It’s 2009 now, which means it’s time to update an important part of your website that is easy to overlook: The copyright notice in your footer.
If you haven’t already updated the line of text, which should read something along the lines of “©2009 Your Name,” you should probably take the time to do so now. It looks unprofessional to have it be outdated, and can give the impression that a site isn’t currently being maintained by the owner.
If you get tired of updating the notice from year to year, you could use a PHP statement to automatically update the year. Just put something like
<php echo date("Y"); ?> in place of the year.
Should you even have such a notice? Yes, while it’s not necessary to have in order to retain copyright on the works on the site, it does serve as a method to inform the general public that you are indeed the copyright holder.
For more information on copyright notices, and U.S. copyright law in general, see Copyright.gov. Other countries may have wildly different laws, which may or may not effect how you format the notice in your site footer. Either way, it would be a good idea to read up on such matters.