Getting Started With WordPress.com Shortcodes

WordPress.com shortcodes are hidden gems in the WordPress.com ecosystem that anyone can use. The main idea behind shortcodes is that they allow you to add advanced features like videos, social media feeds, and image portfolios to your website without having a background in coding.

Think of shortcodes as shortcuts for enhancing your content without needing to understand the mechanics under the hood.

Read on to discover the benefits of WordPress.com shortcodes, how they work, and how you can use them to streamline everyday WordPress.com experiences.

WordPress.com shortcodes in action

This is what a sample WordPress.com shortcode looks like when you create a new post or edit an existing one:

How shortcodes appear in the post editor.

As you can see, it’s just a few words inside brackets. The specific shortcode used above is [display-posts]. This doesn’t look like much, but once you save the draft or click the Preview button, this shortcode will be converted into a list of your existing blog posts, like so:

WordPress.com shortcode example

This particular shortcode can also be customized. If you only want to include posts on your list that fall under the “dinner” category, use the following text:

[display-posts category="dinner"]

If you only want to list your two most recent posts, use the following text:

[display-posts posts_per_page="2"]

If you want the publication date to display next to the post title, use the following text:

[display-posts include_date="true"]

WordPress.com shortcode example with date

You can also combine the above text so that it looks like the following:

[display-posts category="dinner" posts_per_page="2" include_date="true"]

This is just the beginning of using shortcodes — and we haven’t even touched on everything that the [display-posts] one can do. Here is the complete documentation on what else can be done with [display-posts].

Why use shortcodes?

Looking at the [display-posts] shortcode alone, it can prove to be handy in a number of situations:

Examples of shortcodes

Keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The [display-posts] shortcode is one of approximately 50 different WordPress.com shortcodes available. Among them you’ll find shortcodes like:

Each of these shortcodes carries its own set of surprises, features, and customizations.

Shortcodes streamline the process of working with websites. For example, you won’t need to manually insert the official embedding code from YouTube if you want to place a video on your page. Instead, you can use the [youtube] shortcode. Imagine the amount of time shortcodes will save you!

Additionally, WordPress.com shortcodes are built into your WordPress.com website — you don’t need to install or enable them separately.

Navigate to your WordPress.com website, create a new post, and begin experimenting with different shortcodes. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to create a streamlined multimedia experience for your audience.