add_shortcode( string $tag, callable $callback )

Adds a new shortcode.

Description Description

Care should be taken through prefixing or other means to ensure that the shortcode tag being added is unique and will not conflict with other, already-added shortcode tags. In the event of a duplicated tag, the tag loaded last will take precedence.

Parameters Parameters


(string) (Required) Shortcode tag to be searched in post content.


(callable) (Required) The callback function to run when the shortcode is found. Every shortcode callback is passed three parameters by default, including an array of attributes ($atts), the shortcode content or null if not set ($content), and finally the shortcode tag itself ($shortcode_tag), in that order.

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Source Source

File: wp-includes/shortcodes.php

function add_shortcode( $tag, $callback ) {
	global $shortcode_tags;

	if ( '' == trim( $tag ) ) {
		$message = __( 'Invalid shortcode name: Empty name given.' );
		_doing_it_wrong( __FUNCTION__, $message, '4.4.0' );

	if ( 0 !== preg_match( '@[<>&/\[\]\x00-\x20=]@', $tag ) ) {
		/* translators: 1: Shortcode name, 2: Space-separated list of reserved characters. */
		$message = sprintf( __( 'Invalid shortcode name: %1$s. Do not use spaces or reserved characters: %2$s' ), $tag, '& / < > [ ] =' );
		_doing_it_wrong( __FUNCTION__, $message, '4.4.0' );

	$shortcode_tags[ $tag ] = $callback;

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Changelog Changelog

Version Description
2.5.0 Introduced.

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User Contributed Notes User Contributed Notes

  1. Skip to note 1 content
    Contributed by Codex


    Simplest example of a shortcode tag using the API: [footag foo="bar"]

    add_shortcode( 'footag', 'wpdocs_footag_func' );
    function wpdocs_footag_func( $atts ) {
    	return "foo = {$atts['foo']}";

    Example with nice attribute defaults: [bartag foo="bar"]

    add_shortcode( 'bartag', 'wpdocs_bartag_func' );
    function wpdocs_bartag_func( $atts ) {
    	$atts = shortcode_atts( array(
    		'foo' => 'no foo',
    		'baz' => 'default baz'
    	), $atts, 'bartag' );
    	return "foo = {$atts['foo']}";

    Example with enclosed content: [baztag]content[/baztag]

    add_shortcode( 'baztag', 'wpdocs_baztag_func' );
    function wpdocs_baztag_func( $atts, $content = "" ) {
    	return "content = $content";

    If your plugin is designed as a class write as follows:

    add_shortcode( 'baztag', array( 'MyPlugin', 'wpdocs_baztag_func' ) );
    class MyPlugin {
    	public static function wpdocs_baztag_func( $atts, $content = "" ) {
    		return "content = $content";
  2. Skip to note 2 content
    Contributed by Patrick

    Notes (from the Codex —

    • The shortcode callback will be passed three arguments: the shortcode attributes, the shortcode content (if any), and the name of the shortcode.
    • There can only be one hook for each shortcode. Which means that if another plugin has a similar shortcode, it will override yours or yours will override theirs depending on which order the plugins are included and/or ran.
    • Shortcode attribute names are always converted to lowercase before they are passed into the handler function. Values are untouched.
    • Note that the function called by the shortcode should never produce output of any kind. Shortcode functions should return the text that is to be used to replace the shortcode. Producing the output directly will lead to unexpected results. This is similar to the way filter functions should behave, in that they should not produce expected side effects from the call, since you cannot control when and where they are called from.
  3. Skip to note 3 content
    Contributed by dingo-d

    When adding `add_shortcode()` function in a plugin, it’s good to add it in a function that is hooked to `init` hook. So that WordPress has time to initialize properly.

    add_action( 'init', 'wpdocs_add_custom_shortcode' );
    function wpdocs_add_custom_shortcode() {
    	add_shortcode( 'footag', 'wpdocs_footag_func' );

    As described in the plugins handbook.

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