Best Practices to Add JavaScript to WordPress

Best Practices to Add JavaScript to WordPress

John Hewick

If you have taken the time to figure out how to use JavaScript on the WordPress platform, chances are you will have also developed a tonne of useful JavaScript resources and libraries along the way.  But what can you use your newly acquired skills for?

There is definitely a number of reasons why you might want to add JavaScript to WordPress and there are a number of different ways you can implement this.  Just remember, this is a delicate process, so you will need to be very careful about how you do this.  If you implement JavaScript incorrectly, this can do some serious damage to your WordPress site.

Here, we’re taking a look at how you might want to Add JavaScript to WordPress in a safe way.

Why Add JavaScript to WordPress?

When coding a WordPress website, you will need to consider three elements.  The first is HTML, the second CSS and the third JavaScript.  Both CSS and HTML will help to create a solid foundation for your website.  However, if you’re looking to alter the behaviour of your site, they can’t help much.  When it comes to things like changing, hiding or displaying HTML elements, you’ll need the help of JavaScript.

You will also need to add JavaScript to WordPress if you’re looking to alter or enhance the functionality of a plugin on your WordPress site or change the layout and design of your chosen theme.

It’s important to remember that JavaScript is not as simple to implement as CSS or HTML.  You have to be extremely careful when writing code, as well as where and how you add it to your WordPress site.

Adding Custom JavaScript to WordPress

Once you have become a master of both CSS and HTML, you’ll really want to put your own unique stamp on your WordPress site.  This is where JavaScript comes in to play.

When it comes to using JavaScript, one of the most basic rules is that it belongs in either the head of your theme for site-wide applications or within the body of a web-page if you’re looking into specific applications on different pages.

With JavaScript, it’s important that you remember it is a programming language, which means it can’t simply be added to a web page.

Here are some basic rules to remember when adding custom JavaScript to your site:

  1. Don’t Use WordPress Editor
  2. Don’t Modify Your Files Directly
  3. Create Separate Files for JavaScript
  4. Use a WordPress Plugin

If you are able to master using JavaScript in WordPress, this will help to bolster the power of the plugins, content and themes used for your WordPress website.  We’re sure you’ll agree that this is a powerful tool in your WordPress arsenal.  Just remember to be careful when using JavaScript.  It can quickly disrupt your site’s performance if you aren’t sure how to properly use it.  Make sure to stick to the rules above and you should be fine.

Let us know about your JavaScript experiences in the comments section below.

John Hewick

Author John Hewick

John is a full stack developer, with 10 years’ experience building websites with WordPress. Working with Elementary Digital for the last 4 years John has met all the challenges that have been sent his way.

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