Often in the footer of your site you want to write something like: “© 2015 Mick Follari”. But you also don’t want to have to remember to go change it every year, or to teach your clients how to do it. Another thing I found this useful for is in one case I had a client I needed to have an image header with the year built in to it, like “2015 Adventure Film Festival”. I pre-made 5 years of headers and gave them names with the year in them and used the PHP year in the img src filename so they would automatically update on Jan 1.
Many people just want this snippet:
© <?php echo date("Y"); ?>
© <?php echo date("Y").' -YourNameHere'; ?>
© 2012-<?php echo date("Y").' -YourNameHere'; ?>
The first displays just the year, the second adds your name or company, the third shows a range (like “© 2012-2015 Mick Follari”).
There is a long list of arguments you can use to configure the date if you’d rather more than just the year. Here’s the index.
This is a pretty basic thing, but I find people are always asking or looking up how to do. Since most of my sites are in WordPress, I’ll mention first that you should create a Child Theme, then alter the footer.php from your Parent theme in there. If you need to learn more about Child themes there’s plenty out there (and I’ll make a new blog post about it), but start here.
Once you have your Child Theme, copy the footer.php from your Parent theme into the new folder, and start editing the place where it shows the copyright. If the Parent theme is using a filter or hook to write in the copyright, then you only need to unhook that function, and write your own to replace it. That’s another post…