Well, the definition of WordPress Shortcodes is pretty simple, but you might have Googled it already. You’re here to get the detailed information on this subject, which was released in WordPress 2.5 version for the first time, and since then, it has become one of the widely used programming concepts.
To be conclusive, Shortcodes were developed for the WordPress users, who aren’t having coding knowledge, or having a minimum amount of knowledge. These people aren’t everyone, but only those, who are interested in knowing and using a method which can help them do little functionality tricks, without moving completely into the programming or coding.
So, it’s a simple, exclusive and very intelligent method of inserting a functionality. You need to define a Shortcode in the functionality section of your WordPress, then initiate it, define its trigger point and name, and once everything is done, it can be called, anywhere you want, through its name.
For example, if you’ve created a Shortcode to display Recent Posts, with the same name, and wish to call it inside a Post or Page, then you just have to insert following code.
That’s it! The moment, this Shortcode initiates, it will call its parent function and trigger points. It will gather the information from the database, which its supposed to, and then act like the one. In our example, the section of Post where you’ve inserted that Shortcode will enlist Recent Posts of your blog.
So, this is what a Shortcode definition looks like, and you can use them, by knowing their trigger name. These days, many plugins have been offering the Shortcodes, and once you’re aware of their trigger name, you can initiate them anytime or anywhere you want.
The reason why this concept became very popular is because it saves the normal WordPress user, from writing code to insert a kind of functionality. The developer, who is supposed to take care of everything, can create a bunch of Shortcodes, which Editor might be using in future, and inform him of the names.
Now, Editor can use any of those functionalities, simply by triggering the name of those Shortcodes.
So, it is easy enough to remember, requires no coding knowledge at all and serves the purpose at its best. According to my little coding knowledge, there is no better way to insert a code than this one.
Well, this is a tricky question and can be explained in many possible ways. But, I’ll do my best to cover it up with a simpler one. The modern themes and plugins are offering the facility of Shortcodes to the end users.
You just have to check the features offered by those Themes and Plugins, and if Shortcode word appears in that list, then you’re in big luck.
Once you install that Theme or Plugin and start using it, the functionality for which a Shortcode is available, will be clearly mentioned, and you can trigger it using the name. Yes, insert that name in Square brackets, and you’re good to go.
In most of the cases, the whole code is being available for end users, and they can simply copy and paste the same.
So, if you have WordPress development knowledge, then you can easily create a function, or use the existing one, and create a Shortcode for the same.
Or, if you’re a normal end user, who is interested in the abstract model, then you can rely on the Shortcodes offered by some Plugins or Themes and use them to serve the purpose.