One of the most useful WordPress features is shortcodes. These are simple codes surrounded by square brackets that call in more complex functions. You are probably already using shortcodes to simplify the insertion of media items such as embedded YouTube videos. Instead of copy/pasting a strange embed script, using a shortcode, all you need is the link to the video page.
Media placement isn’t the only use for shortcodes. The multi-column layout of this post was created using a columns shortcode from the J ShortCodes plugin. This delightful plugin gives me the ability to add columns, boxes, tabbed content, buttons and much more. One shortcode that gets a lot of use over at Moultrie Creek Books is the box. I use it to spotlight the details about each book. Here’s what the box looks like.
And here’s what the code looks like in the WordPress editor.
Yes, it’s really that simple. Visit the J Shortcodes detail page to see the complete specs for each shortcode included in the plugin.
For more WordPress information, check out my WordPress 101 collection at Scribd.