The Best WordPress Shortcode Plugins (2017): Using WordPress Shortcuts
Looking for easy ways to add custom content to your website? Why not enhance your website with a host of ready to use shortcodes? It is not a big deal, just use one of the WordPress Shortcode Plugins.
Shortcodes let you add custom content to your website with very little effort. A shortcode is like a shortcut to a tedious process of coding. Instead of writing lines of complex code to get custom functionality, you can do it with a shortcode. You can use shortcodes to add functions like custom buttons, content boxes, tabs, etc. Most WordPress themes have inbuilt shortcodes for creating custom content. There are also many WordPress Shortcode Plugins available that offer advanced functionalities for designing web pages. In this article, we have listed some of the best WordPress Shortcode Plugins. These plugins will help you add various functionalities to your web pages with just a single click.
What is a WordPress Shortcode?
Shortcodes in WordPress are little bits of code that allow you to run complex commands inside WordPress posts, pages, and widgets. The shortcodes were added in WordPress 2.5, and these allow people to execute code without writing any code themselves. With a single shortcode, you can embed files or create objects that would usually need a lot of code.
Why use Shortcodes?
- Shortcodes are largely used to protect users from adding tedious markup code and from possible mistakes.
- Users do not need to know any of the complicated markups that need to be input to create the objects.
- Shortcodes provide a lot of functionality. Without shortcodes, most users would need to use additional themes and plugins. This might be large in number depending upon what functionality the theme or plugin offers.
- Increased usage of custom plugins might slow down the website speed.
How to use Shortcodes in WordPress?
To use a shortcode you just need to insert it into a WordPress page or post. A shortcode is used as a bracketed tag embedded inside a post or page. For example, a basic WordPress shortcode for a gallery is:
There is a special scenario in which you may want to use the text that represents a shortcode. In this case, you should escape the shortcode by using double brackets as shown below:
WordPress offers the following shortcodes by default:
[audio] [caption] [gallery] [embed] [playlist] [video]
Shortcodes may be used from within themes or from WordPress Shortcode Plugins. Also, it is recommended to use a shortcode plugin than a theme with inbuilt shortcodes. Otherwise changing the theme would remove the shortcodes too.
How to Add a Shortcode in WordPress?
WordPress makes it simple to create custom shortcodes.
- Add a callback function in your theme’s function or the plugin files.
- Register a shortcode with this callback using the WordPress function add_shortcode.
- Use the shortcode by inserting [addmedia] in your posts and pages.
Your registered callback would be triggered whenever the shortcode is encountered.
Tips to use WordPress Shortcodes
There are some recommendations for using shortcodes in WordPress. These will help you learn how to use shortcodes and make the best use of them.
- You should think carefully about where and how you use shortcodes.
- Be aware of the shortcodes present in your themes. You may look for occurrences of add_shortcode in your theme files.
- Try to use shortcode plugins instead of themes.
- Widget shortcodes are not enabled by default in WordPress. Use add_filter to do that from the theme’s functions.php file or the plugin.
- You can hide broken shortcodes by using add_shortcode with the first argument as shortcode name. The second argument is ‘__return_false’ which makes the shortcode output redundant.
List of WordPress Shortcode Plugins
As we know, it is easy to extend WordPress’ functionality with shortcodes. You can consider using a WordPress Shortcode Plugin to achieve this. There are quite a many shortcode plugins available and you may find it tough to choose one. We have therefore picked up a few of the most popular WordPress Shortcode Plugins for you to explore. These provide many useful shortcodes for specialized functionality.
WordPress Shortcode Plugins’ Comparison Chart
|Feature||Shortcodes Ultimate||WP Shortcode||Shortcodes||WordPress Shortcodes|
|Number of Shortcodes||50+||24+||–||26+|
|Custom Shortcode creator/edito||Yes||Basic customizations||Yes||Yes|
|Speed optimized shortcodes||No||No||No||Yes|
|Shortcode parameters and conditions||No||No||No||Yes|
Shortcodes Ultimate is the most popular shortcode plugin for WordPress. The plugin provides a mega pack of shortcodes at no cost. The plugin offers a huge library of shortcodes to create buttons, boxes, sliders, responsive videos and specialized shortcodes for adding a Nivo slider, carousel, custom gallery etc. The built-in Shortcode Creator allows a user to quickly and easily write custom shortcodes.
- Huge library of shortcodes with customization options.
- Extra Shortcodes – 15+ additional shortcodes that are paid.
- Additional Skins – 60+ additional skins for plugin shortcodes that are paid.
- Shortcode Creator that allows you to create custom shortcodes.
- Category based filtering of shortcodes.
- Custom CSS editor.
The WP Shortcode by MyThemeShop provides a direct and easy way of adding elements to your WordPress site. You can add elements like buttons, alerts, column-based layouts, tabs, dividers, etc. Each shortcode is also provided with customization options. For adding simple elements, this plugin is lightweight, simple, and easy to set up.
- Easy to set up, friendly, and intuitive.
- Available handy shortcodes examples page, that can be used as a guide.
- Free support and regular updates.
- Basic customization and only minimum options available for each shortcode.
- Not for advanced users looking for advanced shortcodes and settings.
The Shortcodes by Angie Makes plugin provides a family of easy to use shortcodes that can be added to your WordPress theme. These shortcodes integrate completely with the Angie Makes WordPress themes. The shortcodes make it easy to insert borders, spacing, columns, social media icons, tables, etc. into the page content.
- Shortcodes are easy to customize with multiple settings available.
- Ability to create custom shortcodes.
- No individual troubleshooting support with the free version.
- Shortcodes can be customized easily. Support for custom CSS.
- Available shortcodes editor that shows instant previews.
- Ability to show/hide content based on specific checks or conditions.
- Premium extra presets.
There are many other options available for WordPress Shortcode Plugins that allow users to customize their sites and display content differently. The TablePress Plugin allows you to easily create and manage beautiful tables. The Bootstrap Shortcodes Plugin provides a great set of shortcodes that work with themes integrated with the Bootstrap library. The Rotating Tweets plugin provides a shortcode that adds a rotating display to the most recent tweets. The Widget Shortcode plugin generates code for a widget identified by its widget id. The Display Posts Shortcode plugin allows users to easily display listings of posts. The Column Shortcodes plugin lets you add shortcodes to easily create columns in posts or pages. The
The Widget Shortcode plugin generates code for a widget identified by its widget id. The Display Posts Shortcode plugin allows users to easily display listings of posts. The Column Shortcodes plugin lets you add shortcodes to easily create columns in posts or pages. The amr shortcode any widget plugin lets you insert a widget, multiple widgets or a sidebar into a page using a shortcode. Lastly, the Shortcake (Shortcode UI) plugin gives a user-friendly interface to add, view or edit a shortcode for a post.
Shortcodes are the best method to execute code on posts, pages, etc. The primary benefit is that you do not need to directly write code to add any functionality you want. When you choose a WordPress Shortcode Plugin, focus on the kind of possibilities it offers, the support it provides and if the plugin is updated regularly or not. You can choose what works best for your requirement.
From our point of view, the Shortcodes Ultimate plugin is powerful with an intuitive and user-friendly user interface. The plugin provides a large range of free and paid options for each shortcode. TemplateToaster a WordPress Theme Builder is another tool to evaluate as it integrates well with all WordPress plugins and provides added functionality over that provided by the plugins.