Screen grab if Divi theme icon with title text "Creating a Child Theme to Customize the Divi Footer."As many of you who have read my blog posts or taken my How to Build a Website in 8 Hours or Less courses know, I really like the Divi theme by Elegant Themes as a way for beginners to create beautiful looking websites, easily. One of the few issues with Divi, for beginners, is that you have to edit the footer file to change the name and copyright information displayed in the footer.

By default the Divi theme reads “Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress.” Most companies want to put their own name and copyright information here. In order to do this, you will open and edit the footer.php theme file. To protect these changes, you will need to create a child theme.

What is a Child Theme – Review

The theme of your WordPress website manages the style and layout of your website. This includes colors, where widgets are located, and menus. Sometimes, you need to make changes to a theme for example, change the file that controls what appears in the footer. The challenge is that if you do this, you will lose your changes when you update the file. A child theme is a partial theme that adopts the styles and files of the original theme (the parent theme). This allows you to make copy specific files into the child theme, make changes to those, and then keep the changes when the parent theme is updated.

For more information on Child Themes, see:

What is a WordPress Child Theme Child Themes Codex

Installing the WordPress Child Theme Configurator Plugin

The WordPress plugin, Child Theme Configurator is available to help you create a child theme without the need for file editing software or FTP. As Always – Backup Your Site Before Making Changes.

Child Theme Configurator is not the first WordPress plugin to create child themes. It is, however, the first one I’ve Directory Listing Image of the Child Theme Configurator Pluginfound that uses the appropriate method to create a child theme. It uses the wp_enqueue method to bring in the style sheet in the functions.php file instead of using @import in the style.css file. If this sounds too much like programming, don’t worry. The beauty of this plugin is that a child theme can be created and many changes can be made without needing to know much, if any, programming.

Note that some parent themes are not written to allow child themes, or have special configurations that may not work with the plugin. Divi works fine for this lesson.

Video Demonstration of Creating and Configuring the Child Theme

Creating Your Child Theme

From WordPress Dashboard, install and Activate Child Theme Configurator.

Once activated, the Dashboard > Tools menu displays the option Child Themes. Select this.

This takes you to the initial Create Your Child Theme box.

The Parent/Child dialogue box in the Child Theme Configurator plugin.

By default, the currently Activated Theme is the theme set to be the parent. The parent theme is the main theme that sets the styling and layout.

The child theme name is listed by default as “parentname-child”. In my case, I’m using the Divi theme, so it displays divi-child. This parentname-child is the standard naming convention for child themes, but you may change this to anything you want.

You may select to copy parent theme menus, widgets and customizer options. If you have already made changes in these items and want to copy them, you may. For our purposes, we are going to leave this.

By default, the child theme creator copies all of the style sheets for the theme. It is possible to select those that won’t be changed and have them not selected. For beginners, I don’t recommend this. If later your site is having any performance issues and you want to dig through, you can.

Click on the button Generate/Rebuild Child Theme files to create your child theme.

Notice that several configuration tabs now appear. The free version of this plugin has several fairly advanced options for creating and configuring child themes.

Screen grab of the configuration tabs that allow you to change settings in Child Theme Configurator.

Adding the Footer.php File to the Child Theme

For our purposes, we’re going to be editing the footer file. Select the Files tab.

Here, you can click to select files that should be copied into the child theme. These files will then be able to be edited without losing changes when the theme is updated.

Screen grab of Files tab in Child Theme Configurator. Allows you to copy files to your child theme.

Select Footer and click the Copy to Selected Child Theme button.

Note that if the child theme you have is currently active, when you copy files into the theme, they will immediately be shown as part of the theme.

Under Child Theme Files, you will see the files that have been added by default. Functions.php is automatically added when the child theme is created and is required for the child theme to work. In the last step, we added footer. We can now select the footer file and edit it in the editor.

The Delete button will delete the selected files, if clicked.

Select footer and click the link: Click here to edit template files using the Theme Editor

This opens the style editor which you can also access from the Dashboard > Appearances > Editor.

By default, the style.css file is loaded into the editor, so we’ll have to open our footer file. Our Divi Child theme is selected. If the child theme you created is not showing here, use the dropdown menu to select it.

Screen grab of WordPress editor select footer.php to edit the theme's footer.

To everyone who have taken my classes, yes this is the area I usually tell you to run away from. Today, we’re breaking all the rules.

Editing the Footer File

In the right sidebar, select Footer (footer.php).

This opens the Footer file.

Note that you are looking at the actual coding that creates and manages your WordPress footer in the Divi theme. Danger Will Robinson, doing something wrong here can definitely break your footer and possibly your whole website. Proceed with caution knowing that you should easily be able to use the child theme configurator to delete the file and start over, if needed.

We need to find the text that we will edit. You can do this by scrolling or using the Find function.

Scroll down to

<p id=”footer-info”><?php printf( __( ‘Designed by %1$s | Powered by %2$s’, ‘Divi’ ), ‘<a href=”” title=”Premium WordPress Themes”>Elegant Themes</a>’, ‘<a href=””>WordPress</a>’ ); ?></p>

Or select <ctrl> + F (Windows) or <cmd> + F (Mac) to open the Finder screen. Enter id=”footer-info” to find the following notation. This will take you to the area we need to edit.

Screen grab of Find box in WordPress editor searching for footer-info.

The finder screen appears at the top right of your editor window.

What we’re looking at is a paragraph markup surrounding some php codes that is pulling in variables to print out “Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress.

<p id=”footer-info”><?php printf( __( ‘Designed by %1$s | Powered by %2$s’, ‘Divi’ ), ‘<a href=”” title=”Premium WordPress Themes”>Elegant Themes</a>’, ‘<a href=””>WordPress</a>’ ); ?></p>

After the markup <p id=”footer-info”>, remove from <?php to ?>

Which leaves behind the following codes. <p id=”footer-info”> </p>

Enter your text between these codes as shown.

<p id=”footer-info”>Copyright 2015 How to Build an Online Course</p>

Note that if you want to use the copyright symbol instead of writing out the text, you need to enter the &copy; symbol. The same paragraph shown above with the copyright symbol instead is:

<p id=”footer-info”>&copy; 2015 How to Build an Online Course</p>

Once you have made this change, select the Save Changes button. It’s very important to save your changes.

Now in order to see the change, there is one last important step we have to take. We have to set the Child Theme as the Active theme.

Go to Appearance > Themes and select your child theme. Activate it and you should now see the changes you made.

Note that if you purchase the Divi theme from any links within this site, we do receive a commission. Stay tuned for more lessons on using the Divi theme in your website.