I am trying to create a Plugin that does the following jobs:

  1. Authenticate the user to get Bearer token 'access_token'
  2. Get data from API and store in Database

I have checked all the APIs and endpoints using Postman and they successfully received the desired responses. I created a folder 'MYAPI' inside the 'Plugins' directory as per the WordPress plugin development documentation and also created the necessary files.

To authenticate the API, from what I understand I need to use the wp_safe_remote_request function and I did. The following is my entire code for the authentication of the user to get a bearer token for the further API requests.

function authenticate_api() {
    $user_id = '[email protected]';
    $password = '123456';

    $auth_url = 'https://my-example-url.com/oauth/token';

    $headers = array(
        'Content-Type' => 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded',
        'Authorization' => 'Basic Base64enodedusercredentials',

    $post_data = array(
        'grant_type' => 'password',
        'username' => $user_id,
        'password' => $password,

    $response = wp_safe_remote_request($auth_url, array(
        'method' => 'POST',
        'headers' => $headers,
        'body' => $post_data,

    if (is_wp_error($response)) {
        return 'API request error: ' . $response->get_error_message();

    $status_code = wp_remote_retrieve_response_code($response);

    if ($status_code === 200) {
        $response_body = wp_remote_retrieve_body($response);
        $auth_data = json_decode($response_body, true);

        if (isset($auth_data['access_token'])) {
            return 'API authentication succeeded. Bearer token: ' . esc_html($auth_data['access_token']);
    } else {
        return 'API authentication failed. HTTP status code: ' . $status_code;

I also wrote a piece of code that generates a shortcode to check the status of the response.

function api_authentication_test_shortcode() {
    // Attempt API authentication.
    $token = authenticate_api();

    if ($token) {
        return 'API authentication succeeded. Bearer token: ' . esc_html($token);
    } else {
        return 'API authentication failed. Please check your credentials.';

// Register the shortcode.
add_shortcode('api_authentication_test', 'api_authentication_test_shortcode');

Unfortunately when I use the shortcode [api_authentication_test] on a test page, I am shown the following

API authentication succeeded. Bearer token: API authentication failed. HTTP status code: 401

I have tried removing the $post_data and put them in the URL as it is when making the request using Postman. I have also tried using explode() to get just the bearer token and still the same output. I appreciate any help.

1 Answer 1


If the API requires an authorization as Bearer token, just write is as Bearer and not as Basic:

$headers = array(
        'Content-Type' => 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded',
        'Authorization' => 'Beaerer Base64enodedusercredentials',

Also take a look at the documentation of this API.

Also, make sure that you are currently duplicating the feedback in both of your functions. The 2nd function would be completely sufficient:

function api_authentication_test_shortcode() {
    return authenticate_api();
add_shortcode('api_authentication_test', 'api_authentication_test_shortcode');
  • 1
    In order to get the Bearer token I need to Authenticate the 'User" first. Upon Authenticating the user, the response I get will have the access_token aka Bearer token. But i scrapped the entire plugin, and started from the beginning and I am getting the bearer token now. Although I'm still not sure what went wrong with the code above. Also, thank you for the help.
    – I. Antonov
    Oct 8, 2023 at 19:11

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