The HTML5 footer element is used to semantically mark the footer section of a page, or of individual parts of the page. For instance, a page containing a list of blog posts or articles may have a footer section for the whole page, and a footer section for each blog post/article.
The footer element represents a footer for its nearest ancestor sectioning content or sectioning root element. A footer typically contains information about its section such as who wrote it, links to related documents, copyright data, and the like.
Before we get stuck into dissecting the new element, let’s lay the foundations for the article and cover the basics. As we’ve already mentioned above, most people would have laid out the footer as follows
<div id="footer"> <ul"> <li>copyright</li> <li>sitemap</li> <li>contact</li> <li>to top</li> </ul> <div>
However with the creation of HTML 5 this is no longer the case. As you may already know, there is now no longer the need for the <div> element for many elements. In our case, when referring to the footer, the appropriate markup would be <footer>
<footer> <ul> <li>copyright</li> <li>sitemap</li> <li>contact</li> <li>to top</li> </ul> </footer>
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, originally the <footer> element was only utilised once within our pages but with the introduction of the new element, this no longer needs to be the case. The <footer> element can now be used multiple times and to display all the extra information.
An important point to note is that you are not restricted to use one <footer> element per site, you can use multiple footers, each of which will then become the <footer> for that section of the document. You could therefore have
<section> Section content appears here. <footer> Footer information for section. </footer> </section>
<article> Article content appears here. <footer> Footer information for article. </footer> </article>
To see an example of the <footer> within an article/section look no further than this very page. Scroll down beyond the article and you will notice the light grey text section, which falls directly after the “further reading”. This grey text section which gives information about trackbacks, responses, tags and categories is infact using the footer element.