I am developing a plugin, and I would like to make data available to the client-side JS code executed by one of my shortcodes. wp_localize_script seems like the obvious way to do that, but it's not working for me: my script is included, but not the JS data. The data depends on a value in the querystring, read by the shortcode. I suspect something to do with the relative timing of scripts and shortcodes in the WP lifecycle. I have some JS code not used in a shortcode that is happily being provided with data using wp_localize_script.

Abbreviated plugin file:

function shortcode_orderitem() {

    $id = intval($_GET['id']);
    $productData = retrieveSingleProductData($id);
    wp_localize_script('orderitem', 'productData', $productData); //THIS DOES NOT WORK
    return orderItem_buildHTML($productData);

function enqueue_general_scripts()
    wp_enqueue_script('orderitem', plugin_dir_url(__FILE__) . 'client/orderitem.js', ['jquery']);

    wp_enqueue_script('mainbag', plugin_dir_url(__FILE__) . 'client/mainbag.js', ['jquery']);
    $url = admin_url( 'admin-ajax.php' );
    wp_localize_script('mainbag', 'bagParams', ['url' => $url]); //THIS WORKS

add_shortcode('orderitem', "shortcode_orderitem");

add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'enqueue_general_scripts' );

Is there some fundamental reason why you can't use wp_localize_script directly within a shortcode like that? Am I missing something else? Is there a way round it? Thanks in advance!

  • Have you tried setting $in_footer parameter to true when enqueueing the script? Scripts are output in wp_head by default, you can't localize a script after it's already been output to the page.
    – Milo
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 2:51
  • @Milo Well, I feel like an idiot now, because that worked perfectly! I was sure I'd tried it before with no success, but clearly not. Thanks, if you turn that into an Answer I'll accept it.
    – frumious
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


Default parameters for wp_enqueue_script will output the script in the wp_head function. Shortcodes typically execute later, when main content is being output.

In that case, calling wp_localize_script in the Shortcode handler will have no effect, because the script has already been output.

Setting the $in_footer parameter to true when enqueueing the script will delay script output until wp_footer, so wp_localize_script will succeed in this case.

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