default but can be moved to any corner and styled to match your branding.

    Some highlights are that no configuration is required, a plug-n-play functionality, and customization of the ribbon with your own CSS.

    This plugin doesn’t have a ton of active installs, but it does have a 5-star rating.

    Interested in Show Support Ribbon?

Sticky Headers

  • Sticky Menu & Sticky Header

    There is evidence that sticky navigation is preferable to users on sites with a specific call to action, long-form content, and young and old audiences.

    Not all themes support this feature, but Sticky Menu & Sticky Header plugin is an easy solution to keep your header bar always on top when you scroll. Use your browser inspector to find the relevant section to stick.

    It’s made so any element can stick (e.g. navigation menus). You can also upgrade to a Pro account if you need multiple sticky elements.

    With over 100k active installs and a 5-star rating, this plugin sticks out to us as a good choice.

    Interested in Sticky Menu & Sticky Header?

Stay Ahead(er) of the Game

As you’ve seen, the header and footer can be prime real estate on your website.

While you don’t want to overload them with content, well-chosen header and footer features can make it easier:

  • For visitors to contact you
  • To grow your email list
  • Monetize your site
  • Improve user experience
  • Brand your site more successfully

And more…

Hopefully, a few of these plugins can help your WordPress site head in the right direction!

What have you used to enhance your header and footer? What effect did it have?
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Claire Brotherton
Claire Brotherton A web developer and accessibility advocate based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Claire works with businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs who are passionate about access and inclusion.
N. Fakes
N. Fakes Nate is an L.A.-based writer. When he's not pounding keys on his MacBook, you might find him scribbling inappropriate things as a syndicated cartoonist. He's fond of family time, hanging out at Venice Beach, and pizza coupons.