Why does it seem that WP requires me to utilize the entire and true file path instead of being able to use a relative file path? I know for safety its better not to use a true file path. In one of my functions, I am specifying a .php file located. Seems no matter what I do, I can not get my function to point to find the file.

The full directory that the php file is in domain_name/public_html/wp-content/mythemename/assets/php/select-change.php

A portion of the code that needs to locate my php file:

jQuery.post("assets/php/select-change.php"); When using the above I get a 404 error and it tells me it can not find the file using - domain_name.com/page_name/php/select-change.php . It seems insistent upon putting the page name in there.

Even when I place the select-change.php file directly into the same directory that contains the calling .js file (assets/js), then it still cant find it since it is looking for mydomain_name.com/page_name/select-change.php which is not the path. Solution?

(ive also tried things like):


The PHP file:

function change_post() {
if($_POST && $_POST['change']){
$wpdb->get_results($wpdb->prepare('UPDATE Staff_Connector_Table SET Staff_List_Staff_Member_Id =  "'.$_POST['change'].'" Table_id ='.$tbl_id));
  • What happens in select-change.php - what do you need to post to it?
    – Q Studio
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 17:33
  • It is a db update that comes off the button click.
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 17:56
  • Can you share it, so we can understand it better?
    – Q Studio
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 18:00
  • 2
    You should not be making direct requests to PHP files in your theme, it is extreme bad practice, insecure, and has lots of issues ( such as the problem you're having ). If you want to do things with AJAX, add a REST API endpoint instead. Look into developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/register_rest_route you'll get a pretty URL to make requests against
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 18:20
  • 1
    Also, relative URLs are relative to the current URL in the browser, not the location of the file the code runs in
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


In PHP, it's not necessary to post to a PHP file, it is only required to include ( or require ) files and then use checks and validations to ensure that code is only processed when required.

You simply need to include the PHP file as part of your application - it will process the PHP is the conditions are met.

  • Thanks how would this solve the issue of specifying the path? If I am not mistaken you need to specifiy the file path in the require or require_once, yes?
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 18:44
  • require_once( get_template_directory() . '/assets/php/select-change.php' );
    – Q Studio
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 21:31
  • Isnt that a security risk of showing the absolute path out to that point?
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 21:35
  • requiring a file does not expose anything, as this is all server-side - PHP tries to find the file and run the code it finds inside - require_once will only allow that file to be included once, no matter how many times it is referenced in the codebase.
    – Q Studio
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 21:42

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