Twenty Twelve – Footer Widgets Tutorial

Adding footer widgets to Twenty Twelve theme, Part Two of a five part series on Modifying Twenty Twelve theme. If you’ve read the first part of this tutorial, we added a second sidebar, created a custom body class and designed a few three column layouts to choose from.

If you’re just now starting this tutorial, feel free to download the free Blank Child Theme to begin creating your own theme. Each section of this tutorial is independent and can be done individually, so you can use what you want of it and in any order.

We’ll be editing three files

functions.php
style.css
footer.php

The first thing to do is to copy footer.php from the Twenty Twelve directory into your child theme folder.

Adding Footer Widget Areas

In the last tutorial we added a new sidebar (widget area), we’ll be adding three more widget areas but this time they will display within the footer area of our theme.
If you’ve done the last tutorial the following code can be placed just before this line

}
add_action( 'widgets_init', 'mytheme_widgets_init' );

If you’re just starting now, simply add it to your functions.php after the opening php tag.

// Register footer widgets
register_sidebar( array(
	'name' => __( 'Footer Widget One', 'mytheme' ),
	'id' => 'sidebar-5',
	'description' => __( 'Found at the bottom of every page (except 404s and optional homepage template) Left Footer Widget.', 'mytheme' ),
	'before_widget' => '<aside id="%1$s" class="widget %2$s">',
	'after_widget' => '</aside>',
	'before_title' => '<h3 class="widget-title">',
	'after_title' => '</h3>',
) );

register_sidebar( array(
	'name' => __( 'Footer Widget Two', 'mytheme' ),
	'id' => 'sidebar-6',
	'description' => __( 'Found at the bottom of every page (except 404s and optional homepage template) Center Footer Widget.', 'mytheme' ),
	'before_widget' => '<aside id="%1$s" class="widget %2$s">',
	'after_widget' => "</aside>",
	'before_title' => '<h3 class="widget-title">',
	'after_title' => '</h3>',
) );

register_sidebar( array(
	'name' => __( 'Footer Widget Three', 'mytheme' ),
	'id' => 'sidebar-7',
	'description' => __( 'Found at the bottom of every page (except 404s and optional homepage template) Right Footer Widget.', 'mytheme' ),
	'before_widget' => '<aside id="%1$s" class="widget %2$s">',
	'after_widget' => "</aside>",
	'before_title' => '<h3 class="widget-title">',
	'after_title' => '</h3>',
) );

This will register three widget areas. Just like the sidebar we added last time, each widget area has it’s own ID. Twenty Twelve has three widget areas with IDs sidebar-1, sidebar-2 and sidebar-3, since the extra sidebar we added used the ID sidebar-4, we’ll continue from there with 5,6 and 7.

The order these widget areas show up in Appearance > Widgets can be changed, but it involves de-registering the default widgets then adding them back in our own order. This also causes issues with a particular full-width body class in twenty Twelve. It can be done, I’ve done it in Twenty Plus Pro, but it’s really more work than it’s worth, so I’m not including it.

Save functions.php and close it. If you check Appearance > Widgets you should notice three new widget areas. Go ahead and place widgets in them, I usually put calendar widgets as they are the widest widgets available and work nicely for testing.

Don’t worry if you don’t see them on the front page, we still need to add them to our template files.

Add Widgets to Footer.php

Open footer.php that you copied to your child theme folder and find the line that reads..

<footer id="colophon" role="contentinfo">

Directly under this line add the following code

<?php 
/* footer sidebar */ 
if ( ! is_404() ) : ?> 
	<div id="footer-widgets" class="widget-area three"> 
		 
		<div class="widget-left"> 
			<?php if ( is_active_sidebar( 'sidebar-5' ) ) : ?> 
					<?php dynamic_sidebar( 'sidebar-5' ); ?> 
			<?php endif; ?> 
		</div> 
 
		<div class="widget-center"> 
			<?php if ( is_active_sidebar( 'sidebar-6' ) ) : ?> 
			<?php dynamic_sidebar( 'sidebar-6' ); ?> 
			<?php endif; ?> 
		</div> 
 
		<div class="widget-right"> 
			<?php if ( is_active_sidebar( 'sidebar-7' ) ) : ?> 
					<?php dynamic_sidebar( 'sidebar-7' ); ?> 
			<?php endif; ?> 
		</div> 	
	</div><!-- #footer-widgets --> 							
<?php endif; ?>

Save and close footer.php.

