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: May 17th, 2015

1Postman SMTP Mailer/Email LogJason Hendriks202
2Easy Image SliderGhozyLab, Inc.175
3YITH WooCommerce Advanced ReviewsYithemes160
4SpacerJustin Saad144
5wpDiscuz - Wordpress CommentsgVectors Team (A. Chakhoyan, G. Zakaryan, H. Martirosyan)126
6WP Add Custom CSSDaniele De Santis124
7TemplatesNext ToolKitTemplatesNext119
8Title RemoverBrittany Internet Services112
9AccessPress Social ShareAccessPress Themes107
10WP Antivirus Site Protection (by SiteGuarding.com)SiteGuarding.com (SafetyBis Ltd.)100
11Lightweight Social IconsThomas Usborne98
12Better Click To TweetBen Meredith96
13WP SubscribeMyThemeShop96
14Brute Force Login ProtectionFresh-Media95
15PDF EmbedderDan Lester93
16Coming soon and Maintenance modemaintenance mode GG, wpdevart, big ben keeper90
17Ultimate Responsive Image SliderWeblizar87
18Sharify Social Share Buttonsimehedidip86
19RICG Responsive ImagesThe RICG84
20Slider by Supsysticsupsystic.com83

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 10:02 PM

    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 11:31 AM

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

  3. kevin
    Mar 3rd, 2011 7:34 AM

    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