Unwrapping Genesis: How to Move the Header and Footer

Since publishing this post, I’ve written an updated post explaining how to use structural wraps to move the header, specifically in the Prose Child Theme. You may find it helpful.

In a typical Genesis Child Theme, the header and footer elements are nestled safely inside the main structural #wrap. Today’s challenge is to move the header and footer outside of the main #wrap.

Why would I want to do that? Well, I want to create a theme with a full-width header & footer and fixed-width content. Like this:

full width demo

In order to carry out this, I’ve opted to reposition the header above the main #wrap and the footer below the main #wrap.

Now there’s another way to go about creating a full-width Genesis Child Theme, as Christopher helpfully dissects here. His method deals with changing the width on the grandaddy #wrap that contains the entire site as well as the mini .wrap(s) that apply to specific sub-sections (i.e. header, nav, inner, etc).

I wanted the same outcome, but didn’t want to change the wrap structure to get there. Here’s how I did it…

Starting with the Defaults

The default structure in most StudioPress child themes will look like this:

default structure of Genesis Child Theme

We want to move the header and the footer so that our structure looks like this:

custom structure

Wrap-Up (pun fully intended)

Sometimes I try to make things harder than necessary, but in this case it’s pretty simple! Check the following code blocks:

Move the Header Outside the Main Wrap

To move the header up before the main wrapper <div id=”wrap”>, add this to your functions.php:

Move the Footer Outside the Main Wrap

Moving the footer outside the main wrapper <div id=”wrap”> is just as easy!

BONUS: Move the Primary Nav Above the Header AND Outside the Main Wrap

What’s that? You’re feeling adventurous? Try out this action:

Move the Header and Footer

If you want to play around more with using hooks to reposition elements in your theme, here are some great resources for your bookmarking pleasure:

Carrie Dils

I’m a recommended Genesis Developer with 15+ years experience in web design and development. I'm creative, resourceful, and ready to put my mind to your project. Want to discuss your WordPress project? Let's talk!


  1. Dave says


    I tried this, but it didn’t move my header, just moved the title area ouside. The header div is still in the wrap. What am I doing wrong?

    • Carrie Dils says

      Fresh scoop from the StudioPress forum, if you happen to be using Prose or one with similar setup:

      All PHP should go in Prose’s custom code box:

      /** Reposition header outside main wrap */
      remove_action( ‘genesis_header’, ‘genesis_header_markup_open’, 5 );
      remove_action( ‘genesis_header’, ‘genesis_do_header’ );
      remove_action( ‘genesis_header’, ‘genesis_header_markup_close’, 15) ;
      add_action( ‘genesis_before’, ‘genesis_header_markup_open’, 5 );
      add_action( ‘genesis_before’, ‘genesis_do_header’ );
      add_action( ‘genesis_before’, ‘genesis_header_markup_close’, 15 );

      See full post at http://www.studiopress.com/support/showthread.php?t=115274

  2. Lucy says

    Carrie, I’ve been looking everywhere in my child themes for something that looks like this:

    “The default structure in most StudioPress child themes will look like this:
    div id=”wrap” … etc

    but can’t seem to find this code – where should I be looking? I’ve checked style.css, functions.php, home.php …

    • Carrie Dils says

      Hi Lucy,
      If you were to look at the html output (soure code in a browser) for a page, it would have that structure.

      Which child theme are you using?

  3. Andy says

    Hi Carrie,

    I’ve tried this using the Sample theme and Simply Sweet – on both child themes the header remains within the wrap. Same with the footer too! Have you any suggestions?


  4. says

    /** Move Header before Wrap **/
    remove_action(‘genesis_header’, ‘genesis_do_header’);
    remove_action(‘genesis_header’, ‘genesis_header_markup_open’, 5);
    remove_action(‘genesis_header’, ‘genesis_header_markup_close’, 15);
    function custom_header() {

    <a href="” alt=””>

    <?php }
    add_action( 'genesis_before', 'custom_header' );

    I hope it will help someone else.

  5. Zak says

    hey Carrie, love your tutorials!
    Being a year old post, it appears this solution no longer works.

    I’m using the most recent version of both Genesis and Prose and attempting to create a full-width header to drop a dynamic slider plugin into.

    I’ve plugged these functions into the custom functions area of the custom code editor.
    To no avail…

    The closest response I got was getting the navbar to appear at the top of the page, above the header, apparently outside the wrap.

    The header remained within the wrap, as well as a repeating navbar under it.

    The site is clean, no content, fresh install, all default settings.
    The only thing that has been altered is attempting to implement the code from your tutorial.

    Any ideas how to pull this off using the new versions of Genesis and Prose?

    PS: CSS minify is off.

  6. says

    Hey Carrie, not quite the same problem, but I figured it’s worth a shot asking. We essentially want to add an additional header-like image above the top navigation menu in the Focus child theme (here’s an idea, where the red box is: http://oi41.tinypic.com/5aga5u.jpg ). Any idea how you would go about doing this? We are trying to add a new div that we could then play around with add the image to, but haven’t found anything to accomplish that so far. Thank you!

    • says

      Hi John,

      Yeah, if there’s a div available in that spot, you could use a background style to insert your image. Otherwise, you could add a widget area up there (something like this) and add your image that way.


  7. says

    So I am trying to remove the header , footer widget area and footer from my “newsletter” post. Using the Agency-Pro theme. Removing the header works fine, but the footer and footer widgets refuse to disappear. Thanks.

    if (in_category(‘newsletter’)){
    add_filter( ‘genesis_pre_get_option_site_layout’, ‘__genesis_return_full_width_content’ );
    remove_action( ‘genesis_before’, ‘genesis_header_markup_open’, 5 );
    remove_action( ‘genesis_before’, ‘genesis_do_header’ );
    remove_action( ‘genesis_before’, ‘genesis_header_markup_close’, 15 );
    remove_action( ‘genesis_before_footer’, ‘genesis_footer_widget_areas’ );
    remove_action(‘genesis_footer’, ‘genesis_footer_markup_open’, 5);
    remove_action(‘genesis_footer’, ‘genesis_do_footer’);
    remove_action(‘genesis_footer’, ‘genesis_footer_markup_close’, 15);

    • says

      Hi Heather,
      I don’t know enough about Joan’s site to know. :) I’d recommend duplicating her site in a local dev environment where you can test out changes before committing them live.

      Just published a post on editing WordPress sites you may find helpful…

  8. Heather says

    Hi – I am not a developer – I can do websites as long as clients don’t want me to do complicated coding designs.

    Would you please give me an estimate of what it would cost if you do it please. It seems like such an easy thing to make a full width navigation menu – but things are not always as they seem – especially in studio press.

    It’s just Metro Pro with a few changes that one of the developers connected with StudioPress did – I am thinking I should just put it back to the original template.

    Thanks – and happy Sunday!


  9. says

    I tried this, but the navigation didn’t move. I’m using the foodie pro theme. I want to make the entire header and navigation fixed so when you scroll down it stays at the top of the page, but getting the entire header and nav outside the wrap just isn’t working for me.

    • says

      Most likely the Foodie Pro theme has these functions hooked in different locations than I’m showing in this post. A stroll around functions.php in would probably reveal the answer.

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