This calls each of the widget areas we registered in functions.php. Notice each one uses the same ID as we used when we registered them. Now your widgets should show up on your website, but we still need to style them.

Style Footer Widgets

Open style.css in your child theme and add the following code to it.

/* ===[ Footer Widget Areas ]=== */

.site-info { clear: both; }

#footer-widgets {
    width: 100%;
    border-top: none;
}
#footer-widgets .widget li { 
    list-style-type: none; 
}

@media screen and (min-width: 960px) {
.widget-left {
    float: left;
    margin-right: 3.5%;
    width: 31%;
    clear: none;
}
.widget-center {
    float: left;
    width: 31%;
    clear: none;
}
.widget-right {
    float: right;
    width: 31%;
    margin-left: 3.5%;
    clear: none;
	}
}

The first bit of code simply tells the entire footer widget area to display 100% wide, each widget area within that is 30.85% wide with a 3.7% right margin. This gives us our basic layout, a lot like Twenty Eleven used.

We also placed the CSS within an @media conditional, so the widgets will display like this only if viewed on a desktop.

Next we need to add CSS for IE8 and IE7, below what we’ve just added copy and paste this.

/* for IE8 and IE7 */
.ie #footer-widgets.three .widget {
    float: left;
    margin-right: 3.1%;
    width: 29.85%;
    clear: none;
}
.ie #footer-widgets.three .widget + .widget + .widget { margin-right: 3.1%; }

It’s basically the same as above, but we’ve made the widget areas slightly more narrow 29.85% so they look good in IE.

Since Twenty Twelve includes a homepage template with 2 footer widgets already, we won’t display these ones on that particular template, so using a CSS conditional, we’ll hide them for that page.

/* Hide footer widgets Homepage Template */
.template-front-page #footer-widgets { display: none; }

Your new footer widgets should now look just about perfect, here’s a screenshot of how they should look.

Twenty Twelve - Footer Widgets

There’s one last thing I’ll add to this tutorial, it’s a small fix for the default Homepage Template widgets in IE8.

If you view the Twenty Twelve Official Demo in IE8 you should notice the footer widgets stack on top of each other. They don’t in IE7 or IE9 and 10, only in IE8, so here’s a fix for that. It’s entirely up to you if you want to add it or not.

/* ===[ IE Homepage Template Widget fix ]=== */
.ie .template-front-page .first.front-widgets,
.ie .template-front-page.two-sidebars .widget-area .front-widgets {
    float: left;
    margin-bottom: 24px;
    width: 51.875% ;
}
.ie .template-front-page .second.front-widgets { clear: right; }
.ie .template-front-page .first.front-widgets,
.ie .template-front-page.two-sidebars .widget-area .front-widgets + .front-widgets {
    float: right;
    margin: 0 0 24px;
    width: 39.0625% ;
}
.ie .template-front-page.two-sidebars .widget,
.ie .template-front-page.two-sidebars .widget:nth-child(even) { float: none; }
.ie .template-front-page .widget-area { clear: both; }

.ie .template-front-page .widget {
    width: 100% !important;
    border: none;
}
.ie .template-front-page .first.front-widgets { 
	width: 51.875%;
    float: left ;
}
.ie  .template-front-page .second.front-widgets {
    width: 39.0625%;
    float: right ;
}

You can download the Twenty Twelve child theme with footer code already added from here Twentytwelve-Footers

You can view the theme so far on Github where I’ll be updating this as the tutorial continues.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and let me know how your theme turned out by leaving a comment!

133 thoughts on “Twenty Twelve – Footer Widgets Tutorial

  1. Zeaks

    @Nina, the FrontPage template was designed to use it’s own footer widgets, in this tutorial the footer widgets we added are hidden on that template.If you link the page with the issue I’ll take a look.

    1. Nina

      Hi Zeaks,

      Sorry it has taken some time to upload the site to a live server so that you can have a look at what I mean. You can have a look at the footer widget on this site: http://www.advantagereklame.com

      As you can see the footer widget is much narrower on the front page. It looks perfect on all the other pages.

