An uninhibited control over your website's feature-set is an attribute every webmaster fancies. What's the point of “owning” a website when you can't dictate the way it appears and functi~ns. While WordPress does bequeath you with exceptionally good default features, but every webmaster has his/her own set of preferred features which may be radically different than the mainstream features WP has to offer.

And thus, they may find hard to integrate the same with their website. And that's where the shortcodes come into the picture. As the name suggests, these are short snippets of code that give you the wherewithal of integrating certain features with your website that are hard to find in different WordPress themes, or for that matter, with different plugins.

Now, there are some do's and don'ts of using the shortcodes:

Undoubtedly, these WordPress shortcodes that were introduced to us with the WordPress 2.5 version have come across as pricelessly important tools for letting the ragtag features make an exit from our website and add only the most relevant ones.

Now, certain WordPress sites that have their own shortcodes for your consideration. And using them throughout your website is indeed a temptation. That said, you don't need to place theme just about everywhere on the site. There are some shortcodes that need to be changed in their coding every time you are installing a new theme, and you need to hire programmers so that they can work without any discrepancy on the new theme. Also, using shortcodes in all posts would mean that when the need arises to remove them, you will have to manually remove them one by one from the individual posts.

Locating the Shortcodes in Your Site

Now, every once in a while, you will need to know where are the shortcodes placed in the functions.php file or for that matter, in a file placed in the includes folder. Now, this may seem to be a daunting task if you are not a coder or if you don't have any experience in playing around the Editor section of WordPress. However, the process is fairly simple.

To begin with, you will have to access your theme's folder that has a path which resembles:

Now, have a look at the functions.php file or access the includes folder and find the file there. The shortcode will look like this:

add_shortcode('my-shortcode', 'my_shortcode_function');

Shortcodes Can Also Be Added to Widgets

If you have ben led to believe that you can use the shortcodes with only your posts and pages, it's time to let go of this misconception. The WordPress widgets can also be integrated with these shortcodes, and in a manner most seamless.

Now, your WordPress theme may not enable this feaure by default, in that case, this small piece of code in the functions.php file will tailor your theme to support using the shortcodes in the widget area:

Adding Them to a WordPress Theme File

There may be instances when you would want to display the shortcodes in a theme area that is not widgetized, and for the same, there is again a short line of code to enable it. Let's say you have have built a theme by the name of MyOwnTheme, and you want the shortcode to present a contact form on your theme:

<?php echo do_shortcode("[myowntheme_shortcode]"); ?>

When You Need to Look for the Shortcodes in Your Posts

As mentioned earlier, removing all the shortcodes on your website manually from each and every post is hassle-filled job, and one that consumes a lot of time and effort. And the process has to begin with locating all the posts that have shortcodes integrated to them.

However, using the following code in your functions.php file can accomplish the task ever so effortlessly:

As invaluable as the WordPress shortcodes are, using them in the right manner is what counts at the end of the day.

Feel free to share your answers in the comment area!

About The Author:

Sarah Parker is an experienced technical writer by profession associated with Designs2Html Ltd., one of the leading PSD to WordPress service providing company across the globe.

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