I have been trying to use the "suggest" feature inside a plugin in wordpress. I have a custom type and when I create a new post I use a text input meta box to write inside the titles of other posts of the same type. I want to use the suggest feature so that it autocompletes the titles of the post a user is writing. I have been searching a lot and finally I added this inside my plugin:

add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'se_wp_enqueue_scripts');
function se_wp_enqueue_scripts() {

add_action('wp_footer', 'se_wp_head');
function se_wp_head() {
<script type="text/javascript">
var se_ajax_url = '<?php echo admin_url('admin-ajax.php'); ?>';

jQuery(document).ready(function() {
    jQuery('#requisitos_curso_disc').suggest(se_ajax_url + '?action=se_lookup', {minchars:2});


add_action('wp_ajax_se_lookup', 'se_lookup');
add_action('wp_ajax_nopriv_se_lookup', 'se_lookup');

function se_lookup() {

    $search = $wpdb->esc_like($_REQUEST['q']);

    $loop = new WP_Query( 's=' . $search );

    while( $loop->have_posts() ) {
            echo get_the_title()."\n";


But it doesn't work. Help please?

  • Do you have any error message ? (php logs or javascript console). Also, did you register your sugest script somewhere else ?
    – Sladix
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 13:19
  • I havent registered suggest anywhere else. No errors in console :S Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


In order to properly enqueue a script you must use the wp_enqueue_script like this :

wp_enqueue_script( 'suggest', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/path/to/suggest.js', array('jquery'), '1.0.0', true );

The second parameter is the path to your JavaScript file, the third parameter is the dependencies the script relies on (since suggest is a jquery plugin, it must be loaded after jquery).

If you are using this, I'm afraid your call to the suggest plugin is done wrong. You whould fetch the terms first.

I personnally recommend you to use jquery ui autocomplete. I implemented it this way :

function my_autocomplete()
  $query = new WP_Query(array('post_type'=>'page','posts_per_page'=>-1));
  $tab = array();
  foreach ($query->posts as $p) {
    $tab[] =array('value'=>$p->post_title,'url'=>get_the_permalink($p));
add_action( 'wp_ajax_nopriv_my_autocomplete', 'my_autocomplete' );
add_action( 'wp_ajax_my_autocomplete', 'my_autocomplete' );

the above code is in my functions.php (since you are doing a plugin, it can be in your plugin). You can change post_type to whatever you want to query. You also have to enqueue jquery ui, which is done this way :

wp_register_script('jqui', 'https://code.jquery.com/ui/1.11.4/jquery-ui.min.js', array('jquery')); // Conditional script(s)
wp_enqueue_script('jqui'); // Enqueue it!

Then in my footer.php I have

<script type="text/javascript">
    var ajaxUrl = "/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php";

In order to define the ajax url needed by the autocompletion. Finally, the actual javascript autocomplete code (assuming your input has the class search-input):

    var data = {
        action : 'my_autocomplete'

    $( ".search-input" ).autocomplete({
      minLength: 0,
      source: function(request, response) {
                var results = $.ui.autocomplete.filter(res, request.term);

                response(results.slice(0, 10));
      .autocomplete( "instance" )._renderItem = function( ul, item ) {
          return $( "<li>" )
            .append( "<a href='"+item.url+"'>" + item.value +"</a>" )
            .appendTo( ul );

So when it loads, it fetches all your page title and provide your .search-input autocomplete with the pages url. Settings here limits the autocomplete results to 10 in order to avoid gigantic lists.

This solution might not be adapted if there is a large amount of pages.

Hope it will help you.

  • This is very complete, thankyou. But one question, you tell me to place this in functions.php, but I am trying to do this directly in the plugin, it is not associated to any template. Where should I place them then? Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 14:52
  • Oh ok my bad, you can place it in your plugin ! Tell me if you manage to get this working !
    – Sladix
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 14:57

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