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What is the best way to get directory path for wp-config.php? WordPress


I am developer of the plugin [[LINK href=""]][[/LINK]] which also offers several APIs which can be accessed directly (eg [[LINK href=""]][[/LINK]]).
For these APIs I initially wrote the absolut directory path to a file with the following function on plugin install:

file_put_contents(dirname(__FILE__).'/leaflet-wp-path.php', '<?php define(\'WP_PATH\',\''.ABSPATH.'\'); ?>');

In the API-files, the file leaflet-wp-path.php the got included by the following code:

global $wpdb;

I then noticed that on some hosting providers these kind of operation is not supported, causing the plugin install to fail.
Therefore I switched to another method for determing the directory-path to wp-config.php:

//info: construct path to wp-config.php with fallback for subdirectory installations
$wp_path = $_SERVER["DOCUMENT_ROOT"];
if ( file_exists($wp_path . '/wp-config.php') ) {
} else {
$wp_plugin_path_modified = explode(DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR, dirname(__FILE__),-3);
$wp_path = implode(DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR, $wp_plugin_path_modified);
if ( !file_exists($wp_path . '/wp-config.php') ) {
echo __('Error: Could not construct path to wp-config.php - please check <a href=""></a> for more details.','lmm') . '<br/>Path on your webhost: ' . $wp_path;
} else {

This worked fine even on hosts that donĀ“t allow the function file_put_contents() because the directory path is
determined from the current dirname of the API-File.

Now I got a bug report from a user, telling me that this method doesnt work on his host. He writes:

This is the example of the one of icon link. Looks entire plugin links are not correct. Only one thing is working now, it is admin panel configuration. Also it is making markers, but not showing in browsers.

On Windows Web Host

On Linux Web Host

Does anyone know a better method for determing the directory path to wp-config.php to support this kind of hosting configuration?

Answers (5)


Fahad Murtaza answers:

Wow, a nice question. Interesting as have been into such situations. I have successfully made some plugins work on windows and Linux systems without worrying about such issues. I will get back to you in an hour.

Fahad Murtaza comments:

Did you try something like

$path = getcwd();
echo $path;

If you call this in your plugin, you can take out the "/wp-content/plugins/xyz-plugin/ " by splitting in with "/"

That should do it.


Arnav Joy answers:

try this

$root = dirname(dirname(dirname(dirname(__FILE__))));



Buzu B answers:

This is how I do it:

$path = split('wp-content', __FILE__);
$path = $path[0];
include($path .'wp-load.php');


Julio Potier answers:


I code more than 30 plugins and my code always works :

if(is_dir('../')) chdir('../');
else die('Could not find WordPress.');
include( 'wp-config.php' );

See you soon ;)


Romel Apuya answers:

add this

// let's make sure the $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] variable is set
if(!isset($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'])){ if(isset($_SERVER['SCRIPT_FILENAME'])){
$_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] = str_replace( '\\', '/', substr($_SERVER['SCRIPT_FILENAME'], 0, 0-strlen($_SERVER['PHP_SELF'])));
}; };
if(!isset($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'])){ if(isset($_SERVER['PATH_TRANSLATED'])){
$_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] = str_replace( '\\', '/', substr(str_replace('\\\\', '\\', $_SERVER['PATH_TRANSLATED']), 0, 0-strlen($_SERVER['PHP_SELF'])));
}; };
// $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] is now set - you can use it as usual...


$wp_path = $_SERVER["DOCUMENT_ROOT"];