WordPress shortcode snippet to display external files

I needed a quick way to automatically include external page content in my WordPress Rising Stars post.

There are two tables with latest plugin standings that are automatically generated and I wanted the post to be updated automatically when they update too.

Easiest way to accomplish this is through WordPress shortcode API with a simple code that you can add into the theme functions.php file:

Here is the code:

function show_file_func( $atts ) {
  extract( shortcode_atts( array(
    'file' => ''
  ), $atts ) );

  if ($file!='')
    return @file_get_contents($file);

add_shortcode( 'show_file', 'show_file_func' );

This allows you to write something like this anywhere in your post:

Last updated: September 28th, 2014

1Mass Advertising for WordPressMass Advertising736
2Instagram FeedSmash Balloon273
3Image GalleryHuge-IT185
4WPSSO Social Sharing Buttons - Fast and Accurate Shares!Jean-Sebastien Morisset169
5Master Slider - Responsive Touch Slideraverta155
6Fruitful Shortcodesfruitfulcode145
7Lightbox Slider GalleryWeblizar145
8Easy Facebook Like Boxshehryar139
10Portfolio Galleryhttp://huge-it.com/114
11Akeeba Backup CORE for WordPressAkeeba Ltd113
12WP ReviewMyThemesShop110
13Double your Email Subscribers + Double your Sharing by SumoMeSumoMe107
14DuracellTomi's Google Tag Manager for WordPressThomas Geiger98
15File AwayThom Stark92
16WP Product ReviewReadyThemes90
17Cookie NoticedFactory87
18WP Visual Icon FontsPaul van Zyl86
19Query posts by category... and display posts on page in grid layout without coding - Content ViewsPT Guy85
20Responsive Photo GalleryWeblizar84

The snippet above will automatically include the contents of given page into your post. Handy, isn't it?

More like this:

Posted in: WordPress
TAGS:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Jan 2nd, 2013

    This is a very dangerous shortcode that could allow authors to read any file on the server filesystem. You can make it safer by using WP’s HTTP api instead of file_get_contents(), but it’ll still be dangerous.
    [ show_file file="/etc/passwd" ] !

  2. Mar 18th, 2011

    interesting code, thanks for always staying on top of things :)

  3. kevin
    Mar 3rd, 2011

    is there anyway to use this code to embed the remote file into a wordpress widget or the sidebar, instead of a post? Or maybe a wordpress plugin that keeps the last post on the homepage sticky, instead of the first like other plugins ive seen. thanks.

  • ManageWP