Support » Plugin: Youtube Sidebar Widget » [Plugin: Youtube Sidebar Widget] [Plugin: YouTube Sidebar Widget] allow_url_fopen being off breaks

  • I ran into a problem with YouTube Sidebar Widget. Through trial and error, I was able to figure it out: allow_url_fopen was off in my php.ini.

    If your php.ini has “display_errors” turned off, all you will see is “Service unavailable” where the widget is supposed to appear on the page.

    If “display_errors” is turned on, you see something like this:

    Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /home/mysite/public_html/wp-content/plugins/youtube-sidebar-widget/youtube-sidebar-widget.php on line 100
    Warning: simplexml_load_file( [function.simplexml-load-file]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/mysite/public_html/wp-content/plugins/youtube-sidebar-widget/youtube-sidebar-widget.php on line 100
    Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/mysite/public_html/wp-content/plugins/youtube-sidebar-widget/youtube-sidebar-widget.php on line 100
    Service Unavailable.

    The reason why I’m reporting this is partially so people with the same problem can find a solution, but mainly so I can respectfully recommend that the widget use cURL instead of url_fopen. (I am not an expert, so I may be misusing some terms.) I know that the question of whether or not having “allow_url_fopen” on or not is a security risk is one that’s debated back and forth and has people arguing either sides–but still, (1) the consensus seems to be that it’s not necessary and cURL is preferable) and (2) there are likely some web hosts that have this set by default, which could cause problems for people trying to use the plugin.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Plugin Author Douglas Karr


    Thanks Revanto, that’s a good catch. Interestingly, we’ve seen feedback from other users who didn’t have cURL enabled and required fopen! I agree that cURL is the right way to go, though! We’ll get that in the works…

    Will the plugin use cURL soon? Suddenly the plugin stopped working on multiple sites on my HostGator account. I developed issues with another plugin at the exact same time. Support wasn’t very helpful; in the end, they said there was some mod_security rule they had to whitelist on a site-by-site basis as I requested it, which is obviously a major pain in the rear, and the fault there lays with HostGator.

    I suspect they are making configuration changes, server by server, to cause trouble for anything using fopen (although that’s just a hypothesis at the moment). Even if I set php.ini to allow it, their settings cause problems for several plugins.

    So what I’m saying is, IF I’m right and it’s an fopen thing, then your plugin may not work at all on some web hosts (at least not without extensive quality time with their tech support). I’m hoping changing to cURL will fix this, and that anyone having trouble using it on HostGator will see this thread and know what to try.

    Plugin Author srcoley


    The plugin has been updated and now fully utilizes curl instead of simplexml_load_file. This should resolve the issues both of you are having.


    I just updated this pluging but when I hide the tittles doesn’t work the pluging and show pictures only.

    Someone can help me?


    Plugin Author srcoley


    This bug has been fixed. Thank you for pointing it out. =]


    Thank you so much.

    Just a quick question, is possible add the autoplay option?

    Thank you again.


    Plugin Author Douglas Karr


    That’s a cool idea, Ramiro. So if someone clicks the sidebar – it will open up the video and autoplay it. Stephen – let’s add that as an option on the next release… default to false, though :).

    thank you for considering my suggestion.

    I’ll be expecting for the new release then.


    HI, I just installed the plugin and it didn’t work. So i un-installed it and deleted the files from the ftp. Then reinstalled it and I seem to be getting the same errors. Any idea how I can get it to work?

    This is what is showing up, which is similar to the above. But I don’t really know PHP good enough to fix it.

    Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 1: parser error : Start tag expected, ‘<‘ not found in /home/lelkins/public_html/WPsite/wp-content/plugins/youtube-sidebar-widget/youtube-sidebar-widget.php on line 66

    Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: User not found in /home/lelkins/public_html/WPsite/wp-content/plugins/youtube-sidebar-widget/youtube-sidebar-widget.php on line 66

    Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /home/lelkins/public_html/WPsite/wp-content/plugins/youtube-sidebar-widget/youtube-sidebar-widget.php on line 66

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/lelkins/public_html/WPsite/wp-content/plugins/youtube-sidebar-widget/youtube-sidebar-widget.php on line 73

    I am also receiving a “Service Unavailable” error on the front end of the site.
    displays properly when signed in as administrator, but not when logged out.

    Tracking the Carnivores

    Plugin Author srcoley



    It looks like the widget is working fine now. Turns out the service actually was unavailable.


    I believe the “simplexml_load_string()” errors that are appearing because we’re using a function that must be enabled. In the next release, we will be switching this to curl, so that no php configuration is needed.

    I apologize for our lack of updates. Please keep in mind that we’re a small agency, and while we love contributing the the open source and WordPress community, our upmost priority is our clients. They make these plugins possible and sometimes provide the inspiration for creating them.

    We have put the YouTube Sidebar Widget on Github. If you’d like to contribute, feel free to issue a pull request.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • The topic ‘[Plugin: Youtube Sidebar Widget] [Plugin: YouTube Sidebar Widget] allow_url_fopen being off breaks’ is closed to new replies.