What Is wp_enqueue and How to Use It

What Is wp_enqueue and How to Use It

John Hewick

If you have a WordPress website, there is a good chance that you are overlooking fantastic function such as wp_enqueue. Optimising your themes and plugins can provide your site with the overhaul needed to enhance user experience and this is where wp_enqueue comes in! When used with other plugins, it can prevent issues arising with your theme.

Here, we’ll take you through the basic functionality of wp_enqueue and why your WordPress site needs it!

How Does Wp_Enqueue Work?

Wp_Enqueue is a hook and it will hook onto the wp_head() and wp_footer(). The first step is to write a function and this registers a script using the correct wp_enqueue. You can then hook the function onto the wp_enqueue_scripts hook and then they will work together when the wp_head() loads at the front. It will find your script to upload in the correct place. If you do not implement this process then any plugin or theme wit scripts can break as it won’t load with the WordPress method that is expected.

Why Does Every Script Need to Be Enqueued?

It is only after you have the knowledge of how these templates are loaded that you understand the importance of having all styles and scripts enqueued. When you do not take this important step, your WordPress will not be aware of these files. This is essentially how WordPress keeps tracks of your website activity.

So, if just one script is missing, this can make optimising your website impossible. When you enqueue your scripts, they will be loaded into the system. Then, no matter what theme customisations you implement, WordPress can replicate the correct places in wp_head or wp_footer.

How to Use Wp_Enqueue

If the site is live, the first thing you must do is use File Transfer Protocol (FTP.) Then to load scripts with JavaScript you will need to use the wp_enqueue_script() function.

  1. $handle: is a one of a kind string to name your script.
  2. An optional string is $src: which points to the complete path of the file you want.
  3. $deps provides an array of dependencies and allows you to list handles for different scripts.
  4. $ver allows you to keep track of script versions. It does this by using a string for caching purposes.
  5. $in_footer is a Boolean value. It will force the script to load in the footer.

To register these scripts, you must create a custom function using wp_enqueue_script to load each one separately. After you have done this, you can then use the wp_enqueue_scripts action hook to register it into the system. Under the function you will see the add_action() and you can use this function to connect it to the wp_enqueue_scripts. The hook name should be left intact and the function name customised to match yours.

Now that you know how WordPress templates work together and load in scripts from themes and plugins, it’s time to implement this into your own website!

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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