WordPress introduced WordPress shortcodes back in version 2.5, and whether you’re a WordPress developer or just a user, you’ll definitely find them very useful at one point or another. Not only are they great when you want to quickly customize the layout or insert specific functionality without actually writing any code, but they can also be useful during the development process as well. Read on to find out more about shortcodes, when to use them, and which ones to avoid.
What Are WordPress Shortcodes?
WordPress shortcodes are essentially simple references inside square brackets you can use in a post, page, or even in widgets that pull specific pieces of code from the functions.php file. You can use them for simple things like inserting an icon, or more advanced things like inserting responsive sliders. Shortcodes can save you a lot of time down the road, because you won’t have to write the same lines of code over and over again. For example, you can write your own code for social buttons with custom styling and point back to that code using the appropriate shortcode at any place on any page of your blog.
Another great thing when it comes to WordPress shortcodes is the ease of customizability. If, for example, you choose to change the social buttons you coded, you won’t have to go back to each place you used them and edit the code. You will only have to change the original code, and the changes will be applied throughout your blog wherever you used the shortcode.
What’s In It For The Developers?
WordPress is a highly saturated community and there are countless developers fighting for the same buyers, which means you’ll want to do everything in your power to stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of a potential buyer. WordPress shortcodes will not only help you save quite some time, but they can also make your theme a lot more marketable. Including useful shortcodes will help your buyers customize the theme a lot easier and boost the appeal of the theme itself.
However, if you’re a developer working on a premium theme, it’s a good idea to develop a separate plugin for your shortcodes or use a third-party plugin to ensure your buyers will be able to use other themes later on without affecting the performance and the stability of the shortcodes. While using theme-specific WordPress shortcodes might sound like a great selling point, you risk ruining your reputation in the development community, which will only negatively affect your sales.