Beginning in 2018, customer support from Feast Design Co. now requires that our footer links be in place. If you’ve reached out for support or customer service and we’ve denied support because you’ve removed the footer credit links, we hope to clarify why here.
To be clear, we don’t require that you keep footer links because you purchased our themes (but we do prefer that you do!), footer credits are required to receive on-going support.
Customer support represents an on-going arrangement, where we become technical advisors that offer a service. This service has a labor cost associated with it – real people with real jobs answer your questions – and without some sort of compensation and credit, it is something we would have to discontinue, or go out of business. We only require a little footer credit, which costs you absolutely nothing, and automatically enrolls you in the affiliate program.
Your theme is a work in progress. It was state of the art when you first purchased it, and becomes more obsolete as time goes on and online technologies change.
Purchasing a one-time license pays for the work that went into developing that theme up to that point. Our industry-leading designers and programmers are paid to deliver something beautiful and functional, helping you to build an online business or secondary income stream via blogging.
But it doesn’t stop there.
The WordPress community is constantly evolving and being updated, and so is Studiopress + Feast Design Co. These updates help you stay on top of trends in other ecosystems (Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc). Search engines are continually evolving as well, and without continual updates your blog will be pushed aside by others who stay on top of updates.
This means additional work is required to maintain compatibility between parties, and like you, our partners don’t work for free. You can think of us as your “technical” team, staying afloat of the technical issues so that you can focus on doing what you’re good at. Remember – Bake your cake from scratch, not your blog.
One way that we’re compensated and able to continue development is through credits in the footers of the website. This is a source of new leads and sales for us, and helps those who were like you when you first started to find us, so that they can enjoy all the benefits you have.
We like to think of footer credits more as the digital equivalent to an artist signing their painting. It adds legitimacy to the piece and lets everyone know we’re not afraid to stand behind our products.
But footer links are ugly
They’re mostly overlooked and ignored, except for when people are specifically looking for them. This is the same phenomenon that explains why you don’t see the “contact us” page until you actually go looking for it. Did the notice the “Terms and Conditions” page at the bottom of our website? Probably not. But if you wanted to find it, you’d know where to look for it, because that’s how websites are structured.
In general, footer links are the place where people expect to find design credits, much like the signature on a painting.
My SEO guy told me this hurts my “link juice”
This may have been the case in 2005, but is long-outdated advice. Truthfully, links in WordPress footers have been devalued by search engines for years. Search engines simply don’t give them any value anymore. They evolved long ago to downplay the importance of duplicate content found in the header, navigation, sidebar and footer of your website.
Focus your efforts on what’s in your primary page content – your <article> section.
We’d also recommend finding a new SEO company.
But what’s stopping me from removing it again after?
Nothing, technically. Your word is your reputation and we’ll take that at face value. Some people treat their reputation like gold, while others treat it like dirt. We’re happy to keep supporting those who are honest, and move on from those who aren’t.
Doesn’t asking for a backlink violate Google’s policies?
Google’s policy on backlinks has a carve-out for editorial links – if you trust a source and think it provides value, then linking is okay. Given that you liked our work enough to purchase the theme in the past and continue to use it, and reach out to us for help, this safely falls under the editorial umbrella.
“I’ve done my part by making a one time purchase”
We’ve heard this before as well, which takes the old-world stance that it’s a simple transaction. You give us money one time, we give you a one time theme, and we all move on. And you can absolutely take that stance. In this old-world style of thinking, we would simply abandon maintaining our themes that cost too much to support, in favor of creating new ones that would force you to re-purchase.
The companies you see with 10, or 100 themes for sale? That’s essentially what they’re doing. It’s a dirty, short-sighted trick that works very well on inexperienced bloggers.
Instead, we perform regular maintenance and updates – the web of last year is different from this year, and will be different again next year. Without these crucial ongoing updates, your blog will slowly degrade (and have possible security problems) while others will march ahead and adopt to changing consumer needs.
This page is a work in progress and subject to change without notice.