      Thanks
      Nina

      1. Zeaks

        It looks like the CSS for the front page footer widgets is causing the issue. This section here

        .template-front-page-no-title .widget-area .widget, .template-front-page-no-title.two-sidebars .widget-area .front-widgets {
            border-bottom: 0 none;
            float: left;
            margin-bottom: 1.71429rem;
            margin-left: 70px;
            width: 51.875%;
        }

        Try adding this to the bottom of your CSS

        .template-front-page-no-title .widget-area .widget,
         .template-front-page-no-title.two-sidebars .widget-area .front-widgets {
            margin-left: 0;
            width: 100%;
        }

        It may require a bit more style added, but that should expand them on the front page anyways.

      2. Nina

        Thanks Zeaks,
        When adding your code to my CSS file I can see that the footer widgets expand as I want them to, but the front page widgets gets all screwed up, I guess it’s because they all get referenced by widget-area. I have tried to copy out the code that references widget-area and changing it to footer-area but I can’t seem to figure out all the elements I should change.

        Any ideas on what I need to “duplicate” for the footer in order to get it as wide as it should be??

        Thanks
        Nina

  2. Madeleine

    Hi Zeaks,

    I think I followed your tutorial correctly, but I’m having some problems so perhaps not. In the dashboard, the extra widget areas are showing (Footer Widget One, Footer Widget Two and Footer Widget Three). However when I put widgets e.g. calendars in them, nothing shows up on my site.

    I did have some problems when updating the functions.php file. If I copied the entire file and added code, there was an error (unfortunately I can’t remember exactly what it said), so I made a blank functions.php file and this then added the new widget areas. I did the same with the footer.php file, but I’m wondering if this will have made it not work?

    I did not follow the previous tutorial to add a 3 column layout. Does this affect things?

    Any thoughts? I’m a bit of a web design novice, so bear with me!

    Thanks,
    Madeleine

      1. Madeleine

        Hi Zeaks,

        Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I have actually just managed to sort it. I must have made a mistake in copying the code somewhere, as I started again and it worked no problem. I also set the width of the footer widgets to 100% so that I have them stacked vertically at the bottom, rather than in 3 columns.

        Thanks for the great tutorials!

  3. Matt

    Hi,
    I have tried implimenting this a couple times but keep runnning into the same problem, my third widget is not sitting on the right of the footer but is below the first widget (like it is being pushed over).

    any pointers would be great,
    many thanks
    Matt

    1. Zeaks

      Hi Matt, looks like there’s some padding or something causing the widget to drop below. Reduce the width of the widgets slightly like this.

      #footer-widgets.three .widget {
          max-width: 29.85%;
          width: 29.85%;
      }

      Instead of the suggested max-width: 30.85%; width: 30.85%;, try 28 if 29 still doesn’t fit.

      1. Matt

        Thank you, that worked perfectly.

        One question though, not that its a big deal, is there a way to center each widget within thier respective containers, at the moment the all sit to the left.

        ..but THANK YOU for sharing such information.

        Matt

  4. Zeaks

    Hi Matt, the widgets actually take up the same amount of space, and all the space is used. If you were to center the widgets, the text within the widget would be centered and I don’t think that’s what you want. Each widget is a different width,you could adjust the right widget like this which makes it look slightly more centered.

    .widget.widget_facebook_likebox { text-align: center; }
  5. Zeaks

    @Nina please open a forum post, it’s difficult to help you through comments. I think I might be confused when you’re talking about the front page and front page template. Please explain what template you are using for your index, if it’s a custom template, the front page page template or a regular page template.

  6. Jessi

    Thanks for this tutorial. Very helpful. I used your tutorial to do 4 widgets across the bottom instead of 3.

    I added two text fields into widget 3 and I’m wanting them to stack. However, they are displaying across and making my 4th widget appear under the 2nd widget area. I’ve played around with the CSS, but can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

    Any suggestions?

    1. Zeaks

      Hi Jessi, I’d have to see your code, but I noticed you’re widgets are 25% wide, that doesn’t leave any room for margins. Post any code you’ve modified on pastebin.com and I’ll take a look.

