Nowadays, most premium themes are provided with integrated shortcodes feature. By using the shortcodes, you can add different types of components to your website without having to create them manually.
While the built-in shortcodes are a very useful feature of the premium themes, there is an enormous drawback of using the theme shortcodes. Say, you have used a lot of shortcodes from a particular theme in your website. Now, if you want to change the theme, what will happen? None of your shortcodes will work anymore. You need to delete them one by one and look for similar shortcodes in the new theme.
A smart way to avoid this type of situation is to use dedicated shortcode plugins. Additionally, some people are still using themes that don’t come with the shortcode feature. The shortcode plugins will be useful for them too. To get you started with the shortcode plugins, I have created a list of the seven best free shortcode plugins for WordPress. Let’s see what the plugins are, shall we?
This is arguably the most popular shortcode plugin for WordPress. The simple but powerful plugin lets you create various elements like tabs, accordions, buttons, sliders, boxes, etc. in a simple way. In total, there are more than 50 components for you to choose from. The fully responsive components will work correctly in any screen size. It is also possible to apply custom CSS to them.
Shortcodes Ultimate works with any modern WordPress theme. If you want additional features, there are some premium add-ons available. By purchasing the add-ons, you can get more shortcodes for the plugin, create custom shortcodes and get custom skins.
Column-based layouts are very popular among professional bloggers. While most of the modern themes are provided with built-in layouts, you can choose Column Shortcodes if your theme doesn’t have that feature. The plugin comes with dedicated shortcodes for various column layouts. You can also choose custom padding between the columns.
The plugin comes with ten different layouts including 1/2, 1/3, 2/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, etc. Adding the columns is very easy. Once you install the plugin, it will create a new button in your post editor. Clicking the button will open a popup window from where you can choose your desired layout.
With more than 24 shortcodes, WP Shortcode by MyThemeShop is a premium quality free shortcode plugin for WordPress. By using the plugin, you can easily add tabs, buttons, highlights, boxes, pricing tables, toggles, etc.
Unlike most other shortcode plugins, WP Shortcode by MyThemeShop is provided with a simple user interface. The minimally styled elements could be used in any website. Installing the plugin will create a new button in the post editor. From the resulting window, you can choose the element you want to use. The plugin also comes with all the necessary customization options for each element.
Easy Bootstrap Shortcode is an excellent free WordPress plugin for adding Bootstrap styles in your posts and pages in a simple and straightforward way. After installing and activating the plugin, you will find a new line of buttons in the post editor. The plugin comes with various elements like tabs, lists, tooltip, notifications, popovers, progress bars, buttons, badges, jumbotron, etc. Clicking on the element icons will open a popup window with configuration options for the element.
There are also some settings options available for the plugin. Go to EBS Settings > EBS Settings to configure the options. You can choose the load the JS and CSS files from the plugin or other sources. It is also possible to apply custom CSS from the settings page.
WP Canvas – Shortcodes is a very useful shortcode plugin with lots of features for the users. Besides the regular components like tabs, accordions, buttons, progress bars and columns, the plugin is also provided with several unique components including custom HTML, RSVP, Google Maps, countdown, testimonials, code snippets etc.
The plugin will add a new drop-down menu in your post editor. Clicking the menu will open the list of available components. Once you select a component, the relevant shortcode will automatically be inserted into the post. Each component is also provided with Font Awesome icons.
Bootstrap Shortcodes for WordPress provides a simple way of adding Bootstrap components and styles by using shortcodes. This simple plugin assumes that your theme already has Bootstrap and adds a small button right next to the ‘Add Media’ button in your post editor.
Unlike most other shortcode plugins, this plugin does not create a lot of icons and buttons for separate components. Rather, you can access any component by clicking the button. The available components are divided into several categories. Clicking on any component will open the official Bootstrap documentation and shortcode example. There is also a button to add the shortcodes into the post body.
Fruitful Shortcodes is another simple WordPress plugin for adding different types of shortcodes into your WordPress site. After activating the plugin, you can choose to show the shortcodes into the post, page or custom post types from the Settings > Fruitful Shortcodes page.
The shortcode buttons will be added in the new post editor. You can add various elements like horizontal and vertical tabs, multi-column layouts, separator, buttons, accordions, alert, progress bar, etc. Clicking on any icon will add the necessary shortcodes into the post body. The content of the shortcode could be customized easily.
Using a dedicated shortcode plugin gives back your freedom to change your theme anytime you want. They are simple to use and come with lots of styles and components. If used appropriately, a shortcode plugin could save a lot of time for any website owner.
So, which shortcode plugin(s) do you like the most? Let me know in the comments. And if you are using any of them already, don’t forget to share your experience with us by leaving a comment below.