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How to create a simple shortcode in WordPress?

This time I want to show you how to create a very simple shortcode in WordPress theme. This code will show an image, a title, and a description. We will also add an option to change the position of the image.

How to create a simple shortcode in WordPress

A structure of shortcodes is pretty simple:

  • add shortcode declaration (we will use shortcode name pe_simple)
  • declare shortcode function and check if this function exists
  • add shortcode attributes - parameters that user can control
  • display code of shortcode using user's parameters

Take a look at shortcode's code:

add_shortcode('pe_simple', 'pe_simple');

if ( !function_exists('pe_simple') ) {
	function pe_simple( $atts, $content = null ) {
		$a = shortcode_atts(
				'image' => '', // parameter for image - image ID
				'image_pos' => '', // position of image, by defult image is placed at the top, other option is "left"
				'title'      => '', // title
				'desc'   => '', // description
			), $atts);

		$image = $a['image'];
		$image_pos = ( !empty($a['image_pos']) && $a['image_pos'] == 'left') ? ' style="float:left; margin:0 10px 5px 0;"' : '';
		$output = '<div class="pe-simple">';
			if( !empty($a['image']) ) {
				$output .= '<div class="pe-image" '.$image_pos.'>'.wp_get_attachment_image( $image ).'</div>'; // display our image if parameter "image" is not empty and image's ID exist
			if( !empty($a['title']) ) {
				$output .= '<p><strong>' . esc_attr( $a['title'] ) . '</strong></p>'; // display title "title" is not empty
			if( !empty($a['desc']) ) {
				$output .= '<p>' . esc_attr( $a['desc'] ) . '</p>'; // display description "desc" is not empty
		$output .= '</div>';

		return $output;


This code should be placed in functions.php in the theme or in your custom plugin's code.

  • Parameter image - ID of image from Media Library
  • Parameter image_pos - position of image, by default image is placed over the title and description, parameter left will place image on the left side
  • Parameter title - title
  • Parameter desc - description

Now we can use our shortcode by placing this code in the post:

[pe_simple image="37" image_pos="left" title="Example Title" desc="Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet."]

I hope this shortcode is very simple and it will be helpful for building more complicated shortcodes.
Please take a look at the final effect:

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