Short Version

I need to give in the absolute path of a Javascript file that is to be hooked into something. It works if I hardcode it into


However I prefer not to hardcode it in. I can do dirname(___FILE___), which gives me this:


But that fails, the script isn't loaded. What's the best practice to find the absolute path (starting with 'http://')?


Long Version

On this page in the Wordpress documentation relating to the tinyMCE plugin creation, I found this:

// Load the TinyMCE plugin : editor_plugin.js (wp2.5)
function add_myplugin_tinymce_plugin($plugin_array) {
   $plugin_array['myplugin'] = URLPATH.'tinymce/editor_plugin.js';
   return $plugin_array;

There's a note at the bottom saying:

Note: when using the mce_external_plugins filter, the url should point to the actual plugin file, as in the example above.

A bit higher in the documentation they say

mce_external_plugins: passes in/out an associative php array 'plugin_name' => 'plugin_url'. The url should be absolute and on the same domain as your WordPress installation.

I am completely puzzled because I can't find any information about 'URLPATH' which is used in their example. I don't think it exists in PHP, WP or TinyMCE, but I could be wrong.

Incidentally, were this to be an error in the WP documentation, what would I replace URLPATH with to make it work?


Assuming your resource is included in your Plugin:

  • plugins_url() is the URL to \wp-content\plugins\ (Codex ref)

So if you have a .js file in \wp-content\plugins\plugin-slug\file.js:

<?php echo plugins_url() . '\plugin-slug\file.js'; ?>


If your purpose is actually to load a javascript file, you actually want to enqueue that file, using wp_enqueue_script(), hooked into the wp_enqueue_scripts hook.

And wp_enqueue_script() uses the filepath rather than the URL, so you could use dirname(___FILE___) if that' what you're comfortable with.

| improve this answer | |
  • Is there a reason you are not using the parameters to plugins_url(), so it will determine the plugin name too? I once read that plugins should keep working, even if the site owner changes the individual plugin folder name. – Jan Fabry Jul 18 '11 at 21:04
  • 1
    fixed it with: plugins_url( '' , FILE ); thanks both – joon Jul 18 '11 at 21:23
  • 3
    You should use the first parameter too instead of string operations. plugins_url('script.js',__FILE__); for example. – Otto Jul 18 '11 at 22:34

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