How to Add More Life to WordPress Themes Using Shortcodes!?

Every website owner would love to be able to have a web page that is scalable and to be able to make modifications on the move. In fact, different websites have different needs. Thus, taking control over the default features and customizing things that aren’t to your liking can actually add an extra boost to your site’s functionality. Now you may be wondering how to achieve this in WordPress? The answer is more than simple – use WordPress shortcodes.


What Are ShortCodes in WordPress?

In essence, shortcodes are little bits of code that enable you to do significant customization changes in order to make your site more functional. The best thing about them is that you can make modification as you want and when you want. Therefore, customizing and personalizing your website isn’t unachievable anymore. They provide you the ability to add new and tweak the already existing features.


Where to Find Default ShortCodes on Your Site?

You may not know, but the theme of your website probably includes some useful shortcodes by default. To be more specific, I’m referring to the one you can find in your theme’s file named functions.php. Yet, even coders aren’t familiar with this feature because WordPress offers a great range of features that don’t require the user to dig deeper into the site’s technicality. On the other side, even if you have a decent knowledge of functions.php file, you may not be able to find the shortcode easily. Therefore, here’s how it looks and what you should be looking for:


Basic WordPress Default ShortCodes

The procedure of creating a shortcode comprises of several steps. The first step is creating a callback function which is called once it gets activated. Second, that specific function links with a shortcode. The third step of the procedure requires you to add the newly created code to the functions.php file. But, if you add various shortcodes, you should better create separate files for each of them, and finally link them to functions.php.

Now, let’s have a look at the most basic WordPress default SCs (shortcodes):

  • Gallery SCs – for arranging images and videos;
  • Video SCs – for embedding videos;
  • Caption SCs – for adding captions to images;
  • Audio SCs – for embedding audio files;
  • Embed SCs – for adding different files such as audios or videos.


Other ShortCodes

Believe it or not, the most common misconception is that shortcodes can only be used for website posts. However, that isn’t true. Namely, they can also be leveraged and work perfectly well with widgets. But, why use them for widgets? The answer is pretty simple – they improve functionality. All you need to do is go to the functions.php file and attach this code:

add_filter(‘widget_text’, ‘do_shortcode’)

In addition, they can also be used in unison with and improve the functionality of many other WordPress non-widgetized sections. For example, you may want to add a shortcode for showing the contact form in your theme. Then, add the following code:

echo do_shortcode(“[myowntheme_shortcode]”)

But that’s not all! If you want your visitors to subscribe to your website and receive all of your posts in their inbox, you can also use shortcodes instead of sending them a message every time you want your readers to read it which is time-consuming. Hence, add this shortcode and save yourself a lot of time:


Last but not least, you can even further improve the features by creating a shortcode with attributes. These attributes can significantly enhance and strengthen the existing features that shortcodes have already provided your website. Any of the functions created by adding the above-listed shortcodes can be bolstered by these attributes:


Thank you for reading this article. Each of the shortcodes we’ve presented is a remarkably useful measure which can add some extra customization features to your site. And, even though WordPress Default Shortcodes can do quite a decent job, if you want to take your website to the next level, you may want to get more familiar with them and add them to your agenda. If you have any questions regarding this article, or need additional help, ask away below in comments, and we will help you as soon as possible. 


Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at 85ideas is a team of WordPress experts led by Brian Harris. Here to share amazing tuts, guides and collections.

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