Handy Tips To Efficiently Use Shortcodes In WordPress

Whether you specialize in migration services like converting PSD to WordPress or build new websites, it is essential to know about shortcodes. The facility to use shortcodes in WordPress allows users to add functionality without writing fresh code. This not only lessens their workload but also improves their efficiency. Coding can be a tedious and monotonous job and these brief code representations help in cutting a long process short. They provide flexibility to developers which allows them to modify designs and create customized layouts. In fact, it is hard to find professionals who do not rely on these code snippets to do their job. Some valuable suggestions are being presented for WordPress users so that they can use shortcodes efficiently.

What Are Shortcodes?

Shortcodes are bits of code which allow users to add a functionality to their websites. These snippets help in building objects or embedding files with only a single line of code. WordPress started supporting these convenient tools since its 2.5 version. Shortcodes eliminate the need for writing long, complex programs for various processes. A lot of themes and plugins provide their own set of shortcodes to enable users to add new features.

Tips To Use Shortcodes Efficiently  

The following tips will help professionals use these code bits efficiently:

1. Locating Shortcodes In A Theme

As mentioned earlier, most templates come with some shortcodes. It is essential that developers know how to find them. In order to locate them, you must first access the theme folder of the template of your interface. This folder generally resides in “/wp-content/themes/theme-name/”. Remember the name of your template will be present in place of “theme-name”. Now you have to look for the functions.php file. Once you have located the file, open it and search for “add_shortcode”. A shortcode snippet will resemble the following program:

function my_shortcode_function() {

$i = ‘<p>Hello World!</p>’;

return $i;


add_shortcode(‘my-shortcode’, ‘my_shortcode_function’);

This helps in creating a shortcode called “my-shortcode” which helps display a text greeting. It can be embedded in a post or page by using:


2. Adding Short codes In Widgets

Shortcodes can be added to posts, pages as well as the widget-ready areas of an interface. Once you have dragged and dropped a widget in a suitable location, you can add the code bit in it. However, WordPress does not support this kind of integration by default. This means that you will have to turn on the feature manually. In order to this, you will have to access the “functions.php” file of the theme activated on your website. Add the following line to this file or a site-specific plugin:

add_filter(‘widget_text’, ‘do_shortcode’);

This will enable you to insert shortcodes in your widgets.

3. Integrating Shortcodes With Themes

Developers must know all the ways to use shortcodes in WordPress. There will be situations which will require them to integrate a snippet in a template. The appearance of a website is defined by the theme it is using. However, in some cases, a custom page may be needed which will have a completely different look. Professionals must know the method to insert a shortcode in such layouts. They can place the brief code in this fashion:

<?php echo do_shortcode(“[example_shortcode]”); ?>

Replace [example_shortcode] with your own snippet.

4. Searching Shortcodes Used In Posts

When users switch themes, the old shortcodes stop working in the new layout. This can cause issues like the display of broken text. In such situations, the old code pieces need to be removed from the interface. Users must locate the posts that have these bits and then remove them. They can use a shortcode to find the old snippets. Place the following code in the functions.php file of your interface’s theme or a site-specific plugin:

function wpb_find_shortcode($atts, $content=null) {


extract( shortcode_atts( array(

       ‘find’ => ”,

   ), $atts ) );

$string = $atts[‘find’];

$args = array(

   ‘s’ => $string,


$the_query = new WP_Query( $args );

if ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {

       echo ‘<ul>’;

   while ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {

   $the_query->the_post(); ?>

   <li><a href=”<?php  the_permalink() ?>”><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>



       echo ‘</ul>’;

} else {

       echo “Sorry no posts found”;



return ob_get_clean();


add_shortcode(‘shortcodefinder’, ‘wpb_find_shortcode’);

This is a program for a shortcode called “shortcodefinder”. This will help you in locating posts with a particular shortcode. For instance, you want to find posts with

. Insert the following shortcode in a page and save it:

[shortcodefinder find=’gallery’]  

Preview the page to see all the posts with

shortcode. You can now remove all the unnecessary bits easily.

5. Masking A Broken Short code

Many people will find the process mentioned in the above tip to be time-consuming and complicated. There is an easy option for such users. Instead of locating and removing all unwanted shortcodes, they can simply mask the broken ones. Hiding broken snippets can be done by modifying the functions.php file of the theme of the interface. Add the following line to the file or a site-specific plugin:

add_shortcode( ‘shortcodetag’, ‘__return_false’ );

Replace “shortcodetag” with the name of the irrelevant shortcode of your interface. This will add back the broken snippet without any output.

6. Know About Site-specific Plugins

Most people use shortcodes provided by themes without considering their effect on the interface in the future. As mentioned earlier, when you switch your theme all the old bits will be rendered ineffective. This will harm the appearance of the interface and result in poor user experience. In order to avoid such situations, a site-specific plugin must be used. These plugins are independent of the theme and are used for adding custom snippets. Copy the code from the functions.php file of the theme and paste it in the site-specific plugin. This will future-proof all your shortcodes.


All aspiring developers must know how to use shortcodes in WordPress. This will help them in improving the quality of their projects as well as bettering their productivity.

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