How To Troubleshoot Your Shortcode

A common reason for the player not appearing correctly is that the shortcode has not been formatted correctly. This happens most often when creating a shortcode from scratch rather than via the SPP or STP shortcode builder.

General Shortcode Troubleshooting

Here are a few main tips to keep in mind when troubleshooting your shortcode.

1. Make sure your shortcode is enclosed in square brackets ( [ ] ). If you don't include the brackets, your shortcode will simply appear as plain text on your podcast page.

2. Make sure there is a space between each part of the shortcode. Each element of the shortcode needs to be separated with a space, or it may not be read properly by the plugin. For instance:

url="http://myawesomepodcast.co.uk" social="true"
not url="http://myawesomepodcast.co.uk"social="true"

3. Make sure you are using the right player type. The full Smart Podcast Player, Smart Track Player (single MP3 file), and Smart Track Player (latest episode in a feed) all require different declarations at the beginning of the shortcode. If you don't choose the right one, your player may not show up properly, or at all.

  • For the full Smart Podcast Player: smart_podcast_player
  • For the Smart Track Player (single episode): smart_track_player
  • For the Smart Track Player (latest episode in a feed): smart_track_player_latest

Note About Special Characters

Due to an inherent limitation in WordPress, when you use certain characters in a shortcode, WordPress interprets them not as content but rather as part of the structure of the shortcode. In particular, single quotes, double quotes, and square brackets have special meanings to WordPress. Therefore, if you want to use any of these characters in your shortcode—such as in an artist or track name—you'll need to enter them in a slightly different way.

If you want to use these characters in your artist or title, there are two ways to do it:

1. If you only need to use one type of quote mark (single or double) and no brackets, you can change the shortcode so it doesn't use that type of quote mark in the structure.

For example: title='A title using "double quotes", but enclosed in single quotes' or title="I can't use an apostrophe without enclosing in double quotes"

2. You can also use HTML entities to put these characters in the shortcode. The most common/relevant ones are:

  • double quote ( " ): "
  • single quote ( ' ): '
  • open square bracket ( [ ): [
  • close square bracket ( ] ): ]

For example: title="My "double quoted" title"

For a full list of HTML codes for different characters, see this resource.

If you're still having trouble with your shortcode after reviewing the above tips, send us an email at support@smartpodcastplayer.com.

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