The greatest reason why we love WordPress is that you can use it to build websites without writing a single line of code. Even its basic functionality is more than enough to get your site up and running in just a few minutes. And with the myriads of plugins, free or premium, the sky is the limit. They are what makes WordPress so versatile as to meet literally any request you throw at it.

Plugins are to your website what your hands and feet are to your brain. As powerful as it is, the brain would accomplish nothing without the functionality of limbs. And WordPress shortcode plugins are among the most useful and flexible tools there are.

man drawing wordpress plugin structure

If you want to add various menus, tabs, columns, content boxes, media, buttons, animations or other fancy and useful elements, shortcodes are a very convenient way to do it. Some of these features (or even shortcode generators) might come included in your author theme. But even if they are not, you’re only a few clicks away from acquiring them with WordPress shortcodes plugins.

In this blog post, I will take a look at some of the best plugins you can find on the Internet. The best part is that some of them come free of charge.

What Are Shortcodes and How to Use Them?

I know, the very word “shortcode” might come across a bit scary. But fret not; you still don’t need to learn a word of HTML or other coding languages.

Basically, you only need to determine and select the features of an element. Let’s say you need a call-to-action button. Select that option from the shortcodes list. Then, choose the color, size, and alignment, and enter the text that’s going to appear on the button. Paste a link where the button is going to lead. Hit the “Insert Shortcode” button and that’s it! The plugin will automatically generate a shortcode and place it wherever you need it. Without a single line of code written on your part.

If you use animations and other fancy effects, beware of overdoing it. Awesome as they are, they can overburden and slow down your website if used too often. Not to mention affecting the user experience with too many distracting visuals. In my view, it’s better to have a more basic and minimal website that runs swiftly than a bunch of fancy bells and whistles that take forever to load.

6 Best WordPress Shortcodes Plugins

Shortcodes Ultimate WordPress Plugin

Shortcodes Ultimate WordPress Plugin preview

This WordPress shortcodes plugin is awesome not just because it’s free, but also because it’s very feature-rich and comprehensive. Over 50 shortcodes come included, and I will only list a few of the most important ones here. Lists, tabs, dividers, media, tables, menus, sliders, rows and columns, buttons, carousels, guests, boxes, and many more. Naturally, you can preview all of them before actually putting them to work.

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The plugin is Gutenberg-ready and will work with any theme. Advanced users can even use the plugin to create their own, custom shortcodes. In fact, that’s one of the premium features that you can buy, along with over 60 additional skins. Or you can customize the appearance of the existing shortcodes via CSS editor.

Intense – Shortcodes and Site Builder for WordPress – Editor’s Choice

Intense Shortcodes and Site Builder plugin for wp preview

One of the top-selling shortcodes WordPress plugins on CodeCanyon, this is so much more than a shortcode plugin. It’s a full-blown page builder, which means you can even create custom post types, layouts, and basically modify any aspect of your site. (A side note: if you haven’t picked a theme yet, note that this plugin is integrated into the Intensity Theme.) Let’s see what you’re in for. Over 110 shortcodes and over 140 animations should be more than you’ll ever need. You will always get a chance to see a preview before a WordPress plugin shortcode runs live. Multiple skins are yours to pick from.

Even better, once you’ve created a shortcode, you can export it for future use on other websites. Judging by the users’ reviews, customer support is immensely helpful, and they are very prompt at fixing any issues reported by users.

On the whole, this is definitely one of the best and most versatile shortcodes plugins on the market. And it fully deserves to be the editor’s choice.

GT Shortcodes WordPress Plugin

GT ShortCodes WordPress Plugin preview

This is a premium plugin that allows you to use over 40 ready-made shortcodes, or easily create your own. Even if you only use the pre-built ones, you will find that the customization options are virtually unlimited. Choose your own colors and styles, and add whatever data or content you want.

Apart from the usual shortcodes, you can also take advantage of circular progress bars, portfolios, testimonials, weather icons, parallax sections, various charts. The plugin is continuously updated, so you have no reason to worry about bugs or glitches. And they keep adding additional functionalities.

Vision – WordPress Shortcodes Plugin

Vision WordPress Shortcodes Plugin layout

Another premium solution, this plugin comes with over 100 ready-made shortcodes. All of them will directly integrate into your WordPress content editor. So, you can access them easily and anytime. Their design is spotless and modern, but you can customize it if you want.

There are 28 color variations for your buttons, drop caps, content, and pricing boxes. Since the plugin is 100% mobile responsive, your columns will stack and scale on mobile. There are also 87 professional icons, as well as eight design variations for your social media icons.

Supreme Shortcodes WordPress Plugin

Supreme Shortcodes WordPress Plugin promo banner

This is actually a freemium plugin, which means you can get some of its functionality for free. In this case, you will get over 50 shortcodes for free, and there are over 100 premium ones that you will only get if you buy it. Apart from all the beautiful shortcodes, you can also take advantage of pre-built page snippets. Some of them are About Us, Clients, Contact Us, Meet the Team, We Are Hiring, and more.

The plugin offers a bunch of static and dynamic elements, all of them responsive. So, you can put a classical button, or a 3D fancy button – whichever works best for you. If you use the Visual Composer plugin, this one will integrate with it and work seamlessly.

Animate Shortcode WordPress Plugin

Animate Shortcode WordPress Plugin

If you need fancy animations and effects, this could be the right thing for you. Your elements can jump and bounce all over the place, fade in or out, flip, rotate, roll in and out. Over 60 animations are available. However, I have to warn you not to expect too much from this plugin. Just like its name says, it only works on animations.

And the price absolutely reflects the limited options. The animations apply to any elements on your pages – icons, images, fonts, videos. You have the full control of speed, activation, or delay. Another option worth noting is that you can also use it on sliders for extra effects.