I need to pass complex json with nested array of object as shortcode parameter.

For example I need to pass something like this:


So I tried to set the shortcode in this way:

[my_shortcode parameters='{"a": "va", "b": {"b1": "vb1", "b2": [{"kb2": "vb2"}]}}']

The problem seems to be related to array (square brackets) indeed this other example works:

[my_shortcode parameters='{"a": "va", "b": {"b1": "vb1"}}']

Here is how parameters are handled in shorcode:

function myshortcodehandler($atts){        
    $arrparameters = json_decode($atts["parameters"], true);
    <pre><?php echo json_encode($arrparameters); ?></pre>        
    return ob_get_clean();

If json includes some nested array the output show only some brackets. So, what is the right way to pass complex json as shortcode parameter?

I've already red this documentation: https://codex.wordpress.org/Shortcode_API#Square_Brackets

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    This seems like you're really stretching what shortcodes are supposed to be used for. Why do you need such a complex parameter? Are users going to be typing these values in? Jul 14, 2021 at 10:02
  • the solution is really quite dependent on how this is being implemented - where does the JSON come from?
    – Paul G.
    Jul 14, 2021 at 10:21
  • The shortcode needs complex configuration and will be generated automatically. Users will just copy and paste the shortcode where they want.
    – assistbss
    Jul 14, 2021 at 10:40

1 Answer 1


Maybe there is a better solution, but serialize seems to do the job.

Instead of json I could pass json_decoded and then serialized parameters.

For example

$jsonval = json_decode('{"foo": "bar"}');
$serialized = serialize($jsonval);

Shortcode will be something like:

[myshortcode parameters='O:8:"stdClass":1:{s:8:"foo";s:3:"bar";}']

At this point I can handle parameters unserializing them:

function myshortcodehandler($atts){        
    $arrparameters = (array) unserialize($atts["parameters"]);

Seems to work also with array in json.

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