I know there are a few questions on registration forms but I think mine differs a bit as I haven't found an answer through searching.

I'm making a simple subscribe widget that takes a user's email and adds it to the WordPress Users table as a subscriber.

It begins with a simple form with just an email input and submit. The form's action is to a php file in my plugin folder, ajax-signup.php. I'm using ajax to post the form data to this file which then "registers" the email address and returns an ajax response.

Older plugins just included the registration.php file which gave all the required functions to the ajax php file in order for it to perform the registration (check email validation, write to the database etc) as the file exists outside WP. What do I need to include, or what superior method is there that will allow me to do this? Maybe a function inside the WP environment rather than a standalone file? I'm not sure how to use ajax in this way though...

1 Answer 1


Here is a basic setup that I use for AJAX with Wordpress. instead of loading wp-load.php on a separate php file; just use Wordpress default method for AJAX calls. This allows you to also filter function calls from Javascript through a switch. I also added a quick example for wp_localize_script.


add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'YOUR_NAME_scripts'); //back end

function YOUR_NAME_scripts( $hook_suffix ) {


            global $blog_id;
            $params = array(
                'site_url' => site_url(),
                'admin_ajax_url' => site_url() . '/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php'

            wp_localize_script( 'jquery', 'YOUR_NAME', $params );


add_action('wp_ajax_nopriv_YOUR_NAME_ajax', 'YOUR_NAME_ajax_function');
add_action('wp_ajax_YOUR_NAME_ajax', 'YOUR_NAME_ajax_function');
function YOUR_NAME_ajax_function(){


        case 'test_ajax':
            $output = $_REQUEST['data'];

            $output = 'No function specified, check your jQuery.ajax() call';

    if(  is_array( $output )  ):

        print_r( $output );

        echo $output;



//in YOUR_NAME.js or whatever
jQuery(document).ready(function() { 
    (function ($) { 

                    url: YOUR_NAME.admin_ajax_url,
                    dataType: 'json',
                    data: {
                       'fn': 'test_ajax',
                       'data': data
                    success: function(results){
                        if( results ){


                    },// end of success
                    error: function(errorThrown){console.log(errorThrown);}
                });// end of ajax   



If you use the built-in wordpress AJAX, then you can easily access wordpress functions without having to use wp-load.php.

  • Thanks, yeah the proper WordPress way is the way to do it. Have since sorted.
    – harryg
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 14:07

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