Tag Archives: footnotes

Include Footnotes In Your Posts

Would you like to include footnotes1 in your WordPress posts and pages? If you’re using a self-hosted version of WordPress, you can take advantage of the FD Footnotes plugin. Once installed, this plugin provides a simple shortcode2 which make it easy to add your references right in your text. As you see from these examples, the footnotes are collected at the bottom of the post. The superscripted reference number also serves as a hyperlinked bookmark which will quickly connect you to that citation. Don’t worry about your readers losing their place when they check a citation. The curly arrow icon at the end of each footnote links them right back to the original reference in the text.

How difficult is it to create your footnotes? Here’s what the code looks like in your editor:

Footnotes Example

Type your citation beginning with its reference number, a period and space, and surround the whole thing with square braces. Your citation can include text, hyperlinks and even images. It can’t get much easier than that! And, because the plugin just positions the collected footnotes at the bottom of your post without headings or styling, you can add whatever you want at the bottom of your post to “introduce” your footnotes. In this case, they are being used as simple notes so that is how I’ve titled them.

With this plugin, you can now include formal footnotes, simple source lists or just plain notes quickly and easily within your posts.


  1. Citations commonly found at the bottom of a page.
  2. WordPress-specific codes that perform complex functions.

FD Footnotes plugin for WordPress

As family historians, citing sources is a fact of life. Just because we are publishing online more often than print doesn’t reduce the need for citations. And while a bulleted list of sources at the end of an article is quite acceptable, the FD Footnotes plugin for self-hosted WordPress users makes it delightfully easy to provide our sources in the traditional footnote style. Here’s how it works.

Once FD Footnotes has been installed and activated, you’ll find a Footnotes page added to your WordPress settings. There are only two options:

  • Only show footnotes on single post/page. If you display the entire post on your blog’s home page or any of the index pages, checking this book will hide the footnotes on those pages. Footnotes would then only be seen when the reader follows the link to read the post on its own page.
  • Collapse footnotes until checked. When checked, the footnotes are hidden until the reader clicks on a footnote number or manually expands the citations at the bottom of the article.

Adding footnotes is quite simple. Immediately after the reference text, type a number, period and space followed by the citation, surrounded by square braces such as you see in this example.

Here’s how it looks once your post or page has been published.

The footnotes are collected at the bottom of the post. The footnote number displayed as a superscript right after the reference is actually a link that will take you to that citation and the return arrow icon at the end of the citation is a link which returns the reader to the reference point within the post’s text.

Do you see the error in this example? Notice that there’s a space between the end of the reference and the opening square brace of the footnote. Wherever that opening brace is located is where the superscripted footnote number/link will appear in the text. In this example, it’s hanging out there in space because there is a space between the end of the reference and the opening brace.

Although you do need to include a number (followed by a period and space) with each footnote you create, they do not have to be unique and you don’t have to keep them organized. When FD Footnotes collects them, it automatically re-numbers them in the order they appear in your text. This is most appreciated when you have a long text full of citations.

This plugin can’t help you format craft your citations, but it sure can make it easier to include them in your WordPress posts and present a very professional image for your writings.