Your website’s footer area is actually more important than you might think. Some only have general – and usually automatic – elements that take care of themselves. (A copyright that updates itself, your name and phone number, etc.)The footer is also the place that I usually place my link with the design credits. (This is my version of an artist signing his work so I normally just do it unless a client specifically requests – and negotiates – its absence.)
Depending on your theme, some footers are also widgetized and allow you to insert much more data with elements that can be formatted for that space. Directions, phone numbers, contact forms are among those things that should be visible in multiple areas, so repeating them in your footer makes good sense. The image below is a client’s site where the theme is based on the “Weaver” theme that widgetizes the footer into four information areas.
Some clients do not particularly like having a “Meta” area in their sidebar. (The “Meta” contains your login / site admin link as well as the RSS (“really simple syndication”) codes for people to keep up with your content.) In that case, I usually customize the copyright text in the footer area, transforming it into a link for them to log in to the Back End of their site.
Continue on to the next category, Back End here…