More and more theme authors seem to be encrypting their theme footers in order to make sure people keep links back to their website in place. This guide gives a quick and easy method to decrypt such footers so you can customise such templates.
This file is protected by copyright law. To reverse engineer or decode this file is strictly prohibited.
To reverse engineering this file could cause you to go to prison for copyright infringement!
In our opinion such warnings carry little legal weight – if any. If the license the theme is released under requires you keep any links in place then you should still be allowed to decrypt the footer however keep any links intact.
Please note: the contents of this article should not be construed as legal advice, we are not liable for any actions you may take as a result of reading this article.
Decrypting the footers
Encrypted footers come in many, many forms and it would be impossible to create a single guide to cover them all – this article aims to help you decrypting the most common types. In actual fact we’re not going to be decrypting anything – to start open the footer.php file of your theme, chances are you’ll find something like this:
Before the start of the PHP code add the following HTML comment:
<!-- start footer -->
After, add the following comment:
<!-- end footer -->
Save and upload the new footer to your blog and open your blog’s home page, view the source of the page by right clicking and selecting View Page Source (wording may differ slightly depending on browser)
Either by looking or using the Find function (Ctrl+F) look for your HTML footer start comment in the source. Then simply copy the HTML between the footer start and footer end comments:
Then just paste it back into your footer.php file, overwriting the encrypted code.
You’re almost done – just one last step – add back an import PHP WordPress call above the </body> tag:
<?php wp_footer(); ?>
The contents of your footer.php file should now look something like this:
And there you have it – your decrypted footer! What you do from here is up to you but remember the terms of the license the theme was released under and whether links are required to be left in place.