Making WordPress shortcodes more user friendly
Every person working with WordPress knows shortcodes. Are they a good thing, or are they bad thing. Good question. Well, from my point of view the shortcodes concept is an incredibly amazing feature that makes me love WordPress even more. But, yes, i have to admit that shortcodes are a bit confusing for lambda users.
What are shortcodes ?
For those who don’t really know what i’m talking about, shortcodes are content in brackets that are interpreted on the frontend. Nowadays nearly every premium WordPress theme uses shortcodes. I’m not going to go deeper in the explanation of “what is a shortcode”, i would just recommend you to read this page instead. I want to talk about another point.
Are Shortcodes user friendly ?
This is the main goal of this post, are shortcodes user friendly ? This question has already ben asked here. Well, i would say that for developers and people working everyday with WordPress, the answer would be YES. But about our clients ? Is a client able to use shortcodes ? I’m afraid not. Shortcodes are too complicated for most of WordPress users, just simply because they are “wysiwyg” (What You See Is What You Get). A user that sees this:
probably won’t understand it. Well, this is pretty complex notion to understand.
Is it possible to improve shortcodes?
So, i decided to work on something to make shortcode more user friendly. I haven’t released any code, i’m just working on local host, but i wanted to share this little preview video of what can be done and ask you what you think about this, how this could improve etc… In two words, what i’m doing here is replacing shortcodes on the fly by a zone containing an image. On double click on that zone, the shortcode parameters can be modified. I also added a button to the tinyMCE editor. It’s pretty much the same process used by the built-in gallery shortcode, excepted that i added double click feature, and few more tweaks.
So, please share your thoughts in the comments section, i can’t wait to read what you think about this!
EDIT: For those who asked, yes the shortcode displays on the frontend (to visitors, if you prefer) a customized content taking into account shortcode parameters. The blue zone with my logo isn’t what visitors see, and you can edit the blue zone to be whatever you want (it’s a div, so you can style it with CSS, insert images etc…).