This is something I run into a lot when looking at people’s sites…
Someone will deactivate a plugin they were using previously using and it leaves a nasty shortcode behind.
Here’s an example:
We were using a plugin on our other website for showing a social buttons and using a shortcode in or below all of my blog posts to display optin form and social buttons.
When we deactivated and deleted the plugin, it left the shortcode at the bottom of each post –
Obviously, going through each post individually and removing the shortcode left behind would be a huge waste of time.
The easy solution to solving this problem without going post by post deleting shortcodes left behind by plugins is by installing a plugin called Remove Orphan Shortcodes (I know, the name of the plugin sounds a little depressing).
There’s no settings associated with the plugin. Simply install and activate it.
All of the shortcodes left behind by plugins will now be deleted from all of your posts and pages.
Obviously, your site will look much better…
To sum up a little word of advice: shortcodes are great if used properly. It’s hard to imagine creating WordPress websites without them. As with everything – it’s good to not overuse them and have few dozens of plugins with multiple shortcodes. This will most likely decrease the speed of your website and may impact your traffic and page rank.