Shortcodes were introduced into WordPress v2.5. They can be compared to the shortcuts to the executable files in Windows, which refer directly to the “.exe” files. Just in WordPress, you can create the script code once, and it will be later called through a shortcode from a post or WordPress theme. Let’s say you wrote a script that returns the list of the most popular posts in any category and created a shortcode to execute it.
Now you can use it anywhere on the site to display this list. This feature allows you to save time when using WordPress.
How is a Shortcode Created?
You can create them in WordPress in two ways:
Create a function and register it in the “functions.php” file. To understand more deeply how to write them you can by reading official Shortcode API. The information there is pretty clear.
Use the special plugin.
Using a Special Plugin
There’s a very powerful plugin for WordPress. With the help of it you can:
Download and install the plugin Shortcodes Ultimate from the WordPress repository. After installation, I suggest starting with the section “Examples”. Each section of the examples can be opened and viewed in a variety of variations. Click the “Insert Shortcode” button in the editor to open the selection window. Now find out from the proposed options what you want to insert into the post. Then fill in all the required info and click the corresponding button.
Here are some examples of what you can create:
Now let’s see what is available in the plugin settings section.
“Special formatting” is enabled by default. It, based on the official documentation, replaces the original “wp_autop filter”, which doesn’t allow the tag “paragraph” around the shortcodes. In principle, it’s necessary to maintain the plugin functionality. But if you don’t use columns, then you can disable this feature. “Skip default values”. If this option is enabled, the default attributes won’t be inserted if they haven’t been changed. The exception is the attribute of the main text. “Shortcodes prefix”. Here you can specify any prefixes.
Naturally, the prefix will be applied only to subsequent inserts, so be careful, because all previous shortcodes will stop working after making changes. In total, this plugin includes more than fifty different variants that will increase the productivity of your WordPress website and will help solve a lot of various tasks.
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