How to Add a Shortcode in WordPress

WordPress gained the title of the most popular content management system and the best platform for SEO because of its flexibility, ease of use, and vast customization options. One of the most important features of WordPress is the use of shortcodes. Shortcodes are small snippets of code that allow users to add complex functionality to their WordPress website without having to write any code themselves. In this article, we will explore what shortcodes are, how they work, and how to add them to your WordPress website.

What is a Shortcode and how to add it to WordPress?

Shortcodes in WordPress are a powerful tool that allows users to add dynamic content to their website’s posts, pages, and sidebar widgets without writing any code themselves. Shortcodes are displayed within square brackets, and you can use them to add a wide range of complex features to your WordPress website.

But why were shortcodes added in the first place? The reason for this is that WordPress filters all content to ensure that no malicious code enters the database. This means that users can write basic HTML in their posts. However, they can’t write PHP codes. But what if you want to run a custom code and, for example, add a search form using a shortcode? This is where the Shortcode API comes in.

Computer screen with PHP code written on it
If you want to add a custom shortcode to your website you can use the Shortcode API.

The Shortcode API allows developers to add their code inside a function and register that function with WordPress as a shortcode. Users can then easily use the shortcode without having any coding knowledge. So even if you’re a complete WordPress beginner, when WordPress finds the shortcode, it will automatically run the code associated with it, generating the desired output.

Shortcodes are extremely versatile and can add a wide range of functionality to a website, including social media buttons, contact forms, custom galleries, videos, and more. With the help of shortcodes, users can create engaging and interactive content that will keep visitors coming back for more. Now let’s find out how to add a shortcode in WordPress.

How to Add a Shortcode in WordPress Posts and Pages?

Experts from WP Full Care advise that adding a shortcode to a post or page is a simple process that requires just a few steps. To begin, navigate to the post or page where you want to add the shortcode and click on the edit button. Once you’re in the editor, click on the add block button to insert a shortcode block.

Next, enter your shortcode into the block settings. You can find the shortcode provided by various WordPress plugins such as WPForms for contact forms, OptinMonster for email marketing forms, and WP Call button for click-to-call buttons, among others.

Once you have entered your shortcode, you can save your post or page and preview your changes to see the shortcode in action. It’s that easy! By using shortcodes, you can add a wide range of functionality to your WordPress site without the need for any coding knowledge.

How to Add a Shortcode in WordPress Sidebar Widgets?

If you want to add a shortcode to a WordPress sidebar widget, the process is just as simple as adding it to a post or page. First, navigate to the Appearance » Widgets page and add a ‘Shortcode‘ widget block to the sidebar of your choice.

Computer screen with a WordPress plugins page opened on it
To get a shortcode for your website you can use one of many plugins available.

Next, paste your shortcode into the text area of the widget. Once you have entered your shortcode, click on the ‘Update’ button to store your widget settings. To preview the shortcode in action, simply visit your WordPress website and view the sidebar where you added the shortcode widget. This allows you to add a wide range of dynamic content to your website’s sidebar and the best part is, it’s super easy even if you’re a WordPress beginner.

It’s important to note that not all WordPress plugins support the use of shortcodes in sidebar widgets. Therefore, before attempting to add a shortcode to a sidebar widget, be sure to check that your plugin supports this functionality.

How to Add a Shortcode in WordPress Theme Files?

If you want to add a shortcode to your WordPress theme files, you can do so by editing the theme templates. First, open the WordPress theme editor by going to Appearance » Theme Editor. Next, select the template file where you want to add the shortcode. You can add the following code to any PHP file in your theme, including header.php, footer.php, or single.php:

<?php echo do_shortcode('[your_shortcode]'); ?>

Replace [your_shortcode] with the name of the shortcode you want to use. Save your changes, and the shortcode will now be available in your WordPress theme file. Keep in mind that editing theme files can be risky, and any mistakes can break your site. To avoid this, make sure to create a backup of your theme files before making any changes.

How to Add a Shortcode in Old WordPress Classic Editor?

For those still using the old classic editor in WordPress, adding shortcodes to posts and pages is a breeze. To get started, simply edit the post or page where you want to add the shortcode. From there, you can paste the shortcode anywhere inside the content editor where you want it to be displayed. Just be sure that the shortcode is on its own line for proper rendering.

Person sitting at a desk and working on a laptop
Even if you’re still using the old classic editor, you can still easily add a shortcode in WordPress.

Once you have entered your shortcode, be sure to save your changes. After that, you can preview your post or page to see the shortcode in action. It’s important to note that not all shortcodes are compatible with the old classic editor. Therefore, make sure to check that your shortcode is supported before attempting to add it to your content.

While the classic editor may not have all of the bells and whistles of the newer Gutenberg editor, it’s still a powerful tool for creating content in WordPress. By utilizing shortcodes, you can add a wide range of dynamic content to your posts and pages with ease, no matter which editor you are using.

Wrapping Up

Shortcodes are an essential feature of WordPress that allows users to add complex functionality to their websites without having to write any code themselves. As you can see, even if you’re a WordPress beginner, you can easily add a shortcode in WordPress in just a few clicks. However, if you are not confident in your WordPress abilities or you’re simply busy with other aspects of your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to WordPress experts. They’ll give your website the care it deserves while you can take your time to work on growing your business in other ways.

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