Too often, the footer of our website is an afterthought. Typically, we use it as a holding place for a copyright notice, a couple of widgets, social network icons, or perhaps a secondary menu.
Metaplugin, the developers of Smart Footer System, believe it’s time to start thinking differently when it comes to our footers. They recently just released version 2 of their plugin, which includes a redesigned and more intuitive control panel, and over 50 new features.
Smart Footer System is a WordPress plugin that aims to replace your theme’s default footer with feature-rich custom footers. The plugin offers various modules and options to help your footer move beyond the ordinary, and help your footer convert your visitors with banners, promotions, animation, and more.
In this review, we’ll take a look at Smart Footer System, and see how it holds up to its promise to change how we use WordPress footers.
Smart Footer System’s Main Features
Smart Footer System offers six types of footers, each with their own set of options.
Here are the main features of the plugin:
• Create unlimited footers, choosing from six modes (each completely customizable):
Footer options include:
• Vertical and horizontal content padding
• Footer border properties
• Background images and color styles
• The ability to disable footers for different devices (desktop and mobile)
• Controls for color, fonts, buttons, and more
• Timing settings for showing/hiding footer
• Footer handle alignment
• Ability to display footers through clicking, hovering, or amount of time
• Options for desktop and mobile devices. Some footer modes even allow you to create different views for desktop and mobile devices.
• Easily create footers using commercial page builders, HTML, or the WordPress post visual/text editor.
Smart Footer System supports most commercial page builder plugins (e.g., Visual Composer, Elementor, Motopress, etc.), as well as theme page builders (Fusion Builder, Swift Builder, Divi, Enfold Builder, etc.). The developers say that Smart Footer System has been tested with over 20 premium third-party themes.
• Automatically recognizes your theme’s custom post types (e.g., products, news, reviews, testimonials, portfolio, etc.), so that you can add custom footers to them.
• Import 24 premade demo footers with one click. These templates include impressive effects such as parallax scrolling, animation, reveals, banners, and more.
Note: Currently, demo content is fully compatible with only Visual Composer. This means that if you don’t have the Visual Composer plugin, some content will not carry over.
• Globally assign footers to different posts and pages, with the ability to override global settings for any page or post.
• Over 70 styles
• Supports icons (e.g., Font Awesome, Dashicons, Genericons) for opening and closing your footer
• Assign footers to WooCommerce pages
• CSS3 animation and speed options
• Option to automatically hide the default theme footer, or show it in conjunction with your new footer
• Smart Footer System offers custom CSS for footer styling, including CSS Selector to hide part of your theme.
• Use with any theme
• Export/import footer content and mode settings
• Smart Footer System is fully responsive, including the ability to disable any footer on desktop, tablet, or mobile devices. Some footer modes also offer mobile-specific functionality, including the ability to create unique footer handles for mobile and desktop devices.
• Ability to automatically hide, show, and open footers after a certain amount of time. You also have the option to show a footer only when you scroll to the end of the page.
• WPML compatible for easy translation. Currently translation ready in English and Italian.
Setting Up Smart Footer System
Here’s how to install Smart Footer System:
1. After purchasing and downloading Smart Footer System from CodeCanyon, in WordPress, go to Plugins… Add New.
2. Click the Upload Plugin button and then the Choose File button.
3. Choose the smart-footer-system.zip plugin from your computer and click the Choose button.
4. Press Install Now, and after it’s installed click the Activate Plugin button.
After installation and activation, you’ll see the Smart Footer System menu in the WordPress admin sidebar.
Importing Demo Content
If you’d like, Smart Footer System lets you import the demo footer content that’s available from their website here. Here’s how to do that:
1. In WordPress, go to Smart Footer System… Settings… Import/Export Footers.
2. Click the Import Demos button.
After a few moments, you’ll have 24 new footer posts (templates) installed on your site.
3. You can view the newly imported footers by going to Smart Footer System… Footers.
4. To see a footer in action, go to Smart Footer System…Settings and click on the Homepage/Blog tab.
5. For the Homepage Footer section, select one of the newly imported footers from the drop-down menu (e.g., Banner Footer4), and click Save Changes.
6. Finally, go to your site’s homepage (click the refresh page button if necessary), and scroll down to see the footer.
Using Smart Footer System
After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll see the Smart Footer System menu in the WordPress admin sidebar.
It includes submenu items for:
Add New Footer
The Footers submenu lists all of the existing footers that you’ve created (or imported) with Smart Footer System. It lets you do basic things such as edit, delete, filter, and search your footers.
The Add New Footer submenu is where you create your footers. As a custom post type, the footer creation page uses the WordPress visual/text editor for creating and publishing your footer.
The Settings submenu lets you choose among general footer settings, global settings for different post types, import/export options, and support.
Creating a New Footer
Here’s how to create a new footer with Smart Footer System:
1. From the WordPress sidebar, go to Smart Footer System… Add New Footer.
2. Enter the title for your new footer at the top. This is just for your internal reference.
3. Use either a supported third-party page builder, (see some supported page builders above under the “Main Features” section), or the WordPress visual/text editor to create your footer’s content.
As we noted above, Smart Footer System comes with 24 premade footer templates that are fully compatible with the Visual Composer premium page builder plugin. You can even use Visual Composer Elements to design your footer. While the premade templates are a great feature, it would be nice if they were fully compatible without the need for any third-party plugins.
4. Below the main editor is the Footer Settings control panel. It lets you control the look and functionality of your footer beyond the WordPress editor or third-party page builders:
First, the uppermost Settings section provides General options for:
The Settings section also provides an Advanced option for customizing your footer by adding your own CSS.
By the way, after you eventually see what your footer looks like, it’s likely you’ll want to adjust the padding for your footer content from the Padding tab. This is because the Smart Footer System footer content is outside of your site’s body content and will not automatically be the same width as your theme.
