In my template file I want to include a library. I uploaded the library into my theme folder, and inside my theme folder is my custom template file. In my custom template file I have require 'OAuth2/Client.php'; but when I load a page that uses the template, it gives me this:

Warning: require(OAuth2/Client.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/healthf0/public_html/wp-content/themes/healthfitcorpwell/single-iframe.php on line 4

Obviously the file does exist, I can see it sitting there via FTP. Why is it telling me this?

  • never use relative paths when you include php files Commented May 25, 2017 at 16:34

3 Answers 3


You are seeing this error because you are requireing the file with a relative path. As @Mark Kapulun pointed out in the comments you should not use relative paths when requireing files. Instead you want to be explicit and use absolute paths.

Use get_template_directory() which returns the

Absolute path to the directory of the current theme (without the trailing slash)

In your template file the require statement will look like:

require( get_template_directory() . '/path/from/theme/root/to/file.php');

Or get_stylesheet_directory() if you are making a child theme. doc


As @Jack Johansson noted in his answer, you may also consider using require_once instead. This will protect you from errors generated by multiple inclusions of the file. See this answer for more details.

  • 2
    get_stylesheet_directory() solved my issue. thank you.
    – Alex
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 17:47

Yes, but use of relative paths is not allowed. You always want absolute paths. This can be done as follows:

<?php require( get_stylesheet_directory() . '/OAuth2/Client.php'); ?>

get_stylesheet_directory() will return the absolute path where style.css is located for the theme. It will NOT put the trailing / on it though.


You can use get_template_directory() to get an absolute path to your template's directory. For example, if your php file is located in /my-theme/OAuth2/Client.php, use:


Remember, DO NOT use relative or access the PHP file directly for security purposes. Also, you have to use this conditional in your client.php file to make it more secure:

if ( ! defined( 'ABSPATH' ) ) {
    exit('No script rookies, please.');

This does not allow direct access to your PHP file.

I also would go with require_once instead of require to make sure it doesn't trigger any error if i include it somewhere else accidentally.


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