If you arrived at this post but are still thinking of running a mile because of the word “Shortcodes” please stay because it’s very easy with a Shortcode Plugin. All you need to do is click on a post, or page, toolbar button to insert them. No coding knowledge is needed.
Advantages of Shortcode Plugins
- Add extra functionality to a free theme, usually only available in premium themes.
- Build a featured front page with any theme.
- Add basic items missing from WP such as colored buttons and calls to action.
- Create attractive landing pages.
- No need to know html or CSS.
The only disadvantage might be page load time if you have masses of plugins like I do!
What is a Shortcode?
A Shortcode is a way of inserting a complicated block of code using a short form, a shortcut. Shortcode plugins add that short form for you by creating extra menu buttons in your post edit window. To add all sorts of fancy formatting just click a button and a pop up window appears for you to add your specific information.
Example Button Shortcode
To add the button below using the shortcode plugin, “Ultimate Shortcodes”:
[su_button icon=”icon: hand-o-right”]Button[/su_button]
I clicked on the “Insert Shortcode” button on the post edit toolbar and filled in a pop up form: (You’d normally add a url in the Link section)
This is what was inserted in my post edit window ( I added spaces here so it would appear as code and not another button). When you press publish (or when your view in draft preview mode) the blue button is generated.
[ su_button icon="icon: hand-o-right" ]Button[ /su_button ]
Shortcode plugins vary in the amount and type of features. Some add basic functions such as buttons, and boxes. Others have so many features that you can use them to completely build a featured front page.
WP Canva is the plugin I’m going to use in the future because it has the most features of all
The free Shortcodes Ultimate is a fully featured shortcode plugin I’ve used.
- columns like these
- colored boxes like this
- different sliders
- fancy quotes
- drop capitals
- and more.
Shortcodes Ultimate is ideal for creating featured front pages if your theme doesn’t give enough options for customization.
Features – Click for larger images:
[wp_colorbox_media url=”http://sueblimely.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/shortcodes-ultimate-options.jpg” type=”image” hyperlink=”http://sueblimely.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/shortcodes-ultimate-options-150×150.jpg” alt=”Wordpress Shortcodes Ultimate features”] [wp_colorbox_media url=”http://sueblimely.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/shortcodes-ultimate-buttons.jpg” type=”image” hyperlink=”http://sueblimely.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/shortcodes-ultimate-buttons-150×150.jpg” alt=”WordpressShortcodes Ultimate button options”] [wp_colorbox_media url=”http://sueblimely.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/shortcodes-ultimate-tabs.jpg” type=”image” hyperlink=”http://sueblimely.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/shortcodes-ultimate-tabs-150×150.jpg” alt=”Wordpress Shortcodes Ultimate Plugin tabs, accordions, quotes, spoilers”]
Other Fully Featured Shortcode Plugins
There are a whole host of other free shortcode and premium plugins but I won’t go into details about these because they offer the same or similar features to those above.
There are plugins which have different functions to adding multiple shortcodes like these. Not all of them are so automatic and need the shortcode adding manually. You may be familiar with this if you use plugins such as Contact Form 7 or some of the gallery plugins where you create the content separately from the post and are given a shortcode to add to your post.
Do you use any shortcode plugins and are there any you recommend?
Are you interested in adding some simple styling features such as buttons and boxes without the use of a plugin? If so watch out for my next post where I’ll give you instructions and some copy and paste html and CSS to make it really easy.
If I didn’t make this clear enough please ask me questions in the comments. I always reply.