WordPress shortcodes provide a convenient way to add various complex functionalities to your posts, pages, or widgets. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use a WordPress shortcode:


Shortcodes in WordPress are specific code enclosed in square brackets [ ] that allows you to perform complex functions with little effort. They can embed files, create objects, integrate plugins, and more.

Step 1: Find the Shortcode

Firstly, identify the shortcode you want to use. The shortcode could be supplied by WordPress itself, a WordPress theme, or a plugin. Each shortcode comes with its own set of instructions or parameters, which can be found in the respective theme or plugin documentation.

Step 2: Copy the Shortcode

Once you have identified the shortcode, copy it. A typical shortcode looks like [shortcode] or could have additional parameters like [shortcode parameter="value"].

Step 3: Paste the Shortcode in the Editor

In your WordPress post or page editor, paste the copied shortcode where you want its functionality to appear. This can be done in both the ‘Visual’ and ‘Text’ view in the editor.

For users of the Block Editor (Gutenberg), there is a dedicated ‘Shortcode’ block. Simply add the ‘Shortcode’ block to the location where you want the shortcode to appear and paste the shortcode into it.

Step 4: Preview Your Post or Page

After pasting the shortcode, preview the post or page to ensure the shortcode is working as expected.

Step 5: Publish or Update Your Post or Page

If you’re happy with how the shortcode is functioning, go ahead and publish (or update) your post or page.

Step 6: Use Shortcodes in Widgets (Optional)

Shortcodes can also be used in WordPress widgets. Navigate to Appearance > Widgets in your WordPress dashboard, select the widget area where you want to add the shortcode, and add a ‘Text’ widget. Paste your shortcode into the text field of the widget.


Shortcodes are a powerful tool in WordPress, providing a way to add complex functionality with ease. However, remember to use them sparingly, as overuse can lead to slower page load times and potential conflicts between different shortcodes or plugins. Always refer to the documentation of your theme or plugin to understand how to use the available shortcodes correctly.