There really is a lot of confusion and threats roaming around in the internet space… Are you allowed to delete footer links from free themes/templates? The simple answer is YES you can… should you well that’s upto you and if you want to help the designer with Search engine optimization or not which would be against search engine guidelines and could find your website penalized.
It is always good to give reasonable credit when credits due but more often that not free themes will be littered with footer links. This can be bad for your own websites SEO as your website will be involved in a type of link network helping to improve the web designers rankings in Google and other search engines. Search engines have become wise to this and can detect when someone is trying to game the search engines and by leaving these footer link which are often irrelevant to your website content can be bad and effect your own rankings in Google.
People do put a lot of hard work into creating themes for free! And if you are using a really good theme my advise to would be to keep the footer links as a way of thanking the web designer this will hopefully motivate them to create even more great themes.
Wether you are using WordPress theme, Joomla theme or use a free static html web design you are not obliged to leave the designer links on your website.. doing so WILL have negative impacts on your site traffic as search engines will negatively view your websites as being involved in web network trying to game the search engine system. It is your website. You are the one paying for hosting and you should be in full control of what is and isn’t on your website. As long as you are not using any copyrighted images your website will be fine and nobody can file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (of DMCA) take down request at your website… If the template you are using does use copyrighted images then leaving the footer links will do nothing to protect your website from a DMCA. Images that come with the theme template and that have not been ripped from else where and have been freely distributed on the internet for use with the theme can still be used even if you have removed the footer links. By sharing a theme/template for free use on the internet means that you are able to edit and change the theme/templates however you want and can even delete link credits.
Blogger free themes
Blogger (.blogspot) is hosted on Google….. but that doesn’t mean you have to keep the footer links!
There are hundreds of free simple and complicated blogger theme templates floating around but there would be far fewer if the designers couldn’t leave their links in the footer… the links in the template is what motivates them to create and distribute these templates so that they can collect hundreds or even maybe thousands of links pointing to their website… It is quite easy to find and delete these blogger theme designer links.. by searching for the link in the template file and deleting the html code… but some people are tricked into not deleting the links because the theme designer will put in a template comment next to the html link code saying something like this:
<!–Under the creative commons license your are not allowed to remove these links… Remove these links and we will file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (of DMCA) take down request to remove your blog. –>
Complete rubbish! Under the creative commons license you are allowed to edit and modify anything and everything on the template freely and thus are allowed to edit and delete the footer links.. Even if there was a bit in the creative commons license (which their aint) that says you need to leave credit this does not have to be a link and you could simply delete the link and leave static text saying the design of this template was created by… somewhere on your blog or website.