WordPress wp_enqueue_script Function [Full Guide]

WordPress wp_enqueue_script

What is the wp_enqueue_script() function used for?

Efficiently managing scripts and styles is essential in the ever-changing realm of WordPress development, as it ensures the creation of responsive and optimized websites. The wp_enqueue_script function serves as a potent tool for developers, enabling them to effortlessly incorporate, eliminate, and oversee JavaScript files in WordPress themes and plugins. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of the wp_enqueue_script() function, equipping you with the knowledge to effectively utilize it and elevate the performance and functionality of your WordPress projects.

Description of wp_enqueue_script() Parameters

The wp_enqueue_script() function is an integral part of WordPress that serves the purpose of incorporating JavaScript files into your WordPress site. Its primary function is to ensure that scripts are loaded in the appropriate sequence, prevent redundant loading, and enable effective dependency management. Utilizing this function is crucial for maintaining a well-structured and systematic codebase, as it aids in conflict prevention and enhances the overall performance of your website.

Basic Syntax:


wp_enqueue_script(string $handle, string $src, array $deps, string|bool|null $ver, bool $in_footer);


  1. $handle (required): A unique identifier for the script.
  2. $src (optional): The URL or path to the JavaScript file.
  3. $deps (optional): An array of script handles on which this script depends.
  4. $ver (string|bool|null): The version number of the script. Set to ‘null’ to remove the version.
  5. $in_footer (bool): Whether to enqueue the script in the footer.

How to use wp_enqueue_script() in WordPress

Example 1: This example enqueues a script named ‘custom-script.js’ located in the theme’s ‘js’ directory. It depends on jQuery and is set to load in the footer.


function theme_enqueue_scripts() {
    wp_enqueue_script('custom-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/custom-script.js', array( 'jquery' ), '1.0', true);

add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'theme_enqueue_scripts');

Example 2: When working on a WordPress plugin, you can enqueue scripts similarly to themes. Notice the use of the plugin_dir_url(__FILE__) function to get the URL to the current folder of the plugin.


function plugin_enqueue_scripts() {
    wp_enqueue_script('plugin-script', plugin_dir_url(__FILE__) . '/js/plugin-script.js'), array('jquery'), '1.0', true);

add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'plugin_enqueue_scripts');

Example 3. Conditional enqueueing. Here is an example of how to enqueue scripts conditionally. In this case, the ‘single-script.js’ file is only loaded on single post pages.


function conditional_enqueue_scripts() {
    if (is_single()) {
        wp_enqueue_script('single-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/single-script.js', array('jquery'), '1.0', true);

add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'conditional_enqueue_scripts');

Difference between wp_enqueue_script and wp_register_script functions

The main difference between wp_enqueue_script() and wp_register_script() in WordPress lies in its primary functions within the script management process. While both functions are used for handling JavaScript files, wp_register_script() solely registers a script with WordPress, providing information about its details and dependencies without immediately enqueueing it for output.

On the other hand, wp_enqueue_script() serves a dual purpose – it not only registers the script but also enqueues it, adding it to the queue of scripts to be output on the page. In summary, wp_register_script() is about informing WordPress of a script’s existence, while wp_enqueue_script() takes that registered script and ensures it is included in the current page’s output.


The wp_enqueue_script() function is a fundamental tool for managing JavaScript files in WordPress. By using it effectively, you can enhance the performance, maintainability, and compatibility of your WordPress themes and plugins. Remember to follow best practices, such as proper dependency management and conditional enqueuing, to ensure a smooth and efficient development process. Mastering the wp_enqueue_script function is a key step towards becoming a proficient WordPress developer, allowing you to create robust and responsive websites.

About The Author

Andriy Haydash

Andriy Haydash

Andriy Haydash is a WordPress Expert who helps people build and launch successful WordPress membership and e-learning websites.

Note: Not all of the articles are written directly by me.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links in the post may be my affiliate links

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