In PHP, when you include a file, the variables you're using in your current scope are available for use in the included file.

When using WordPress's get_template_part(), variables are no longer available in the "included" file.

get_template_part() calls locate_template() which then calls load_template(), which then performs the require or require_once.

If WordPress eventually calls PHP's require, why do the variables no longer work? Is it something to do with the 3 function calls before the actual require?

  • Possible duplicate of wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/4462/… Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:04
  • @czerspalace That seems like a "How to" and this sounds like a "Why does" type question.
    – Howdy_McGee
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:12
  • @Howdy_McGee got it. Should I delete my comment? Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:37
  • @czerspalace Nah, the community could agree and close the question as dup. I just thought the two were different in principle.
    – Howdy_McGee
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:39
  • 1
    Files included inside a function get the scope of that function. That'll probably get flagged as low quality if I post it as an answer!
    – Milo
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


A script loaded within a function call will only work within the immediate scope of where require or include was used. So really only variables present when load_template() is called will be accessible to the loaded script (unless you use global $myvar of course).

The reason vars like $post and $wp_query are available to the script is because load_template() globals them in before loading the script.

If you wanted to make sure your script can access certain vars, either global them in or add them to the $wp_query->query_vars array before loading (not recommended but depending on the task it might be the only feasible option), as those get extracted into the local scope before loading the script.

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