Is there a simple method to passing data from one file to another? I'm new to PHP and can't find a simple answer to my problem online. Apologies if this has been answered a million times & thanks in advance.

My Template 


// Declare a variable with the name of the file I want to pull in 
$critical_css = 'style';

// Header


// Get php file with inline style written inside
<?php get_template_part('/path/to/' . $critical_css); ?> 

3 Answers 3


The WordPress template functions don't support passing variables (to my knowledge) by default, so you need to write your own function. For example like this,

// functions.php
function my_template_include_with_variables( string $path = '', $data = null ) {
  $file = get_template_directory() . '/' . $path . '.php';
  if ( $path && file_exists( $file ) ) {
    // $data variable is now available in the other file
    include $file;

// in a template file
$critical_css = 'style';
// include header.php and have $critical_css available in the template file
my_template_include_with_variables('header', $critical_css);

// in header.php
var_dump($data); // should contain whatever $critical_css had

UPDATE 18.8.2020

Since WordPress 5.5 you are able to pass additional arguments with the native template functions (e.g. get_header(), get_template_part(), etc.) to the template files in an array.

From dev docs,

get_template_part( string $slug, string $name = null, array $args = array() )


Simply declaring your variable as global in your header template will suffice:


global $critical_css;
get_template_part('/path/to/' . $critical_css);


No need to write your own template loading stuff (which usually is a bad idea).

  • 2
    I think "polluting" the global space like this is considered bad practice
    – kero
    Nov 27, 2019 at 12:34
  • Wouldn't 'global' need to be written in the template where the the variable is first defined? ``` global $critical_css = 'cc-frontpage'; ``` neither work unfortunately :( Nov 27, 2019 at 12:57
  • 1
    @kero It's WordPress. The global namespace already is a radioactive soup. There are of course more "elegant" solutions, but sometimes this is overkill and certainly out of scope here.
    – maryisdead
    Nov 27, 2019 at 14:06
  • @EvanMeredith-Davies This works. Tested it in a vanilla WordPress installation. global needs to be used in the file/place where you want to access the variable, not where you define it. Your second code snippet, which file exactly is this in?
    – maryisdead
    Nov 27, 2019 at 14:09

use this to define your global variable

function turn_addons_vars() {
    // Your Variable Names
    global $kdev_addons,  $kdev_addon;
    // Set Default your variable Data
    $critical_css = '';
    $kdev_addon = '';
add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'turn_addons_vars' );

in anywhere you can use global for example:


global $critical_css; 
$critical_css = "style";


global $critical_css; 
get_template_part('/path/to/' . $critical_css);

if you are access to functions.php or develop a theme. you can instead use : https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/a/353442/191341

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