On March 29, 2008, WordPress 2.5 was released. Of the many changes and improvements in the new version, perhaps the support of so-called shortcodes was one of the most interesting and useful features. Shortcodes were introduced to create macros for use in posts and pages to add bits of predefined functionality into their content. For example, the shortcode
The introduction of WordPress shortcodes also led plugin developers to create special kinds of content such as forms and content generators that users can add to pages by using the corresponding shortcode into the page text.
So shortcodes are obviously pretty sweet. They are WordPress-specific codes that let you do particularly skillful things with very little effort such as embedding a slideshow presentation or a Twitter timeline that would normally require lots of complicated code. Some popular available shortcodes in WordPress include:
1. Video Shortcodes
- [blip.tv] embeds a Blip.tv video
- [flickr] embeds a Flickr video
- While [vine] quickly embeds a Vine video
2. Audio Shortcodes
With audio shortcodes, you can insert things like audio from SoundCloud or a playlist for uploaded audio files. For example,
- [soundcloud] makes it easy to embed music/demos from SoundCloud to your blog
- [spotify] does the same for music from Spotify
3. Image And Document Shortcodes
With shortcodes for image and documents, you can add a number of predefined functionalities to your pages and posts such as
- [gallery] to display an image gallery attached to a particular post or page
- [slideshare] to embed a slideshow from SlideShare
- and [googleapps] to easily embed your Google Docs spreadsheets, documents and presentations into your WordPress blog
4. Miscellaneous Shortcodes
And finally, miscellaneous shortcodes such as
- and [upcomingevents]
...let you do things like add a blog archive index, contact form, polls and more.
Clearly, WordPress shortcodes can be used to access a number of functionalities for your content from something as simple as changing the color of some text to adding an image gallery that slides across a page. The question is: Where do you get the shortcodes that will let you quickly insert elements you regularly use like FAQs and product catalogues?
Well, for a start, WordPress offers some built-in shortcodes like [audio], [caption], , [gallery], [playlist] and [video]. Then some shortcodes come bundled with themes. In particular, premium WordPress themes come with all sorts of shortcodes built-in but a problem arises if you ever decide to switch themes.
Look at bundled shortcode plugins!
10 Awesome WordPress Shortcode Collection Plugins
With 50+ amazing shortcodes, Shortcodes Ultimate is a popular WordPress plugin that you can use to create tabs, buttons, boxes, responsive videos and much more. It also features a shortcode generator that you can use to create your own custom shortcodes while the functionality of the plugin itself can be greatly extended with premium add-ons.
If you want to take your website to the next level and hugely improve it to look more professional, WordPress Shortcodes is an amazing set of great shortcodes with almost 150,000 downloads in the WordPress Plugin Repository. The plugin comes bundled with the full set of elements including SEO-friendly tabs, sections, buttons, lists, layouts and more.
With shortcodes for everything from tabs, lists and progress bars to buttons, icons and image effects, Easy Bootstrap Shortcode lets you add style to your website. In particular, the plugin is desirable for its 500+ Font-Awesome & Glyphicons icon fonts. It is also the simplest bootstrap style plugin ever.
Easy to use with shortcodes from a dropdown menu added to the WordPress content editor, Vision is a premium shortcode plugin, which works seamlessly with every theme. It includes over 100 shortcodes from accordions and tabs to animated features list, buttons, image icons, pricing boxes, social icons and pull quotes. Other standout features of the plugin include great support, documentation and an online helpdesk.
Styles With Shortcodes is a premium WordPress plugin that features a wide range of awesome built-in shortcodes to expand the functionality of your site including different HTML and JS elements. In particular, the plugin is useful to add some custom styling to the different elements of your WordPress site without any knowledge of coding. Notable shortcodes include buttons for social media, pullquotes, colored boxes and maps.
Developed to help users create custom shortcodes from inside WordPress, Shortcodes Pro allows quick and easy creation of WordPress shortcodes and TinyMCE rich editor buttons. The plugin is free and simple to use and has over 4000 active installs.
A simple shortcode generator that you can use with any theme, ZillaShortcodes is a useful plugin to add extra functionalities to your website. It features a fine array of gorgeous shortcodes including columns, buttons, toggles and tabs with the click of a button. Simply choose the functionality you wish to include, configure the options and insert.
Next up, with tons of shortcodes to choose from, Intense WordPress Site Builder allows you to build modern layouts and create beautiful pages like the pros with little effort. Notable shortcodes include Animated, Gallery, Icon, Content Box and Content Section. For more information on each shortcode and their functionality, follow this link.
And finally, Supreme Shortcodes is a WordPress plugin that includes many useful and beautiful shortcodes that make your content creation easier. Notable examples include contact forms, tabs, toggles, Google maps, lists, styled tables and call-to-action buttons. In fact, the plugin adds over 100 extra functionalities to your website.