The Shortcodes Pro plugin is written by Matt Varone and is now available for free from Matt’s website and the WordPress Plugin repository.
In the author’s words:
Shortcodes Pro allows quick and easy creation of WordPress shortcodes and TinyMCE rich editor buttons from the comfort of the WordPress interface.
Matt contacted me a few days ago asking if I’d be willing to review the plugin for him, so, after getting my hands on the plugin, I got down and dirty running it through the hoops.
After just a few short minutes of playing with the plugin, I immediately became aware of a few things:
- This plugin is NOT written by an amateur by any means
- It is extremely well laid out, both in terms of interface and code
- The interface is simple and easy to use
- It makes creating advanced shortcodes very easy
Within less than 5 minutes, I was able to create three different shortcodes with varying number of attributes. I was also able to easily add new TinyMCE buttons to the editor for each shortcode, making them almost too easy to use. If I wanted, I was also able to rearrange and place the buttons wherever I wanted.
Even though I was able to figure out how to use every aspect of the plugin very quickly and without help, in part because of Matt’s excellently laid out tips throughout the plugin’s interface, I did go ahead and open up the help documentation included with the plugin. It left nothing to be desired, which is not something many plugin help files can boast. If a user were having any sort of trouble with the plugin, they’d be able to find the answer in the help file without any need of contacting the developer.
Now, with all of my praise, there was one aspect of the plugin that I did feel was lacking. While the plugin made it extremely easy to create shortcodes, I did wish there were a place to insert custom CSS for the shortcodes. I was able to create a shortcode to insert a button (including color and size options) within seconds, but I had no good way of entering the necessary CSS for the button. Obviously I could put my CSS into my theme file, but the idea with the plugin is to remove the need for that. If I wanted to, I could also enter the CSS into the shortcode form used for creating the HTML output, but that would mean displaying custom CSS for each and every shortcode, causing duplicate code.
So my suggestion to the author is to add another settings panel where users can enter all of the custom CSS for their shortcodes. And, of course, also include the ability to export the CSS with the rest of the export options.
Overall, an absolutely awesome plugin that I would not hesitate for a moment to recommend.