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  8. Belinda

    Was about to have a go at adding widgets and I saw your post so I followed your instructions…

    I’m using firefox, and the 3 widgets didn’t fit at that width, I had to reduce width a little to stop one getting pushed down. Did that not happen to you?

    max-width: 30.85%;
    width: 30.83%;

  9. Carol Tompkins

    Thanks for getting back to me so rapidly. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be working for me. To clarify, I want to turn off the three footers in ALL of the pages except for on the “home” page. I changing the code to say:

    /* footer sidebar */
    if ( ! is_front_page_alt() ) : ?> (….rest of code)

    This was tried since my home page a new front-page-alt.php (template) that has a sidebar.

    Trying ” if ( ! is_page() ) : ?> (….rest of code) ” resulted in the footers being turned off on all of the pages, including my new home page template. Closer to what I want except I need the 3 widgets to show up in the footer of my new “home” page.

    Is there a way to say ” only show widget-area three on my home page (front-page-alt)?

    I’m using your Twenty Twelve Pro as a base but my php skills aren’t the best..

    thanks,
    Carol

    1. Zeaks

      is_front_page would work for the page that is your front page, doesn’t matter if it’s a template or normal blog posts. Open a forum post and show me the code you’ve used in footer.php and I’ll take a look.

  10. Daniel

    Hi,

    I’m having issues with this modification as well. I triple-checked that I’m following the instructions in this post. However, I don’t have the areas to add widgets under Appearance > Widgets. There are the default locations and the 2nd sidebar I added based on another one of your tutorials. The footer.php file is located within my child theme. Could this be a cache issue?

    1. Zeaks

      Hi Daniel, I doubt it’s a cache issue if it’s not showing up in Appearance > widgets, caching plugins only cache the front end usually.
      If you’ve already added a sidebar make sure all your sidebar id’s are unique. If you still can’t see an issue after checking that , open a forum post and use pastebin.com to show me your code.

  11. DrGEN

    Hi!
    thx for the tutorial.
    I made exactly what you said but I only can put one widget in each column. If I put a second one, this is appearing in the next widget area (column).

    Where is my mistake?

    pls help!
    thanks in advance.

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  13. Zeaks

    Try adding this to your CSS, it makes the widgets display properly, but they are not in the proper order from what i can tell. You’ll need to move them around to place them where needed until I figure out what the issue is.

    /* Increase theme width to 1000px */
    footer[role="contentinfo"] {
        max-width: 1000px;
        max-width: 71.4285rem;
    }
    @media screen and (min-width: 960px) { 
        .site {
            max-width: 1000px;
            max-width: 71.4285rem;
        }
    }
    .ie .site { max-width: 1000px; }
  14. Ronnie

    Thanks for the tutorial, works great and exactly what I was looking for. Just one question.
    In the WP widgets admin the widgets are above the main and home one and home two. How can I move the footer widgets last. Thanks

  15. Elise

    Hi,
    I started by pasting the code into function.php (the registersidebar code) and just this had my wordpress site go white. Something I missed out on?
    I would love for this to work as I just finished making a whole site in the twentythirteen-theme only to find out you cant have full width on pages without widgets, a major bummer…

  16. guiliguili

    Hi zeaks,
    I used your advices and it works very well.
    Thanks a lot for this.

    But, I have a little problem I can’t resolve for my footer.
    I put links in the footer : 3 widgets, 3 links zone.
    But each widget contains 2 or 3 links categories.

    In each footer widget, I would like to get the links categories superposed vertically.
    Graphically, I saw this –> [] [] (a link categorie is here represented by []), but I would kilke to see this (see next line)
    []
    []

    Do you have an advice for this problem ?

  17. sai sandeep

    Hi Zeak, I need some help from you.
    i just want to know whether you used any plugin for your widget nav menu.
    if it is a code mail me zeak.
    I just liked it, and want to use on my site, Please Send me the code to my email if it not the plugin.

    1. Zeaks

      It’s coded using Custom menus and the CSS class option. I was going to write a tutorial on how to create a menu like that using Genericons instead but it’s a bit complicated and there’s no real way to automate it. Feel free to view the CSS of this site to see how it’s done.

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