While discussing why shortcodes should not be integrated into WordPress themes and should instead be implemented in plugins, I’ve been asked the following question (a few times):
How many times do people really change themes anyway for this to be an issue?
It seems that the implication is, if people change themes infrequently, then orphaned shortcodes are somehow less of a problem. But think about that for a bit longer…
The chances are, if you change themes regularly, you’ve come across problems with shortcodes and so perhaps you don’t really use them anyway. Also, you might not have a great deal of content.
However… if you change themes only once every 2 years, and you do use shortcodes, then how much pain are you going to be in when you change themes if those shortcodes are integrated into your old theme? You probably have a lot more content relying on them over that time, so I would say, a lot more than someone who changes often.