Adding a shortcode in WordPress is a great way to easily embed custom functionality or content into your posts, pages, or widgets without the need for extensive coding. Shortcodes are essentially placeholders that trigger specific actions or display content when used within your WordPress content editor. Here’s a beginner’s guide on how to add a shortcode in WordPress:

1. Identify the Functionality or Content You Want to Create a Shortcode For: Before you start creating a shortcode, you need to have a clear idea of what functionality or content you want to add. This could be anything from displaying a contact form to showing dynamic content generated by a custom plugin.

2. Create the Shortcode Function: You’ll need to add the PHP code for your shortcode function in your theme’s functions.php file or within a custom plugin. Here’s a basic template for creating a shortcode function:

function your_shortcode_function_name($atts) {
// Code to generate or display content
add_shortcode(‘your_shortcode_tag’, ‘your_shortcode_function_name’);


  • your_shortcode_function_name: Replace this with a unique and descriptive name for your shortcode function.
  • your_shortcode_tag: This is the tag you’ll use in your WordPress editor to call your shortcode. Choose something unique to avoid conflicts with other plugins or themes.

3. Define the Shortcode Functionality: Inside your shortcode function, write the code that generates or displays the content or functionality you want. For example, if you’re creating a shortcode to display a custom message, your function might look like this:

function custom_message_shortcode($atts) {
return “This is a custom message!”;
add_shortcode(‘custom_message’, ‘custom_message_shortcode’);

4. Use the Shortcode in Your Content: To use your shortcode, simply insert the tag you specified in your function ([custom_message] in the example) into your post or page content.

5. Configure Shortcode Attributes (Optional): You can also allow users to customize the behavior of your shortcode by adding attributes to it. In your shortcode function, you can access these attributes through the $atts parameter. For example:

function custom_message_with_attributes($atts) {
$atts = shortcode_atts(array(
‘message’ => ‘This is a custom message!’,
), $atts);

return “Message: ” . $atts[‘message’];
add_shortcode(‘custom_message_with_attributes’, ‘custom_message_with_attributes’);

In this case, you can use [custom_message_with_attributes message="Your custom message"] to display a message of your choice.

6. Test Your Shortcode: After adding your shortcode to a post or page, make sure to preview or publish it to see if the shortcode functions as expected.