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 14th, 2017


The snippet above will automatically include the contents of given page into your post. Handy, isn't it?

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  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.