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 1st, 2016

1Imagify Image OptimizerWP Media212
2Instant Articles for WPAutomattic, Dekode, Facebook208
3Easy WordPress Contact Form Plugin - WPForms LiteWPForms207
4Sydney ToolboxaThemes168
5Asgaros ForumThomas Belser122
6Simple Custom CSS and JSDiana Burduja117
7Inline Related PostsIntellyWP114
8WC Fields FactorySaravana Kumar K110
9Weglot TranslateRemy B109
10Clean Up Booster - Optimize DB & WordPressthewpempire107
11Animate It!eLEOPARD Design Studios105
12Comet CacheWebSharks, Inc.104
13Booking Ultra Pro Appointments PluginBooking Ultra Pro104
14Media Library PlusMax Foundry101
15Featured Image From URLMarcel Jacques Machado100
16Smart Slider 3Nextend97
17Social Icons Widget by WPZOOMWPZOOM95
19HTML5 Responsive FAQAman Verma94
20Yeloni Exit PopupJayasri Nagrale92

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.