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Thanks very much for the very simple clarification.
I have used similar simple shortcodes used with other plugins like responsive video, but was confused by the technical explanation given in the WP Cycle tutorial where what is meant by shortcode is not necessarily clear to the non developer. I think there needs to be an additional paragraph or sentence in the tutorial specifying exactly what the shortcode for WP Cycle should be. The tutorial includes an instance of the shortcode but inside a longer function statement.
The real short shortcode actually works! Beginners and non techs just need to know what it is.
Thanks again to you all and thanks to the developer of WP Cycle for a useful and attractive plugin.
Its not the most efficient way to add the WP Cycle slider to a theme by using a shortcode.
The most efficient way is to use the PHP code in your child themes functions file with a hook and/or conditional tag.
Another good method is to add the code wrapped in PHP tags to your home.php or other template file in your child theme, if it exists.
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