WordPress has a default widget that is used for logging into your WordPress site. This widget is known as Meta. Meta works just fine, but it can be a little annoying when it doesn’t fit into the sidebar or footer of your theme. It also contains several other links that you might not want. Meta doesn’t have a lot of options. You can hide it based on some criteria that you choose but that’s about it. Meta’s bloated, ugly, and in the way.
The good news is that you’re not stuck with it. You can create your own login link. This tutorial will show you how to create your own login link and place it at the very bottom of your website’s page. I will also show you a few alternatives to creating your own link.
Build Your Own Link
This tutorial will show you how to create a login link and add it to the footer. This isn’t the space you add widgets to. This is the very bottom portion of the theme, under the widgets.
You don’t have to know HTML or PHP to use this method, however you will want to be careful as you are making changes to your code. Any one that can copy and paste can do this – even if you are Groot. Well, maybe not if you are Groot. Just be cautious and you should be fine.
Go to Appearance and select Editor.
Next select Footer.
Now before you do anything else, make a backup of the footer code in case something goes wrong. Highlight the code in the editor window, copy it, and paste it into a text editor such as Notepad. Now save it and close it. This is your backup, you won’t be modifying it. Save this somewhere and only come back to it if something goes wrong.
Next, scroll to the bottom of the editor window and look for this line.
This example uses the Twenty Fourteen theme, so my code looks like this:
<a href=”<?php echo esc_url( __( ‘http://wordpress.org/’, ‘twentyfourteen’ ) ); ?>”><?php printf( __( ‘Proudly powered by %s’, ‘twentyfourteen’ ), ‘WordPress’ ); ?></a>
Copy and paste this code into a text editor. Paste it twice so you can edit the second version. This will keep a version unaltered in case you need to refer back to it.
This code contains a link to WordPress.org. Some corporate websites hate this.
Next, replace http://wordpress.org/
with your URL. It will look like this:
<a href=”<?php echo esc_url( __( ‘http://YourURL.com/’, ‘twentyfourteen’ ) ); ?>”><?php printf( __( ‘Proudly powered by %s’, ‘twentyfourteen’ ), ‘WordPress’ ); ?></a>
Next replace ( __( ‘Proudly powered by %s’, ‘twentyfourteen’ ), ‘WordPress’ )
Your code will now look like this, only it should have your actual URL:
<a href=”<?php echo esc_url( __( ‘http://YourURL.com/’, ‘twentyfourteen’ ) ); ?>”><?php printf(‘Login’ ); ?></a>
Next, add the login extension to your URL: wp-login.php
Your code will look like this:
<a href=”<?php echo esc_url( __( ‘http://YourURL.com/wp-login.php’, ‘twentyfourteen’ ) ); ?>”><?php printf(‘Login’ ); ?></a>
Since you don’t care about ‘twentyfourteen’ you can delete that too. Your code will now look like this:
<a href=”<?php echo esc_url( __( ‘http://YourURL.com/wp-login.php’) ); ?>”><?php printf(‘Login’ ); ?></a>
Back in the editor of your WordPress website, delete the code that you copied to make this code from and paste the new string of code where the original code was.
Be careful to place the new code where the old code was. If you paste it in the wrong spot your computer can explode. Well… not really, but it can cause problems and you’ll have to use the backup code and start over.
Now select Update File. The original code is now gone and replaced with the new code.
Now go to your site and check it out. It will only show Login in the footer.
Why is this good? Why remove the word ‘WordPress’? I mentioned before that some companies hate it. Some companies use website blockers to block WordPress websites so their employees will not have access. Some of the blockers use the information in the footer to determine if it’s a site to block. Why block it if it’s a legitimate website? There are a lot of personal blogs that are built with WordPress. There are also a lot of websites that are relevant to the companies’ business that use WordPress, but rather than filter through them all they assume that a relevant and legitimate website will fix the problem on their end.
If you change themes this modification will have to be made in your new theme.
Modifying Your Code in Premium Themes
What if you’re using a premium theme like one from Elegant Themes? Here’s how to make the adjustments and still keep the link to Elegant Themes in the footer.
In this example I’m using a theme from Elegant Themes called Divi. In the footer you’ll see two links: one to Elegant Themes and the other to WordPress. We will keep Elegant Themes and replace WordPress with the login link.
Go to the themes Editor and select Footer.
Replace this code:
<p id=”footer-info”><?php printf( __( ‘Designed by %1$s | Powered by %2$s’, ‘Divi’ ), ‘<a href=”http://www.elegantthemes.com” title=”Premium WordPress Themes”>Elegant Themes</a>’, ‘<a href=”http://www.wordpress.org”>WordPress</a>’ ); ?></p>
With this code (but with your actual URL):
<p id=”footer-info”><?php printf( __( ‘Designed by %1$s | Admin %2$s’, ‘Divi’ ), ‘<a href=”http://www.elegantthemes.com” title=”Premium WordPress Themes”>Elegant Themes</a>’, ‘<a href=”http://yourURL.com/wp-login.php”>Login</a>’ ); ?></p>
Now you can remove the Meta widget completely. No more trying to make it fit your sidebar or footer because you no longer need it.
Maybe you don’t want to work with code. You still have a few options. You can get rid of it and not have a login, or you can use a plugin to build your own custom Meta.
Getting Rid of Meta
One option is to do away with Meta completely and not have a login link. This works fine. You just have to type in /wp-login.php after your URL. If your browser is keeping your history then your login URL might be one of your choices as you start typing in the address bar. Just for simplicity, especially if you’re logging in from different computers and devices, you still might want a link.
Plugins to Customize Meta
If you just want to customize Meta but keep it in your sidebar or footer you can use a plugin. The plugins allow you to change the links and the look of Meta. There are many choices. Here are two:
Meta Widget Customizer gives you a custom widget that looks like a standard login that most users are used to seeing on websites. You get to select from a list of choices what shows up in the widget. The one shown has fields for username and password and includes tabs for Login, Register, and Lost Password, RSS, and a link. It’s not bad. It does the job, it’s free, and has more features than Meta.
Custom Meta Widget looks like the standard Meta widget but it allows you to turn off and hide the links. You can have just login if you want. You can also add your own custom link. It’s also free.
Having to deal with Meta somewhere on my WordPress site has always bothered me. Using the methods described here you can either get rid of it completely, and solve the problem of being blocked by some companies’ networks as a bonus, or you can customize your Meta and have the links you want. Either way you go, you can have a little more control of the way your WordPress website looks and acts.
I’d like to give a special thank you to Brenda for allowing me to guest post on The Digital Inkwell. Thanks Brenda!
About Randy Brown
Randy Brown is an east TN-based freelance writer and WordPress solution consultant. He loves writing, guitar, and all things geeky.
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