my function below works error free when viewing the frontend of the website. But causes a fatal error when i login to the admin area. The errors say that it can no longer find the folder.

//req all the php files in current & sub dirs.
function req_php_files($filepath) {
    $Directory = new RecursiveDirectoryIterator($filepath);
    $Iterator = new RecursiveIteratorIterator($Directory);
    $Regex = new RegexIterator($Iterator, '/^.+\.php$/i', RecursiveRegexIterator::GET_MATCH);

    $php_files = array();

    foreach ($Regex as $file) {
        array_push($php_files, $file[0]);
    foreach ($php_files as $req_file) {
        require_once $req_file;

PHP Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'UnexpectedValueException' with message 'RecursiveDirectoryIterator::__construct(wp-content/themes/vac3/acf): failed to open dir: No such file or directory' in /Applications/MAMP/htdocs/vac3/wp-content/themes/vac3/functions.php:177

Why does this function work on the front end of the site but I'm not when I log into admin?


I think the problem is with your relative path. When you visit the /wp-admin/, it will try to locate the wp-content/themes/vac3/acf within and it doesn't find it there. Try instead the full path with help of __DIR__ or get_template_directory() – more details in this blog post. What if you later remove the acf/ subdirectory? You might want to check it's existence with is_dir(). Also you might want to use the FilesystemIterator (the parent class) constants and use FilesystemIterator::SKIP_DOTS to skip . and .. pointers and FilesystemIterator::FOLLOW_SYMLINKS (PHP v5.3.1+) to … follow symlinks. You might also want to use FilesystemIterator::CURRENT_AS_PATHNAME to avoid returning objects when you just need the path to files.

If you don't need this on the backend you could hook it to the front-end or use the ! is_admin() check within your hook. You should also take care of only loading this where needed. I also wonder if this should be a plugin? Then there are alternatives like autoloading.

The normal thing to do is to wrap everything up in a callback attached to some filter or hook. Example:

// Use the proper filter – below just as example
add_filter( 'wp_loaded', function() {

    // Only serve for public requests
    if ( is_admin() )

    $Iterator = new RecursiveIteratorIterator(
        new RecursiveDirectoryIterator( get_template_directory().'/acf' )
    $Regex = new RegexIterator(

    foreach ( $Regex as $file )
        require_once $file[0];
} );

Even better would be if you just use the FilesystemIterator in case you only have a single folder to require files from – non recursively:

add_action( 'wp_loaded', function() {

    if ( is_admin() )

    $files = new \FilesystemIterator( 
        | FilesystemIterator::FOLLOW_SYMLINKS
        | FilesystemIterator::CURRENT_AS_PATHNAME

    foreach ( $files as $file )
        /** @noinspection PhpIncludeInspection */
        ! $files->isDir() and include $files->getRealPath();
} );
  • Thanks @kaiser for extending the tiny answer ;-) Good working examples and shows how the predefined constants can be helpful. I wonder if we need is_dir() check on the get_template_directory().'/acf' path before feeding it into RecursiveDirectoryIterator or FilesystemIterator. ? I played with this recently and if I recall correctly this was need for non-existent directories, but that might be wrongly recalled ;-) – birgire Apr 6 '16 at 15:02
  • np :) – Ad directories ) The 2nd part is mostly explanatory and not meant to work. Why would one FOLLOW_SYMLINKS, but ! $files->is_dir()? Doesn't make any sense and should only explain possibilities (mostly because recursive dir question). And yes, ignoring directories is indeed needed. Btw, you can check against $files->getType() as well and should get file/link/dir in return according to the docs. Of course, you can also set up the it to return SplFileInfo with FilesystemIterator::CURRENT_AS_FILEINFO to make things real fun. – kaiser Apr 6 '16 at 15:15
  • 1
    it looks like you have written a great answer in the comments as well ;-) yes that SplFileInfo approach sound exiting, ... thanks for all that info, will check out your link, just on my way to the kindergarten now ;-) @kaiser – birgire Apr 6 '16 at 15:43
  • 1
    np, maybe you can ask a new question when you are researching further and show what you find as follow up. And btw, I thought you are a bit older. Pretty impressive knowledge … for a 5-year old! :D – kaiser Apr 6 '16 at 15:45
  • 1
    hahaha lol - let's see what happens ;-) Some days I feel like my WordPress progress + understanding is that of a 5 year old, but then again I think most 5-year old kids nowadays have much better english knowledge than I will ever have ;-) @kaiser – birgire Apr 6 '16 at 20:11

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