Your Website Should Not Have “Designed By…” in the Footer

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What does it say at the bottom of your website?

This is likely to be a controversial statement (amongst some), but I’m going to put it out there…your web designer should not be adding their details to your website’s footer.

It is a fairly common practice for web designers/developers to have their details on your site somewhere, but there’s a couple of problems with this that you, and even they, may not realise.

Why do they do it?

For those that do (not all do), it’s generally for advertising purposes. If someone sees your website and thinks “Wow, that’s an epicly awesome website”, they may want to know who designed it. At the bottom of that page (and probably every page) is a strap ‘Designed by Web Designers‘.

They may also do it for the backlink to their website. This is also why the link can sometimes have an alternative anchor text (e.g. ‘Web Designers in Manchester – Squidgy Designers’)

Do you want it there?

It’s your website. You’ve paid someone to design it for you, they’ve provided that service – check your contract, does it say that they’ll place a link on the site in exchange for a discount? If not, why is it there?

There are few other scenarios in our lives where we would be happy with what is tantamount to an advert, being plopped on a product we’d purchased. Imagine buying a car and when you collect it, the showroom had stuck a vinyl banner on the side of the vehicle.

Remember that any reputable design agency is going to transfer the intellectual property of the creative design over to you once the site is finished – so you’re not leasing or renting the site (like you might lease or rent a car) – it’s yours. So feel free to go ahead and remove that link if you want.

You can always ask your designer to remove it, or do it yourself. It’s up to you.

Would the link be considered unnatural?

When it comes to links, if a link is considered to be unnatural – i.e. it doesn’t naturally belong, or has been artificially placed –  it can sometimes be ignored, and sometimes have a negative impact on the recipient. For example, if you have a page on your site and it’s called “Contact”, it would be perfectly natural to have a link to your social media profile(s). If you write an ‘About’ page for your website, and you’re part of a group of companies, it would make sense to have a link to the parent company or other companies within the group.

Having a link in the footer of your site, linking to a completely random site (remember that unless your site talks about website design or development, linking to a website design or development 3rd party is actually odd, misplaced and unnatural) may appear weird.

What can I do if I have this link on my site?

First of all, I would suggest talking to your designer. For the most part, the designers that I work with and know are wonderfully awesome people and will be happy to accommodate a request to remove this link (or heck, maybe even knock a bit off the price). These links are added likely with the best intentions, I just don’t think they belong.

If you own the IP (see above) on the site, it’s yours to remove (you will need a certain ‘level’ of access to be able to do this, but likely no high level of skill).

If you’re not sure how to check this or want to have a chat about how to go about correcting it, you can always have a chat – I’m always happy to help.