7 Best WordPress Custom Shortcode Plugins to Use in 2021

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While WordPress allows experienced website programmers to build websites from scratch, novices are not completely missing out on building the website of their dreams. WordPress themes come with built-in shortcodes—shortcuts of programming codes—that are meant to relieve complete beginners from the effort of typing elaborate, perplexing codes merely for the sake of making websites work perfectly.

WordPress shortcodes are short texts often enclosed with square brackets that correspond to displaying specific content upon the website’s publication. 

Suppose you are interested in leaving a contact form in your website’s Contact Us section, a shortcode as concise as [code lang=”shortcode”]contact[/code] can simply be typed to generate a functional contact form where website visitors can leave inquiries and valuable feedback to you.

Your chosen WordPress theme most likely supports shortcodes that can allow you to insert maps, embed images and videos, animated texts, insert important reminders, and feature your shop in your website even without long programming codes—the possibilities are endless. 

However, not all shortcodes can be integrated into all WordPress themes. To address this problem posed by theme incompatibility in WordPress, shortcode plugins were developed, and are now among the most utilized tools in WordPress.

Shortcode plugins save time and effort by ensuring that shortcodes work flawlessly across all WordPress themes. This article lists seven powerful WordPress shortcode plugins that will help with making your website more functional and interactive.

1. Meks Flexible Shortcodes  

Flexible Shortcodes is a free shortcode plugin powered by the premium WordPress plugin and theme developer Meks.

It supports twelve shortcodes that can vertically expand and collapse lists of items, buttons for navigation, columns for splitting content into important sections, drop caps to indicate paragraphs, icons to identify parts of your website, highlights for emphasis, progress bars to denote progress in certain activities, pull quotes for citing salient points, and a whole lot more.

The Meks Flexible Shortcodes plugin adapts to a broad array of WordPress themes and designs with multiple styling options available for customization.

Perks of using Meks Flexible Shortcodes:

  • Can be used for free
  • Supports twelve shortcodes
  • Has styling options that adapt to WordPress themes and designs

2. Shortcodes Ultimate

Vladimir Anokhin’s Shortcodes Ultimate has over fifty diverse shortcodes—the most popular shortcodes being accordions, buttons, carousels, columns, galleries, Google maps, labels, lightboxes, pricing tables, progress bars, quotes, sliders, spoilers, testimonials, and even video embedding from online streaming sites such as YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo. 

Shortcodes Ultimate integrates with most themes in WordPress and is likewise compatible with the Gutenberg Blocks Editor. It comes with a custom CSS editor and a live preview of shortcodes that are used and applied. 

While installing the plugin is free of charge, users can pay for the Add-ons Bundle in Shortcodes Ultimate’s official website for more advanced and functional shortcodes. The Add-ons Bundle includes apps named Extra Shortcodes, Additional Skins, and Shortcode Creator.

As of writing this, Shortcodes Ultimate trumps the shortcode plugins domain with a whopping number of active installations over 800,000 and over 5,000 five-star reviews, making it among the most preferred shortcode plugins among website developers.

Perks of using Shortcodes Ultimate:

  • Can be used for free with the option to make use of add-ons
  • Supports over fifty shortcodes
  • Supports most WordPress themes and the Gutenberg Blocks Editor

3. WP Shortcode Pro

WP Shortcode Pro, developed by MyThemeShop, supports eighty-three shortcodes—the most used of them being headings in dividing texts into sections, alerts for capturing attention to important texts, tabs to highlight information, accordions that expand or collapse information when clicked, separators that divide website parts into sections, and many more.

While this article features WP Shortcode Pro, this plugin does have a free version—WP Shortcode Free. Compared to the Pro version, the Free version only has a measly amount of eleven shortcodes.

Moreover, it does not allow custom CSS, shortcode previews, comprehensive documentation, extension with API, creation of shortcodes, and overwriting existing shortcodes, among others. For this reason, availing of a subscription to the Pro version would be advantageous for you if you have more complex requirements.

Aside from enjoying the extensive number of shortcodes WP Shortcode Pro has, users are also able to import and export shortcodes, as well as import demo content. Those are two features that other shortcode plugins such as Shortcode Ultimate do not offer. Writing from left-to-right (LTR) and right-to-left (RTL) are both supported.

Perks of using WP Shortcode Pro:

  • Access to eighty-three shortcodes
  • Users can import demo content, as well as import and export shortcodes
  • Supports both RTL and LTR modes

4. Shortcodes by Angie Makes 

Shortcodes by Angie Makes is a free shortcode plugin with an all-time count of over 520,000 downloads, making it a popular choice for unpaid shortcode plugins. It is compatible with other WordPress themes developed by Angie Makes, as well as with other WordPress themes.

