How To Create a WordPress Shortcode for Login Status and Login Link

WordPress shortcodes are a versatile tool for adding dynamic content and functionality to your website. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of creating a custom shortcode that displays a user’s login status and provides a login link if the user is not logged in. This simple addition can enhance user engagement and interaction on your website.

Before proceeding with any customizations in WordPress, it’s essential to set up a child theme. A child theme acts as a safe and efficient way to make modifications without affecting the parent theme. If you haven’t set up a child theme yet, follow this tutorial on How to Create a Child Theme for Customization. It will guide you through the process and ensure that your customizations remain intact even after theme updates.

Add the Shortcode Function to functions.php

Open your child-theme’s functions.php file using a code editor or the built-in Theme Editor in your WordPress dashboard. Insert the following code snippet at the end of the file:

// Define a custom shortcode function
function custom_login_status_shortcode( $atts ) {
	// Get the current user
	$current_user = wp_get_current_user();

	// Check if the user is logged in
	if ( $current_user->ID ) {
		// If logged in, display a greeting message
		return 'Hello ' . esc_html( $current_user->display_name ) . '!';
	} else {
		// If not logged in, display a login link
		return '<a href="' . esc_url( wp_login_url() ) . '">Login</a>';

// Register the shortcode with the name 'login_status'
add_shortcode( 'login_status', 'custom_login_status_shortcode' );
Code language: PHP (php)


We begin by defining a custom shortcode function named custom_login_status_shortcode.
Inside this function:

  • We utilize wp_get_current_user() to retrieve information about the current user.
  • To check if the user is logged in, we examine the user’s ID ($current_user->ID).

If the user is logged in:

  • We display a friendly greeting message that includes the user’s display name. For security, we employ esc_html() to escape the user’s display name, preventing potential security issues.

If the user is not logged in:

  • We display a login link that directs users to the WordPress login page. For added security, we use esc_url() to escape the login URL.

To make this custom functionality accessible in your content, we conclude by registering the shortcode as [login_status] using add_shortcode().

Use the Shortcode

With the shortcode function in place, you can now use it within your WordPress content. Simply add the following shortcode to any post, page, or widget where you want to display the login status:

Code language: PHP (php)

This is especially useful if you want to incorporate the login status feature into your website’s navigation menus or widgets. To enable shortcodes in WordPress menus and widgets, you can follow our detailed guide on “How to Enable Shortcodes in WordPress Menus and Widgets“. This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on unlocking the power of shortcodes within your website’s menus and widgets, allowing you to create dynamic and interactive content in these areas.

Save and Test

After inserting the shortcode into your content, remember to save your changes. Then, visit the page or post containing the shortcode, and you’ll see the login status message and login link displayed based on the user’s login status.

That’s it! In this tutorial, you’ve learned how to create a custom shortcode in WordPress that displays a user’s login status and provides a login link when necessary. This straightforward addition can improve user engagement and make your website more user-friendly. Shortcodes allow you to effortlessly integrate dynamic content and functionality into your WordPress site without the need for complex coding.

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