What are shortcodes?
WordPress defines shortcode as “a WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort. Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated, ugly code in just one line. Shortcode = shortcut.”
If we attempt to understand the definition some better we realize that a shortcode is simply a short code which helps users in adding simple dynamic content or functionality to their websites or blogs.
An XHTML or PHP code is bundled up into a simple variable and this variable is inserted as a shortcode.
Shortcodes are a great way of inserting dynamic content into a page or a post.
A shortcode is dynamically replaced with a complicated or user defined content at render time. If you have a piece of content (a complicated url or description) that is frequent throughout your post, you can simply define a shortcode for the same and use it instead of writing the whole piece of content.
Shortcodes are written between square brackets : [shortcode]
WordPress Codex says that Shortcode names should be all lowercase and all letters, but numbers and underscores should work fine too. Be wary of using hyphens (dashes), you’ll be better off not using them.
Where can shortcodes be used?
Shortcodes can be used in pages, posts, widgets and themes.
How can you remove shortcodes?
Function remove_shortode() can be used to remove shortcodes.
All shortcodes can be removed by using the function: remove_all_shortcodes()