I am currently developing a plugin that uses shortcodes. On my localhost everything works fine just using the shortcode, for example:

[bbit bandname="Lady Gaga"]

This shows a list of bandsintown.com gigs for the artist, like it's supposed to. Now when I install the plugin on a live website from the WordPress repo and I use the exact same code, the post on the website shows the shortcode, instead of the list of gigs.

More information:

  • I already tried other plugins using shortcodes (like Contact Form 7) and they just work.
  • The localhost WordPress and the live environment use the same theme (a custom child theme for "Responsive".
  • Last version has been pushed to the repo, I checked.
  • When I install the plugin on the localhost (from the repo) it works as well.

What can be the problem here?

[edit] I downloaded the Debug Bar and the Debug Bar Shortcodes. It revealed that there's something wrong with registering the shortcode.

1 Answer 1


So this turned out to be the problem:

After running using WP_DEBUG on the live site it turned out $this was not defined in the following line:

public function __construct(){
    add_action('init', function(){
        add_shortcode('bbit', array($this, 'shortcode_handler'));

shortcode_handler is a non-static function here, and this code was all called in a static context. It seems there are some differences in my local XAMPP configuration and the servers configuration. I fixed it by removing the old code and adding the following code outside of the class:

add_action('init', function(){
    add_shortcode('bbit', array('BBIT_ShortCode', 'shortcode_handler'));

After that I just needed to make the shortcode_handler method static and there was a fix.

  • 2
    Try removing the quotes around $this. You're passing a string '$this' vs the value of $this.
    – KenB
    Feb 22, 2015 at 6:43
  • O no that's just a typo in my answer, that wasn't in my original code.
    – Scuba Kay
    Feb 22, 2015 at 13:33
  • With that out of the way, the real issue if you wanted to get this working as a part of a class is to avoid calling the add_action() the way you are. Create a regular function in your class to add with add_action and you'd be able to have your short code handler inside your class.
    – KenB
    Feb 22, 2015 at 17:22

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