• Home
  • Blog
  • How Should I Display the Copyright on my site?

How Should I Display the Copyright on my site?

Text on pink background Update Your Footer with a link to a site by same name



It’s that time of year to either update or check the copyright date of websites that you manage.

Every year there seems to be a debate about how to handle the copyright date that shows in the footer of most sites.  Does it read Copyright 2022 or something else?

Did you know  that from the moment you publish a page or blog post on your site, it’s automatically protected by copyright, regardless if there is a “©” somewhere on the page.

Some developers use code so that the site automatically changes to the current new year using coding or a script. Other developers and site owners manually check the date showing and manually update the year in the footer of each site so it shows the most recent year.   This would be a yearly task for each each site you manage. Depending on your work flow it may take you no time at all or it may take a few hours/minutes  for this to get completed and would depend on the number of sites you manage. It is generally a static to dynamic change that is needed in the code.

Ready to take out the annual labor of updating the static copyright year in the footer of your site? You have several options! There are technically plugins that can accomplish this for you, but my preferred method is to simply add a small PHP snippet into your site’s footer.php file. You can also accomplish the same thing using a Javascript snippet. This is an easy request for your WordPress developer, but if you’re more of a DIYer, check out UpdateYourFooter.com for the exact PHP and Javascript snippets that will automatically update your copyright year.

I solved this FAQ that seems to happen every year by reflecting all of the years that the site has been in existence.  So the code would look something like this –  Copyright 1988-2022.  This ways shows some history and shows that the site is not brand new.

There is debate about what is the correct way to handle showing the copyright date. Some developers like the copyright date to show the number for the current new year so that it appears that content and information on the site is fresh and has had activity. Others like to show that the site has been visited and new content added.

The copyright notice is there to indicate the first date of publication for not only the website but for the content on the website – blogs, blurb, custom images etc. Therefore, the date shouldn’t be changed every year as this would change the ‘first publication’ date.

Technically, you should update a copyright year only if you made contributions to the work during that year. So if your website hasn’t been updated in a given year, there is no ground to touch the file just to update the year.

Copyright owners can file a supplementary registration to correct, update, or clarify information in a registration. A supplementary registration can be submitted any time after the Copyright Office has issued the original registration by completing Form CA and paying the necessary fee.

There is debate about the difference between a book and a web site. Hence the debate of how to handle copyright for content. Since web sites are always changes it makes this a frequency asked question and uncertain about what method to use.

Is the copyright date the same as the publication date?
Date published can most usually be found on the copyright page of a book. That page will tell you when the work was copyrighted – and if the book is a first edition, the copyright date will be the same as the date published. … The last date listed is what should be used to fill in the date published.
How do you add a year to a copyright?
Enter the following HTML code for the various scenarios:
  1. Simple: <p>Copyright &copy; <script>document.write(new Date().getFullYear())</script> Your Name All Rights Reserved</p>
  2. <p> Copyright &copy; 2014-<script>document.write(new Date().getFullYear())</script> Your Name All Rights Reserved</p>

And here are a few stylistic rules to keep in mind:

  1. Use the “Copyright” or ©, but you needn’t use both.
  2. There is no period between the date and the organization/person who claims the copyright.
  3. If your website contains material that was created in previous years, you may want to opt to use a date range in the copyright notice.

There are four ways to display your copyright on your website. Below, we use my company as an example:

  • Copyright 2021 Serena Crossfield
  • Copyright 2005-2021 Serena Crossfield
  • © 2021 Serena Crossfield
  • © 2005-2021 Serena Crossfield

Leave a Reply

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Enter your text here...