When you have a full-time job, there are only so many hours in a day that you can devote to your blog. And unfortunately… there are never enough. And ironically, you’re likely spending very few of those hours actually creating new content.
Website updates, blog post updates, bookkeeping, etc. take up way more time than we want them to. So how can we cut down on that time?
You’ve probably had a few blog posts where you needed to go back and update some outdated text. Whether it’s a guest post bio, a promotion that’s no longer running, or an old signature image that you want to update, wouldn’t it be nice if you could update text in multiple blog posts at once?
Good news, friend. You totally can! With shortcodes.
What is a Shortcode?
A shortcode is a piece of code that you type into your blog post or page in WordPress. On the front end of that post or page, the shortcode inserts a longer string of code in its place.
This means you can use a single shortcode to denote a specific piece of code, so you don’t have to copy and paste it over and over again. Plus, you can update the piece of code that’s assigned to each shortcode, which means you can update all of the instances of that shortcode across your blog at once!
Shortcodes are stylized with square brackets around them, so when you insert a shortcode into your blog post or page, you’ll type [shortcode]. For example, if you have a shortcode for a particular person’s guest post bio, your shortcode might be [evelyn-bio].
Why Would I Use Shortcodes in Blog Posts?
There are plenty of reasons you’d want to use shortcodes in your blog post! When are the instances you’d want have a piece of text or code that you’re using across several blog posts or pages? That’s when you’d want to use a shortcode!
For example, I use it for my affiliate disclosure, the introduction and conclusion of my Sunday Scratches series, promotions for products (which makes it easier to update the price across all posts if necessary), and guest author bios.
If you have a signature that you use at the bottom of each post, you could use a shortcode for that, too! The possibilities really are endless.
How Do I Create Shortcodes to Update Text in Multiple Blog Posts?
The good news is, it’s super easy to create a shortcode for your blog!
I use the plugin Post Snippets for my shortcodes. Once you have it installed and activated, a new section will appear under Settings called Post Snippets. That’s where you’ll build your shortcodes.
To create your first shortcode, simply hit the Add New Snippet at the top of the page. It will add a new snippet to your list, and auto-populate the name as Untitled. To edit the name of the shortcode, click on the pencil and type in the new name. Keep in mind, this is what will appear between the brackets of your shortcode, so try to limit the number of characters you use, and make sure it’s easy to remember! Once you’ve edited the name, click the check box to save it.
To add in the text or code you want to appear in place of the shortcode, click on the down arrow that’s all the way to the right of the shortcode list. In the big box, type or paste in your code. Make sure to check the box that says “Shortcode” on the right side. Once you’re done, hit the blue Update Snippets button.
Once you’ve got your shortcodes made, you can start using them! Simply type them in by hand on your blog post or page, or click on the yellow button that now appears on the top of your Visual Editor in WordPress for a list of your shortcodes.
Any time you need to update the text of your shortcode, simply go back to Settings > Post Snippets and update it!
It’s amazing how something so time consuming can be easily replaced with a new tool that will instantly save you a bunch of time. What shortcodes are you going to start using? Let me know in the comments!