In my theme's functions.php, I'm calling an add_action in order to gain a measure of control on where jquery is loaded (in the footer along with my theme's other scripts).

The problem I'm having is that when I use add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts'), it only appears to fire if no plugins are loaded. However, the add_action('init') method works in all cases.

I can't recall why, but I believe that add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts') is preferred in this case. If that's true, how can I get it to work in all cases?

In functions.php

//if(!is_admin()){add_action('init', 'my_theme_init');} //THIS WORKS ALL THE TIME
//add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'my_theme_init'); //THIS ONLY WORKS WHEN NO PLUGINS PRESENT

    require_once(TEMPLATEPATH . '/functions_public.php');   

In functions_public.php

function my_theme_init()


wp_register_script('jquery', get_bloginfo('template_directory').'/scripts.mythemescripts.js',false,false,true);



The 2nd method, using add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts') apparently does not get executed in conditions where a plugin is present that writes out script dependencies to the theme.

  • 6
    Please don't register your own copy of jquery - use the version shipped with WordPress, else you'll end up breaking plug-ins :) Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 15:02
  • I agree, actually I am using the one shipped with jQuery. I'm just loading it into a single .js (mythemescripts.js) along with the other js files my theme needs, in order to reduce http requests.
    – N2Mystic
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 15:11
  • In all browsers, once the script is requested from your site once, it's cached locally. You'll only have the extra HTTP request on the very first page load. If you combine all of the scripts into a single one, you'll be forced to change this every time WP releases an update with a new version of jQuery. This == maintenance nightmare.
    – EAMann
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 15:17
  • 2
    @EAMann, when the theme is first installed, and each time my theme options page is saved thereafter, I'm rewriting the mythemescripts.js, loading the latest copy of the jquery library into it. If the user updates their WP version, my theme options routine loads the jquery that comes with that. Its always up to date.
    – N2Mystic
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 15:22
  • Problem still occurs when a jquery call is contained in the body of the document before the footer. Apparently jQuery(document).ready fires before .js script is loaded into the footer.
    – N2Mystic
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 17:53

3 Answers 3


A lot of plugin developers don't do things the right way. The right way is to hook on to wp_enqueue_scripts like you're trying to do.

However, here's the order of the hooks run in a typical request:

  • muplugins_loaded
  • registered_taxonomy
  • registered_post_type
  • plugins_loaded
  • sanitize_comment_cookies
  • setup_theme
  • load_textdomain
  • after_setup_theme
  • auth_cookie_malformed
  • auth_cookie_valid
  • set_current_user
  • init
  • widgets_init
  • register_sidebar
  • wp_register_sidebar_widget
  • wp_default_scripts
  • wp_default_stypes
  • admin_bar_init
  • add_admin_bar_menus
  • wp_loaded
  • parse_request
  • send_headers
  • parse_query
  • pre_get_posts
  • posts_selection
  • wp
  • template_redirect
  • get_header
  • wp_head
  • wp_enqueue_scripts
  • wp_print_styles
  • wp_print_scripts
  • ... a lot more

The thing is, several developers were originally told to hook on to init for enqueue-ing their scripts. Back before we had a wp_enqueue_script hook, that was the "correct" way to do things, and tutorials perpetuating the practice are still floating around on the Internet corrupting otherwise good developers.

My recommendation would be to split your function into two parts. Do your wp_deregister_script/wp_register_script on the init hook and use the wp_enqueue_scripts hook when you actually enqueue jQuery.

This will keep you in the world of "doing it right" for enqueue-ing your scripts, and will help protect you from the hundreds of developers still "doing it wrong" by swapping jQuery for your concatenated version before they add it to the queue.

You'll also want to add your init hook with a high priority:

add_action( 'init', 'swap_out_jquery', 1 );
function swap_out_jquery() {
    // ...
  • 2
    I was going to recommend this, but then I realized that the OP was actually deregistering jQuery, and then registering a different script entirely and calling it "jquery". I don't think that's a good practice to encourage, and think that a better route would be simply to dequeue jQuery entirely, and then enqueue the custom script using a custom handle. Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 15:51
  • Point to note about priority of adding actions. It all depends on how you view priority. If you want yours to run "first", then a lower number is better - a higher priority in the execution queue order. But if you want the effect of your function to take precedence over others, you'll want it to run later - so a higher priority by "effect". And in this case, it's probably a higher number that you'd want. Even though there is little merit in swapping out the RTM version of jquery, as the previous commenter suggests.
    – Paul G.
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 9:10

There are multiple issues here, that are inter-related.

  1. The correct action hook to use to enqueue scripts is wp_enqueue_scripts
  2. To print scripts in the footer via wp_enqueue_script(), set the $footer parameter to true
  3. Your add_action( $hook, $callback ) calls should not be wrapped in anything; let them execute directly from functions.php
  4. You should put your is_admin() conditional checks inside your callback
  5. You shouldn't deregister core-bundled scripts from a Theme, for any reason. Even if your purpose is script concatenation, that's Plugin territory.
  6. If you must deregister jquery, then wp_enqueue_scripts is too late. Split your deregister/register code into a callback hooked into init.
  7. Calling some other script "jquery" is also probably not a good practice. Your better bet would simply be to dequeue jQuery, and then load your custom script.
  8. Be sure to put a low priority on your callback, so you override Plugins
  9. Use get_template_directory() rather than TEMPLATEPATH

Putting it all together:

function wpse55924_enqueue_scripts() {
    if ( ! is_admin() ) {

        // Dequeue jQuery
        wp_dequeue_script( 'jquery' );

        // Register/enqueue a custom script, that includes jQuery
        wp_register_script( 'mythemescripts', get_template_directory_uri() . '/scripts.mythemescripts.js', false, false,true );
        wp_enqueue_script( 'mythemescripts' ); 
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'wpse55924_enqueue_scripts', 99 );

But again: this is really not the best approach. Your better bet is simply to remove plugin add_action() callbacks that deregister core jQuery - or use Plugins that don't do something so reckless as replacing core-bundled jQuery.

  • The OP is combining the WP-distributed version of jQuery with some other scripts programatically so that only one HTTP request is made by his theme to load all the JS files. So the custom scripts does contain jQuery and won't break anything if loaded this way. Overwriting the registered 'jquery' handle is necessary to prevent loading jQuery twice - once in the combined JS file and again by any plugins attempting to enqueue jQuery on their own.
    – EAMann
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 15:59
  • It is semantically and practically _doing_it_wrong() to call something that isn't just jQuery "jQuery". Also: jQuery itself can simply be dequeued in order to ensure that it isn't loaded twice. The wp_dequeue_script() call just needs to happen with a sufficient priority to ensure that nothing enqueues it afterward. Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 16:09

This answer is not for your question exactly but there is one other issue in your code.

You never need to use and should not use:


If you want to use the jquery provided by WordPress then the best way to do is, when you enqueue your own javascript file, pass jquery as a dependency, this way, it will be handled by WordPress itself and you don't need to enqueue it manually.


wp_enqueue_script( 'myjslib-handle', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/js/myfile.js', array('jquery'), '1.0.0', true );

array('jquery') in the above code is the parameter we need to load jquery as a dependency.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.