Go through the tabs of the footer control panel and make your choices for your custom footer.
5. Below the Settings section is the Footer Type section.
In the Footer Type section, choose among the six types of footers (Normal, Reveal, Slide Up, Banner, CSS3 Animations, and Accordion). Then, select from any available options for the footer type.
6. Finally, make sure to click the Publish button to save your footer.
The Different Footer Modes
Smart Footer System provides the following types of footers:
Normal mode is the default footer type. It’s a simple footer with no animation that appears at the bottom of the page. It appears below your theme’s footer, unless you choose to hide your theme footer, in which case it just replaces it. The only options for Normal mode are to make it Sticky (the footer appears over the page) and Shadow (to give it a top shadow).
Reveal mode reveals your footer at the bottom, underneath your page content as you scroll downwards.
Slide Up mode does what it says. It slides up the footer content after you click or hover over a footer handle at the bottom of the page. This is a feature-rich mode with dozens of customizable options.
Banner mode is highly customizable and includes options for displaying your banner from different areas of the footer. It includes animation, text, and buttons. It also has lets you set desktop and mobile versions of your banner. After clicking on the banner, it will move away and show other footer content.
CSS3 Animations mode allows you to reveal your footer content with simple CSS3 animations. It also allows you to choose the animation’s starting position.
Accordion mode is a clean, simple, and noninvasive way of showing your footer content. When a viewer clicks on an icon handle at the bottom of the page, the footer content slides in and pushes page content out of the way to reveal itself. Clicking the icon handle again makes it slide back off the screen.
Adding Your New Footer to Your Site
After having created your footer, you need to assign it to a post or page on your site. There are two ways to do this:
The first method for adding your footer to your site is to globally assign it to different post types at Smart Footer System… Settings.
Through the Settings submenu, you can assign your new footer to your:
WooCommerce (Shop page, My Account page, Cart page, Checkout page, Single Products, Archive Products)
Note: Smart Footer System automatically detects custom post types from themes and third-party plugins. When it does so, you’ll also see options for adding footers to these post types.
The second method for adding your footer is to assign it on a post/page level. Here’s how to do that:
1. Go to an existing or new post or page.
2. Below the main WordPress visual/text editor, you’ll see an option to Override default Smart Footer System Footer.
Turn this option on so that you can choose a different footer for that post or page.
3. From the New Footer section, choose the footer you want from the drop-down menu.
4. If you’d like to turn off the Smart Footer System plugin for only that post or page, you can do so by turning on Disable Smart Footer System. This will show your theme’s footer on that post or page (unless your theme’s footer is set to be hidden).
Being able to display different footers for your content allows you to display footers that are relevant to your page. This is great for showing promotional material and advertisements in your footers that are related to the subject you’re covering.
Video Tutorial: Setting Up and Using Smart Footer System
Support & Documentation
Support and documentation for Smart Footer System can be found through the plugin’s interface. From the WordPress admin sidebar, go to Smart Footer System… Settings… Support. From there, you’ll see buttons for:
The documentation for Smart Footer System is well written and clear. I like the fact that it’s easily accessible and all on one page.
The Support button takes you to Smart Footer System’s support system, where you can search articles or enter a support ticket.
Metaplugin promises to reply to support tickets “as soon as possible”. Their business hours are 9 a.m.-18 p.m., Rome time. For reference, this translates to 3 a.m.-12 p.m. New York time. In other words, if you live in the United States, you shouldn’t expect an immediate reply.
The Change Log button takes you to all the feature changes of the plugin, so it’s a good resource to check out the latest features.
Metaplugin says that Smart Footer System is compatible with most third-party premium page builders and has been tested with over 20 premium themes (and their included page builders). They will help you solve any problems with theme compatibility, and guarantee a refund if they cannot work out a solution for you.
You can see Smart Footer System’s different footers in action by checking out their online demo.
Smart Footer System is compatible with IE8, IE9, IE10, IE11, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.
Pricing for Smart Footer System
Smart Footer System is available from CodeCanyon.
Regular license ($16)
For use by you or one client, on one website, which end users cannot be charged for.
Includes all future updates and six months support from Metaplugin.
Extended license ($90)
For use by you or one client, on one website, which end users can be charged for.
Includes all future updates and six months support from Metaplugin.
At the time of this writing, support can be extended to 12 months for $4.50, a saving of $6.
Conclusions & Recommendations
Smart Footer System is a unique addition to the world of WordPress plugins. There’s a large number of WordPress plugins that will help you change and customize the different areas of your website—sidebar plugins, for instance, are common—but this is the first time I’ve seen a plugin that gave so much customization power to the footer.
The plugin offers a number of tools for building your footers, including:
WordPress visual/text editor
Supported third-party page builder plugins
Footer Settings control panel for individual posts and pages
Premade footer templates
While the addition of their 24 ready-made footer templates is a welcome feature, I feel they would be more beneficial if they were fully compatible beyond just the Visual Composer page builder plugin. Ideally, it would be most convenient if their templates didn’t require the need for any third-party compatibility.
That said, this is a pretty impressive plugin with a lot going for it. For instance, the Footer Settings control panel, in conjunction with the WordPress visual/text editor, goes a long way in providing a built-in method for creating footers without the need for any third-party compatibility.
I also like the variety of footer types that Smart Footer System offers, along with the options for desktop, tablet, and mobile display. It truly turns the footer area from an afterthought to a powerful tool for converting your visitors through relevant promotions, advertisements, and calls-to-action.
Metaplugin, the developers behind Smart Footer System, recently released version 2 of the plugin, making their user interface more intuitive and adding over 50 new features.
If you’d like to find out more about Smart Footer System, you can check it out here at CodeCanyon.