I want to look for all strings in my theme located between my enclosing shortcode [question] desired string [/question].

Then I want to output the so collected strings somewhere in my theme , e.g. listing all those questions and linking them each to their containing post.

The idea behind is that I am building a wordpress blog where I write down all the things i learned in blog posts. basically so far for myself. When I have questions about a certain topic I wanna note them down in the blog post between those tags. To find and answer the questions afterwards I want to use this filter function.

So far I was able to get one string between the shortcode using the Options API and this code. But it only lets me save one question at a time while I want to store all strings that are located between [question][/question] shortcodes. Floemi suggested using the Settings API. I am trying to get my head around but there might be a more semantic solution to this.

 function question_shortcode($atts, $content = null ) {
    global $question_shortcode_text;
    $question_shortcode_text = $content;
    echo "<h2 class='question'>" . $question_shortcode_text . "</h2>";
    update_option( 'question_shortcode_option', $question_shortcode_text );
add_action( 'save_post', 'question_shortcode' );

add_filter( 'the_content', 'testing_var');
function testing_var( $content ) {
    $question_from_shortcode = get_option( 'question_shortcode_option' );
    $content = $question_from_shortcode . $content; 
    return $content;

add_shortcode( 'question', 'question_shortcode' );
  • Why don´t you use hyperlinks?
    – flomei
    Nov 26, 2015 at 13:50
  • then how would you call all the hyperlinks from the blog posts in a list on a static page ( for example ) ?
    – MrKainig
    Nov 26, 2015 at 13:59
  • Maybe its a misunderstanding, my idea was that i write something between those tags inside of the blog post and the question list should be generated automatically somewhere else.
    – MrKainig
    Nov 26, 2015 at 14:05
  • I am trying to get my head around preg_match now and try to use that
    – MrKainig
    Nov 26, 2015 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Basic idea of how this could be done:

  • Hook into save_post or something else which is regularly run, but only by you (could get resource intensive otherwise)
  • Parse your content and have a look for your shortcodes. The Shortcode API could come in handy here.
  • If you found your shortcode, save the text between your shortcode and the Post ID, probably by using the Options API the Settings API
  • Provide a special template/shortcode on your overview page, which reads those options and uses get_permalink() to build links to your pages

This should help you for further researching.

  • thank you! I am gonna drop the preg_match idea for now, this looks like a more promising approach, gonna give an update soon
    – MrKainig
    Nov 26, 2015 at 14:16
  • Can you help me with the part of saving the text with the Options API? I can't get it working...
    – MrKainig
    Nov 26, 2015 at 15:33
  • Seems like the Options API is not the right way to go, it´s for singular entries. Settings API could be more useful. Look here for some information on that.
    – flomei
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:29
  • Hey flomei I just edited the post and yes I think I am encountering the issue you are talking about - I am only able to create and retrieve a single entry. Gonna have a look at the settings API and your other link now
    – MrKainig
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:33
  • 1
    I will think about it after work. Probably can help you with some code then.
    – flomei
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:40

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