Had a situation today where I was using admin-ajax.php from a front end script. As I understand it this the wp way to make ajax calls (registering my function with the wp_ajax_nopriv_myfunction hook)

Seems to me that since admin-ajax.php is on the admin side is_admin() returns true whereas my script calls it from the front end side.

This causes an issue with a plugin I use that does things differently on front and admin side of things.

So I was wondering if I was doing something wrong

is there a way to use ajax in front end the wp way and have is_admin() to return false ?

hope I could make myself understand

  • Right. You can use function wp_doing_ajax() which check it is doing AJAX request or not. – maheshwaghmare Mar 5 at 17:36

WordPress sets is_admin() to true for all ajax requests (front-end or admin-side). (See codex).

There's isn't away of over-riding this (and you shouldn't anyway). If your ajax request can be fired from both front-end and admin side, then you may want to include whether it 'is admin' or not when you post the data. But without any details on the 'issues' it causes with your plug-in, it's hard to offer a work-aroudn.


I know this is old, but in case it helps anybody else that stumbles across this...

what I usually do is set some kind of flag in my frontend forms to denote that the incoming request is ajax.

<input type="hidden" id="my_ajax_flag" name="my_ajax_flag" value="false" />

Initially this is set to "false", which i then toggle to "true" while beginning to process the ajax.

$('#my_ajax_flag').val('true'); // example using jQuery

then in the admin side of my code, i check for that parameter and then either include my ajax hooks or perform my regular non-ajax admin stuff. So for example:

if ( isset( $_REQUEST['my_ajax_flag'] ) && $_REQUEST['my_ajax_flag'] == 'true' ) {
    add_action('wp_ajax_my_ajax_function', 'my_ajax_function');     
    add_action('wp_ajax_no_priv_my_ajax_function', 'my_ajax_function');
} else {
    // regular non-ajax stuff

depending on what you need to do, there are multiple variations of this idea, but it allows you to keep your regular admin code from interfering or firing while performing ajax requests.

another recommendation that can be handy is setting the WordPress "noheader" attribute in your forms.

<input type="hidden" name="noheader" value="true" />

when doing backend processing that ultimately results in a redirect (recommended for avoiding the dreaded double form submission), in rare fringe cases where you need to access wp hooks that would normally occur after "headers already sent".

  • 3
    Not needed: Just check defined( 'DOING_AJAX' ) && DOING_AJAX. – fuxia Mar 24 '13 at 22:19
  • Or if your code extends WooCommerce use their function is_ajax(). Yes it just checks the conditional @toscho mentioned, but a smidge shorter. – James Jones Oct 17 '16 at 9:00
  • Depending on a 3rd party method that could change at any time for the sake of saving a few bytes of code is just bad practice. Don't be lazy and do this. If anything, build this method into your own base framework if you insist on saving a few bytes. – Hybrid Web Dev Oct 1 '17 at 18:59

I wanted to enable/disable logging on the front end and admin using a dashboard menu button. I simply added a class to my menu button and then queried admin page status with jQuery


Add a menu item with the admin status as a class

$wp_admin_bar -> add_menu(
        'title'     => '<span class="ab-icon"></span><span class="ab-label">' . __( 'Console Logging' , 'console-logging' ) . '</span>',
        'id'        => 'your-custom-id',
        'parent'    => false,
        'href'      => '',
        'meta'      => array('class' => 'is-admin-'.is_admin())//GET ACTUAL ADMIN OR NOT in php before page load

Get the menu item using jQuery in javascript and use it:

 //'is-admin-1' when is_admin() is true
 //'is-admin-0' when is_admin() is false

var is_admin = $('#wp-admin-bar-your-custom-id').hasClass('is-admin-1');

    //You are actually on an admin page
    //You are on a front end page

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