I 've just noticed that the init event of a plugin I write myself keeps firing every minute or so if any dashboard's page is loaded in the browser, without interacting with it or even focus on it.

Is this behavior expected? I cant find any information about it, am I missing something ?

  • The init event is fired every time WordPress is initialized, both front end and backend (wp-admin). What do you mean with "dashboard's page" and with "without interacting with it or even focus on it"?
    – cybmeta
    Mar 25, 2015 at 10:17
  • I don't know if I can be more explanatory, but I' ll try. If I leave any admin/backend page loaded on a browser's tab, the init event keeps firing even if the tab is not active/focused. Of course no other page of the specific WP installation is opened neither backend nor frontend. Mar 25, 2015 at 10:43
  • 1
    Your dashboard regularly makes Ajax requests, that's triggering the init most probably. Have a look at the network tab.
    – RRikesh
    Mar 25, 2015 at 11:05

1 Answer 1


This happens because you are not excluding ajax requests.

Check this example from the WordPress Codex for the admin_init hook which is also valid for the init hook and see how AJAX requests are exluded in the if using the DOING_AJAX constant:

 * Restrict access to the administration screens.
 * Only administrators will be allowed to access the admin screens,
 * all other users will be shown a message instead.
 * We do allow access for Ajax requests though, since these may be
 * initiated from the front end of the site by non-admin users.
function restrict_admin() {

    if ( ! current_user_can( 'manage_options' ) && ( ! defined( 'DOING_AJAX' ) || ! DOING_AJAX ) ) {
        wp_die( __( 'You are not allowed to access this part of the site' ) );
add_action( 'admin_init', 'restrict_admin', 1 );

You can use this as a starting point:

add_action( 'init', 'wpse_182220_init' );
function wpse_182220_init() {

    // Exit function if doing an AJAX request
    if ( defined( 'DOING_AJAX' ) && DOING_AJAX ) {

    echo 'OK, not doing AJAX';


Props to RRikesh for mentioning it in his comment.

  • very nice solution - I've been looking for that few hours ;) Dec 7, 2020 at 11:57

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