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WordPress Shortcodes: Built-Ins

WordPress offers a plethora of features to make website creation and management easier. One such powerful feature is the shortcode system. Shortcodes are small bits of text enclosed in square brackets that allow users to add complex functionality or styling to their posts and pages with minimal effort.

Shortcodes act as shortcuts, enabling users to embed files or create objects that would normally require much longer code. They bridge the gap between the simplicity that casual users need and the flexibility that advanced users rely on. Whether you're looking to add a gallery, embed a video, or create a complex layout, there's likely a shortcode to help you accomplish your goal quickly and efficiently.

Below is a list with descriptions for all the current and a few deprecated WordPress shortcodes. It covers all shortcodes available in standard WordPress installations as of version 6.5. The deprecated ones are there as an example of different things that have been and could still be done with shortcodes today.

Current Shortcodes

1. [gallery] - Creates an image gallery from uploaded images. 

2. [caption] - Adds a caption to an image. 

3. [audio] - Embeds an audio file player. 

4. [video] - Embeds a video player. 

5. [embed] - Embeds content from other websites (like YouTube videos). 

6. [playlist] - Creates an audio or video playlist.  

7. [pdf] - Embeds a PDF file viewer (introduced in WordPress 5.5). 

8. [nextpage] - Used to break content into multiple pages. 

9. [more] - Inserts a "read more" break in posts. 

10. [private] - Wraps content that should only be visible to logged-in users. 

11. [bloginfo] - Displays various site information (like name or description). 

12. [archives] - Displays a list of archive links. 

13. [calendar] - Shows a calendar of your site's posts. 

14. [categories] - Lists the categories used in your site. 

15. [pages] - Displays a list of pages. 

16. [recent-comments] - Shows recent comments. 

17. [recent-posts] - Displays recent posts. 

18. [search] - Inserts a search form. 

19. [tag_cloud] - Creates a tag cloud. 

20. [posts] - Similar to [recent-posts], but with more options. 

21. [sitemap] - Generates a sitemap of your pages and categories. 

22. [column] - Creates a column layout (not available in all themes). 

23. [row] - Creates a row for column layouts (not available in all themes).

Deprecated Shortcodes

It's important to note that WordPress has deprecated several shortcodes over the years. While these may still work in some installations, it's generally recommended to use their modern equivalents or the shortcode when possible.

24. [wp_caption] (Deprecated) - Old version of [caption]. 

25. [wp_audio] (Deprecated) - Old version of [audio]. 

26. [wp_video] (Deprecated) - Old version of [video]. 

27. [rich-content] (Deprecated) - Previously used for rich text content. 

28. [wp_playlist] (Deprecated) - Old version of [playlist]. 

29. [bliptv] (Deprecated) - Was used to embed Blip.tv videos. 

30. [dailymotion] (Deprecated) - Was used to embed Dailymotion videos. 

31. [flickr] (Deprecated) - Was used to embed Flickr images or galleries. 

32. [scribd] (Deprecated) - Was used to embed Scribd documents. 

33. [slideshare] (Deprecated) - Was used to embed SlideShare presentations. 

34. [soundcloud] (Deprecated) - Was used to embed SoundCloud audio. 

35. [vimeo] (Deprecated) - Was used to embed Vimeo videos. 

36. [vine] (Deprecated) - Was used to embed Vine videos (service no longer exists). 

37. [wpvideo] (Deprecated) - Was used for VideoPress videos.

Shortcodes enhance WordPress functionality by simplifying complex features. Built-in shortcodes cover media embedding and content organization. Users can also create custom shortcodes using PHP functions, expanding site capabilities without extensive coding or additional plugins. This flexibility allows for tailored solutions to specific site needs.

As WordPress continues to evolve, so does its shortcode system. While some older shortcodes have been deprecated, new ones are introduced to meet changing needs and technologies. Always refer to the latest WordPress documentation for the most up-to-date information on shortcodes and their usage.

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