WordPress error "file_get_contents: unable to request the remote URL"

Posted July 14, 2017 6.9k views
PHPWordPressUbuntu 16.04


I’m getting the error “file_get_contents: unable to request the remote URL” with a opt-in plugin. I tested it on my shared server and there were no issues. No such luck on my droplet.

I spent a few days searching forums. I’ve enabled the following lines in my php.ini.

allow_url_fopen = On
allow_url_inclure = On

I created a test file to make sure it work the allow_ worked.

What else can be the issue? I contacted the plugin developer and they passed it off saying to contact the host. Nice paid support, eh?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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2 answers


This is an open forum, so you might want to delete that account again.

What I meant be “URL”, was not where the error occurs, but rather which URL the function file_get_contents is chocking on.

We probably need to check the error log for more details. This command will show the last 30 lines from the error log, which has it’s default location here:

tail -30 /var/log/apache2/error.log
  • Thanks for the concern. The “help” user is just a subscriber so you can see the page.

    Nothing reported in the error log.

    Any other ideas?

    • @jforsyth

      Well, first recommendation would be never to use Opt-In Panda, since they clearly have terrible support.

      When looking at the source code, it looks like that error message is only located in the MailChimp part of the plugin. Are you using MailChimp?

      There’s two ways to do the subscription part in the plugin code. The first is with curl and second is with file_get_contents, so my guess is that you haven’t installed curl module into PHP, which is why it’s using the second way.

      Run this command to install the module:

      sudo apt-get install php7.0-curl

      And then you need to restart PHP, but you’re probably running it as a module in Apache, so then we’ll restart Apache:

      sudo apachectl restart

Ok. So on Digital Ocean I can’t use the same email address as my Mailchimp account but it worked on my shared server. I tried a random email address and it worked on Digital Ocean…

It is such a simple bug…

Thanks for your help @hansen