What the WordPress ‘do_shortcode’ Function Is (And How to Use It)

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Shortcodes are a WordPress characteristic you need to use to add new components and performance to your web site. For instance, a plugin might allow you to create superior contact kinds and give you a shortcode to make it easier to add them to your website. The Challenge is, your choices when it comes to shortcode placement are restricted to the physique of your pages and widgets.

If you need extra flexibility when it comes to the location of your new components, WordPress will help you. There’s a perform referred to as do_shortcode, which you need to use to add shortcodes to any a part of your website. The solely caveat is you’ll want to edit a couple of WordPress recordsdata to use it.

In this tutorial, we’re going to discuss extra about what WordPress shortcodes are and the way they work. Then we’ll focus on when to use WordPress do_shortcode perform and train you the way to do it. Let’s get to work!

What WordPress Shortcodes Are (And How They Work)

Shortcodes are transient code snippets you’ll be able to add by means of your WordPress editor or its widgets. Each shortcode corresponds to a particular component or characteristic that exhibits up on the entrance finish when somebody views the web page it’s used on.

For instance, the Contact Form 7 plugin permits you to create superior contact kinds you’ll be able to place anyplace in your website. To do that, the plugin generates a singular shortcode for every of your contact kinds, resembling this one:

Your contact form's shortcode.

When your contact type is prepared to see the mild of day, merely place the shortcode on any of your pages and posts utilizing the WordPress editor:

Placing your contact form using a shortcode.

You’ll solely see the snippet of code in your finish. However, when somebody accesses the web page, they’ll find a way to see and work together together with your new contact type:

An example of a WordPress contact form.

This is only a single instance of what you are able to do utilizing shortcodes. Plenty of WordPress plugins use them liberally, since they give you a easy method to place new components in your web site.

You may even create your personal shortcodes by enjoying round with WordPress features.php file. This file permits you to add new performance to your themes utilizing PHP. You’ll want to know your method round the language in order for you to add advanced options, however creating primary shortcodes is easier than you may think. In any case, that’s a subject for one more article, so let’s get again to speaking about the do_shortcode perform.

An Introduction to the PHP do_shortcode Function

By default, you’ll be able to solely use shortcodes inside the WordPress editor or your web page’s widgets. For instance. in order for you to place a shortcode inside your header or one other part of your theme, you’re out of luck.

At least, that’s the case in the event you’re averse to tweaking a file or two by including codes to them. Otherwise, you need to use the do_shortcode perform to name up any shortcode you need – and its corresponding options – on virtually any of your theme’s recordsdata. Here’s what a do_shortcode perform appears to be like like:

<?php echo do_shortcode( '[your shortcode]' ); ?>

Basically, it’s only a wrapper for the shortcode you need to use. It executes the shortcode you inform it to, wherever you resolve to place it. In different phrases, you get full management over its placement, however the draw back is that you could be additionally break essential components of your theme in the event you’re undecided the place to put it. Given this, there are two components of preparation we should always speak about earlier than you get to work.

2 Elements You’ll Need Before Getting Started

Since we’re going to be enhancing important WordPress recordsdata, we’ll want to speak about how to entry them, which we’ll do in a minute. For now, let’s focus on security and the way to create a backup on your web site so you will have a restore level in case something goes incorrect.

1. A Full, Recent Backup Of Your Website

When utilizing do_shortcode perform (or in any other case poking round inside your theme’s core recordsdata), there’s a small likelihood chances are you’ll trigger errors in your web site. It is likely to be that your shortcode conflicts with different essential performance, or displaces a component of your theme’s design. In any case, having a latest backup can prevent loads of complications if one thing goes incorrect that you may’t repair.

Fortunately, 000Webhost customers have entry to the All-In-One WP Migration plugin out of the field. With this plugin, you’ll be able to create as many backups as you want on your WordPress web site. Within your dashboard, navigate to the All-In-One WP Migration > Backups tab and click on on the CREATE BACKUP button:

Creating a new backup for your website.

On the subsequent web page, click on on the Export to button and select the File to save your backup as an area file. Now, the plugin will bundle your complete web site right into a single file, which you’ll restore by going to the plugin’s Import tab and importing it:

Importing a backup.

You also can entry your most up-to-date backups with out having to re-upload them. Just navigate to the All-In-One WP Migration > Backups tab and discover the backup you’re on the lookout for in the checklist inside:

Restoring one of your existing backups.

The plugin permits you to restore, Download, and delete backups instantly to prevent time. We advocate backing up no less than as soon as every week to be on the secure facet. However, in the event you’re going to be making any vital modifications to your web site’s performance – as we shall be in a few minutes – an additional backup can’t harm.

2. Access to Your Server Via File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

There are a number of methods you’ll be able to entry your web site’s recordsdata in the event you want to edit them. For instance, 000Webhost customers have entry to a file supervisor instrument inside their internet hosting dashboard.

