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: July 23rd, 2017

1WooCommerce ServicesAutomattic123
2Category to Pages WUDDanny WUD104
3SecuPress Free — WordPress SecuritySecuPress101
4Instagram GalleryKaran Singh101
5Acme Demo SetupAcme Themes100
6Advanced Cron Manager – debug & controlunderDEV90
7Conditional MenusThemify88
8WP RollbackWordImpress87
9MailPoet 3 – Beta VersionMailPoet86
10Visual Composer Addonsthemebon85
11Stop User EnumerationFullworks Digital Ltd85
12Premium SEO Pack – WordPress SEO PluginWP SEO - Calin Vingan83
13Stripe Payment Gateway for WooCommerceXAdapter80
14WordPress SEO Plugin, SEOPressBenjamin DENIS79
15Widget OptionsPhpbits Creative Studio77
16Simple AnalyticsTheme Blvd76
17Press Elements – Widgets for ElementorPress Elements76
18WP MauticMautic community76
19Contact Form 7 Database Addon – CFDB7Arshid72
20Slide Anything – Responsive Content / HTML Slider and CarouselSimon Edge70

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.