I've encountered an issue that I can't seem to figure out.

I am using require_once to place content before and after the page content on my homepage. The before content works perfectly and displays fine. If I use text for the after content such as $aftercontent: 'this is my text';

However, if I attempt another require_once call the after content is situated directly beneath my before content, and before The $content. Code below.

// -----------------------------------------

function wpdev_before_after($content) {
    if ( is_user_logged_in() && is_front_page() ) {
        $beforecontent = require_once ( WP_CONTENT_DIR . '/themes/moon-child/includes/hero-registered-include.php' );
        $aftercontent = require_once ( WP_CONTENT_DIR . '/themes/moon-child/includes/footer-registered-include.php' );
        $fullcontent = $beforecontent . $content . $aftercontent;
    } else {
        $beforecontent = require_once ( WP_CONTENT_DIR . '/themes/moon-child/includes/hero-unregistered-include.php' );
        $aftercontent = require_once ( WP_CONTENT_DIR . '/themes/moon-child/includes/footer-unregistered-include.php' );
        $fullcontent = $beforecontent . $content . $aftercontent;

    return $fullcontent;
add_filter('the_content', 'wpdev_before_after');

1 Answer 1


If the file you want to attach (eg. footer-registered-include.php) print/display some text, this text will be displayed in the time you include the file.

To assign to the variable the content displayed by the included file you should:

  1. turn on output buffering
  2. include file
  3. contents of the output buffer and end output buffering
function wpdev_before_after($content)
    if ( is_user_logged_in() && is_front_page() )
        require_once( get_stylesheet_directory() . '/includes/hero-registered-include.php' );
        $beforecontent = ob_get_contents();
        // -- OR --
        // $beforecontent = ob_get_clean();
        // ob_start();

        include_once( get_stylesheet_directory() . '/includes/footer-registered-include.php' );
        $aftercontent = ob_get_clean();

        $fullcontent = $beforecontent . $content . $aftercontent;
    // else {
    // ...
    // }
    return $fullcontent;
add_filter('the_content', 'wpdev_before_after');


  • This half worked. It placed the hero at the top, but then duplicated the hero and then placed the footer beneath that.
    – CongoDeuce
    Aug 1, 2019 at 7:09
  • This works! However, it is missing the Else statement that indicates to load 2 different includes if the user is not logged in. Can I just copy this code to the Else statement or? What is happening here exactly? What was stopping my code from working? Thanks!
    – CongoDeuce
    Aug 1, 2019 at 7:38
  • Do the same - start buffering on before include/require and read buffer contents after.
    – nmr
    Aug 1, 2019 at 8:23
  • Got it, thank you! Can you elaborate on why the buffering plays such a big role in making this work? For example, if I used text instead of an include no buffering is required. Just trying to figure out what is happening.
    – CongoDeuce
    Aug 1, 2019 at 22:41
  • The the_content filter accepts the content of the post as a parameter and returns it after an optional modification. It (post content) will be displayed later. Let's say you have echo 'text from hero file'; in hero-registered.php and echo 'something in footer file'; in footer-registed.php. The code: $before= require_one('hero-registered.php'); $after= require_one('hero-registered.php'); $content= $before.$content.$after; will load and execute the first script, the text will be displayed "text from hero file", to $before variable will be [...]
    – nmr
    Aug 2, 2019 at 9:56

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