However, usually, we advocate utilizing File Transfer Protocol (FTP) because it supplies you with many extra choices to edit and work together together with your recordsdata. To entry your web site through FTP, you’ll want a shopper. We advocate utilizing FileZilla because it’s a robust open-source instrument that features all of the options we’d like.

Once you Download, set up, and run FileZilla, you’ll see a number of empty fields at the high of the display screen corresponding to the FTP credentials you want to join to your web site. These aren’t the identical as your WordPress admin credentials, and to discover them, you’ll want to log into your 000Webhost account. Here, bounce to the Settings > General tab and search for the FTP Details part at the high of the display screen:

Your FTP details.

FTP must be turned on by default, so all you want to do is copy your Host Name and Username particulars. Then, enter them into FileZilla alongside your 000Webhost password. As for which port to set, go away this discipline empty and the shopper will default to the most typical possibility. When you’re prepared, click on on the Quickconnect button to the proper:

Accessing your website via FTP.

Now, FileZilla will set up a connection to your web site. When it does, two folders will present up on the lower-right nook of your display screen, referred to as public_html and temp:

The first folder is also referred to as WordPress’ root listing, and it incorporates all of the platform’s recordsdata. Leave this window open for now, since we’ll want to delve deeper into WordPress’ recordsdata for the subsequent a part of this information.

How to Use the WordPress do_shortcode Function (In 3 Steps)

As we talked about earlier, you’ll be able to add the do_shortcode anyplace you need inside your theme’s template recordsdata. Where to place it’s up to you. For this tutorial, we’re going to use Twenty Seventeen’s header.php file to showcase the course of.

Step #1: Find the Shortcode You Want to Add to Your Theme

It stands to motive that to use the do_shortcode perform, you’ll want a shortcode you need to add to your theme. You can select any shortcode you need, be it from a plugin or a perform you registered manually. However, there are a couple of concerns to have in mind earlier than you decide:

  • Make certain the component you need to add to your theme matches into the part you keep in mind. To that finish, we advocate testing the shortcode on a daily web page beforehand to see the way it works and the way a lot area it takes up.
  • Consider if the placement you keep in mind is logical. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to add a full-fledged contact type your theme’s header. However, a one-line signup type wouldn’t look misplaced inside a secondary menu.

In any case, the shortcode you employ and the place to place it’s up to you. When you’re prepared, transfer on to step quantity two.

If you saved FileZilla open, it is best to nonetheless be in the WordPress root folder. From right here, navigate to the wp-content/themes/twentyseventeen folder and discover the header.php file:

The header.php file.

Each WordPress theme has its personal header.php file, and enhancing one in all them received’t add the do_shortcode perform to the others in case you resolve to swap energetic themes. This additionally means you’ll be able to disable the theme for troubleshooting functions in the event you run into a difficulty whereas implementing the perform.

Secondly, every WordPress theme additionally comes with its personal listing, situated inside wp-content/themes. In most instances, it’ll be simple sufficient to acknowledge which folder corresponds to which theme. For now, let’s return our focus to the header.php file. In the subsequent part, we’ll speak about how to edit it and add the do_shortcode perform.

To edit your theme’s header.php file, right-click on it and select the View/Edit possibility. This will open a replica of the file utilizing your default native text editor, like so:

Editing your header.php file.

How your header.php file appears to be like will rely upon the theme you’re utilizing. In most instances, it is best to discover a number of div sections inside, that are the sections that make up your header. Your do_shortcode perform ought to go inside the div that corresponds to your required location. Here’s one other instance of a do_shortcode in motion, utilizing a Contact Form 7 shortcode:

<?php echo do_shortcode(“[contact-form-7 id="7" title="My Contact Form"]”); ?>

Remember you want to substitute the content material right here with your personal shortcode and any extra parameters you need to add to it. When the do_shortcode is in place, save the modifications to the header.php file and shut it. FileZilla will ask you in order for you to substitute the current model of the file with the one you simply edited, to which it is best to reply “Yes”. Now, go forward and take a look at how your web site appears to be like to see in case your shortcode is working as supposed.

Ideally, your shortcode shouldn’t break the part the place you add it to or intervene with any of its different components, as in the instance above. It might require a little bit of trial and error to get it proper, however you received’t trigger any lasting injury to your web site in the course of, so don’t be shy about it!


WordPress shortcodes are a robust characteristic that allows you to add new performance and components to your web site. The solely draw back to utilizing shortcodes is that you simply don’t have loads of management over the place to place them.

However, WordPress presents an answer to this Challenge by means of coding. There’s a perform referred to as do_shortcode, which permits you to add shortcodes to any a part of your theme. It provides you virtually full management over their placement. Let’s recap how to use it rapidly:

  1. Choose the shortcode you need to add to your theme.
  2. Find your theme’s header.php file.
  3. Add the do_shortcode perform to your theme’s header.php file.

Do you will have any questions on how to use the do_shortcode perform in WordPress? Let’s speak about them in the feedback part under!