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 21st, 2017

1Fast Secure reCAPTCHAMike Challis177
2Protect uploadsAlexis Blondin169
3Image Widget by Angie MakesChris Baldelomar142
4MainWP Child ReportsMainWP142
5ThemeIsle CompanionThemeisle133
6Instagram GalleryKaran Singh124
7Cryout Serious SliderCryout Creations122
8ThemeGrill Demo ImporterThemeGrill112
9Forget About Shortcode ButtonsDesigns & Code112
10No Follow All External Linksgearpressstudio111
11Fast Velocity MinifyRaul Peixoto111
12SEO Friendly ImagesChris Alhambra109
13Invisible reCaptcha for WordPressMihai Chelaru106
14Better AMP – WordPress Complete AMPBetter Studio105
15Cherry Services ListTemplateMonster103
16Cherry Team MembersTemplateMonster103
17Two-FactorGeorge Stephanis97
18Slider by Nivo – Responsive WordPress Image SliderThemeIsle96
19MailChimp for WooCommerceMailChimp92
20My Eyes Are Up Hereinterconnect/it90

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.