How to Create and Organize Shortcodes in WordPress

WordPress shortcodes are a powerful tool that allow you to add dynamic content or functionality to your posts, pages, or widgets with just a simple shortcode. With WordPress, you can create your own custom shortcodes using the add_shortcode() function in your theme's functions.php file or a plugin file. Shortcodes can be as complex or simple as you need them to be, and can include any HTML, PHP, or JavaScript code required to generate the desired output. By mastering the use of shortcodes, you can streamline your website's functionality and make your content more engaging and interactive for your readers.

In this post, I will show you how to create WordPress shortcodes and how to save and load them individually.

Create Shortcodes


To create your own shortcode, you can use add_shortcode() function in your theme's functions.php file or a plugin file. In this example, the add_shortcode() function registers the shortcode [hello_world] with WordPress, and specifies that it should use the shortcode_hello_world() function as the callback to generate the output.

When writing PHP code, you must start with "<?php". If it's already included or not closed by "?>", there's no need to add it again.

function shortcode_hello_world() {
    echo ('Hello, World!');
add_shortcode('hello_world', 'shortcode_hello_world');

Call shortcode

To use the shortcode in your content, simply add the following shortcode to your post or page.


When the post or page is displayed, WordPress will replace the shortcode with the output generated by the shortcode_hello_world() function, in this case, "Hello, World!".

Organize Shortcodes

While there's nothing wrong with the above method, if you prefer to keep your functions.php file tidy and organized, you might want to consider creating a separate folder for your shortcodes and saving each one as its own file.

Create shortcode folder

Create a folder named 'shortcodes' at the same level as the functions.php file in your theme's folder (or in the child theme's folder if you are using one).

Next, save your custom shortcode as a PHP file in the "shortcodes" folder that you created earlier. For this example, I will use the "hello_world" shortcode that was mentioned previously and save it as a single PHP file.

Load shortcodes from functions.php

To load the separate shortcode files you've created, add the following code to your functions.php file.

$shortcodes_folder = __DIR__ . '/shortcodes/';
$shortcodes_paths = glob($shortcodes_folder . '*');
foreach ($shortcodes_paths as $shortcodes_path) {
    include $shortcodes_path;

You can now call your custom shortcodes using the same method described above. By organizing each shortcode into separate PHP files within the "shortcodes" folder, it becomes easier to manage and maintain as the number of shortcodes increases.

To Conclude

In conclusion, creating custom WordPress shortcodes can greatly enhance the functionality of your website by allowing you to easily embed custom content or functionality wherever you need it. With the simple code examples I've provided, you can get started with creating your own shortcodes today and take your WordPress site to the next level. So, start experimenting and see what new possibilities you can unlock with the power of shortcodes!