in PHP, Tips, Tutorials, WordPress

Outputting Function When Creating a WordPress Shortcode

So I was recently working on a new plugin that involved shortcodes but ran into a bit of a problem when the contents kept getting output at the top of posts/pages before the rest of the content.

Basically this happens because the shortcode is simply returning the data as soon as it’s generated it, not taking note to output it specifically where the user desires. Normally it’s because the content was echoed and not stored and later returned. You can read more about it in this great post but it’s really as simple as that.

However, I was recently faced with this issue and couldn’t figure out why! I was returning the data but it was still being output at the beginning of the post’s content before everything else. I was returning another function (that echoed the content) within my shortcode’s function but it wasn’t helping.

It looked a little bit like this:

https://gist.github.com/bryceadams/b2eef1d659507504f3b9.js

DON’T DO THAT!

What you need to do is run the function through an output buffer with ob_start(); and ob_get_clean();, like so:

https://gist.github.com/bryceadams/7d4a8343b312920c02af.js

And it works! For the PHP nerds, you may be interested why we’re using ob_get_clean(); instead of ob_get_contents(); and ob_clean(); – then check out this discussion.

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