WordPress Shortcodes: Ultimate Guide on How to Create and Use Them

WordPress Shortcodes: Ultimate Guide on How to Create and Use Them

WordPress shortcodes are a powerful feature to do cool stuff with little effort. You can do pretty much anything with them. With shortcodes, embedding interactive elements or creating complex page layouts is as easy as inserting a single line of code.

If you want to add a gallery, you have to simply type in the following code:


This will output a gallery with the image IDs mentioned. It’ll have 4 columns and their max size will be ‘medium’ (as defined by WordPress).

There’s no need for any ugly HTML code.

Example of the gallery shortcode

Shortcodes eliminate the need for complicated scripts. Even if you have little to no programming skills, you can add dynamic content effortlessly with their help.

They’re very popular within WordPress developers, as they help immensely with automating content and design creation. Shortcodes are to WordPress developers what Macros are to data analysts, or Keyboard Shortcuts to professional graphic designers.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about shortcodes. You’ll find out how to work with the Shortcode API by creating your very own shortcodes. In the end, we’ll discuss the future of shortcodes and where they fit in with WordPress’ new Block editor.

Excited? Let’s get started!

What is a Shortcode?

In a nutshell, Shortcode = Shortcut + Code.

Typically, shortcodes use square brackets tags [] to define how they’re used. Each shortcode performs a particular function in a site. It can be as simple as formatting the content or as complex as defining the entire website’s structure.

For example, you can use shortcodes to embed sliders, forms, or pricing tables. You can even use them to create reusable page design templates.

A Short History of Shortcodes

Shortcodes were first made popular by an online forum software called Ultimate Bulletin Board (UBB). In 1998, they introduced BBCode (Bulletin Board Code), a collection of easy-to-use tags for users to format their posts easily.

BBCode examples showing the origins of shortcodes to format text

Easy

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This article was written by Salman Ravoof and originally published on Blog – Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.

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