How To Use Hidden WordPress Shortcodes

You may have heard about all the nifty things you can do with ‘shortcodes,’ like embedding files or creating objects. Shortcodes were introduced in the WordPress version 2.5 to make it easy for users to execute functions without having to use lots of complicated, ugly code.  But if you are new to WordPress, you may not know where to start or what to do. Keep reading this blog post to learn how to use and work with WordPress shortcodes to build a website for your business.

What Are Shortcodes In WordPress?

Being an open-source platform that uses PHP programming language to power itself up, you can customize WordPress any way you want. You can add a specific feature by writing new code to your site in the text editor but this can prove to be too difficult if you are not a developer.  That’s where shortcodes come in. WordPress shortcodes allow users to replace the entire block of code with a single line of code. Shortcodes remain hidden as they get replaced by the actual content as soon as you publish or preview a post or page.

WordPress shortcodes are small tags (short bits of code) that are used by users for executing specific predefined features and functionality in posts and pages. A shortcode can be used for something as simple as adding an icon or gallery of images, videos or playlists to changing up the page layouts.  Awesome, right?

What Do Shortcodes Look Like?

You can recognize WordPress shortcodes by square brackets like [this] that surround a word or a phrase. You can copy and paste the required shortcode just about anywhere you want its result to appear, and it will perform the dedicated function on your page, post, or other content.

For example, if you wanted to add a customizable form on your contact page, you can choose from the many “contact form” WordPress plugins that use shortcodes.  The WordPress shortcode that you will need to insert into the text editor will appear like this-[contact_form].The form should automatically show up when you browse the contact page on your browser. Or a plugin that allows users to display a location on Google Maps will have a [maps] shortcode.


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Default WordPress Shortcodes

WordPress has a set of default options that do not require installing additional extensions. You can use these WordPress shortcodes on your website:

wordpress shortcodes

These can be copied and pasted directly onto your site or any location where you can add code, such as visual or text widget or custom post type.

Shortcode Parameters

It is also possible to use special optional “parameters” for customizations, like so:

[shortcodename parameter=”example”]

For example, you can define the size of the gallery by providing additional parameters. If you want to show images with specified ID numbers, you can use the

wordpress shortcodes

Nested Shortcodes

There may be times when you may need to put the content of one shortcode inside another shortcode, like so: [container][shortcode][/container]

WordPress does not allow shortcodes to contain text content or be nested within each other by default. So you can either add code to WordPress to make it handle nested shortcodes (BBCode (Bulletin Board Code) or you can use a plugin such as Outerbridge Nested Shortcodes.

Where to Create Shortcodes

If you have some knowledge of HTML and PHP, you can create custom WordPress shortcodes to perform specific functions on your website, such as adding buttons, text, or forms. You can place shortcode definitions within a theme’s functions.php file. As long as you are not breaking any existing code, it is possible to add your custom code anywhere, really. Check out the WordPress Shortcode API for more information on how to create your own WordPress shortcode.

WordPress users can install a plugin such as Shortcodes Ultimate, Intense Shortcodes or Vision to simplify the work of creating content and building your site. Now that you have figured out how to use WordPress shortcodes, you will need somewhere to host your website. You can check out secure HostLabs WordPress hosting, with one-click installation, autoupdates and more! Basic Web Hosting, HostLabs ’ most popular and affordable solution, goes perfectly with their Managed Shared Hosting service.