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: December 5th, 2016

1Constant Contact FormsConstant Contact391
2WP SEO Structured Data Schemakcseopro174
3Hide WP URLsWPPlugins173
4FameTheme Demo Importerfamethemes157
5Google MapSRMILON148
6Snow FlurryHTML5andBeyond148
7Beacon Marketing eBooksBeacon144
8Widget OptionsPhpbits Creative Studio124
9AMP for WP - Accelerated Mobile PagesAhmed Kaludi, Mohammed Kaludi118
10Advanced CSS EditorHardeep Asrani113
11Seo Optimized Imagespriyanshu.mittal112
12File Managermndpsingh287106
13Lightning Advanced UnitVektor,Inc.105
14Facebook Like Share Follow ButtonA WP Life100
15LiteSpeed CacheLiteSpeed Technologies99
16Fast Velocity MinifyRaul Peixoto86
17Mega Menu Plugin for WordPress - WP Mega MenuAccessPress Themes85
18Google AnalyticsWebDorado84
19TinyMCE Color GridAnagarika Daniel83
20Contact Form by Supsysticsupsystic.com81

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.