Justin Tadlock

Grid Columns WordPress Plugin

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a [column] shortcode plugin over the past few weeks to address a problem in the WordPress theme community. Today, I’ve finally pushed this plugin live to the WordPress plugin repository.

You can download the plugin from its official page on Theme Hybrid or from WordPress.org.

What does the Grid Columns plugin do?

Grid Columns creates a single [column] shortcode for use in your post content (or other shortcode-ready areas) to allow you to create columnized content. It serves nothing more than that single function.

Full instructions are in the plugin’s readme.html file with several usage examples, but the following is a small sampling of how to create columns (three-column example).

[column grid="3" span="1"]Some example content.[/column]

[column grid="3" span="1"]Some example content.[/column]

[column grid="3" span="1"]Some example content.[/column]

Why was the plugin created?

The goal of the plugin is to get theme developers to stop adding column shortcodes to their themes. There’s a few reasons this theme development practice is wrong:

  • It locks users into using their current theme forever.
  • It creates 20+ shortcodes for what is possible for one. This makes it look like themes have more “features.”
  • It typically removes core WordPress filters that other plugins rely on.
  • The code is just poorly developed altogether (most likely because it’s all copied from the same, bad tutorial).

If you’re a theme developer, please stop doing this. Encourage your users to install this plugin. If your users are having a hard time figuring out how to install a plugin, that’s a lame excuse for keeping the functionality in your theme. Educate them. Heck, send them to me; I’ll teach them.

If you’re a user, even if your theme has column shortcodes, I encourage you to install and use this plugin instead. It’ll save you some major headaches down the road when you want to switch themes.

Download the plugin

You can get the plugin from any of the three following places.

I hope you enjoy the plugin. Please ask any and all support questions on the Theme Hybrid support forums. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments.