How To Add Code To The Header Or Footer In WordPress

WordPress is an open source project so anyone can change and redistribute the software This article will show you how to add code to the header or footer in WordPress.

wordpress logoWordPress is the most used website building tool or CMS (content management system) on the web today. The platform is extremely flexible. Almost any kind of website can be built using WordPress. Things like social media networks, job portals or boards, web directories and much more, can be developed using WordPress as a base.

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There are many functions of WordPress which require verification or code installation in the header or footer. This includes Google Analytics and Search Console verification, Facebook pixel installation, or Google Adsense setup. So how do you add code to the header or footer in WordPress?

The WordPress dashboard and administrative tools don’t offer a clear way of adding custom code to your footer and header. This seems like a huge oversight to me, but luckily there are plenty of ways to do this.

Method #1: Use a WordPress Theme

Method #2: Use a WordPress Plugin

Insert Headers and Footers

H&F (or Header, Footer, and Post Injections)

Method #3: Add Codes By Editing Files Directly

Editing The Files In Your WordPress Theme Editor

Simple WordPress Tips

Plugins Are Easy But Code Is Faster

Method #1: Use a WordPress Theme

Some themes come with the ability to easily add custom code snippets in the header and footer via the theme’s control panel. Your theme might support this so that should be the first place you look.

Normally, you can add custom code by selecting ‘Appearance’ and choosing ‘Customize’ from the WordPress dashboard. Then look for theme settings from the available options. You’ll typically find the ‘Header/Footer Scripts’ option there. The name might be something else but it’ll be similar.

Add code via theme settings

This is the easiest way to do it but every theme wont support this feature

However, using your theme’s appearance settings may not be the best solution for adding code to the header and footer in WordPress. This is because you’ll often lose any custom code you place there if you switch themes. While some website owners won’t mind copying and pasting their codes again, it’s still a ‘pain in the butt’.

Method #2: Use a WordPress Plugin

WordPress plugins make almost everything so damn easy. A plugin is the second choice to consider if your theme doesn’t have an insert header or footer scripts feature. Plus it might be a better option since you won’t lose data if design changes are made. Also, you can manage all your custom codes in one place.

However, don’t go using any plugin you find because some of them can break your site. Ideally, avoid anything with a poor star rating, and check to see if the plugin has been recently updated. Plugins that haven’t been updated could be a security issue! Here are some plugins that have a proven track record of getting the job done.

Insert Headers and Footers

The Insert Headers and Footers WordPress plugin can add code to the footer. The plugin inserts custom code in the

section (header) of your website and right before your section ends or above (aka your footer). Definitely, a great choice if you’re looking for something simple without complex functions.

H&F (or Header, Footer, and Post Injections)

Unlike the previous option, H&F supports way more places that you can add custom code. You can insert code in your footer, header, and right after or before the body tag. In addition, you can execute code in the homepage only or everywhere and even insert code in just posts or pages. Also, it supports mobile and AMP only code insertion.

Header, footer, and post injections

This plugin has a wealth of features as you can see from the available tabs that come in handy

Method #3: Add Codes By Editing Files Directly

Every WordPress installation has primary header.php and footer.php files located in your website directory (Accessible via FTP). The files you need to edit are associated with your theme and will be located in the given theme’s folder wp-content/themes/theme-folder-name.

Preferably, don’t edit your theme’s parent files. You most likely have a child theme and if not, you’ll have to create one. A child theme is a lightweight version of your WordPress theme that is connected or linked with the original.

A Child theme allows Webmasters to alter/edit an original theme’s core files without permanently doing so. Basically, you can download updates to the primary version of a theme without worrying about data loss.

purple flowerEditing theme files directly is risky because the moment you do an update, you can lose all your customization.

Editing The Files In Your WordPress Theme Editor

This function is not available at all hosts. I’ve hosted several places where they turn off this feature automatically to prevent novice users from screwing up their website too much. If you can’t reach this code editor, you can always use FTP to access the necessary files.

Firstly, back up your header and footer files in a safe place. This way, if something goes wrong you can restore them later.

Log in to your WordPress admin panel. Look for ‘Appearance’ from the Dashboard menu located on the left. Then click on ‘Theme Editor’. You’ll see a default warning about editing theme files directly. Read its contents accordingly and then click ‘I Understand’ to proceed.

Select the theme you want to edit from the dropdown menu on the right.

Editing the header and footer WordPress files

Your child theme should have the word sample or child or something relevant after its name.

someone working on a pc with a wordpress tee shirt onUnder ‘Theme Files’, click the header.php or footer.php to begin editing its contents depending on where you want to add your code.

I like to add the code just before the end of whatever section you’re adding to, e.g. ,

Updating your header and footer files

Sections will be color coded and WordPress will often detect programming errors for you.

Simple WordPress Tips

These tips will help you get the most out of the CMS.

Always use a Child Theme when editing your parent WordPress theme.

Use WordPress optimized web hosting services or setup caching on your server to speed up the platform. This is important because your website will inevitably grow and become bulky over time.

Similar to the Windows operating system, the popularity of WordPress has made it a good target for hackers. Generally, the more people use particular software, the more of a target it becomes. So make sure you have security measures in place.

Use plugins but don’t over do it because you can seriously slow down your site. Only install WordPress plugins that are absolutely needed.

Plugins Are Easy But Code Is Faster

The ability to customize virtually anything about the WordPress platform is one of the reasons why so many people use it. Your WordPress theme may already have a way for you to add code in your header and footer. While this is the first place to look, it’s not the most ideal solution.

adding codeWordPress plugins help non-programmers and web developers customize their sites with ease or little coding. That’s why it’s the best route for newbies. However, I recommend that you manually insert your codes if you know what you’re doing because it’s actually better (in many cases). This is because your website will be executing fewer programs in the background, which increases your site’s overall speed.

What’s up ladies and dudes! Great to finally meet you, and I hope you enjoyed this post. I started my first online business in 2010 promoting computer software and now I help newbies start their own businesses. Sign up for my #1 recommended training course and learn how to start your business for FREE!

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