Available shortcodes include sleek elements such as buttons, icons, headings, highlights, spacings, clear floats, inline codes, dividers, pricing tables, social icons, share buttons, testimonials, countdowns, skill bars, image boxes, preformatted texts, posts, sliders, accordions, tabs, toggles, Google maps, RSVP sections, wrappers, center content, and full width.

As Shortcodes by Angie Makes is a free plugin, it does not support troubleshooting. Nevertheless, their customer support can be contacted for concerns regarding Shortcodes.

Perks of using Shortcodes by Angie Makes:

  • Can be used for free
  • Seamless compatibility with Angie Makes themes and other WordPress themes
  • Fairly extensive range of shortcodes

5. Themify Shortcodes Plugin

Themify Shortcodes Plugin is a free plugin that works with most WordPress themes and has sixteen available Themify shortcodes. Plugin developer Themify originally intended their shortcodes to be exclusive to Themify themes until the creation of the Themify Shortcodes Plugin to seamlessly cater to other externally developed WordPress themes currently in use.

Shortcodes available in Themify Shortcodes include buttons, columns, horizontal rulers, quotes, logged-in user messages, guest user messages, maps, videos, embeddings to Flickr and Twitter, post sliders, sliders, list posts, boxes, author boxes, icons, and icon lists.

A feature Themify Shortcodes boasts is its shortcode generator found on its text editor. The shortcode generator allows you to insert shortcodes with ease without having to resort to typing shortcodes and their parameters manually. This feature not only saves you time but also effort, making Themify Shortcodes a great, beginner-friendly shortcode plugin.

Perks of using Themify Shortcodes Plugin:

  • Can be used for free
  • Supports sixteen shortcodes
  • Has a shortcode generator for quick and accurate generation of shortcodes

 6. Vision

Vision is a premium shortcode plugin that has different options for customization including colors, navigation, icons, and animations, among others. Included in Vision’s shortcodes are buttons, columns, pull quotes, image icons, progress bars, circle loaders, number counters, drop caps, content and alert boxes, animated features list, circles, and retina-ready icons.

For only $29, Vision is compatible with most WordPress themes and can be installed with one click. Unlike other shortcode plugins, Vision integrates with other compatible plugins such as WPML for translating content into multiple languages, BuddyPress for creating icons for your social networking sites on your website, WooCommerce for supporting WooCommerce used for promoting content from your WooCommerce-powered store.

Aside from coming with HTML5, Vision supports CSS3 used to style your websites into displaying elements with ease. Vision also has responsive customer support that can be contacted through four means. Vision has its own Online Help Center, Support Team, Ticket System, and User Manual. On top of that, Vision works well with search engine optimization (SEO) and supports JavaScript technology.

Perks of using Vision:

  • Supports HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript
  • Includes extensive options for colors and animations
  • Compatible with most WordPress themes

7. Woo Shortcodes Kit 

Woo Shortcodes Kit is a free shortcode plugin specializing in e-commerce, particularly for the accessibility of WooCommerce stores across WordPress themes. With over sixty functions, Woo Shortcodes Kit is a must-have for users operating e-commerce websites on WooCommerce. Shortcodes include access to your account and shop pages, as well as content restriction, advanced user data, and messages, among others.

Woo Shortcodes Kit supports three languages, namely English, Spanish, and Portuguese. While the default language is English, the shortcode plugin has translation files available in Spanish and Portuguese. With these languages, language barriers would not be an issue for Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking website developers.

Perks of using Woo Shortcodes Kit:

  • Can be used for free
  • Has over sixty shortcodes related to e-commerce
  • Supports three languages – English, Spanish, and Portuguese


Everyone can start a website nowadays, and this is especially made possible by open-source content management systems like WordPress. As a platform, WordPress is very versatile and is known for its ease of use. Using WordPress is ideal for people with no programming knowledge and experience in building websites, as WordPress is packed with tons of website themes to choose from and powerful tools ready to be used at your disposal. 

With a bit of effort, functional websites can be started in a matter of minutes with the help of shortcodes. To fully integrate your shortcodes across WordPress themes, using one of the shortcode plugins mentioned in the article will eliminate your need to generate new programming codes when it comes to compatibility.

As different shortcode plugins offer varied features, it is within your judgment to decide the right shortcode plugins suited to your website development needs. After all, these shortcode plugins are after the same goal – offer convenience through saving users time and effort.

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