How to Load JavaScript Files from a Custom Plugin in WordPress

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Plugins are used to enhance the functionality of WordPress. These plugins use JavaScript to add interactivity. External JavaScript files are loaded into the plugin using the wp_enqueue_scripts action hook in WordPress. But, how do I load an external JavaScript file into a custom WordPress plugin? The same action hook (wp_enqueue_scripts) is used in loading JavaScript in developing custom plugin.

In this tutorial, I’ll show how to increase the plugin’s interactivity by loading a JavaScript file with a WordPress plugin. To understand this tutorial you should have minimal experience developing custom WordPress plugins.

This task can be accomplished in several ways. Three well-known methods are:

  1. Using WordPress’s wp_enqueue_scripts action hook.
  2. Using wp_footer and wp_head hooks.
  3. Using third-party WordPress plugins.

In this tutorial post, I will discuss how to use the wp_enqueue_scripts hook by following the first method.

Loading JavaScript files using the wp_enqueue_scripts action hook

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  1. In the root folder of the custom plugin, create another folder named assets and js in it. Create a file called plugin-name.js in this folder.
  2. Add the following line to the main file of the custom plugin. It uses a custom function via the wp_enqueue_scripts action hook.
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'custom_plugin_name_js');

function custom_plugin_name_js() {
    wp_enqueue_script( 'plugin-name-js', plugins_url( '/assets/js/plugin-name.js', FILE ), array('jquery'), 1.0, true);
}
  1. Now write the necessary codes for the interactivity of the plugin in the plugin-name.js file. By convention, we can add the following file to make sure that this JavaScript file is loaded correctly.
alert('Custom Plugin Name loaded.');

In this tutorial we saw how to load a JavaScript file with a custom WordPress plugin using the wp_enqueue_script action hook. For more details on this enqueue hook visit WordPress’s official documentation page.

Also read:  How to Remove the Menu Container div in WordPress

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